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Published May 03 2012

Morast: A list of the things I’ll miss about Fargo-Moorhead

People often mention how they hate to say goodbye.

I don’t get that.

Like, is there a segment of the population that actually enjoys exchanging farewells with the subtext of “I might never see you again”?

Seems like the kind of unnecessary statement on par with “water is wet,” “oxygen provides life” and “Nikki Minaj needs better songwriters.”

The topic is on my mind because, well, I’m saying goodbye.

This is my final column for The Forum as I’ve taken an interesting job at a newspaper in the Virginia Beach, Va., area.

While I’m stoked about the idea of trading some of the worst winters in the nation for the beach life of the Atlantic Ocean, it’s hard to leave Fargo-Moorhead.

Naturally, it’s difficult leaving the good friends – and a few of the fine enemies – I’ve met here. And, yes, the city’s a cool place to live – well, at least for eight months a year.

But there are some other things I’ll really miss about the town.

Dive 95

I don’t know anyone who listens to this low-power FM station channeled through the 95.9 tuning of your radio dial.

Regardless, I’m certain it’s the best radio station in Fargo-Moorhead.

Sure, Dive’s mix of non-stop, commercial-free punk, alt and oddball rock isn’t going to appeal to many, many music fans. But the station is free of dumb DJ banter and doesn’t play the same 12 songs over and over again.

More importantly, unlike most “alt rock” stations, Dive 95 is free of any snobby pretenses. It’s not trying to be the “coolest” alt rock station around. It just plays what the people who run it want to hear. Apparently, they have great taste in music.

The only real bummer about Dive 95 is that it doesn’t stream online, which means I can’t take it with me.

The Suit

Speaking of local music, I still don’t think people here realize how good The Suit is.

Like Dive 95, the F-M band’s aggressive rock sounds aren’t for everyone. But its ability to craft pop-song melody inside thick guitar chugs and Wampa beast growls is outstanding.

Without hyperbole, The Suit is one of the two best “local” bands I’ve ever heard. I just wish the band had more than, like, eight songs.

Passage to India

I can’t go to this Indian restaurant on 45th Street without my wife making fun of me. This is mostly because I eat more of the restaurant’s mango cake than is humanly possible.

OK, that’s not entirely true.

But I have been known to eat nine or so pieces of the orange-colored cake and still crave more. It’s the subtle sweetness and light texture. So good.

Pizza Corner pizzas

Anyone reading this column will assume I only care about food and music.

That’s almost true.

It’s also why I’m worried about leaving our steady supply of frozen Pizza Corner pizzas.

I’m not exactly sure what’s so great about this stuff. It’s taste isn’t outstanding. The dough is awesome but feels like something that has no nutritional value. And it’s more expensive than almost any other frozen pizza.

Still, I think I’m addicted to this stuff, and will probably have Pizza Corner withdrawal by the time I hit Tennessee.

The loiterers

I’ve never spoken to them. And I don’t know their names, but those “bigger” dudes who spend many days sitting on Atomic Coffee’s comfy chairs fascinate me to no end.

Whoever you are, stay cool, guys.

The art

Whether it’s the guerrilla street art scrawled around the metro area, Modern Man’s obtuse creations or Punchgut’s pop-culture irreverence, this city has some great visual artists. And we actually support it.

Of course, there are also some things I won’t miss:

Tranquility

Sometimes my friends from around the nation will ask me what I don’t like about Fargo-Moorhead. My common response: There’s nothing wrong with it.

It sounds like an absurd comment, given most people aim for a life void of problems,but I’m the kind of guy who’s fueled by the things that bother me. In F-M, there isn’t much to get irate about.

Take out the killer winters and the floods that feel like a bad made-for-TV movie and what’s the biggest issue about living in F-M? Mosquitoes? The fact that we might have 20 armed robberies in one year? The lament that we don’t have an Ikea?

Minor stuff.

I blame this on Scandinavians. They’re so rational and efficient that they just make things, like the cities, work well. Almost too well.

The nickname

Truly, I don’t care what the University of North Dakota’s sports mascot will be. I just want this issue over.

At this point, the people arguing about legacy versus political correctness just feel like a soon-to-be divorced couple arguing to prolong the misery.

Things change (or don’t). Deal with it and move on.

The protest bubble

I love protesters, even when I don’t agree with their issues.

But it’s bothered me for a while that the people who protest outside Fargo’s downtown abortion clinic don’t understand the bubble rule.

Simply put, don’t change your message but stay out of the imaginary bubble that is people’s personal space. The same courtesy extends to businesses and homes.

Your protest will be just as effective if you give the clinic’s door a 25-foot buffer zone. Besides, prayer doesn’t work via proximity; God will hear your pleas whether you’re kneeling three feet from the clinic’s door or across the street. Trust me.

In terms of gripes, that’s about it. Fargo-Moorhead’s a nice place. I’ll miss it, quite a bit.

And thanks to anyone who ever read these columns or worked with me through The Forum or Fargo Star. It’s been cool.

Have fun.


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