Trevor Kupfer

TrevorKupfer

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Opening the Flood Gates

Trevor Kupfer

One of the earliest developments you'll see (and one I'm super-excited for) is the conversion of the High Bridge. It will operate much like the old railroad bridge from 1st Ave to Phoenix Park. The major difference is the experience of actually being on the High Bridge – the view of Eau Claire from up there is probably the best vista in the area. When this bridge actually connects the completed developments of the Phoenix area and the West Riverside areas it will only be cooler.

Is the Wisconsin state flag the worst flag…

Trevor Kupfer

Last week I was wearing the state flag shirt from The Local Store around Minneapolis and an old lady stopped me whilst on my bike:

"What's that?" she asked, pointing to my shirt.
"The Wisconsin state flag."
"Oh, that's MUCH better than our stupid one."

So ours may be bad (no beer or cheese representation; what's up with that?), but apparently old ladies think it's better than Minnesota's.

How is Ed Norton's character in Fight Club…

Trevor Kupfer

Here's an abridged summary. One of the many themes of the movie (along with anti-commercialism and such) is homosexual desire. Norton's character devises Tyler (Pitt) as the male ideal. A confident, physical specimen, who dresses like a metrosexual (and in a woman's robe at one point) and has relations with women for "sport." When Tyler's character shows affection to the blonde kid (Leto), Norton clearly gets irked to the point of "destroying something beautiful." The point is that Norton feels the need to sublimate his homosexual desires just as Tyler does with spliced images of "male parts" in children's films. He hides them because he feels he's "supposed" to. So when you see the ending, where Norton holds Bonham-Carter's hand and says, "You met me at a very strange time in my life," we know it's the ultimate off-in-the-sunset wink of heterosexual Hollywood cliché. Hope this helps. But really, just watching it with this in mind with open lots of floodgates.

Is it true? Is Stones Throw really open…

Trevor Kupfer

Expecting patronage simply from opening is a widespread problem around Eau Claire, and bars are particularly bad. I even wrote a column that scratches that surface (http://volumeone.org/articles/article/1527/A_Bar_Cry).

There's so many variables to add character to a bar (the prices, the alcohol in stock, specials/deals, games, decor, seating types and locations, noise level, jukebox, food, live entertainment, karaoke, trivia, sports, holiday goings-on, big game goings-on, etc.) but all-too-often bars around here will do the bare minimum and expect regular traffic simply because they have booze for sale. Or even more popular: not even thinking twice about it.

Here's a game to help illustrate my point:
• Pick a bar in Eau Claire (it's easier than Chippewa or Menomonie)
• Pick something you like about it
• Think about other variables that would compliment that thing you like
• How many does that bar actually have? And how many things contradict or take away from the quality you like?

Good quiet bars need comfy seating and happy hour deals to be TRULY awesome chatting spots. But how many have all three? Places with cheap drinks (and therefore limited selection) need lots of activities and decent food/snacks to keep people there and spending. But how many have all three?

Keep playing. It's fun ... in a very frustrating kind of way.

New downtown Eau Claire redesign plans…

Trevor Kupfer

replied to: so now we need to get a group together and…

Good point, Chad. After the bickering on parking and deliveries settles down (and it will eventually be solved – don't worry), the next major issue will be paying for everything. But if this design is something the masses can get behind, the idea is that they can't picture a downtown WITHOUT these cool amenities, so they'll help crowdsource and pitch in to make them happen. It will no doubt take leadership to make specific items happen (like splash fountains, Kubb accommodations, and historical plaques), so be ready to help the cause.

Backsliding

Trevor Kupfer

Probably my favorite piece of playground equipment when I was a kid was simply a giant mountain of tires. Big ole' tires that were secured together with screws and bolts and such. When people around here talk about the rocket slide and how that piece of equipment represented a class system based on which level you hung out on, I think of the tires. If you were on the top, you were king of the playground. Kids on the bottom played hide-and-seek, napped, read books, or played MASH and stuff. Kids on the middle two levels were adventurous, but still knew their place. Soon they would be contenders for the top. Winter was the best time for the tires, because you could play the ever-dangerous King of the Mountain. Kids became king and were de-throned almost as quickly. It was a good test of humility and kept you humble. That said, it's no surprise those tires disappeared by the time my sister went to school there. But did they have to replace it with a lame plastic sandbox?

New downtown Eau Claire redesign plans…

Trevor Kupfer

So many questions in the recent comments. I'll try to answer what I can. As far as I can tell from the sketches, seating in the amphitheater area will come in the cement stadium seating (like steps) and grass/boulders (like Phoenix). There were bike racks in the plan, but nothing fancy. Just simple metal arches (see the last image above). Will there be electricity? Most certainly. That was a big concern by DECI, who puts on events like Summerfest and International Fall Fest. So you can be sure there will be more remote electrical.

VolumeOne gives me info, humor, insight,…

Trevor Kupfer

Thanks for the kind words, CoffeeChic. It's been a little while since we had a crossword in the issue. What we do, since we're all about local, is create our own crossword puzzles. The last one I recall was probably September 2010 or 2009 and it all dealt with back to school stuff. I know another I personally put together was about Water Street, specifically. And the half dozen or so before that weren't themed, just all about here.

So I'll certainly bring this up as something to revive in an upcoming issue, and hopefully you'll see another local crossword in our pages!

Anybody have any cool "urban bird"…

Trevor Kupfer

Every spring the parking lot near the Volume One office is bombarded by hordes of tiny sparrow-looking bird creatures. They're there right now, in fact. If they were seagulls, I'd be worried Hitchcock's The Birds was looming.

Most people around here don't seem willing…

Trevor Kupfer

I'm gonna be bold and just say "dumb." Even if you don't know the band, the cover is what you're likely to pay for one drink (+/- tip). I just can't picture people walking away from a show one night and mumbling, "Ugh. Three awful bands. There's five dollars I'll never see again." Odds are they spent $20 all told, and three-quarters of which was for drinks. And let's not forget you have a live music landscape not only celebrated locally, but coveted on a statewide and regional level. Come on, people.

Where are the best pinball machines in the…

Trevor Kupfer

replied to: Last time I was at the Joynt they had a…

I remember the day The Joynt's Elvis pinball machine "left the building." That was a pretty good one. And if memory serves, Bonnie's Labor Temple has always had a machine. Can't say what it is now, though.

Seriously...when did the door on the left…

Trevor Kupfer

Have you ever noticed that guys bathrooms are almost always on the left, while gals are on the right? I've gotten so used to that universal design that I sometimes don't even look at the stick figurines on the door. I just go right in. That's gonna burn me someday ...