August 30, 2008

NPR - how to tell the economy is weak.

Duluth Sells Historic Window To Make Ends Meet, a segment on NPR's All Things Considered today about the city of Duluth, Minnesota selling a Tiffany window to raise cash for the government coffers. More details in the article, Can she save the city?, on the Duluth News Tribune website. At least one thing was factually wrong in the NPR report. Figural designs in Tiffany windows are not nearly as rare as was suggested by the Duluth representative.

The figure is of Minnehaha, the fictional character from the poem The Song of Hiawatha, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

and a detail found on Flickr

With him dwelt his dark-eyed daughter,
Wayward as the Minnehaha,
With her moods of shade and sunshine,
Eyes that smiled and frowned alternate,
Feet as rapid as the river,
Tresses flowing like the water,
And as musical a laughter:
And he named her from the river,
From the water-fall he named her,
Minnehaha, Laughing Water.

I've never read the full poem, but mainly know it from its many parodies. My favorite being Lewis Carroll's version, Hiawatha's Photographing.

[update October 7, 2008 - The New York Times picks up on the story and puts it in context with the broader economic situation - Financial Crisis Takes a Toll on Already-Squeezed Cities. Bonus for the SG enthusiast - they have an image of the full window.]

[update- Oct 16, 2008, good news - Duluth takes for sale sign off 'Minnehaha' window

Posted by Tom at August 30, 2008 05:45 PM