I work from home now, which means I have access to the comings and goings of my neighborhood (not so posh), as well as the neighborhood that surrounds Lake of the Isles, which I walk around pretty much everyday (pretty posh, for Minneapolis, anyway). It’s a 15 minute walk from my place.
These two neighborhoods are very different, but equally interesting. For example, my street often has cop cars on it, flashing their lights. Prior to my working from home, my fiancé and I thought this was only an after-10pm affair, but now that I’m home all day, I’ve realized it’s more of an around-the-clock thing. Weirdly, the police vehicles seem to always be parked outside the same apartment building, which leads me to imagine it involves either a very stupid/lucky drug dealer who somehow always evades jail, or some kind of abuse case where the victim refuses to press charges. I like to think it’s a dumb drug dealer who hasn’t yet figured out how to be discreet.
As you may have surmised, the neighborhood with the million-dollar homes has different kinds of vehicles driving around it – Audis, Lexuses, Mercedes – though they have their own share of city vehicles, most of which say “Minneapolis Park Police” on them. I’m not sure those particular kind of officers have any real authority or are even real police officers, and it seems like a pretty cush gig for whoever drives those cars around a beautiful lake surrounded by marshland, animals, a dog park, and cross-county skiers.
But then. Last week. I noticed a dry cleaner van making the rounds, stopping at numerous houses around the lake. The driver made repeated trips to homes that presumably had people in them – I guess rich people don’t work during the day? – carrying dry cleaner bags in and out of households. This particular dry cleaner is located nowhere near this neighborhood and has the unlikely nom de plume of “Mulberry’s.” Not “Mulberry’s Dry Cleaners,” not anything indicating it’s actually a dry cleaning business. I thought it odd that a bunch of wealthy people would be using a dry cleaning delivery service located in a neighborhood twenty minutes away, a neighborhood called St. Louis Park, which is of questionable provenance. (I’m obviously being facetious here, being Jewish myself.) There are also at least ten different dry cleaners within a 5-10 minute walk (or drive) of these homes. Most of those are owned by Hmong, and it sounds like Mulberry’s is not, so maybe there’s your explanation.
Now I will admit, I’ve been binge-watching “Breaking Bad,” so maybe this has something to do with where my mind went, but as I watched this dry cleaning van make the rounds, I couldn’t help but think what a great cover such a business would be for a drug and money laundering operation. Why would rich people who don’t work have so much dry cleaning? More importantly, how does one get rich by not working? How can I obtain that lifestyle? Even the guy I know who inherited his family’s financial business works. Probably only to give his life meaning, but still, there is some income.
I realized after my walk that I’d missed a great photo opportunity – potentially one that could some day be of use to the actual police, should they decide to raid the homes of the rich and not-so-famous. Based on the industrial medical supply truck parked outside one of those houses that same day, I’d guess most of those folks are hooked on pain pills.
So why is it that the park police roam the lake and the real police roam my multi-ethnic neighborhood? Even rich neighborhoods have crime, and it’s surely a crime not to notice.