I went back to North Dakota recently for the annual writer's conference. I left the Grand Forks / Fargo region soon after the flood of '97. Grand Forks was in shambles, and so was my life after losing everything I ever owned in a fire. On the return visit, I was surprised to see the town revitalized, at least structurally. All the boarded store fronts of downtown were gone, replaced with new businesses or public space and sculpture. But this is all superficial reconstruction. I wondered how the city might actually have changed on the inside, from the cultural center. Two good signs were the magazine Agricouture, which "focuses on the new economy and the underground-marginal and youth culture in all its forms, on campus and off" and the related website, VastLane.org, a blog of culture/politics in the region. When I was there, there were a handful of us who worked really hard to make it a stimulating place to live, I'm so happy people are still fighting the fight against regional ennui.
Sonic Youth's website has become pretty intense.
BMW makes a skateboard ?