Live artfully, like Bob Dylan at the U of M

I love Bob Dylan more than I love myself also he ended racism, thank God—here’s where to go on the U campus to absorb some of his divine power

Illustrator: Will Hanson

I, like most other balding white guys who grew up in the ‘60s, absolutely fucking worship Bob Dylan. Dylan is truly a god in human form—from “The Times They Are A-Changin’” to “Blood on the Tracks,” the man has consistently delivered flawless compositions of exceptionally sublime literary power. And not only do his poetic tracks delight the ears and soothe the soul, Dylan actually uses his music to enact social change. Literary historians typically dub Dylan the first and only person to ever do this. Absolutely astounding. Dylan’s eminent work, “Blowin’ in the Wind,” singlehandedly ended racism, won the Vietnam war, and got rid of Mondays for good! So incredible. What a man. There’s simply no way any of us mere mortals could ever live up to the largesse of the truly holy Bob Dylan, but we can come close.

The University of Minnesota was undoubtedly the incubation site for 100% of Dylan’s genius. For a long while Dylan lived, learned, and was inspired by the breathtaking sights and sounds of the U we all know and love. The below are just a few choice haunts of his—if you fancy a jaunt to a chic local venue, head on over for a taste of Dylan’s artful living experience.

 1. FloCo Fusion apartments

During his sophomore year, Dylan stowed his temporal body in the lovable and stylish FloCo apartments. He would float across the courtyard on game days with his cigarette and harmonica in tow, often muttering “Ski-U-Mah” contemptuously under his breath. Like any good musician and intellectual, Dylan absolutely detested sports, but he fancied the outdoors and the inspiration he could draw from local youth. Few people know this, but his famed piece “Mr. Tambourine Man” was actually written about a mysterious, intoxicated stranger in Gopheralls who used to wander about the FloCo halls by night playing a melancholy tune on a red solo cup with peanuts inside it which he called his “tambourine.” Dylan loved this man.

2. Blarney Pub

Of course, Bob Dylan would never have set foot in a bar—like any respectable artist, he preferred to drink whiskey from the sound hole of his guitar. Instead of going inside the bar like an un-artistic normal, he sat outside on the sidewalk in a careful, calculated protest of capitalism.

3. Hanson Hall Starbucks

Many people don’t know this, but Bob Dylan was in Carlson. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but he was truly a jack of all trades—you can’t simply pin Dylan down. He’s a Rolling Stone, you know! After taking many arduous classes in marketing, finance, and supply chain, Dylan liked to run down to the Starbucks in Hanson for a quick pick-me-up. None of that fru-fru garbage for him, though, Dylan preferred to eat the raw grounds straight from the coffee filter as he pondered aloud questions of mortality and the human condition. Amazing man, truly.

4. Black Coffee and Waffle Bar

I don’t know how many of you have seen the cover of “Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan”—I suppose you haven’t heard of it, it’s pretty obscure. But the photo on it was actually taken out front of the iconic—and definitely not hackneyed at all—coffee bar. While Bob Dylan hated consumerism, he simply couldn’t resist a $14 waffle covered in lavish fruits and granolas. They didn’t have Instagram in the ‘60s, so Dylan just compiled all his photographs from the coffee bar into hundreds and hundreds of photo albums which are currently on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. A stop by that exhibit is guaranteed to art-ify your life.

Illustrator: Will Hanson

5. Territorial Hall

Leaving home for the first time was truly a shock for Dylan, but he found comfort in his first home away from home: T-Hall. Dylan took solace in the Jello shot-lined common areas, the retired Ronnie D bottle-covered stairwells, and the drunk freshman-infested halls. My favorite song of Dylan’s, “Like A Rolling Stone,” was written in T-Hall about the pains of growing up. I really identify with this song because, although my parents paid for my entire education, rent, gas, and groceries, and I was offered an $80,000 a year job straight out of college, youth just wasn’t easy for me.

6. 4th Street Circulator

Lastly, Bob Dylan wrote his famous song “Positively 4th Street” while he was lounging on the 4th street circulator so as to commute with ease from the West Bank where he attended Carlson to the East Bank where he resided in the Marshall during his junior and senior years. While staring blankly out the window (through his classic blacked-out Ray Bans) at the hardship of students who chose to walk instead of take the bus, Dylan underwent a spiritual awakening to the plights of others. Thus, the social hero and literary god we all know today was born.

I cried several times while writing this. Thank you for reading.