Today's photo is from my "Minneapolis Mill" series, taken last winter.
There wasn't really much wandering this past weekend.
Friday was fairly uneventful. It consisted mostly of catching up on some reading, as over the past couple of months Misplaced has somehow gotten into the bad habit of picking up a book, reading a few chapters, getting distracted, not going back to it, and doing the exact same thing a few days later - but with a different book. As it stands, there are now several books scattered around my living room, all started, none finished. One of them is Stephen King's "Lisey's Story" which I have actually tried to start reading five times, going back to before I relocated to Minnesota.
I may give that one another go over the next few days, but I'm puzzled by my reaction to it, as I usually bomb through Mr. King's work in just a few days... even the lengthy ones! I read the uncut version of "The Stand" in just three days - all one thousand, one hundred and sixty-eight pages of it, and read all seven volumes of "The Dark Tower" (three thousand, seven hundred and twelve pages) in about twenty days, over the course of two months. For some reason, "Lisey's Story" starts out very slow, and I don't know why...
Anyway... I was talking about the past weekend.
Friday night I got to check out a restaurant a few blocks away that Tara suggested, Gigi's Cafe, located at 36th Street and Bryant Avenue, right on the edge of Uptown. It reminded me of Amy's Place in Buffalo (Which STILL doesn't have a website), as it's menu was not completely vegetarian, but VERY vegetarian-friendly. It seemed to be staffed by the same mixture of lesbian and hippie girls working the front of the house, and the lone male employee I caught a glimpse of looked like the same hipster/poser type of guy that you'd find manning the kitchen there. One difference I noticed was the fact that the staff at Gigi's made an obvious effort to keep the restaurant clean and presentable, where at Amy's Place, I recall seeing the same muddy footprint on the floor for nearly a month the winter before I moved. The other (and much more obvious difference) I saw was the fact that Gigi's is licensed to serve wine and beer, and has a decent selection of both. The closest you'd get to anything like that at Amy's Place would be the occasional whiff of high-quality ganja on a few of the patrons, and sometimes the staff, depending on what day of the week it was and whether or not the owner was present. Patrons at Gigi's are expected to pick up after themselves, and when finished eating, carry their own silverware, plates and glasses to a bus pan conveniently located at the far end of each of the two dining rooms. The only thing missing was a sign that read: Bus Your Own Damn Table Hippie.
Since the menu was heavy on vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, Misplaced of course opted to horrify the few granola types present and order the carnivore-friendly Angus Burger, with "french fries" that were really potato wedges. Tara, being one of those who shuns red meat (yeah, I know) went for the more animal and eco-friendly Portobello Mushroom sandwich. Not wanting to be a complete jerk, I had an Arnie Palmer to drink, which was constructed from house-brewed black tea, and house-made lemonade. (The Arnie Palmer is found in a few places in Buffalo, but always in a can, never made on-site... it seems to be VERY popular here in the frozen tundra of Minnesota... I plan on mixing it liberally with vodka next summer and making it my number one evening libation.)
Saturday turned into yet ANOTHER unseasonably warm weekend day here in the Twin Cities, and true to recent form, I got absolutely nothing of importance done in my apartment. Instead, the now requisite trip to the MAC Dog Park took up a portion of the afternoon, the difference in this weekend's trip there being that Victor and Roxie went with Tara's high-speed dog Sidda this time. (Sidda, it turns out is named after the character Siddalee 'Sidda' Walker from "Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood"... chick book, chick flick, chick dog... *gag*) On the plus side, the three dogs got along fairly well with each other. Roxie was pleased to have a dog to run with (or after, as Sidda is light years faster that either of my two brutes, and Roxie is pretty fast herself.), Victor didn't even really try to run with them, which is a good thing, as it would have been embarrassing for him to even try.
Poor Victor. He's a big, slow, oaf. If you pay attention, you can actually feel the ground shake as he comes lumbering past.
Saturday ended with attending a basketball tournament for a girl's youth league consisting of several local traveling teams. One of the students at the school Tara works at is apparently going to be the next Sheryl Swoopes. She's ten years old, and nearly as tall as I am! It was rather interesting to watch the game... the team she plays for is called the Lady Monarchs, and is all African-American girls with the exception of the student at Tara's school, who is from Liberia. (It's in Africa for the geographically challenged... click the link and learn.) The team they played against was from the predominantly white suburb of Eagan. It was explained to me that the Lady Monarchs have been uninvited from tournaments because they are simply too good. In fact, they are a fifth-grade team that regularly plays against and beats teams of seventh and eighth-grade players. The animosity towards the Lady Monarchs was evident to me during the game as I counted nearly forty fouls committed against them that were ignored by the two officials... both of whom were white, and didn't hesitate to call fouls against the Lady Monarchs... who I must add played a very clean game all things considered. The team from Eagan would have made my friend Mark Adair proud, as their use of elbows and forearms were right out of the Mark Adair school of playground ball. I was mildly appalled at how dirty the Eagan team played, but I kept my mouth shut, since I was a guest.
It didn't matter though, the Lady Monarchs easily handled Eagan, and won by seventeen points.
(On a side note, during a break in the action I noticed that the Lady Monarchs coach was wearing a Buffalo Bills jacket! I approached him right after the game of course, and asked him if he was from my neck of the woods. It turns out that he was not, but was a lifelong Bills fan, even though he was born and raised here in Viking Country... At least I'm not the only one here taking shit over the Bills horrendous record this year.)
Sunday turned out to be yet another unseasonably warm day, and my bagel routine was followed by a short trek down Nicollet Avenue to the one-Sunday-only Thanksgiving edition of the Kingfield Farmer's Market, which was held indoors in a large space donated by neighborhood photography studio rau + barber. It's actually too bad that it was indoors... it was such a nice day that it could have been held in it's regular parking lot just a few doors away. The Sunday trek ended with a stop at the Anodyne Coffee House, where I discovered that they did indeed have the Sunday New York Times available to read, and had the added bonus of being able to sit outside next to a table occupied by two men from NYC who own a property in the neighborhood. A pleasant conversation was had with them, and though they were both pretty butch types, all questions about their relationship were quickly answered when they mentioned that one of them was a personal trainer, and they had a summer place on Fire Island.
The rest of of my Sunday consisted of doing some laundry, watching Peter Gabriel's "Growing Up Live" concert on DVD, and a home-cooked, healthy meal consisting of a salad, basmati rice, and salmon purchased from a gentleman who is a Bering Sea fisherman, but is married to a woman from the Twin Cities suburbs. When I asked him how in the world did an Alaskan Fisherman end up in the Twin Cities, he replied "Never marry a girl from Edina and take her to Alaska."
See you tomorrow.