It's been awhile since I've done a "Weekend Wanderings" post on a Monday, mainly because there have been other things for me to rant about (NBC's shitty Olympic coverage for one). However, I've had more than one of you mention that I haven't done one lately, and this past weekend was more interesting than most, as Misplaced actually got out on the streets, among the people, where he belongs.
Saturday morning Misplaced's erstwhile companion Tara had an appointment to purchase new tires for her car, and yours truly tagged along to provide an intimidating "I'm NOT gonna pay a lot for this muffler, I mean, tires!" presence.
Not to worry.
The guys at Tires Plus on West Lake Street were friendly, helpful, and not at all in rip-off-the-woman mode. So with a couple of hours to kill, we decided to pass the time strolling around the Allentown-like Uptown neighborhood. First, we stopped at the Lund's on West Lake to grab a coffee at the Caribou Coffee conveniently located inside.
Charged up with a dose of fresh caffeine, we decided to hit the streets, but first I availed myself of the restroom facilities. When I returned, Tara was holding my camera, and had an amused expression. She said: "A guy wearing a cape and a yellow unitard just came in here..."
Me: "Did you get a picture?"
Me: "Shit. Which way did he go?"
She pointed down the aisle the individual had gone into, and I immediately went the same way. I came to an intersection, looked every way, and saw nothing except two guys with bored expressions stocking potato chips.
I approached them.
Me: "Did you guys see someone walk past here wearing a superhero costume?"
1st guy: "Nope."
2nd guy: "No, but I know exactly who you're talking about. Try the deli section, he's probably buying his lunch."
I thanked them, and sped off in that direction, as I came down the adjacent aisle, my phone rang. It was Tara, informing me that the man in the cape had reappeared, and she had indeed tailed him to the deli. I came around the corner, and encountered this:
I discreetly snapped his photograph, and wondered what the story was, but questioned the wisdom of approaching an individual dressed as he. Curiosity got the better of me after a couple of seconds, and I walked up to him.
"Excuse me..." I said.
He turned. He didn't have that aura of a crazy street person, so I decided that I was indeed dealing with a sane person.
"I don't need to know your secret identity or anything, but I'm curious... WHO are you?'
"I'm The Beast."
He said it with such an air of quiet confidence, I realized that I was indeed in the presence of a true superhero. That and the fact that he was wearing a utility belt that could only contain cool crime-fighting stuff. I asked him if he minded if I took a couple of pictures for this blog, and he readily agreed, and even struck a couple of Superhero poses for me:
You gotta respect a Superhero who waits in line at Lund's just like everybody else.
Apparently, The Beast is not alone on the streets of the Twin Cities. After doing a little online research, I discovered that there is a small community of dedicated crimefighters right here under my nose. The dark and sinister part of me wonders if perhaps I shouldn't unleash the Supervillian asleep deep inside me do give them something to do. I'll need a cool Supervillian name though... I'm thinking "Red Rage", "Dr. Buzzkill", or maybe "Dick Cheney".
After the encounter with The Beast, we continued on our way, and ended up at the very cool independent bookstore Magers & Quinn on Hennepin Ave.
This particular portion of Hennepin Ave. is definitely pretty cool. Misplaced loves bookstores, especially independent ones like these guys, who are still standing against the giants like Barnes & Noble and constant online presence of Amazon. Next, we wandered into a side entrance to Calhoun Square that I didn't know existed. When I see something like Calhoun Square, it serves as a reminder that with the right management, Main Place Mall in my hometown of Buffalo, NY could be so much more than the depressing, nearly empty hulk it has become.
After a quick stroll through Calhoun Square, Tara announced that she was now thinking about lunch, and was thinking about Thai food. I readily agreed, since I don't get to eat Thai nearly as often as I'd like. Across Hennepin Ave. from Calhoun Square was a place that I had passed several times that I thought was just a bar, but turns out to be an amazing Thai restaurant called believe it or not, Amazing Thailand. We walked in to find a harried server, who was not having a good day. Misplaced immediately offered to bitch-slap whoever it was that was causing her grief. This garnered us a smile, a good table by the window, and damn good service. Drea (I think I spelled that right) seemed to like us, and took good care of us even though she was slammed. I had what may very well be the best Basil Fried Rice I've ever had. I have to recommend this place to my Twin Cities readers, positively huge (Buffalo-size) portions, and staff in the kitchen that's not afraid of spice (they will set your head on fire if that's what you want), and will accommodate special requests such as my asking for my fried rice sans egg.
While we were waiting for our food, I looked across the street, and noticed this woman leaning against the side entrance to Calhoun Square smoking a cigarette:
I'm in the process of quitting smoking cigarettes once and for all, and I don't normally go for redheads, but there was just something about this woman that I found mildly sexy in a tough, Irish-chick kind of way...
Not a bad Saturday at all.
Warm, sunny days have been few and far between here this winter, so when Sunday promised to be as pleasant as Saturday had been, a pre-hockey game trip to the dog park was in order. Victor, Roxie and Misplaced were again joined by Tara and Sidda, who actually slowed down enough to be photographed:
Quite a few other Twin City residents had the same idea, and the MAC Dog Park was full of puppies of all shapes and sizes:
Victor actually decided to run quite a bit this time (thank God). I think he looks like he's enjoying himself here:
Victor, Roxie and Sidda of course took the opportunity to surround a dog that was basically a little pain in the ass:
Finally, on a humorous note, while I was watching the hockey game at Tara's after we left the dog park, I noticed her dog Sidda perched on the arm of the couch across from me giving me a look that can only be construed as disdain. I took a picture, and the end result can be found here:
Sorry Sidda, for whatever it was I did.
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See you tomorrow.