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I woke yesterday hoping against hope that the Nine Inch Nails concert was back on.  It wasn’t.  I mulled this disappointing circumstance while getting ready for the day.  Some of the commenters on NIN’s blog didn’t help matters.  As if it wasn’t bad enough to have a concert canceled, some cowardly posters left the message “Minneapolis sucks” without going into specifics.  Cowardly, because they posted as “Anonymous.”  Non-specific because they decided not to go into details about why they thought Minneapolis sucked, but instead made it a general condemnation.  If they’d said something about the lousy traffic or the fact that the light rail line has no public toilets available, well, I just might agree, but I can’t agree with an overall report of suckage because I rather like Minneapolis.

Hubby and I had decided that we would still take a trip to Minneapolis and do a bunch of stuff because we had already made day-filling plans.  Once we were in the car and off, the sting of a missed concert dulled and only briefly crossed my mind a few times during the day.  I brought my camera, so here’s my photo essay with commentary.

Convoy Truck & Wal-Mart Truck

Convoy Truck & Wal-Mart Truck

The drive to Minneapolis was fairly uneventful, except that we were caught in a convoy of large military vehicles at one point.  This photo shows one of these vehicles in the right lane.  See the Wal-Mart truck in the left lane?  Once we got past the convoy, this truck almost ran us off the road.  It was coasting into our lane while we were right next to it and the driver wasn’t reacting to the fact that we were RIGHT THERE!!!!  Hubby had to lay on the horn in order to get the truck to move back into its lane.  Talk about a heart attack.

When we got to the Twin Cities area, we stopped at Midwest Brewing so that Hubby could buy a couple of beer kits for homebrewing.  The place also sells wine making supplies and organic gardening stuff.  It was packed with do-it-yourselfers.  I commented to Hubby that a specialty place like this has to locate in a densely populated area in order to find enough people to keep it in business.

After Midwest Brewing, we headed to the Uptown Art Fair in, well, the Uptown area of Minneapolis.

Uptown Art Fair, Minneapolis, MN, August 2, 2008

Uptown Art Fair, Minneapolis, MN, August 2, 2008

Uptown Art Fair, Minneapolis, MN, August 2, 2008

Uptown Art Fair, Minneapolis, MN, August 2, 2008

Notice that I didn’t take any photos of the art.  I didn’t feel like getting embroiled in a potential copyright infringement issue by making derivative versions (i.e. photos) of any of the artists’ work, so this was purposeful.  (See what happens when copyright laws are too strictly structured to benefit the artist?  No free publicity.)  I did see a lovely building, though . . .

Suburban World, Uptown, Minneapolis, MN, August 2, 2008

Suburban World, Uptown, Minneapolis, MN, August 2, 2008

It looks like it might be a theater, what with the marquee and all, but I can’t tell whether it’s actually called Suburban World, or if that’s an old part of the marquee and there’s different business inside.

While we were in Uptown, we ate lunch at Jimmy John’s.  I had a fabulous tuna salad sub with cucumbers, tomatoes, and sprouts.  The tuna salad was a perfect combination of salty and crunchy (from the onions, of course!).  After lunch we went to a book store.  I think it was called Book Smart and it sold new and used books.  I bought three books:  Sherwood Anderson’s “Winesburg, Ohio,”  (for once I actually remembered a book I wanted to read), Jane Austen’s “Northanger Abbey” (for both Daughter and I to read), and Andrea A. Lunsford’s “The Everyday Writer” (filled with practical advice in a tabbed and spiral-bound format).

Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN, August 2, 2008

Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN, August 2, 2008

After Uptown, we made our way to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and spent the afternoon with Chihuly, Close, O’Keefe, Picasso, and Dali, along with many unknown Anishenabe, Egyptian, African, and Indian artists.  When I go to the Institute, I know it’s all going to be so overwhelming that my brain will threaten to shut down, so my strategy is to pick a few areas to concentrate on and then look closely only at things that grab me.  I wanted to check out textiles, so that was the main goal, and then we got sidetracked by things like an exhibit on Modernism that included a Tatra T87 automobile.  My big question was, “How’d they get this car onto the third floor?”  There was a nice little book arts exhibit on Picasso’s book illustrations.  Hubby and I marvelled at the highly detailed tyed resist dyed fabrics from India and the Anishenabe bandolier bags.  While looking at the African exhibit, I spied an Egyptian piece through a doorway.  It was a large limestone piece covered in hieroglyphics that I discovered was a false door from a tomb.  The false door was a feature that allowed a person’s soul to leave.

One of our favorite pieces was in the entry way of the Institute and we walked right under it without even realizing it was there.  Here it is:

Sunburst, Dale Chihuly, 1999, Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Sunburst, Dale Chihuly, 1999, Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Hubby and I are huge fans of Dale Chihuly and his spectacular glass work.  This is called Sunburst and we asked for permission before taking a picture.  When we were in Atlanta, Georgia, last year, we saw two other glass installations by Chihuly.  All of his pieces are impressive and organic and beautiful.

By the time we were done at the Institute, it was late afternoon and we decided to head back home.  On our way we stopped in Maple Grove and went to a shoe store.  (I desparately need a pair, but not so desparately that I’m willing to buy them in the midst of trying to get our children ready to go back to school.)

Following shoe browsing, we went to a place called Curry Up that serves Indian cuisine.  The man behind the counter, I’m assuming he was the owner, helped us decide what to order by describing the various dishes, none of which we were familiar with.  Game to try anything, we went with his suggestions.  We order vegetarian samosa (a ball-shaped cooked dough with a spicy filling), chicken biryani (spicy fried rice with lots of curry, served with yogurt on the side to take away the heat), chicken dosa (a large flat pancake – only not as fat or sweet as pancakes in America – rolled around spicy chicken), and mango lassi (yogurt and mango shakes -mmmmm!).  If you paid attention to my descriptions, almost everything on the list was spicy, but it’s a curry kind of spicy that sneaks up on you and makes your lips numb, not an eye-watering, make you choke, hot pepper type of spicy.  Everything was served with cooling chutneys and yogurt sauces, which instantly remove the heat from your mouth.  (Gosh, describing it is making me hungry!)

We headed home after supper, feeling fat and happy.  It was a great day, all in all, NIN concert notwithstanding.  Oh, and I managed to knit an entire fingerless glove yesteday.

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