Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Day 2: ThB is one day older and a very short Day 3

Day 2:  Minneapolis

Weather: Warm to hot, never cool

COTD: Alex, I’ll take famous fifties for 50 cents

AOTD:  1999

QOTD: What is the year THB really turned 50?

The W Foshay, our hotel (and we're on 23rd floor, right near the top)

Book Review: The Gardens of Kyoto, Kate Walbert (novel): Published in 2001, THB had been saving this book for the upcoming Japan trip (not saving it since 2001, just for a few months), this book does not actually focus on the gardens of Kyoto, just the hint of them and their “true” meaning: something other than actual gardens, the ethereal representation of other worldly places. This wonderful novel makes use of the subtleties of loss, memory, misdirection and the tragedy of war to evoke emotions with simple words and events filled with brief, hesitant conversations. The plot: a woman is explaining her early life’s twists and turns to her unknown child, almost a coming of age book yet it is the emotions not events that are so gripping. Highly Recommended (and destined to be in THB’s 2015 top books category) 

Up and about to beat the heat: walk over 2.5 miles (round up?  OKAY!), make it 3 miles, to breakfast at the Co-op Creamery (and offshoot of the Co-op market in Seward district).

THB has wild rice pancakes topped with crème fraiche, cherries and gluten free puffed wild rice (which arrived a few minutes after the pancakes, excellent (especially with the late arriver). DB had standard large buttermilk pancakes topped with banana and peanut butter, enough for three. With coffee, $25. The café has a no tipping policy: whatever is left is donated to one of two local food promotion places, Seed and P6, THB leaves $5. Of note: the service was not very good! That appears to be one of the big downfalls of the no tipping policy: the staff doesn’t have an incentive to deliver good service collectively.

How far THB had made it when the puffed rice showed up

Walk back, another (what, oh yeah) 3 miles, a bit warmer. Freshen up, rest up, then head to another smart shopping district at 50th and France (if only!). Lunch at another food conscious spot, Agra Culture. THB scores again with a deconstructed sushi salad and spicy lemonade, DB has more of a lettuce salad with beets and chicken and a regular lemonade; with tip, $43.

More resting up and then meet CC for excellent gin-based drinks at the Marvel Bar, downstairs from our dinner at the Bachelor Farmer. 

The entrance to the restaurant, barely signed

The two doors leading to Marvel Bar, totally unmarked (with construction outside the first door)

We manage to eat most if not all of the following:
-        Smoked Rainbow Trout with roasted summer squash, cucumbers, radishes and crème fraiche (cf twice today for THB)
-        Salad of broccoli, roasted carrots, broccoli pesto, toasted pumpkin seeds and a carrot vinaigrette
-        Fresh cow’s milk cheese (soft, luscious!) with toasted hazelnuts and hazelnut oil and plenty of toast that seemed to grilled over open fire
-        Roasted chicken, wild rice (another two-fer today), broccoli, yogurt and oregano
-        Duck confit, roasted carrots, eggplant puree, tomatoes, pistachios, currants
-        Dessert: pavlova with lime curd and cherries (another two-fer!)
-        Most of a bottle of Blaufrankisch Pieler (Austrian red)
-        No prices, CC treated!!!

Walk back to our hotel, to try and help our digestive tracts. It was just like last night at the ballpark: in the high 70s to low 80s, and lots of people out on the streets (On a warmmmmmmmmmmmm San Franciscannnnnnnn night….like it is ever this warm at night in SF)

Oh, and a mural of Bobby:

More shots from around town
Utility Boxes 


A cute area, maybe the railroad district?

Our car

A unique building

What happened here?

Day 3:  Minneapolis to  E-ville

Weather: Warm in Minneapolis, warmish and cloudy with chance of rain coming to E-ville 

COTD: Alex, I’ll take famous fifties for $5 Billion

AOTD:  This state has 8 national parks and what other notable distinction?   

QOTD:  What is Alaska; it is the only state that THB has not yet visited (i.e., his 50th)        

Breakfast at Rustica, and a very easy set of flights home. And, lots of under 5 kids and a few 6-12 year olds. Southwest must be running some mid-week mid-day promotion for families

And for those of you not scared enough about natural catastrophes, here's a NYer article:

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Day 1: THB Turns 50 and gets an upgrade

Day 1: Fly from Oakland to Minneapolis

Weather: Slight overcast and cool in E-ville, high 80s in Denver, and mid 80s in Minneapolis, 87 at the ballpark at game time

Category of the day (COTD): Alex, I’ll take famous fifties for $5
QOTD: What is the 50th major league ball park where THB has seen a game?

AOTD:  Target Field

It’s a make-up game, twice over. The third attempt at getting ballpark #50 and completing the loop among all the other ballparks is successful: THB and DB visit Target Field!

Southwest through Denver is early, the rental car is ready, we’re at the ballpark very early, and DB and LB have conspired to upgrade THB from great seats to the seats so good we’re sitting next to Kent Hrbek (a Twins star of yesteryear).
Kent Hrbek, up close and personal
THB and DB get to dine in the Championship club: free food at various stations, free beer and wine, free peanuts, free everything except we can’t find the hot dogs.

Tony Oliva, a THB fave from his formative years

The word gets out, and several of the Twins customer service people present us with gifts: hats, first game certificates, vintage bobblehead….and much local friendliness.
Note, these are our seats!

In shot below, that's TBH (scoring) and DB on TV!!

The Twins score early and often, and coast to an easy victory. CC and friend sit in THB’s damn good seats. 

MVPs, one from each team

Mascot and race participants (Skeeter wins)

Fan at wrong game...wait, Twins scored a TD, more than the Vikings did!!

THB turns 50