Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fuzzy Wuzzy Was a Flower.

I was in Baker Park this afternoon, riding the foldy Giant Expressway and I saw this explosive, diaphanous, fuzzy flower plant. Had to stop and take a couple of fotos. Pretty cool, don't you think?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Trail closed. Wet Tar. Come back in 48 Hours.

It can seem a bit longer some days, but my trail through Baker Park measures 6.2 miles.  

The paved surface is smooth and fast -- needs to be in order to support heavy use by bladers, boarders, joggers, bikers, x-country skiers, walkers, birders, doggers and so forth.

Three Rivers maintenance crews take good care of "my" trail.
Only, it was a bit of a bummer today to learn that much of the trail was closed until the fresh tar surface could dry and harden.

I did sneak past the barrier, but stuck to the grass shoulder.  Not the most comfortable ride, but I didn't muss anything up.  

Thank you, Hennepin County, for this priceless resource within a stone's throw from where we live.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Serious Dreads: Brooklyn Dude Sports Major Hair.

Along the East River, on the Brooklyn side, a couple of trips agao, saw sight after sight to delight. A curious and reflective "dread-ster" caught my eye, and the camera obliged.  How long do you suppose this guy's been growing his hair?   Do you think he feels self-conscious?  Probably not.  But me?  Bare on top and thin along the sides?  I could use some of that hair! 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Looking at Manhattan from Brooklyn's Greenpoint.

Young friends of mine reside in a high rise perch in Brooklyn's Greenpoint section.  You can see that the view is breathtaking.  More on that in a minute.

Greenpoint is a typical New York neighborhood: a vibrant melange of age, race, ethnicity, social and economic class, gender, marital status, country of origin, religion (or not), sexual preferences, and on it goes. 

Two blocks west of the apartment lies Manhattan Avenue.  I'll swear that as  many people speak Polish as English.

I might as well be in another country.

I was in another WORLD with this view toward Manhattan.  Across the East River, a dozen miles away, lies the world's most extraordinary city. You can reach out the window and almost touch the  Big Apple.  The air is so clear. Lower Manhattan high rise profiles etched against the sky. The clouds, the pastel colors, the everything.

Could my friends possibly tire of this view? Take it for granted? Be so busy with work and travel, food shopping, catching a cab, making a living and having a life  -- that they miss what for me is a once in a lifetime view?

I remember taking this shot with a point and shoot.  No kidding. The conditions were so right that I couldn't miss. I felt like a pro composing and adjusting, holding my breath and squeezing the shutter.

Hello Manhattan.  Thanks for being there for me on a plu-perfect kind of day. And thank you  J, C + D, for sharing your life, and the Greenpoint vista, with me.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Share a Coke with Ali.

Coca-Cola's new ad campaign and brand positioning is so smart.  And so much fun.     Imagine your name is "Ali." A good friend texts an i-foto of YOUR bottle of Coke, personalized just for you.   And then you MUST go find that bottle and enjoy YOUR special soft drink.  Genius.

This situation really did happen. A lovely woman friend of the Poppy Blog named "Ali" received a text from her college pal and sorority sister, "Kim."  Kim was excited to see Ali's name on a Coke,  while Ali was touched by Kim's thoughtfulness.  Of course the pic and experience had to be shared -- with friends who know Ali and Kim.

Everyone's talking Coca-Cola.  Isn't that what the folks in Atlanta wanted???

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Buffalo Soldiers: Buffalo Cyclists, 1897.

Me + Butler in Old Snow Cat, Steamboat Springs, CO.

My good buddy (and highly skilled drive guy) Jim Butler chills at the controls of a classic Snow Cat.  I'm riding shotgun.

The Steamboat Ski mountain no longer relies on this vintage treaded snow machine.  She rests in a place of respect and honor, inviting summer visitors like us to have a seat, and imagine the early days of shushing, rope tows and stem Christies.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Greenfield, Ohio. 2013. Miss Liberty

I don't think this baby would float very long, even if there were a lake nearby.  But the name and Old Glory? Pretty memorable even in this southwestern Ohio front yard.

Rory Wins Open, Shauna Witnesses Golf History Made.

"YES! I can't believe how lucky I got with the weather. It was a great golf day. I walked with Rory a bit, and Phil's group, saw a lot of Justin Rose and Adam Scott's group, sat in a few of the grandstands (nice breeze at the tops of those - and I had great binoculars so those were good vantage points), got a little sunburned, and probably walked about 10 miles without my feet getting tired. I'm gonna do it all again if the Open goes to Royal Portrush in 2019! 

See you on the tenth tee, right after the turn, and we can talk more about the 2014 Open  - Shauna"

FOTO:  Zack Johnson, Martin Kaymer, and Jason Day on the 13th tee. I really liked this little grandstand, you could see a big wind farm out in the water to the left, along with a couple islands.

Monday, July 21, 2014

French Best-Seller, Renault "Dauphine"

My neighbor and world traveler Jim H has added "French Classic Car Shopper" to his resume.

My inbox today contained this supremely cool foto of an early-series-run "Dauphine," manufactured by Renault in France.  The model year might be 1956.  Judging by other mid-Century classics on the lot, this could be a car show or weekend swap meet.  Makes me wonder whether old Jimmy took the Renault home after a test drive, or threw down his Euros instead for the Citroen 2-CV immediately behind the Dauphine. 

Checked "Dauphine" out on Wikipedia.  France's rear engine, air cooled, rear-wheel drive contribution to the post-War economy car market on the Continent, which was dominated  by FIAT and VW.  All three manufacturers exported to the U.S. at the time.  VW has served the market here all along. FIAT has returned.  Renault (partly owned I believe by Nissan) is re-considering.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Life is a Wheel - You Must Read Bruce Weber's Book.

Say you like to read. And/or you're a cyclist. Adventurer.  Seeker of truth, wisdom and spiritual insight.  And you've hankered to make a cross-country journey on two wheels and under your own steam.  

Then, here's YOUR book.

I just finished Life is a Wheel by New York Times writer Bruce Weber.  When you, too, read it, I think you'll be inspired, elated and uber-connected to this guy, his trip, his trans-continental introspection and reflections, his life.

What I really mean is:  wow. Thanks, Bruce, for the profound effort and, since I read the review in a bicycle magazine, thanks to "Adventure Cycling" for the intro.

Let me quote from publisher Scribner:  "Part travelogue, part memoir, part romance, part paean to the bicycle as a simple mode of both transportation and self-expression -- and part bemused and panicky account of a middle-aged man's attempt to stave off, well, you know -- Life is a Wheel is an elegant and beguiling escape for biking enthusiasts, armchair travelers, and any readers who are older than they were yesterday."

Friday, July 18, 2014

Here's a REAL "Kombi." James T has the back story.

My friend and sharp-eyed Poppy Blog habitue, James T,  knows a VW "Kombi" when he sees one.

"Seth... I see in PVV you had a VW Combi back in the 60s. Well this "Kombi" (so called because it was actually a flat bed pick up when the sides and tail gate are folded down) belongs to the guy that did the tilework in our bathroom. Caught it in dappled light under our live oak in front of the barn. Once you spot one of these oddballs, you start to see them all over town. Popular among tradespeople, former hippies, and VW collectors."

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Third Thursday Bike Nite @ Mpls Art Institute.

Whole lot of velo fun tonight at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.  This is my much-anticipated visit to the annual bike-a-bration, and, as usual, I was not disappointed.

Passed up the Summit on draft  (one of the participating sponsors) for a Dogwood iced coffee, Zamboni Filtered -- you can see "the guys" in one of the shots.  

Plenty of handmade bike art.

And, at the main entrance to MIA velo volunteers rubbed pastel chalk on tires, front and rear, so bikes could make their own art statement as they made their grand entrance. 

VW Kombi (?) : Zero-to-Double Nickel in 11 Seconds.

I had a '63 VW bus, not unlike the one in this foto. Mine was green and white, slow but steady, prone to lane drift when cross winds were strong.

At the time of ownership there was no bumper sticker to slap on announcing pick up and top speed.  I think everyone knew the VW story back then.

This classic is similar to the model I owned, and around the age of my beauty.  Seems to be tricked out for camping, but it's no Westfalia with the pop-top option.

You don't see a lot of these (this one was parked in the Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis). Glad to have come upon it.

St. Paul's Grand Avenue Mural Art.

This one I like very much.  Took the shot in St. Paul, right off Grand Avenue, and not more than a block or so from Macalester College.  Young couple crossing street, gorgeous mural art behind them, and oblivious to any local traffic, as well as stealth photographer.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Party Central for Kids' Birthdays!

Little Nicholas was celebrating his seventh birthday last weekend. And since Terrell was here in town, and so into party prep, with no limit to her imagination, we hosted a soiree for kiddies of all ages.  Glow sticks, funny glasses, sparkly necklaces and way more candy than the law should allow -- it was all on the table for the picking.  What fun we had.  Shoulda been there to enjoy the show.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Grandma B Plays Host to Terrell, Poppina and Me.

We popped in on Grandma B yesterday afternoon.  Though a call had been placed to let GB know we were bringing a picnic lunch, the message was never delivered

So much excitement when we three visitors walked into GB's room!  Tears of surprise and joy flowed like a river.  Our dear friend looked like a million bucks -- maybe she knew at some karmic level that she'd be entertaining guests?

Chicken sandwiches, potato salad, super-icing brownie from Dunn Bros. -- wow, what a feast.  Plus lots of spirited conversation, rewarding and fascinating, particularly since GB now benefits from an amplified hearing system, thus the headphones seen in the foto here.

Rain had stopped by the time we polished off the last of the brownie.  Off we went on a stroll through the complex.  We met a visitor's dog -- "Big Boy" -- part pit bull, lab, and who knows what else?

All too soon the visit was over. We were off to our suburban home.  GB? Sad to see us go. Us? Sad to leave her behind.  Couldn't she come stay with us for a couple of days?  Sneak her out and install GB in the guest room?  

Growing old -- even uber-healthy old -- is no easy journey.  Maybe it's enough to give thanks, every day, in GB's presence or not, that this remarkable lady plays such an important part in our live.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Yale Football '09 -- 1909 that is: Perfect Season.

To my great astonishment I learned just last week that my late grandfather Edward Savage was a member of the only Yale football team, ever, to go unbeaten, untied and unscored on.

Grampa Savage, Y '11, is in the back row in this foto, second from the left. Apologies for the shine and reflection of the framed pic,  but conditions of discovery were not ideal.

Yale grad Savage became a notable  mining engineer, serving in the Iron Range of Minnesota, as well as in the copper fields in Chile, as manager of operations at the Chuquicamata mines near Arica.

There were two Savage kids, Ed, Jr., and my dear Mother, Marcia, whom everyone knew as "Chita," the diminutive of Marchita, a name Mom picked up in Chile, where she was born.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Five Cheers for Red, White + Blue: Old Long Lake Rd.

It was enough to make a pedaler apply front and back brakes, make a 180-degree turn, and go back to take a few shots.  Five little Old Glories, all in a row.  The foreground light was perfect.  Strong, natural greens.  The Red, White and Blue of the flags, of course, and how the five banners are splayed, is, to me, what makes this foto so appealing and comforting.

No Cleats for Me. Plastic Toe Clips Work Fine.

My choice of velo footwear is a pair of street shoes. My ECCOs, as in the foto above, are very cozy,  keep you in comfort all day long.  If there's a problem it's slippage -- as in, losing your grip on the pedal, sliding off, possibly causing injury, certainly losing momentum.  $10.00 plastic toe clips are the answer.  My fave sales rep, Nick, at Tonka Cycle and Ski recommended the clips, and, as usual, was right on.  If you don't wear cleats, and are happy with work shoes, then go see Nick, and tell him Poppy sent you.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Body Art + Tats at Minneapolis Institute Of Arts.

How remarkably beautiful and unusual is this body art work?  I mean:  who's seen better tats? And who wears them more charmingly than this young lass?  I found myself at MIA a couple of summers ago, in the mix of things at a Body Art Exposition. I stared wide-eyed like a kid.  Took some fotos of artists and clients. I hope the Minneapolis Institute of Art hosts an event like this again. I'll return for sure, but doubtful I'll get any wok done.  

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Up the FDR on our way to LGA this morning.

My new BFF taxi driver in Manhattan this morning was making good time on the FDR.  He chose that route to La Guardia 'cause one of the lanes in the Mid-Town Tunnel was closed, and traffic was already (0730, EDT) backing up.  I also learned this fact:  my driver leases his car on a daily basis, for which he pays the owner $150. Driver collects $50.00 from me (including the toll on the TriBoro and a 20% tip) which means he has to log at least three good fares like airport runs just to stay even.  Tough way to make a living, though the view through the windshield belies the fact.