Saturday, December 27, 2014

Mrs. Claus on her Way to Deliver a Gift Today.

Six inches of the white stuff last night didn't stop me from clearing the sidewalk so Mrs. Claus could make her gift delivery rounds today.  The present was much revered by the recipient, by the way.

Irish Gothic - w/Apologies to Grant Wood.

The Weir men, Conor and Ken, struck a Grant Wood-ian pose in front of our door yesterday.  The shovel and broom would have come in very handy today -- some six inches of powder snow fell last night on our environs.   The Hibernians know snow, but they prefer their weather balmy and sunny, high in the '80s!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Santa's Little Baristas at Dunn Brothers Coffee.

The coffee was flowing fast and furious this afternoon at Dunn Bros. in Plymouth. I was able to interrupt the inspired work of Santa's Little Baristas long enough to capture one good foto for posterity.

Plans are to make a 5 x 7 print and frame it. Then I hope to present it to Dunn's franchisee Bill with gratitude for his business acumen, consistent savory coffee, and outstanding, professional staff.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all: good to the last drop. 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

"Chrome" Flagship Store Now Open in Minneapolis.

I did some serious discovery while Christmas shopping today at the new Chrome store on Washington Avenue in the "North Loop" section of Minneapolis.

Have you heard of Chrome?  I had, but didn't know much about it.

My "retail associate" shown in the photo here told me that Chrome got its start in San Fran as a maker of messenger bags.  Now they're at retail in seven markets -- Twin Cities being biggest and latest store.

Besides bike, messenger, hiking, camera, and mutltiple use nylon bags, Chrome sells footwear, apparel, and who knows what else.

Now, check the counter.  See the "Chrome" screened laundry bags?  They are actually surplus U.S. Army duffel bags: cleaned, softened, stitched, and re purposed as laundry bags -- or for carrying anything else you can think of.

I purchased one with the name "Morris" magic-markereed at the foot of the bag. Above Soldier Morris's name resided some Arabic script -- wonder what the words mean?  I suspect the bag saw service in Iraq along with its owner. 

Behind the cash register they've installed an old dry cleaner trolley.  Instead of starched shirts, party frocks and pressed trousers, this one holds 200+ Chrome bags!   What a ride.

I spent some serious dough at the store this afternoon.  Santa must be pleased I was there to help him out with his annual celebration.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Stockings to be Hung with Care.

Check these very special Christmas stockings.  Pina "hooked" each one with great love, care and patience.  Can you imagine how long it took to do the work?

By the way: there really is an Oliver, Hadley and Duncan. The stockings were a great surprise to them, of course, and remain a cherished part of their Christmas celebrations.

Happy holidays to all and hope your stockings are full to overflowing.  

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Public Art Review Staffers send Holiday Wishes.

Greetings from our stalwart team at the magazine Public Art Review. Gathering for holiday cheer last week at St. Paul's "Turf Club," and under the leadership of Executive Director Jack Becker (holding pint of winter ale), we toasted our readers, advertisers and the good fortune to be working with each other.  Thanks to colleague Shauna Dee for creating the template and card, and Happy Holidays to everybody!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Sky Keeps Morning Tea Warm with Caribou Cozy.

Out here in Minnesota our local Caribou Coffee shops sell a seasonal "cozy" like the one in the pic, above. Designed to keep hot drinks hot (or, at least, warm), this two-tone blue warmer is way classier than a typical recycled cardboard sleeve available where caffeine products are sold.  In fact the cozy looks so good and works so well that daughter Sky was inspired to take a photo of her Classic Irish Breakfast Tea, all bundled up, and send it to old Poppy to be posted on the blog.  Bottoms up!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Tim Werbe Points Out a Thing or Two about Life.

My old Hoosier buddy and high school classmate, Thomas C. "Tim" Werbe and I caught up last week for eggs, bacon and English muffins at the Butler's in Greenwich, CT.  While Werb and I only get to see each other once a year or so, we pick up the thread of the most recent conversation easily.  It's seamless and very comfortable.

In the photo above my pal reminds me of some important life lessons:  chew with my mouth closed, say please and thank you, floss daily, and continue to help old ladies across the street, just as we did in Boy Scout days of yore.

Good man, Werbe.  I don't even mind the finger wagging.

Mystic Pizza Just Down-river from This Christmas Tree.

My daughter and I were on a walk along River Road in Mystic, CT the other day.  Came upon this iconic little Christmas tree at low tide.  Check out the ornaments:  oyster shells!  How cool is that we both thought.  The tree is on the Mystic River, less than a mile from the restaurant made famous in the movie "Mystic Pizza."  Yumm.

Friday, December 12, 2014

"Toby" the Show Dog Casts Cautious Eye.

That Toby is such a sweet pup. And what a friendly time we had together last week.

My canine amigo was taking a snooze mid-afternoon when I snuck up, ever so carefully, to snap a foto.  Toby picked up my scent, or vibe, or intentions and gave me a look-see.  That face is not angry by any means; "what is Poppy doing," it seems to ask.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Children of the Corn

Chris walked into the weeds at Haley Farm last week, said something about a movie called "Children of the Corn."  I wasn't sure what he was talking about but I liked the photo opp anyway.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Smith-Corona Manual Typewriters Available at Vale.

Vale Typewriters on Penn Ave. in Richfield specializes in old, lovingly-restored manual machines. And business is good, according to owner Mark S. "I've sold more than 100 portables since December," he reports. Demand is strong from writers, students, collectors, and artists alike. Mark let me try out a 50-year-old Smith-Corona that he'd refurbished with a chemical bath, key and spring adjustment, new ribbon, and TLC. Prices are a bargain -- $125 and up for a portable. Get 'em while they last, doncha think?

Jen, Will, Terrell, Poppina + I do Brasa Brunch..

Forgot to post a group shot of the family at brunch at Brasa day after Thanksgiving.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Foundry Home Goods Recommends Brunch at "Brasa."

When we asked our friends at Foundry Home Goods in Minneapolis where they suggested we "do brunch" yesterday, the answer came back loud, clear and unanimous. "It's on Hennepin Ave." they said, "and the name is  Brasa Rotisserie." 

If you've eaten at Brasa you know how phenomenally tasty the chow can be.  With its unmistakable Creole roots, and influenced by flavors and nuanced imagination from the Caribbean, plus a commitment to source all ingredients locally and from organic, family farms where possible, this restaurant is unique in my dining experience here in the Twin Cities.

Our server was named Amber (in the middle of the foto, above); she was attentive and fun. Amber kept us hungry brunchers busy with an Island-worthy feast:  pulled pork, cheddar cheese grits, chips and magical salsa, black beans and dirty rice and a corn speciality cake.

The beer was local, too, and the coffee fair-trade.  We suspect the desserts were to-die, though too-full tummies didn't stick around to find out.

Brasa management delivered a "how are we doing" comment card (not unreasonable) along with the check (decidedly reasonable) .  We filled it out with smiley faces and compliments and promised to come back, soon.  Also left a handsome tip for Amber, and hope she knows how much we enjoyed the experience.