Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Big Eros Head, Outside Minneapolis Institute of Art.

Nash Metroplitan: "Good Thing in Small Package."

Great Stats on Revolutionary Metropolitan.  

Read Reviews from Leading Auto Writes of 1957.

Initial reviews of the Metropolitan were mixed. However, owners of the cars reported that the "Metropolitan is a good thing in a small package".[17]
Automotive industry veteran and the largest publisher of automotive books at the time, Floyd Clymer, took several Metropolitans through his tests. He "abused" a 1954 Metropolitan convertible and "got the surprise of my life" with its "performance was far better than I expected", that he "felt very safe in the car", and that "it may well be that Nash has started a new trend in American motoring. Perhaps the public is now getting ready to accept a small car".[18] Clymer also took a 1957 Metropolitan hardtop through a grueling 2,912 mi (4,686 km) road test that even took him 14,100 ft (4,300 m) up Pikes Peak. He summed up his experience that "I can not praise the Metropolitan too highly. It is a fascinating little car to drive, its performance is far better than one would expect, and the ride is likewise more than expected".[19]
According to Collectible Auto magazine, the car was described in Car Life‍ '​s review as "a big car in miniature" that was "fun to drive" and "ideal for a second car in the family,"[20] while Motor Trend was not alone in regarding the rear "utility" seat as "a joke."[21]
Motor Trend praised the car’s economy: their test Metropolitan returned:
39.4 mpg-US (5.97 L/100 km; 47.3 mpg-imp) at 45 mph (72 km/h),
27.4 mpg-US (8.6 L/100 km; 32.9 mpg-imp) at 60 mph (97 km/h), and
30.1 mpg-US (7.8 L/100 km; 36.1 mpg-imp) "in traffic."[22]
Mechanix Illustrated editor Tom McCahill wrote: “It is not a sports car by the weirdest torturing of the imagination but it is a fleet, sporty little bucket which should prove just what the doctor ordered for a second car, to be used either for a trip to the movies or for a fast run to a penicillin festival.”[23] He added that it was a “nice-handling car with plenty of control and amazing dig, considering it is powered by a small Austin A-40 engine” and that the finish was “very nice”, although having no trunk opening except by pulling down the back of the rear seat “poses a problem.”[23] His test car accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 19.3 seconds and could exceed 70 mph (110 km/h).
Road & Track road test recorded acceleration from 0–60 mph in 22.4 seconds, "almost half of the VW’s 39.2." However the magazine noted that at 60 mph (97 km/h), a common American cruising speed at the time, the Metropolitan was revving at 4300 rpm, which shortened engine life, whereas the Volkswagen could travel at the same speed at only 3000 rpm.[24] Road & Track‍ '​s testers also said that the car had “more than its share of roll and wallow on corners” and there was “little seat-of-the-pants security when the rear end takes its time getting back in line.”[20]

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Delacroix "Convulsionists of Tangier" at Mpls. Institute of Art.

How little most people -- certainly I -- knew about Islam back in the mid-1800's.  Only now am I coming to understand ( and just a bit) the power and passion of the faith.  Seeing French artist Eugene Delacroix's masterpiece at the Minneapolis Art Institute last week gave me perspective. A Muslim Sufi sect enacts the ritual pilgrimage of Aissawa in the streets of Tangier; our Monsieur Delacroix was there to convey the "commotion of the pilgrimage .... vividly colored and vigorously brushed ..." for all time.  Wow.  Check this out if you've not see the work.  Astonishing for its cultural, historical and religious insights -- never mind a stunning work of art that entrances on its merits.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Ad Sales Dep't. Presents Public Art Review Magazine.

On a table near the host's station at Lowbrow Bistro last night, management had arranged with Forecast exec dir. Jack Becker to display copies of PAR 51 -- the Fall/Winter issue of this prestigious international magazine.

In an effort to record the event for all time, I asked the Lowbrow host (ess) to pose with the mag while I snapped a shot or two with my iPhone 5 S.

Nothing doing, I was told: "I am camera shy."  OK.

"Then you wouldn't mind taking a picture of me with the issue.  I'm the advertising sales guy" (actually, pretty much the entire sales dep't. And that's a great honor and pleasure.)

So here we are: French artist JR and me, hanging at the Lowbrow, grooving on the venue and, most decidedly, the food.  To meet up, and hang out with, Dave Machacek and partner Kari shortly after this foto was taken: priceless.

What a stellar event. 10% of the table checks from last night were donated to worthy non-profit Forecast Public Art.  Yeah Jack Becker.  Yeah Lowbrow Bistro. Yeah customers, diners, habitues. Hope you all enjoyed the event as much as I did.

ArtOrg Supports Forecast Public Art at Lowbrow Bistro.

The Lowbrow in South Minneapolis kicked in for Public Art last night. 10% of all dinner checks at this Nicollet Ave. @ 43rd Street bistro was donated to the non-profit Forecast Public Art. The place was packed when I was there. Food was exceptionally yummy, and staff could not have been more pleasant.  Friends of Forecast and our Public Art Review magazine showed up in support.  Kari and Dave from ArtOrg in Northfield posed with joy outside the restaurant before enjoying their evening fare.  Great to be at the event, I wish to report.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Cowboy Shirts Hang at Western Laundry in Wickenburg.

Cowboy customers of Western Laundry in Wickenburg sure know how to dress right.  Choice of shirts, in particular, deserves a call-out on the Blog.

Western's owner told me that all the shirts on this rack are laundered, never dry cleaned.  They are pressed (meaning a little starch finds its way into the process). Never folded and boxed, cowboy shirts avoid creases, hang on hangers, give their owners every sartorial advantage.

Writing these words while I look down at my tattered, misshapen, drab polo short (ca. 1994) I realize how dowdy this flatlander can appear.  As surely as Winter turns to Spring, it's time for me to head to the cowboy store and get me some new duds.  Shirts with bold patterns, pearl buttons.  Boot style jeans.  Indeed, BOOTS!

I'll keep you posted on my style evolution, and would love to hear stories from the trail as they concern your own workaday (and dress-up) outfits.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Acoma Pueblo, off I-40, west of Albuquerque, NM.

I can barely tell you, dear reader, what a remarkably spiritual place is Acoma Pueblo.  As the sign above says this remote, stunning locale in what is now the New Mexico high country, has been inhabited since the 13th Century.  Despite the best efforts of  Spanish "conquistadores," the native Acomans held off assault after assault and never relinquished their land, culture, treasure -- indeed, they never gave up their soul -- to the forces of the King of Spain.

The craftsman stringing his bow, below, told me made this museum quality piece out of Osage, wrapped it in rawhide in places, and took two elk with this bow, and the arrows he hand made for the hunt.  I was interested in maybe buying the bow -- my new friend offers it at $500.  Yipes.  My collection doesn't get off the ground.

The Museum is beautiful and sophisticated.  The dough to create this place comes from some familiar names, but plenty of donors unknown to Old Poppy.  The curation is special as well - clean, modern, lots of white space, inviting and inspiring.

Outcroppings like the ones below are defining features of Sky City and the Acoma Pueblos.  As travelers/photographs always explain, their pics can never quite do justice to the subject matter. Nature's grandeur must be seen to be appreciated. 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Stephen + Janet Rickey in Wickenburg Starbucks on way to Seattle.

What fun this morning in Starbucks Wickenburg chatting with Seattle-area velosters Stephen and Janet Rickey. 

On their way back home, after a circumnavigation of America -- northern route last year to the East coast, then back home via the southern trail -- with traipses along the Erie Canal, the Texas Panhandle, and how many other cyclist destinations I cannot begin to tell you. I do know that today they made 50 miles west on US Hwy 60, and are spending the night as we speak in Wenden, AZ.

The couple writes a blog. 

Check out this remarkable pair of pedalers -- their Rodriguez bikes, Schwalbe tires, Ortleib panniers, and Brooks (of course they sit Brooks) saddles. Not to mention their Itinerary. 

Hope my new velo buddies check my Poppy Blog this evening.  I gave them a card with contact info. If you ARE reading this, Janet and Stephen how inspiring to meet you today, marvel at a little bit of your adventures.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

FREE Gourmet Peanut Butter when you Buy 2 Handsome Carver Flavors.

Alan Turner, the genius behind "Handsome Carver" Flavored Peanut Butter brand, wants to introduce his yummy creation to readers of Poppy's Velo Ventures.

If you buy two jars, Alan explains, he'll include a third jar FREE in your order. You may mix and match your flavors -- everything from Chipotle and Curry, to Chili Lime and Coconut.

Next step:  contact Alan at (805) 294-8088. Or e-mail   alan@handsomecarver.com   I'm pretty sure you can place your order as well on their site    www.handsomecarver.com.

If you do order be sure to tell Alan you read about his gourmet flavored peanut on my blog.  And while I don't get a nickle from any transaction, I liked the product when i tasted it, and hope I can intro some new customers to the brand.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Doin' Some Sherman's Mendo Gold. It's Yummy and it's Legal!

The best honey in California, and possibly the world, comes from Sherman's Hives in Mendocino.  

We arrived at this taste-test conclusion during a visit Nancy and I paid to Bill and Vicki in San Fran not long ago.  Hive master Bill gifted the sweet-toothed Hoyts with one of the last remaining squeeze jars of the 2014 harvest of Mendo Gold.

This stuff is way better than store-bought.  We thought we had some pretty yummy honey back in Long Lake, but the Mendo production could take the blue ribbon at this year's Minnesota State Fair.

If this natural products experience weren't enough, there's an earlier post on the Poppy blog you might remember.  It's about a peanut butter entrepreneur named Alan Turner who mixes a bit o'Mexican jalapeno pepper in his concoction and delivers a taste that's worth writing home about.

So, gourmands:  get ye to San Fran for designer peanut butter, and Mendocino for the honey. How sweet it can be.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

High School Pals Celebrate Good Times in South Carolina.

Three of my high school buds hanging out this week in some semi-fancy resort in South Carolina.

From the left: Karen and Dick Hull from Brunswick, ME; Howard Morrison from Savannah, GA; and Terry and Pam Hannock.

I asked these guys to send me the bill -- just for old times sake -- but I suspect they never received my text.  Maybe next season?  Wish I'd been there in person -- you folks are having one helluva fine get-together.