Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sometimes Things look Clearer, make more sense, when they're Presented in Black + White.

 I bought this winter cap from a street vendor in lower Manhattan not long after Barack Obama had been elected President of the United States.


 Loaner bikes available for guests at classy new hotel "Landing," just opened this summer in Wayzata, MN.


 Back-lit shots never easy to capture in color or Black + White.  I'm inside super-hot retail destination, "Foundry Home Goods," in trendy Minneapolis North Loop. 

 These babies grow in my front yard and, right this minute, I cannot think what the flowers are called.  They are big and gorgeous, seem to have been in-bloom all Summer long.


Neighborhood support for striking bakery workers is seen here in the front yard sign, two blocks south of the Franklin Street Bakery.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Minneapolis Somali-American "Inside Out Project" - Personal and Intimate Portraits that Highlight our Shared Humanity.

Minneapolis has the largest Somali-American population of any city in our country. All during July the center hosts a stunning exhibit of photos in tribute to the people, personalities, capabilities and accomplishments of the S-A community.  We came across the "133 Pinnacle" building while exploring the North Loop last weekend. iPhone fotos do little justice to the beauty of the building and the posters.  I'm headed back there again to learn more.  Will report and post when I get back.

Inspired by large‐format street “pastings”, the Inside Out Project Minneapolis Somali-American Community gives those involved the opportunity to share their portrait and make a statement about Somali- American people and their commitment to our community and our Country. The Inside Out Project is a global platform for people to share their stories and transform their messages into works of public art. Over 260,000 people have participated in 129 countries. The Inside Out Project has displays from Ecuador to Nepal, Mexico to Palestine, inspiring group action on themes such as hope, diversity and climate change.
By bringing Inside Out to Minneapolis, residents will gain a new understanding of the Somali-American identity. These stories will not be framed through the lens of political news or immigration discussions; they are instead, personal and intimate portraits that highlight our shared humanity.
Inside Out is a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work. Everyone is challenged to use black and white photographic portraits to discover, reveal and share the untold stories and images of people around the world. These digitally uploaded images are made into posters and sent back to the project’s co-creators, for them to exhibit in their own communities. These exhibitions will be documented, archived and be made available online at http://www.insideoutproject.net/

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Hanging out at the Walker, getting to know the Walker Collage Multiverse #10 by Frank Big Bear.

You can see the new Sculpture Garden in the background, but the green grass, the angles, the strolling art aficionados are reason enough to  keep your eyes focused right here on the foreground.   

You'll read all about artist Frank Big Bear in the following image, but for now here's a look at his lengthy collage installation aross the blue plate special of a diner in the Museum's grill.


I love this one. It's in the underground parking garage and promises a child-like (adult-like as well) adventure if you'll simply walk through the door to your left.

If you happen to see this collage yourself
you'll note recurrent themes of war, cars, popular culture. Plenty of big, naked breasts as well.

Redesigned, enlarged, and more appealingly merchandised book-cum-gift shop than when I last visited the Walker.  Good stuff here as well as throughout the Museum.  Next stop and next time: the Sculpture Garden.  Stay tuned for more.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Independence Day the Hamel Way

Long-time Hamel resident and local legend Buck Manning waves the flag, wishes us a Happy 4th, and reminds us all to come to Hamel tomorrow to watch the parade!

Monday, June 26, 2017

City of Richfield Hits Public Art Sweetspot with Creation of Community Amphitheater.

Approaching the Lake, venue tent in background securely tethered, while the cyclists in attendance are well served with air for tires and tools for minor repairs and tune ups.

"Cajon" is a Latino boom box -- not an electric version that blasts music at too many decibels. These chrome-plated beauties are hollow inside, meant to be played like bong drums.  Musicians "hands" are etched into the metal, symbolic of the joyous music to be played in this new venue.

Passers-by agreed to pose at stainless steel pipes -- themselves symbolic of another musical instrument, the pipe organ.  Music will be everywhere when Amphitheater is in full swing.

Stunning ceramic tiles by local artists tell the story of the City, her residents, diversity of population and interests, but with common love of music and performance, and being tougher as one.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A little sammy to tide us over on our way downtown to chow at "El Jefe" food truck.

There was finally a break in the weather this morning.  Near-100 degree temps yesterday in Minnie gave way to 60's and 70's on Sunday. Thanks to  massive thunderstorms strong enough to down  40' trees all over the Metro, and cut off the cable signal carrying the Men's Finals of the French Open, we couldn't actually see Rafa make quick work of Stan.  But just knowing that Nadal was on his way to a 10th Championship in Roland-Garros made us plenty hungry. And on our way to Food Truck Court we headed, with a ham sandwich for Poppina and me to split, resting with grace and style on the dash board of the T + C.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Shopping for Organic Plants at Two Pony Gardens. Check back with Us later this Summer for the Abundance that's Sure to Come.

A Late Spring Cornucopia of Organic Plants awaited us this evening at Two Pony Gardens. We'll be Back in Shopping Mode when Plants are ready for Harvest!

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Boy Scouts and their Leaders take to the Trails in Baker Park.

Scout Leaders (three of a dozen or so I met today in Baker Park) just about ready to hit the trail again.  My new best friends put their 70-member Boy Scout troop from West Hennepin through get-in-shape paces every weekend  The 10-mile hike today -- with full packs -- is part of the rigorous training in prep for a mid-August adventure in remote Wyoming. One of the troop masters was carrying an 8-lb. barbell in his back pack -- talk about a guy getting in shape.  

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Hanging out with Brant Egertson of VELOFIX Mobile Bike Shop.

Inside Brant Egertson's VELOFIX Mercedes-Benz Sprinter -- every Park Tool ever made and enough room to tear down and rebuild bicycles all day long.  Plus:  VELOFIX comes to your house!


Van Operator and Master "Wrench" Brant Egertson could not have been more enthusiastic about the great service that VELOFIX offers busy cyclists. 

Brant explains here that VELOFIX is a Canadian company, and his bosses in the Twin Cities hold the Minnesota franchise.

Juice 1 is not part of the VELOFIX fleet.  I met this Ford outside a laundromat in Long Lake.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Velo hero Charlie Paterson lost his life to reckless motorist on Hwy. 60.

Who was Charles Paterson?  How did he die? What happened to the motorist who hit Charlie? Who erected this Ghost Bike tribute?  Who maintains the memorial?  I searched archives of weekly Wickenburg Sun and was never able to find the answers. If you know please let me know.

Friday, May 26, 2017

A friend of mine wrote this to another friend ......

"We don’t see the world as it is.  We see the world as we are."

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Through a Mirror, Sharply (with help from Emoji's)

One of the grandkids reported bhow much they loved emojis -- so much so a couple of cuties ended up on the rear view mirror of the Dodge Charger.  Wait.  Who's the emoji? Who's the real person? 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Still sold out of Coke for the season. Bummer.

You can't drop a Susan B. Anthony and get a cold one out the bottom door.  Machine still closed for the season, though drinks are still available at check-out a Dundee Nursery.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Jaffray Home Repair arrives with everything needed to keep the Hoyt homestead looking sharp, well-maintaned, fresh, strong and desirable.

Bob Jaffray has been doing some excellent work around our place this spring.  First time he arrived to discuss a job I was surprised he wasn't driving an F-150 or pulling a big Haul-Mark like the lawnmower guys do.  Yet when the workshop in a box spilled out of the back of the gently-used Suburban and Bob set up, started milling lumber, stirring paint, and mixing cement, it was clear he had everything he needed to get 'er done.  I'm sure the Ford dealer would love to put Bob into a 2017 "Northland Division,"  but I bear witness to a man, his tools and his ride, being perfectly matched to the task at hand.  Thank you, Bob.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Experience Life Magazine ad sales reunion.

Queen Jean, Coxie and I chowed together this week at Highland Grill in St. Paul. We went Dutch.  For a year and some months the three of us put our hearts into selling print ads into EL monthly magazine, and badges and buttons on the companion website.  The Queen made her numbers, and then some.  And yours truly (Coxie calls me the Captain), came up short.  Jean and I have retired now, and Craig has resumed his extensive duties on the edit side of Experience Life.  Great magazine, great Boss (Coxie), Great Colleague (Queen Jean), and great fun.  Lucky us. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sweet Weekend, indeed. Choc Chip Cookies, Fresh Maple Syrup, Sour Dough Flap Jack resipe with Goose Eggs, Homer Made Pork Sausages and Caramelized Bacon. Oh, yum, yum, yum.

Foodie weekend started in Wayzata at Woullet Bakery. Two massive choc chunk cookies, delivered by Gretchen, with justifiable pride.  

Two Pony great-room table displays just boiled Maple Syrup which Lisa put up in glass jars within past 12 hours. Jason, in the middle of the pic, did a lot of the tree-tapping, collecting and the boiling.  You can imagine how excited he was to be sitting down to a maple syrup and pancake brunch.

Satisfied Syrupers display with pride examples of their Maple Harvest.



Golden Goodness.

Civil War era Iron Tree Tap, imported to Minnesota from Vermont.  They know something about syrup back in the Green Mountain state.

Slightly less old tree tapper, made of aluminum, rests alongside the original.

Pork sausage from North Carolina iron-skillet simmering alongside non-nitrate bacon from the local co-op.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

"Shutterbug" repair shop and old format graveyard at National Camera in Golden Valley.

Steve Meyer runs the "Shutterbug" shop at National Camera.  I stopped in to see him this week -- had been told they might buy some old, at-one-time very spendy SLR gear that had been gathering dust in our basement. We had a collection of Pentax bodies, Takumar lenses, Tamron lenses, 35mm Olympus point-and-shoots, even a Nikon APC which Nancy and I took with us on a vacation in Spain more than a decade ago.  Damn right: we knew our equipment was precious and priceless, and likely worth a fortune -- even in this digital era. Wrong.  Very few folks want a K 1000 or Spotmatic body these days.  And the one possibly-valuable zoom lens had grown some mildew inside, and wouldn't bring in resale what it would cost to clean and repair.  I was crushed when Steve offered me ****** for the whole deal. How could I tell my wife how little the kit was worth when much of the gear had been hers?  I moaned and groaned, hemmed and hawed, and said, OK. I'll take it. That was two days ago and I doubt we'll ever miss what we sold at pennies on the dollar. 

How can you NOT love this bulletin board at "Shutterbug"?  The history represented by the brands.  The B + W enlargements,  The tribute to Norma Jean.  And if that didn't bring enough joy, then shelves-full of Voitlanders, Rolliflexes, Retinas, Zeiss lenses, large format Mamiyas, and lens caps from a bunch of European and Asian cameras you've never heard of, would certainly elicit oohs and aahs from the aficionado. This is a must-see little corner of history, whether you plan to sell any old gear, or simply want to be awed and inspired. Do it.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Bright blue skies, stunning afternnon sunshine, yet cold enough for Wayzata to be inside, taking a warm-up break.


For all the times we've walked along Lake Minnetonka we'd never seen this piece of tribute public art.  Simple yet elegant there's a story here that I must learn more about. And if/when I do, I'll post on the blog for others to enjoy. Meanwhile, go check the work yourself: it's right across E. Lake Street from Ben + Jerry's


Your iPhone can deliver a stunning, award-winning shot if the snow, sun, sky and trees conspire to make it happen.  It's hard to resist taking fotos when sun bounces off lake water and sneaks between limbs and branches of naked trees.


Construction on the new municipal parking lot has stopped for the day. I like that the stop sign is taking a break as well.



Big project, huh?  Wonder where Gate 2 leads?





And this one is my favorite cold weather Wayzata shot.  A dad and his son deeply engrossed in reading some important book together.  The library table looks perfect for this memorable experience, the wood warm and inviting.  Dad didn't see me peeking through the triple-pane windows, though if he had I wouldn't likely have taken a pic if I could have seen his face and eyes.  Wonder if the book is Robinson Crusoe, maybe some more contemporary classic?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Hanging out this afternoon at the Hennepin County Libary in Ridgedale.

Of course you go the Dunn Brothers before setting foot inside the main reading room.  It's OK to bring in your lattes -- just don't spill anything!

You've got to check out this paper back book art if you've not seen it before.  Looks a little bit like origami, don't you agree? Wish I'd asked about the artists who created it.

Clam shell? Whole bunch of scarves hanging together? Pages from a Mickey Spillane novel?

I'm thinking how painstaking it likely was to create this piece -- or/and any of the others I just posted.What do you think?

In the lobby of the library, just beyond the automatic door, there are maybe four pieces of ceramic art. Two of them are benches - would you call them benches?  They don't look comfortable and that's maybe why no one was chilling on them when I arrived there.  Along comes a very nice couple, however, and I asked if they'd mind posing for a foto. How agreeable they were - lovely people.