Archive for January, 2014

the town talk diner don’t talk no more

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These are the lights of the Town Talk Diner, on Lake Street. Existed for a number of years as a tiny little diner, then, bought, expanded, turned into a much larger fancy eating place that got great reviews and was not cheap. Then, suddenly, closed. That was a year or two ago, and been closed ever since. Too bad. Perhaps they should have left it alone?

Today’s phenological Note:
The rabbits. They are up to something. Along the Mississippi River, and in South Minneapolis. Whenever you look at them they suddenly stop what they are doing and stare back at you, almost aggressively, until you have to look away. The look in their eyes is cold and calculating. Defiant. They are plotting something. I feel sure of it. Something big.

doing hard time at Winter State Penitentiary

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Sometimes it seems like we’ve been sentence to Life in Winter State Penitentiary with no parole, no time off for good behavior. This has been a funny sort of winter, with short periods, a few days, of bitter cold -20 temperatures, followed by a day of pleasant +20 degrees, followed by a day or two of snow, followed by -20 degree temperatures. I have noticed the days getting a bit longer, though.

Today’s phenological observation: many grey squirrels are seen stealing mittens around Lake of the Isles and Cedar Lake; squirrel’s nests are found stuffed full of mittens, hats, and scarves, used as insulation. Wool items are preferred, and nests can easily be located by looking for scattered piles of polar fleece which lay discarded on the ground below.



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four unknown guys on an unnamed building on a forgotten street in lowertown

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This is a picture from a few years ago, a building in St. Paul’s lowertown. And right now I can’t find my reference book, so I’ve got no information handy on what building this is or who these guys are. And I also think it’s likely that this isn’t even mentioned in the book. But… I will investigate. More on this later.

Update: This is the American House Apartments, at 352 Wacouta in St. Paul. Designed by Cass Gilbert, built in 1895, this was originally known as the Western Supply Company Warehouse, but was later known for many years as the  home of American Beauty Macaroni.

St. Paul Union Pacific Vertical-Lift Railroad Bridge

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That’s the black bridge in the foreground. Built in 1913, now 101 years old and still going strong. They don’t build them like that any more. The brown bridge behind it is the Robert Street Bridge, which was built much later, in 1924-25. In the distant background is the Lafayette Bridge, which is currently in the process of being replaced; it was built in the 1960s.
This concludes today’s Bridge Update.

the morning pot o’ tea

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The cup was made by Dick Cooter, up on the North Shore. The pot was made by Bob Bjelkengren. The Irish Breakfast tea was made by me.


brown bag breakfast meeting

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