Monday, January 31, 2011

Carnival royalty

There's a Queen of the Snows and a Borealis Rex reigning over the carnival but my fave is this icy monarch overlooking the sculptors at work.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

St. Paul chainsaw sculpture

This is how it is done, folks. Well, just one of the many tools for turning those blocks of ice into a thing of beauty. For more on the ice sculpture competition, read about last year's winners.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Winter carnival begins

We haven't had an ice palace in a long time but this wall celebrates 125 years of the festival that gets us crazy Minnesotans outside in subzero weather.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Coffee and kolaches

Jerabek's New Bohemian Bakery on St. Paul's West Side is not a particularly cozy coffee shop - functional kitchen-style tables and hard chairs - but the poppy seed kolaches are light and airy, chock full of poppy seeds, and only cost a buck! Good coffee, too.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

North Minneapolis

A little whimsy and color in the bleak mid-winter along Broadway on the north side of Minneapolis.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Minnesota history

I regularly walk by this lovely mural depicting scenes in Minnesota's history and never thought to take a photo until now. It wraps completely around the lobby of a building in Loring Park.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Longer days

We have slipped past the 5:00 sunset threshold and are heading toward 5:30! Life is good.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Recent fresh snow has made skiing and snowshoeing perfect! Now if only the temperature would rise - just a little, please!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Red-tailed hawk

I did a little reading on the Ecobirder blog to determine if this was a red-shouldered or red-tailed hawk. It looks to me more like the latter which was sitting up on the top of building in northeast Minneapolis with a companion. After the one took off, the other soon followed suit.

Friday, January 21, 2011


Broadway Street is the heart of industrial northeast Minneapolis, and it has some pretty interesting buildings. This one belongs to a company that rents out booths and other equipment for trade shows. I love the art deco-y sign. Don't know whether it's original to the building but it works.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Parking ramp posies

Well, these look more like hibiscus, but what is it about parking ramps in the Twin Cities? Earlier this week it was that rainbow ramp in Minneapolis. Today is Trader Joe's underground parking in St. Paul. Keeping spring on our minds...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Frozen rose hips

Perfectly preserved vitamin C on the shores of Lake Minnetonka!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Loring Park

Looking across the park to the Basilica of St Mary with one of those lovely little park buildings where you can get ice cream in the summer (?) or where lawn mowers are kept (?) - have to go back in the summer and see for sure.

Monday, January 17, 2011

You deserve a break

After a day of skiing or snow shoeing, get your cold feet up, down a mug of liquid heat, and get back out on the trail!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rainbow ramp

Walking east along Grant Street from Loring Park I noticed that a ramp I had just parked in recently sported this uncharacteristic (for a mundane parking ramp) rainbow paint job. Someone had fun - planning it and painting it, too.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Winter fortification

Gotta keep yourself warm out there on the ski trail.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Skyway to nowhere

The Twin Cities have made winter a bit more bearable with covered pedestrian passageways traversing busy roads. This one connects two buildings on the Metro State campus just up the bluff from downtown St. Paul.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Do your homework

There is a fireplace (currently not working) at the Rondo library on University Avenue in St. Paul. The tile surround has all these recommendations for what to do at the library including this one for all you kids out there who just want to fool around on the computers.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Parking challenges

No, the truck is not listing to the right because of poor weight distribution or two flat tires on the passenger side. The snow is just piled so high the poor driver couldn't find a level spot to park.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Landmark in St. Paul

The Landmark Center was originally a federal courthouse that nearly got bulldozed in the 1970s. It was the site of last week's inauguration of Democratic governor, Mark Dayton. It's like our new world version of a fairy castle.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Just in case you're not sure where your cheese came from this display at the St. Paul Cheese Shop makes it perfectly clear. I stopped in for a sandwich recently but also had to walk away with a slice of French mimolette.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Beyond the book

Children's book illustrators get the chance to show work that isn't bound by the rules or plot line of a story. One of my favorites was Mike Whonoutka whose self-portraits were just as whimsical as his animal portraits. The opening of the show was this past weekend at the Bloomington Art Center, an impressive building in suburban Minneapolis that I had never visited until going out to see this exhibition.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

January freeze

The bluffs across the river from downtown St. Paul always afford an expansive view of the (small) city and  the (now frozen) river. And, you can see how hard the power plant is working during these frigid January days.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Capitol and cathedral

The view from the Cathedral of St. Paul is of the State Capitol (and vice versa, of course). There's a message in there somewhere - government and religion - separate, but equal? Competing? Or maybe just keeping an eye on each other.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Antebellum (!) St. Paul

If it weren't for the telltale patches of snow I might think this shot was from somewhere in the deep south. The columns on this apartment building on Grand Avenue are very evocative of plantation architecture.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Car wash

I'll need to get to the car wash this week. Last week's warmer temperatures created road spray that has turned my car into an embarrassment. Maybe one of those multiple-wash punch cards would be wise at this point in the winter.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Inauguration day

We have a new governor in Minnesota. He was sworn in on Monday along with assorted other public servants. The Landmark Center in downtown St. Paul was swarming with people and I got there after the speeches had begun so had to park myself between the pillars of the second floor gallery.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Nature morte

I don't know what this plant is but it provides some color - other than white - and texture during a winter's outing on snowshoes. Lots of places to do this kind of thing within the city limits and not far beyond. This was about an hour north of the Twin Cities.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Winter jogger

We are a hearty bunch here in Minnesota. The thermometer inches up toward freezing and we think it's summer.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Theme day: Favorite photo of 2010

A 2-hour drive north of the Twin Cities takes you to the largest fresh water lake in the world - wide and deep enough for ocean-going vessels. Here's one approaching the Duluth harbor taken last July, my entry for theme day January 2011. Happy New Year everyone!
See more entries here.