Sunday, December 31, 2006


The last mural of 2006!

Happy New Year Everyone! Auld lang syne!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Another Rice Park Statue

As noted in last Wednesday's post, there are several large holiday statues in Rice Park, which is a small downtown square, surrounded on four sides by the Ordway Performing Arts Center, The Central Library, the St. Paul Hotel, and Landmark Center (a former courthouse). I do believe that this will be my final holiday photo! Onward!

Today in Minnesota History: 1948- Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra conductor Dimitri Mitropoulous announces that he has taken a position with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Antal Dorati is hired to replace him. (Referenced: MNHS:ORG)

Friday, December 29, 2006

Mi Casa in Mazatlán, México!

Target Date: January 7, 2007!

I realize that I'm violating the rule of posting photographs from one's own city only, but since it may be awhile before I'm able to establish a Mazatlán Daily Photo Blog I assume it's acceptable. So my friends, here it is--my humble abode in the heart of El Centro in Mazatlán!! (I'll keep posting from St. Paul until I leave, though!)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The St. Paul Hotel

This is a sign above one of the entrances to the downtown St. Paul Hotel. Nice, but not that special, right? Well, recently the corporate executive suite in the "penthouse" was just opened to the public--to the tune of $5,000 a night. Worth it? Check out the description and photograph below from the article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, December 21 issue. Perhaps you'd like to visit and book it for New Year's Eve? (Photograph copied from the Tribune article referenced above)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

How Did I Miss This?

While driving downtown I passed Rice Park and noticed several holiday statues that I hadn't seen before--all larger than life. This trumpeting angel is in front of The Ordway Center for Performing Arts

Today in Minnesota History: 1906- Mahnomen County is formed. Mahnomen is an Ojibwe word for "wild rice." (Reference: MNHS:ORG) An aside: Wild rice is a wonderful regional grain, absolutely delicious when prepared correctly,which is a challenge if you are unfamiliar with it!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Want a postcard?

This photo of my daughter Kati and husband Jim was taken a few months ago. The first person who can identify what is happening here gets a postcard from St. Paul, Minnesota! Good luck!

Today in Minnesota History: 1990 - Sister Mary Giovanni Gourhan, founder in 1963 of Guadalupe Area Project alternative school, dies. A native of West St. Paul, Gourhan ran an unorthodox school, teaching the basics plus Mexican history and effective living and meditation techniques. The school continues her mission today. (Reference: MNHS:ORG)

Monday, December 25, 2006

More Street Art

The holiday keeps one busy, and time for photos has been limited. This flag painted on the outside of a building caught my eye. An uninspired post, I know!

On December 25 in 1842 - The first U.S. flag in St. Paul is raised on a pole in front of Richard Mortimer's house. Born in England, Mortimer had served successively in both the British and American armies and been a commissary and quartermaster sergeant at Fort Snelling before settling in upper St. Paul. The flag flies briefly and then is cut down by "some wicked scamp" from the lower—and rival—part of town. (Reference: MNHS:ORG)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve, 2006

May the spirit of Christmas remain with you throughout the year, filling your heart with generosity, happiness, and much laughter and joy.

Mazatlán, México Countdown: 13 more days!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Moose Drool?

How many of you would be willing to take a slug of this brew?! I seem to be chasing down my photo ops lately because when I saw this truck on the road, I followed it to the local store to be able to post this little bit of local lore from Montana. The driver said they sell lots and lots of this product. He used to work for Budweiser Beer but now drives "the moose" around. Think I'll stick to red or white wine. But....if you're interested, go to their website (on back of truck) for some interesting information about the brew and the company.

Today in Minnesota History: 1926 - Robert Bly is born in Madison. A poet, translator, editor, and activist in the men's movement, he would write numerous books, including the best-selling nonfiction work on men and myth, Iron John: A Book About Men.

Friday, December 22, 2006

You Got News?!

México Countdown: 16 days!!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Christmas in My Neighborhood #8

Christmas is getting closer--wreaths are disappearing from the wall as sales are made. I think that I am saturated with Christmas posts so I need to find something else now. If we're lucky we'll get some of that snow that has paralyzed Colorado--then I'll have a new challenge to photograph!

Today in Minnesota History: 1881-This winter may be the snowiest winter in St. Paul history, but there are no consistent records to prove it. (Reference: MNHS.ORG) Unlike this year!!

México Countdown: 17 more days!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Our Mantle-Christmas # 7

Can you guess which two stockings belong to the grandkids?!

México Countdown: 18 more days!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Oh Tannenbaum! Christmas in My Neighborhood #6

This is probably a familiar sight in many neighborhoods right now.

Countdown: 19 more days and I'll be in México!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Christmas in My Neighborhood #5

Green boughs without colour just don't cut it, but these scarlet ribbons make the swags much more festive!

Today in Minnesota History: 1985- Mary Lund is the first woman to receive a Jarvik-7 artificial heart, in Minneapolis. The device keeps her alive for about a month, until a real heart is transplanted. (Reference: MNHS:ORG)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas NOT in My Neighborhood!!

These lawn decorations are real car stoppers! This is a neighborhood in which these kinds of decorations are commonplace. I have to admit, though, that I hesitated to stop and take these pictures. They are in front of a home where someone has taken pride in decorating their property for the holiday, and I wonder if posting and commenting on them is an intrusion and unwarranted criticism. My taste is not their taste so perhaps I'm just being critical and insensitive. On occasion I've run across photos and comments that generated a wee bit of discomfort on my part because of the subtle criticism of the subject. What do you think?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Man's Best Friend

I didn't get the light right with the dog and owner, but I wanted you to see this! I've seen the two of them biking around the neighborhood before but wasn't able to stop to speak to them. Today I chased them down the street. The man was very gracious and seemed to be on an errand so I didn't get much information from him as I didn't want to delay him further after he willingly posed for me. His canine friend hopped off the cart--didn't seem to be handicapped. There has to be a story behind this, and no doubt I'll find out sometime in the future when I see them again.
Today in Minnesota History: 1889- The Minneapolis Public Library opens. (Reference: MNHS:ORG)

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas in My Neighborhood #4

This is a simple holiday decoration in my favorite bakery/cafe, called Bread and Chocolate, located on Grand Avenue. For a summer photo of this same spot, click here.

Today in Minnesota History: 1892 J. Paul Getty is born in Minneapolis. An entrepreneur, he would become a billionaire in the oil business, and he would bequeath much of his fortune to the Getty Trust, a philanthropic organization that supports the visual arts. (Reference: MNHS:ORG)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas in My Neighborhood #3

Today in Minnesota History: 1821- This day is the beginning of a nineteen-day cold snap at Fort. St. Anthony. Only one day shows a temperature above zero degrees. (Reference: MNHS:ORG)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas in My Neighborhood #2

These decorations made me stop my car and get out to photograph them because they are so gauche! Located at a dry cleaning establishment; my neighbors have better taste, and I doubt that anyone would display these. I think they're humorous and completely tasteless!

Today in Minnesota History: 1994- Demolition begins on the Metropolitan Sports Center in Bloomington, former home of the North Stars professional hockey team and venue for entertainment events. (Reference: MNHS.ORG)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Neighborhood Food Coop

Can't stay away from murals. This one on the outside wall of a neighborhood coop depicts the wares sold inside. It is the ONLY place in town where I can find Rachel Perry cosmetic products (not tested on animals); what a wonderful accidental find after I searched high and low.

Today in Minnesota History: 1928 -The newly finished Foshay Tower, which would be Minneapolis's tallest building for nearly fifty years, is strung with lights and lit up like a Christmas tree. (Reference: MNHS.ORG)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas in My Neighborhood

Our neighborhood has outdone itself this year with lights, lawn decorations and wreaths. I think that the milder temperatures have allowed more homeowners a pleasanter climate to work outside. This santa appears without fail every single year. He's a pretty cool dude!

Today in Minnesota History: 1999 - St. Paul native Paul Molitor announces his retirement from baseball, having spent his final three seasons with the Minnesota Twins. His career hits numbered over 3,000, most of them from his years with the Milwaukee Brewers. (Reference: MNHS:ORG)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Glockenspiel Doors

The entrance to a German restaurant, the Glockenspiel, on west 7th. The doors look pretty old, but the stained glass appears to be pretty contemporary. What do you think? I should go back to see if they have added any wreaths.

Today in Minnesota History: 1930 - Sauk Centre's Sinclair Lewis receives the Nobel Prize in Literature, the first American so honored. His popular titles include Main Street, Arrowsmith, Elmer Gantry, and Babbitt. (Reference: MNHS.ORG)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

An old church

This is an old church building converted to a 4-plex. I wonder what it lools like inside? The wreath is quite traditional and looks pretty forlorn; it needs a bit more decoration to give it balance. But the building is fascinating.

Today in Minnesota History: 1890- The University Avenue streetcar line from Minneapolis to St. Paul begins operation. (Reference: MSHS:ORG)

Friday, December 08, 2006

A Christmas Carol

Art sculptures carved from trees when they need to be removed are common on some streets in St. Paul. This one has always appealed to me. It seems to be in the right spirit for Christmas, don't you think? Now if we could just get some snow instead of icy cold blasts of wind!

Today in MN history: 1863 - The First National Bank of St. Paul is organized, the first Minnesota bank chartered under the national banking act of 1863. Derived from a private bank owned by Parker Paine, it would eventually lose its name through a series of mergers, although there is still a First National Bank Building in St. Paul. (Reference: MNHS:ORG)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Double Wreaths

Several days ago Annie mentioned that it would be interesting to find wreaths in unlikely places. Well, this isn't one of those sites, but it's an attractive display by the homeowner.

Today in Minnesota history: 1941 - Outside of Pearl Harbor, the destroyer Ward, its crew primarily reservists from St. Paul, attacks and sinks a Japanese midget submarine, the first shots fired on the date of infamy. Inside the harbor, Minneapolis-born Captain Franklin van Valkenburgh is killed on the bridge of his ship, the USS Arizona. He would be awarded the Medal of Honor by Congress. (Reference: MSHS.ORG)

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Outside the Blair Arcade

Previously I've taken you inside the Blair Arcade to see a beautiful chandelier, many murals, Nina's Cafe, and Garrison Keillor's bookstore. Here's the outside. Nina's is on the corner, to the left are steps that will take you to the basement bookstore, and out-of-sight is a canopied entrance which is one of the many ways to enter the building. Formerly known as The Angus Hotel where Molly Fitgerald, mother of F.Scott Fitzgerald lived for a short time before her death, the Arcade is now home to restaurants, shops, business offices, and condos.

Minnesota History: Jane Grey Swisshelm, an outspoken critic of slavery and unequal treatment of women, moves to Minnesota in 1857 and publishes the St. Cloud Visiter newspaper.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

St Nicholas Eve

(I'm posting this early on this side of the Atlantic because I'll be gone on the 5th) I looked all over town for an appropriate image for St. Nicholas eve. Bright lights outline everything: roofs, eaves, trees, bushes--but no lawn decorations yet. No snow--no Santas. This is probably the most unattractive design I've seen in ages. But, if it makes someone happy, it's fine!! Not exactly St. Nic, but it'll have to do! For more information on our beloved St. Nic, click here.

Today in Minnesota History: 1950 - A snowstorm lasting until December 8 drops thirty-five inches on Duluth and twenty-five on the Twin Cities.(Reference: MNHS.ORG)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Petro? No problem!!

If I had had more nerve I would have knocked on the door of the house to ask about this interesting conveyance. I can't imagine riding this contraption in our cold weather, but there it was---parked at the curb. I'd love to meet the owner, wouldn't you!!

Today in Minnesota History: 1928- A car bomb kills "Dapper Dan" Hogan, owner of St. Paul's notorious Green Lantern speakeasy and longtime boss of the city's underworld. AND. ..Many moons ago, Jim, the husband of Kate, the photoblogger, was born in St. Joseph's Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Reference: MNHS:ORG)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Another mural

Blair Arcade again! The artistic technique for this mural is quite different from the other ones that I have posted in the past. Click here to refresh your memory. I just started to experiment with Flikr so I hope this works!

Today in Minnesota History: 1842-Flour magnate Charles A. Pillsbury is born in New Hampshire. Moving to Minneapolis in 1869, he would learn the flour-milling business and help introduce roller mills that could crush Minnesota's spring wheat into high-grade bread flour. Upon his death in 1899, the Pillsbury-Washburn Flour Mills Company would be the largest in the world. (Reference: MNHS:ORG)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Theme Day #2

Repost: Yesterday I posted a new photo, but I like this one which I had taken last September. Rather than a repost, I used the green boots as the theme photo yet I felt that this really fulfilled the requirements of "from the waist down."'s a repeat for those blogger who may have missed it the first time!

Today in MN history: 1858- The term "Land of Lakes" is first applied to Minnesota in St. Anthony Falls' paper, the Falls Evening News. (Reference: MNHS:ORG)

Friday, December 01, 2006

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Another friend!

Why are we so fascincated with primates? A relative, perhaps??!!

Today in Minnesota History: 1960- Novelist Ernest Hemingway is admitted to St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, where he undergoes shock treatment for depression. A few days later, he commits suicide in Idaho. (Reference: MNHS.ORG)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Mixed Message

How many of you would be happy to have these messages in your yard?!

Today in Minnesota History: 1884- Anna Ramsey dies. Admired as the governor's "helpmeet," she led efforts to create homeless shelters and support other charities. (Reference: MNHS.ORG)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Como Zoo

This is part of the new renovation at Como Park Zoo. The sloth that was in yesterday's photograph lives in this building.

Today in Minnesota History: 1850- Aaron Goodrich, Minnesota Territory's first supreme court justice, is accused of adultery. An effort to impeach him fails, but President Millard Fillmore exercises his executive power to remove Goodrich from office in 1851. (Reference: MNSH.ORG)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Mystery Animal

On Saturday, my husband, granddaughter and I went to the Zoo. This interesting animal caught my eye. The first person who is able to identify it will receive a postcard from St. Paul. I think I'll keep the comments private for a few days, but don't let that deter you. Make a guess!!

"THE BEST LAID PLANS..." You folks are too smart for me! When I opened up the blog this morning, I was astonished to find the correct answer...already! And, I thought it was going to be difficult--you impress me again!! Post cards go to those who already correctly guessed.

Today in Minnesota History: 1930 - St. Paul's Frank B. Kellogg wins the Nobel Peace Prize. Kellogg had served as secretary of state during the Coolidge administration and as a judge on the Permanent Court of International Justice in The Hague. (Reference: MNHS.ORG)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

An Arresting Character

After going through the new tropical rain forest installation at Como Zoo, we visited the primate area, but not before I said "Hello" to one of my oldest friends. Be sure to visit this site
to see the wonderful Rain Forest!

Today in Minnesota History: 1869 - As photographer Charles Zimmerman of St. Paul tries to capture frozen Minnehaha Falls, he is struck by an icicle weighing several hundred pounds. He sustains severe bruises about the head, neck, and shoulders, but none of his bones are broken. (Reference: MNHS. ORG)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A Minnesota Winter??!!

The temperature at high noon the day after Thanksgiving! Believe it or not, this is unseasonably warm for this time of year!!

Today in Minnesota History: 1863 - The Second Minnesota and the rest of General George H. Thomas's Army of the Cumberland charge up Missionary Ridge near Chattanooga and defeat the Confederates holding the ridge. (Reference: MNHS>ORG)

Friday, November 24, 2006

Historical Summit House

The Burbank-Livingston-Griggs house, the second oldest house still standing on Summit Avenue, was built by James Burbank in 1862. It was constructed of Mendota limestone, and was built in the Italian villa style. After changing ownership among St. Paul's prominent families, it was donated to the Mn. Historical Society in 1962. It is no longer open, but when my children were small, we often toured the house which was open as a museum at the time. The playroom with vintage toys was always a favorite stop.

Today in MN History: 1859- Architect Cass Gilbert is born in Ohio. Gilbert's family would move to St. Paul in 1868, and he would later begin his career there. Among his most recognizable buildings are the Minnesota State Capitol, the U.S. Supreme Court Building, and Manhattan's Woolworth Building. (Historical information taken from the MN Historical Society's website:

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Gobble! Gobble!

Not exactly a turkey, but poultry will do. Handsome devil, isn't he? My dinner plates for our Thanksgiving dinner. To see my many blessings, click here!

Today in Minnesota History-2006 at the home of Kate Mura and Jim Neher, a Thanksgiving prayer, courtesy of William Shakespeare:
"Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts." King Henry VI, Part 3.IV,vi.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Back to the Blair Arcade

Since the Blair Arcade murals seemed to be so well-received, I decided to add more.

Today in Minnesota History: 1870 -Gas light arrives in Minneapolis. (Reference:

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

This Side of Paradise

Another Fitzgerald post: F.Ssott Fitzgerald wrote the novel, This Side of Paradise, while living in this brownstone apartment building on 593/599 Summit Avenue. He had met Zelda, his future wife, while serving in the army. Originally she had not wanted to marry Scott because of his uncertain financial future, but after the publication of the novel, she apparently changed her mind. They did not remain long in Minnesota and led a busy, often debt-ridden existence, as international icons of the Jazz Age. For two other views of this historic building, visit this site.
Today in Minnesota History: 1902- The steamer Bannockburn and its twenty-member crew is seen for the last time as it sets forth from Duluth, later disappearing somewhere on Lake Superior. (Reference:

Monday, November 20, 2006

C'mon in!

This school art gallery exhibits both professional artists as well as student work. Because of the light reflecting from the windows, it's very difficult to capture the paintings if they're covered with glass. This one by a faculty art teacher is a good example of the rest of her work currently hanging in the gallery. To view the outside of the school building, visit this blog.

Today in Minnesota History: 1967 -The Nicollet Mall, a pedestrian walkway closed to traffic except buses, opens in downtown Minneapolis.. (Historical information: