Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Circle of Friends-First Graders

One child cheerfully initiated a conversation about "her" self-image, the one with the heart on her crown, of course! Maximize the photo to read the sweet poem. Good advice for all of us!!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Children's Art-Wall Murals

This is only one group of the much-larger-than-life murals on the walls of Capitol Hill Elementary School in St. Paul, MN.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

New theme-Children's Art

Well, you know where I spent part of early morning yesterday! As I wandered through the halls of my grandson's school, I marvelled at the art work. This was only one of the colourful signs that greeted us.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Got a Date?

This could be fun!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Street Art-One Tile

This is a close-up of one tile on a wall of children's tiles decorating an outside wall of a local drugstore. I'll get a broader view of many of the tiles later.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Renovation-Irvine Park House Series--THE END!!

This house, which sits on a corner lot in Irvine Park, beautifully illustrates how an imaginative addition enhances the original framework.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Guess What's Coming!!

Leaves turn colour at a different pace in the state of Minnesota, beginning first up north along Lake Superior, and then slowly moving south. When in full colour the roads bordering the Mississippi, both on the St. Paul and Minneapolis side are spectacular in various shades of fading green, ruby reds, brilliant yellows, and vibrant oranges. The breathtaking beauty fades quickly, followed by blasts of cold air, ice and snow. Brrr!!

Friday, September 22, 2006


While I'm thinking about it, I thought I'd write. It's always interesting to me to see which posts get the most comments. Sometimes it surprises me. Those that I like occasionally receive very few hits whereas others get more than I had expected. Anyone else wonder about this? Not exactly an earth-shattering question, but I find it fascinating. Week-ends are not good times to post, I've learned. Have a great week-end folks; stay out of trouble!!


Thursday, September 21, 2006

Street Art - Águila

Colours are not true in my photo but I like the design. Guess I'm going to have to get that new camera out and learn how to use it! This photo is from the same Hispanic neighborhood where I got some other street art. This one was on an exterior brick wall next to an empty lot.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I Promise!

This brick house is very different from the previous Irvine Park homes that I've posted. The variety in this small little neighborhood is quite remarkable. And, since you've now seen so many houses, I'll move to another thread soon.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Gourmutt ??

As we left our favorite restaurant late Saturday afternoon, we couldn't help but notice this extremely well-behaved and patient pooch, sitting obediently and quietly for the owner. Perhaps the pooch will get a well-deserved treat--steak perhaps??

Monday, September 18, 2006

Different style

This lovely house is very different from the larger homes I posted earlier. It illustrates the variety of styles in Irvine Park.
This message is for Matt from Sweden who requested this picture of my home. It is a small white brick in a St. Paul neighborhood of much larger homes, which realtors say is a plus! We are lucky because a college campus is directly behind us. Until about 5 years ago, the campus at our end was heavily forested with trees and 30 different species of songbirds; however, over 100 trees were unceremoniously chopped down to denude the wonderful area for a soccer field. The neighbors bordering the campus on this side went ballistic, myself included, but "progress" won!

Sunday, September 17, 2006


I haven't posted a Minnesota worker picture for awhile, but an opportunity presented itself right across the street from my house. From working with Hispanic immigrants, I know that they make up a big percentage of roofers in our city. This is hard work! When I saw the truck pull up and overheard their conversation, I knew that I couldn't pass up the opportunity. My husband fled in the opposite direction as I approached the workers. All it took was a greeting, "¡Hola Amigos!" , and I got their permission. I still haven't taken my new camera out of its box and continue to take pictures with my dinosaur Sony Mavica, but it didn't turn out too badly!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Brag, Brag, Brag!!

During the 2005-6 school year students at Capitol Hill Elementary School learned about the Mighty Mississippi. A number of pieces of artwork produced by the students were selected to be displayed at the Science Museum of Minnesota during this current school year. The drawing of my grandson, Dominique, who was in sixth grade at the time, was selected for the display. To see the gallery of artwork produced by some of the students, go to this site: A grandmother's pride is boundless!!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Rondo Community Outreach Library

The above photo is one of the reading areas of the library. Tomorrow I will show you a close-up of the tiles above the fireplace. Read the information below for a description of the neighborhood.

History of the Rondo Community: "This predominantly African American neighborhood in St. Paul was displaced in the 1960s by freeway construction. In the 1930s, Rondo Avenue was at the heart of St. Paul's largest Black neighborhood. African-Americans whose families had lived in Minnesota for decades and others who were just arriving from the South made up a vibrant, vital community that was in many ways independent of the white society around it. The construction of I-94 in the 1960s shattered this tight-knit community, displaced thousands of African-Americans into a racially segregated city and a discriminatory housing market, and erased a now-legendary neighborhood ."

In the general area of the old community, immigrants have been settling in recent years. On September 9, 2006 The Rondo Community Outreach Library had its grand opening.The unique facility, which features three floors of mixed-income housing above the library ,will serve an ethnically diverse population, including many recent immigrants and low-income families.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


This formerly private home has been converted into a very fine restaurant on the edge of Irvine Park. This particular view is the side entrance close to the parking lot.Haven't been there in years because when I ate there before I thought it was somewhat pretentious. I'll have to go back again soon to re-evaluate. Perhaps my first impression was faulty. But, there's nothing wrong with its architectural beauty.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Couldn't Wait!

Birthdays or any other special occasion is always a reason for me to celebrate with my family and friends. Because my birthday falls on September 11, I have been less than celebratory since 2001. So I thought my day would pass with the usual feelings of sadness. MVBF who knows this met me for café last Monday and presented me with this rhubarb strawberry pie. Friendship! Friendship! Such a perfect Friendship!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A third theme?

Earlier I introduced you to one of my favorite neighborhoods, Irvine Park. I love the variety of homes there, its location close to downtown, and the oasis-aspect of the small community. I decided to take more pictures of homes to share; now I have three threads: Minnesota workers, street art, and Irvine Park homes. It'll keep me busy. This house is one of the larger homes, one of many in very eclectic styles. The third floor turret could serve as a private oasis.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Honor the Italians!

Irvine Park is a small neighborhood close to downtown St. Paul which I love. Today while photographing houses there which I will publish in subsequent days, I learned that it is the Old Levee neighborhood for the Italian immigrants. Today is also Grandparents Day which was officially established by President Jimmy Carter in 1970. What better way to honor those Italian who have helped build this city than share this small site with you that was donated by two Italian families, the Cossettas and the Mancinis. Both families have been prominent in the grocery store, food service, and restaurant business for several generations.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Street Art, Too?

After I took this foto, I spoke to the bus driver about cameras, his and mine and their shortcomings. We chatted for awhile before he had to leave to maintain his schedule. As he drove off, it occurred to me that, of course, he would have made a great addition to my Minnesota Worker series. Guess I'll have to wait for another time. I think it's appropriate for street art, though!

Friday, September 08, 2006

Street Art-Los Gallos

More street art from Hispanic community.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Still plastered

An anonymous worker in a health clinic working on a drywall. Ladders apparently are obsolete now!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Getting Plastered!

Minnesota Workers Series: These two thought that having them and their work on my blog was great! I was flattered when they asked if I was a photographer from the local newspaper!!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Street Art-Los Amigos

There has been a large viable Mexican community on the west side of St. Paul for several generations. Recently Spanish speaking immigrants from other countries have joined them. It is a delightful neighborhood to visit because of the mercados, restaurantes, and fantastic murals. This group scene is painted on a merchant's window. I'll post more in the future. I have volunteered as an ESL tutor in the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Neighborhood House, a community center that provides a variety of activities for immigrants and neighbors. Love the people there!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Australian Battered Potatoes!!-State Fair

I deliberately made a stop at the Australian Battered Potatoes Vendor at the State Fair on Saturday in response to comments on my August 6th post. Description: Large potatoes cut in half, then deep fried after they were dipped and coated with some kind of batter. They could be eaten plain or with different kinds of dressing. I thought they looked particularly nasty and passed on eating this delicacy myself. Okay, Aussie's--look familiar??

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Pasta Bar-Mn Workers Series

Mn. Workers Series: We eat at Broder's Pasta Bar as often as we can, if not once a week at least 2-3 times a month. Without a doubt it has the best wait-staff in town, and Rocky is tops! hHe is friendly, knowledgeable, and professional--what more can you ask when eating at a great restaurant?!

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Average man on the street? I am constantly amazed at how quickly people comply when I ask them if I can take a picture. So far, no-one has asked for an explanation nor for the address of my blog, if I explain to them what I'm doing. Perhaps I just look harmless?? Trustworthy??

Friday, September 01, 2006

Two Musicians-MN Workers Series--Post 100 !!

Although the background is cluttered and somewhat distracting I wanted this for my 100th post. John (on the left) and Brad are two self-employed music teachers and performers. I've met them at Starbucks and have become coffee-friends, plus John and I are both Spanish language students and practice speaking with one another. Before running errands yesterday, I stopped for a latte with my camera( of course) and ran into them outside the cafe, practicing and entertaining passers-by. Good photo op! For more pictures, click on kate-musings on the sidebar. (Still don't how to link in a more efficient way; I'll learn!)