I’ve lived in the twin cities for nearly 30 years and I’ve never gone to Back to the 50s! An old bandmate of hubby’s was performing with her current band, Super Modified, at the Pin-up Contest so we decided to finally attend Back to the 50s and see her band too. Since this event is always packed, we decided to take public transit to avoid the parking mess. We parked at Rosedale and got on the A-line for $2.00 each. And we managed to see everything we wanted to see before our bus tickets expired for our return trip. Whew! And we were right about the parking mess. The bus dropped us about a block from the entrance and the bus driver scooted by all those cars in line to park.
This event occurs every year on the last weekend in June and is sponsored by the Minnesota Street Rod Association. I live close to the fairgrounds so have always seen the cars driving around. And in years past when I worked on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota I’d see many cars on the streets and I felt like I didn’t have to pay admission to see the cars. But it was fun to be on the fairgrounds viewing all those cool cars. Of course there were food and beverage vendors, but curiously no benches to sit on. I did notice, however, that many fair goers brought their own portable chairs.
Check out some of the cool cars we saw!
A couple more photos, one of the Pin-up Contest winner and the band we saw, Super Modified:
We love the Minneapolis Institute of Art. I follow the museum on Facebook and saw that they were open but that you needed a timed entry ticket to get in. The museum is free and during pre-pandemic days one could just go on in. I’m glad they’re taking precautions and of course masks must be worn.
We headed up the stairs to the third floor to check out the Prairie School architecture room. The style began in 1880s Chicago by Louis Sullivan and this room contains some of his pieces as well as those of his followers, Frank Lloyd Wright among them. Note the pair of elevator grills in the gallery below. They were in the Chicago Stock Exchange Building which was torn down in 1972. The building’s entrance archway and interior trading floor were salvaged and moved to the Art Institute of Chicago. And MIA has a pair of elevator grills.
Chicago Stock Exchange building elevator grills
Prairie School room
dining table by Frank Lloyd Wright
chair by Frank Lloyd Wright
There are several of Frank Lloyd Wright’s houses here in the upper midwest. In the middle of this room at MIA there is a model of a house built by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1914 for Frances Little. The house was in Deephaven, a suburb on the west side of the twin cities, and overlooked Lake Minnetonka. The house had many issues and was eventually taken down with many parts of it being sold. MIA purchased a hallway from this house and installed it in the museum. I always visit this room as it’s one of my favorites.
we think the hallway is on the bottom right
On our way to view the Impressionism we peeked into a couple of period rooms. One is an empty room from Europe in the 1700s where there is audio and lighting effects displaying one day from sunrise to sunset. You hear the fire crackling and horses with carriages. I only caught a little of that this time so I didn’t listen to all of the audio. The first two photos are after the sun has set and then as the sun starts to rise the next day.
Queen Anne room
Whenever we see any painting by James Ensor one of us breaks into song(see video below): “Meet James Ensor. Belgium’s famous painter” (by They Might Be Giants). We found two of Ensor’s paintings this time. I noticed that the second one, the one of the group of people, appears in the video:
this one’s in the video!
I also always visit the Impressionism rooms and this trip was no different. However, I took a few photos of sculptures this go round so first I’ll share those:
Baboon and young – Picasso, Minneapolis Institute of Art
Baboon and young – Picasso
Woman in a bathtub – Degas
Dancer putting on her stocking – Degas
And onto the other paintings that caught my eye. Some favorites as well as others I had not seen before:
The Clockermaker – Ivan Vasilievich Kliun, Minneapolis Institute of Art
Woman in an Armchair – Picasso
Head of a Woman – Miró
The Spanish Playing Cards – Miró
Portrait of Juan de Pareja – Dalí
Notre Dame, 1899 – Maximilien Luce
Place du Théâtre Français, Paris: Rain, 1898 – Pisarro
Olive Trees – Van Gogh
Street of Dreams(Broadway and Times Square) – Ralph Fasanella
City Night – Georgia O’Keeffe
Portrait of Mlle. Hortense Valpinçon – Degas
Vase of Roses – Eva Gonzalez
Self-Portrait with Dr. Arrieta, 1820 – Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes
Some general museum scenes:
Beethoven above a doorway
View of downtown Minneapolis on our way out
I don’t recall ever seeing this room before and this car fascinated me. It’s a Tatra T87 four-door sedan from 1948 designed by Hans Ledwinka and manufactured by Ringhoffer-Tatra-Werke AG. From the museum’s gallery:
From the three-piece windshield to the fin at the back, the streamlined Tatra’s every feature is an example of well-crafted form reinforcing function. Ledwinka added the distinctive rear dorsal fin to stabilize the car at high speeds. One of the fastest cars of its day, the Tatra could go 100 miles per hour thanks to its rear-mounted 75-horsepower V8 engine, air-cooled with streamlined louvers. The windshield, skirted rear wheels, and recessed door handles contributed to the car’s speed. The innovative sliding sunroof brought in light, and the front center headlight improved visibility in fog. Only two thousand cars of the 1936 T87 design were produced, and none were commercially exported to North America.
In the hallway before you see the Tatra car there is another period room and the placard describes an interesting albeit a bit sad story. It’s the story of the museum’s first curator of modern art Barton Kestle. He began his job at MIA in 1950 and in 1954 there were several discreet inquiries about him by unidentified agents. Within days of the museum’s administrators being questioned behind closed doors, Kestle was summoned by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in Washington, D.C. On March 27,1954 Kestle boarded a train for Washington, D.C. and was never heard from again. The door to his office at MIA was sealed and painted over while the museum was organizing an exhibition. It remained just as he left it until it was rediscovered in 2011 and the curator suggested that it become another period room. Similar to other period rooms, it’s like stepping back in time. Note the old furniture as well as a telephone, which I assume is an antique. I’m attaching the photo of the placard that gives a few more details than what I’ve written here.
Another delight at MIA is Chihuly’s Sunburst that greets you when you walk in and it’s the last thing you see as you leave, as long as you look up. In previous visits we had lunch at the Agra Culture restaurant on the mezzanine level. The view of Sunburst is especially wonderful while you’re eating lunch. But Agra Culture is closed until further notice due to the pandemic.
Sunburst – Chihuly
Finally, I leave you with some autumn colors that I saw as we left the museum that day in October. There are still some colors even if we’ve already had snow(at publication we’re having a heat wave so all the first snow has melted).
I always leave MIA feeling like I just barely scratched the surface. I like to visit my favorites but this time I made it a point to check out some new things. I’m going to make it a point to see something new during each subsequent visit. Because of course there will be subsequent visits. I highly recommend a couple of hours at MIA. There is something for everyone.
We had a bit of an adventure a few weeks ago when we decided to take a quick drive to the Missisisippi River Roads in search of autumn beauty. We intended to go down the Minneapolis side then up the St. Paul side then head home. We drove through the University of Minnesota’s east bank campus and intended to take the turn off the Washington Avenue bridge that takes you to the west bank campus but we both missed the offramp. I guess one positive of that mistake is now we know there aren’t terribly good options if you miss that offramp. You either have to get on a freeway which we didn’t want to do, or you end up in downtown Minneapolis. All of a sudden we were driving past U.S. Bank Stadium where the Vikings normally play. Another positive: I had not seen it up close and personal so I can check that off the list. Ha!
We finally managed to make our way to the River Road near the 35W bridge collapse memorial and happily, finally headed south…..only to discover the road was closed at 2nd Street! Darn phone map didn’t show me that or I never would have headed that way. We made our way over 35W and travelled through the west bank campus and guessed at where the road blockage stopped. Finally, we made it to the East River Road!
We stopped along the way so that I could capture the beautiful colors. In the galleries below are a mixture of photos I’ve taken throughout our brief but beautiful autumn. I hope you will enjoy.
First up, some close up photos. Starting with various colors of oak leaves, then several of maple leaves and a couple other close-ups:
And other autumn colors:
I’ve been putting this post together over the last couple of weeks and in that time we’ve had our first snowfall (on 10/20/20) so I thought it only fitting to include a snow-themed autumn scene at the end. I do love the colors in this photo but we didn’t really get a full autumn as you can see. But at publication most of the snow has melted, alas, more is on the way? I’ve lived here 28 years and we’ve never had snow in October. We missed the Halloween blizzard that happened the year before we moved here. Very unusual weather we’re having!
I saw the first rose on one of my walks through Central Park on a break from work and wondered why it was there, this bright and colorful enormous rose presenting itself to the world. There was a marker that said “Roseville in Bloom” so I googled that and found this website. There are 20 of them around my town of Roseville, Minnesota. It started in July and runs through October 2020. There is a write-up about each rose and their artist at the link as well as a time lapse video of all the roses being painted. Fun to watch!
I made it my mission to find and photograph all of them and I’d love to share those with you. It was a small adventure trying to take photos of the roses. One was on the patio of Bent Brewstillery and we weren’t sure we were in the right place as it was at the far end of the back of a row of buildings. But we followed the google and finally saw it. Whew! To get a photo of the one entitled Color and Culture, I had to walk out to it as the rose was in the middle of the lawn of that park. Some had more detail than the others, especially the Value of Education and Flower Power. The one at the ice rink felt very personal as we spent many, many hours in that building as Miss M was a figure skater there for many years. And some we had to wait in line to take photos. At the first one of these the couple thanked me for waiting until they were done. And then they asked me where more of them were and I directed them to the google because that’s how I discovered them. The passing of knowledge, it’s a great thing.
Here’s the one in Central Park entitled Discover. On the left side the artist drew the rocket ship just like the slide that Miss M went down numerous times in Central Park during her childhood:
Here’s a gallery of the rest of them with the exception of one. It’s in an industrial area right on the edge of Roseville and Minneapolis but we weren’t sure if we could take the private road to see it. We may try again and if we do, I’ll add that photo later.
Roseville in bloom
Roseville in bloom
Roseville in bloom
I wonder if the website will still be active when the exhibit is gone. In case the link gets deactivated, I am copying the words on the site here for future reference:
20 roses. 20 creators. 20 stories. See the work of Minnesota’s best artists on 6-foot flowers in the Twin Cities’ newest public art event, Roseville in Bloom. Each painted flower is sponsored by an area business and tells a story unique to the artist. Print the map, see more attractions, and put Roseville in Bloom at the top of your summer can’t-miss list. Stay tuned for rose-related events and social media contests happening throughout the summer
I am not sure what inspired this art project but it’s a bright spot in these otherwise not so great times. I am trying to focus my posts on positive things and share photos of things I come across in my travels. I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed looking for the roses.
While fall and spring are my favorite seasons, in that order, I do love summer for all the gorgeous flowers everywhere! And naturally I’ve taken some photos of them. Plus I have photos of the garden as it was the first few days of July. So without further ado, please enjoy early summer blooms and plants.
First, let’s check in with the vegetable garden. All the plants are happy and growing.
healthy, growing garden!
the cuke climbs the fence
cukes, another view
all the yellow flowers become cucumbers
Next is a collection of photos from my favorite walking path near my house. So many interesting plants!
wild raspberries (these are from the park)
dianthus (I think)
dianthus (I think again)
bee balm up close
white morning glories? (seen at 7 a.m.)
sure look like blackberries
bee balm and pond
bee balm with bee!!
To close, some photos from my own garden.
State fair zinnias along the fence
pink coneflower just starting to open
our only rose bud this year
I have so many photos of bee balm that I thought they deserved their own gallery.
buds almost open
a little further along
and further along still
full bloom, red bee balm
the group of them
same group, further away
dark pink bee balm just opening up
group of dark pink bee balm
Do you have a favorite summer flower? There are so many, it’s hard to choose but I do love the bee balm. And here I’ve displayed three different colors. I’ll be back soon with more photos of summer flowers. Do come back and take a look!
I always try to plan a trip to the cabin while Minnesota’s state flower, the showy lady’s slipper, is blooming in northern Minnesota. I believe they’re in bloom for about two weeks around the end of June and beginning of July(more information about our state flower and a little more information ). Itasca State Park is 40 miles from the family cabin and we went there the last weekend in June seeking the lovely orchid during our three day stay at the cabin. We hoped our timing worked and it did! The blooms seemed very much at peak. Score!!
There’s a spot near Douglas Lodge within the park where there are many lady’s slippers so we always walk down the many steps then back up again just to see their loveliness. But they also grow throughout the park and we drove around the entire park searching for them. Here’s a link to the map for perspective. We did find one small group of lady’s slippers, drove right past them and then I exclaimed “there’s some!!” so we backed up and I got out to photograph them. They really blend in with the scenery so are kind of hard to spot in a moving car but I did find one patch!
No trip to Itasca is complete without visiting the headwaters of the Mississippi. Yep, the mighty Mississippi River starts in Itasca which is a huge tourist draw. My first gallery contains general park photos as well as the headwaters.
pretty white flower
the mighty Mississippi
Mississippi river’s origin
headwaters, practicing social distancing
not dandelions but beautiful yellow flowers
another beautiful bloom
the lady’s slippers are down those steps
lady’s slippers just beyond those trees
photo doesn’t reveal just how beautiful the scenery is
back up the steps
up and up
In this next gallery are the photos I took of the group of lady’s slippers that we found on the Wilderness Drive. To me, it looks like this group is further along than the blooms near Douglas Lodge.
it was just this one clump
And here are the photos from the large group of lady’s slippers down the hill from Douglas Lodge. The colors on these flowers are more vibrant than the previous gallery, wouldn’t you agree? Very curious. Maybe it has something to do with sunlight or lack thereof.
Showy Lady’s Slipper at Itasca
not too many more of these new buds opening
small group of lady’s slippers at Itasca
left side of path with lady’s slippers
this one’s my favorite of the 50 some photos I took of the orchid
I’ll close with some sunset photos from the cabin which is the most relaxing place on earth. If you’re planning a trip to Minnesota, or if you live here, do plan a visit to this fabulous state park. There is something for everyone there.
I like that there’s still enough sun to form shadows in this one:
I think this is my favorite of the ones I took between three different nights(sans shadows):
And this is 15 minutes later than the previous photo. Look how much the colors changed in just 15 minutes:
Ready for another photo tour of what’s been blooming the past couple of weeks? Note: I started this about three weeks before I published it and now it’s summer! Better late than never though eh?
While working from home (due to the pandemic) and ever since the weather got warm, I started a new walking routine. I try to do either two walks or a walk and a bike ride each week day. I have a few routes that I take from my house. My favorite is the walk to Willow Pond. If I walk on the Willow Pond path all the way to the brown house with the interesting garden, that’s 7-8 minutes, so round trip it’s nearly a mile. It’s a fairly quiet path in my neighborhood with occasionally one to three other walkers. I enjoy photographing the flowers as well as the reflections in the pond when it’s calm. I included one other photo with reflections from our local park in this gallery.
one day I counted 10 turtles on that log!
the calm before the storm
this is at Central Park but I loved the reflections
I took a lot of photos of lilacs this year! I never tire of them.
And iris too.
iris near Willow Pond
brown house iris
When we walk to the park we either walk there and back, circling around the amphitheatre, or we go all the way around the lake. The latter takes about 40 minutes and it’s a good hike. And if you’re lucky, you’ll see some wild life. The other day I saw an egret as I rode my bike around the lake.
Several of my neighbors have rain gardens and they’re between our house and the park, I’ve taken photos of these too. I thought my neighbor said that the city helped them with theirs. So I was curious and found information about their purpose and benefits as well as the Ramsey-Washington County Metro Watershed District. I’m thinking my neighbors may have benefited from the Stewardship Grants program. The gardens in my neighborhood are all a bit different and it’s fun to see their progress throughout the season. My neighbors to the south have the largest on the block and it’s full of flowers! Here are some rain gardens on the way to and from the park.
that’s cat nip in full bloom
actually not sure if this is a rain garden but it’s cool anyway
We also have a vegetable/fruit garden. During the winter we had some wood delivered which was stored in this garden space. We haven’t had a garden in that spot for a couple of years so the first project was moving the wood. In the next gallery are photos of this garden when it was first planted and then a little later and it’s easy to see the difference. We planted basil, green pepper, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and another, regular size tomato but I forget which variety.
early vegetable garden
tomato looks happy
And of course there’s the monster rhubarb plant. It’s since been pruned.
time to harvest! this was before the wood was moved.
This year I also took photos of the cottonwood trees and their blossoms. I was on a walk by myself and yep, it’s that time of year where you keep your mouth shut so as not to collect cottonwood blossoms in your mouth. Yuck. But I realized that I didn’t know what a cottonwood tree looked like. So I followed where the blossoms were coming from and finally I know what a cottonwood tree looks like.
cottonwood tree blossoms collecting in the gutter
close-up of cottonwood blossoms still in the tree
To close here’s a gallery of a few more things in my garden. I have columbine that grows in the cracks of the patio. I now have three of them! Other photos are of lamium which is a nice ground cover and it pretty much blooms the entire season. But beware, it will take over if you let it!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of spring in the twin cities. I’ll be back soon with summer blooms!