The neighbor’s tree came down today. It was a tree-remover’s nightmare: huge and inaccessible. So they just brought an enormous crane and carried the sections high in the air to the street, where they were fed to a gargantuan woodchipper that roared like a beast so enraged by hunger it didn’t notice it was eating.

Took them three hours. I was writing the work blog outside in the gazebo while they chopped; at one point I got up, turned around to watch another segment get hoisted high, and saw a branch fall off . . . twirl . . . and spear right through the gazebo roof. It would not have struck where I sat, but still. They were very apologetic. I told them the roof was being replaced anyway.

“I’m really sorry,” he said again. I said that I did not expect that they ever wanted that to happen, and did their best to avoid it. Liability, and all that.

Anyone who says “you should have made them pay for the roof! They’re insured!” is kindly invited to explain how that would be setting a good example.

When it was done I texted a picture of the stump to my neighbor. “So much sun” she sent back. There’s that. You hate to lose a tree, but you’re repaid in a different coin.

A very short video that contains something you may not have seen today, or ever. At least like this.





This is all one complex. It's all Target, more or less, except for the white tower.



Does anything look odd about this to you? It didn't to me, until I realized that I saw something different at the time. I saw this.



Or did I? Did I just think the buildings were straight? I'm constantly adjusting pictures in Photoshop to make things straight; never heard anyone complain.

I went downtown looking for free iced tea, and didn’t find any. “Honest Tea” - as opposed to Prevaricating Soda - had supposedly set up an unmanned booth on the Nicollet Mall, where you could take the tea for nothing, or pay the dollar like you should. A means of testing our honesty and getting publicity, not necessarily in that order. I didn’t find the booth. I did find a truck giving out lots of 10 calorie soda in various styles. Never got the point of the 10 calorie drinks. It’s as if they’re attempting to reassure people: don’t worry, there are some calories in here. Ten! You can taste each one. Makes no sense.

Passed a new highrise going up at the end of the Mall:



30 stories or so. Housing. That end of the Mall was ruined by urban development decades ago, a blow so severe it took almost half a century for the area to recover. It’s the old Powers site:



Down the street past renovation of the Soo Line building, being refitted for residences, and then hello! a tennis match on the First Bank plaza.

Kept walking until I ran out of Mall. At the end there’s Westminster Church.



A sign outside said anyone was welcome to come in and look around, take a tour. Two nice ladies at a booth said I could take all the pictures I wanted. Walked inside; smelled the churchy smell of old fabric and wax. The design is unique, and possibly a requirement of the site - instead of long and narrow, it’s a wide bowl. A stained-glass window in the ceiling, another rarity:



Unusual capitals. Never seen this before - it’s like a cluster of acorns or grapes.



Walked on, and decided to go down the Loring Greenway. It’s a connecting passageway between the Mall and Loring Park, a tidy little spot with a lake on the edge of the downtown. It was questionable when I lived there for a summer in 1977 for a couple of months before I moved back to Fargo for August, on account of having made a bad decision to live there. Miserable time. One-room apartment with a Murphy bed. Roaches. Went to summer school, but man, it was lonely; never felt quite so bereft. Went home and painted tanks and bided my time until I could give college another shot, the first year having been less than successful. (I should have worked and traveled; wasn’t prepared for the whee-ha illusions of College, as, I suspect few are.) I saw a few people walking around dragging suitcases, looking around with almost open-mouthed appreciation: this . . . this is wonderful. And it is: the walkway goes along highrises and rowhouses, winding its way down to the park, the city visible through the trees:


It was a perfect day to be downtown, a perfect day in Minneapolis, and as I walked along I tried to imagine what I’d think if I was seeing it for the first time. I would have fallen in love, I think.


In the evening I went to Target to get some bandages - sorry, Band-Aids - for daughter’s leg scrape. This morning she had the most hillbilly bandage you can imagine; a gauze pad held on with other band-aids of varying side and style, because I ran out of tape. Picked up dog food. (The old boy is ravenous lately. No more skipping breakfast, and he had an entire brat tonight. Made it down the steps on his own accord, too; just decided “this is possible” and hopped down. On Tuesday he will be 18 1/2.) Picked up this and that hit the highway with the windows rolled down and the music playing as loud as possible, because that’s what the summer highway’s for. Every year that comes that day. It’ll happen again. The first is always the sweetest. The last is always the one that feels defiant. The days in the middle are the ones that make you almost believe it’ll last longer than you hope this time.

Almost is good enough. It’s high July. It was a very fine day.


New Restaurant exteriors below; see you around!


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