FRIDAY MORNING NOTE - things should be working. Sorry. Spent three hours looking for the dog on Thursday night and just went to bed at 2 without doublechecking this.
Dog came back at 4:30.
The long weekend beckons, and you're itching to get to it. Or are you looking upon its vast expanse with a sense of ease and satisfaction, savoring the last workday moments as everything winds down early and the office empties out? I had early deadlines all week, and really, the only thing I had to do on Thursday was get a piece of cake mashed in my face for a video.
The day before I went to the Walker to play Art Inspired Miniature Golf, a thing that is silly and fun. Some of the courses are clever; some are a bit complex and meta, but what counted was getting a sneak preview on the roof of the Walker in the rain while the lightning flashed and I was holding a metal rod. They had forbade us to go up when the skies were sparking, and I understood. In fact they wanted to reschedule, but alas we had already carved out a big part of the feature section for the story, so I had to say no. You Have To Let Me In. The charming publicity director met me in the lobby with an umbrella and golf clubs, which is the first time that ever happened at an art museum, and up we went.
I thought I was doing a piece about the mini-golf exhibit, but it turned out that the photographic element was going to be about me doing the mini-golf exhibit. Thus performance was required. Poses had to be struck. I had an A-class top-notch photographer, Glen Stubbe, who took some magnificent shots, but let me tell you I dread picking up the paper on Saturday because I need a haircut and my shirt was blousing up.
I parked by the Walker and tromped through the rain to the corner, only to see I couldn't cross: construction. Went down the block: construction. The only way across the street was by a pedestrian bridge two blocks down, so I ended up making this long U past the park and sculpture garden. When I got back down to the street I saw one of those benches with an ad for a realtor, and it seemed - like art!
This is even MORE LIKE ART
Because the Walker is a place where you could have an exhibit of realtor-themed bus benches, and use the pictures to explain cross-context modalities of public transport and private property.
Trust me, you could.
When it was done I walked allll the way back and drove into downtown, parked, walked allll the way to the office, and got a sandwich at Au Bon Pain. The guy ahead of me in the line didn't want anything they had on the menu.
"Can I get a Roast Beef with Mayo, on white?" he asked. The friendly manager said sure! White bread or panini?
The guy hesitated, because he knew this was a moment in which his character would be revealed and everyone would silently judge.
"White bread," he said.
I got my sandwich and walked out into the atrium, previously known as the Winter Garden when it had palms and no one ever visited it because it was a dead echoey space. There was a young woman with an electric keyboard singing Enya type songs, mournful Celtic melodies perfect for a rainy day. The skyway level was packed, as usual for noon. The combination of music and crowds and restaurant aromas and general urban business made me glad, as ever, to be here, and not be sitting in some three-story mirrored-glass place in the burbs. I overheard a snippet of convo from two people walking my way:
"You know I work in downtown St. Paul, and coming over here, it's really"
That's all I heard and all I needed to. The guy sounded like someone from East Berlin on a shopping trip in the American sector. You have music and people and everything looks like it's been vacuumed and the stores are new!
This should be one town, but it never will be so.
The DTE park is under construction now. It's amazing how fast they grow:
Well, no. The big one is a hardy survivor left over from the small park outside the StarTribune building. We thought they'd tear it down, since everything had to go, but someone must have thought "wait, we're taking down a tree to make room for a tree? Something about this doesn't add up."
The rest of them look like this. They are regularly spaced and already tall. Instant park!
The Edition main apartment is almost completely clad, and I'll have more on that later. The view of the park will be nice. But everyone with a view of the park will always be looking at the dark glowering Shard God.
A lot of people really hate the new stadium. I like it. I almost love it. Like nothing else; a great glacier on the edge of downtown.
The office towers have tenants now, so there are employees milling around in the area. It is so different from the days when I worked here it's as if the old building and the character of the streets never existed. When everyone from that era of the Strib is gone, there'll be no one to remember what it was like, which is why I have chronicled this over the years. We were a big proud building on the edge of downtown, looking with a lonely gaze over parkings lots that once had small stores and offices. We added nothing to the sidewalk; people scurried in and scurried out, and the building's age seemed to mirror our own malaise. The old ones who remembered the local watering holes were gone, but came back for the last reunion; the middle-aged ones who might have remembered the big brick warehouse they knocked down for the ugly addition across the street didn't think about it much, and probably had to be prompted to recall it.
Everything sagged and aged, as everything does. And now it's all new.
Back to music cues for "The Little Things in Life," Peg Lynch's last continuously running sitcom. The cues run from substandard 60s cues to cringingly 70s, and I'm surprised at how few there were. I think I'm already repeating what I previously played.
This is almost harrowing:
Where did this one come from?
The orchestration could almost be used for a Hitchcock TV cut:
Mocking, again; always mocking.
From 1976, PURE CLASS
Dishes? From a bank?
Midwest Federal had a special role in the Twin Cities; their HQ was the office tower featured in the "Mary Tyler Moore" show; their circular abstract tree-shaped branch offices were little ambassdors of modern whimsy in the surburbs. And it went broke in spectacular fashion in the 80s, ending up a billion dollars in debt.
That was big money in 1989.
This week's Bob & Ray sketch takes on game shows, again. It's another version of the one we heard last week. This one's a bit more involved, and features some of Ray's best work with the old lady voice.
Stop That Tune!
Horrible hours we'd rather forget, but moments? Sure, there had to be a few of those.
He lived in New Rochelle from the early 60s on; you have to wonder if he went home wishing Laura Petrie would open the door. Who wouldn't?
Oh, er, ahem:
See you Monday! Yes, there'll be something Monday. Have a great weekend.