Am I proud of America?

We could see the St. Paul fireworks clearly from our livingroom, plus two more distant fireworks. Very nice. We did not like the two rockets set off in the street next to our building by some idiot, which wizzed up and exploded just above us. Another idiot was continuously yelling, maybe in response to the fireworks, though it sounded as if he were saying, 'I am here. For God's sake notice me.' I like fireworks, though I don't go out of my way to see them.

MORE »

Flood sketching and a modest/awesome riverfront proposal

Roberta and I did a lot of sketching of the flooding in Downtown Saint Paul. We wanted to document the changing landscape as water gradually replaced land. There’s a slideshow of our flood sketches at the PiPress. Here’s one of the sketches I did from the Robert Street Bridge of the Port of Saint Paul’s Lowertown Landing submerged beneath the roiling Mississippi River [above].

MORE »

7 symbols of home

I enjoy the work of Gretchen Rubin– the happiness guru who packages ideas about living well in tidy lists and chapters. Maybe that sounds kind of treacly, but because she is up front about her own limits, bad habits and preferences, the reader may embrace his or her own preferences, recognize limits, and challenge – and even change – bad habits that contribute to crankiness and a less joyful life.

MORE »

Lonesome Valley: Orphaned kittens complicate summer

With the warmer weather, I was really starting to like retirement. I was enjoying breakfast outside on the patio while other people were rushing off to work. I was working daily in my garden, off and on during the day, cooking something on the grill, and maybe catching a movie in the evening. That was all before Frosty, Smokey, Stormy, Stripy, and Spotty took over my life.

MORE »

Gratitude for America on the 4th of July

The Fourth of July used to mean a BBQ with friends, then fireworks later in the night (if I could stand the Minnesota mosquitos). Some time in the past few years, however, my husband Bryan has taken over the way we celebrate so that we can teach our kids how grateful we are to live freely as Jews in this country. It’s not that we don’t feel that gratitude during other times of the year, but the Fourth of July is the most natural time to express it.

MORE »

Compulsory death

Because “freedom” is as American as God and apple pie, it’s surprising that the editors of the MIT Technology Review have not been charged with treason. In one of the MIT articles titled “Hacking the Soul,” Gabriel Kreiman, neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School, says that studies suggest, “all actions are the result of neural computations and nothing more.” So “there is nothing really free about free will.”

MORE »

This week in Saint Paul: Monday, June 30–Sunday, July 06, 2014

Wow! We made it through our TV Takeover. Thanks to everyone who came to the party and everyone who saw our edition on the airwaves. Kudos to anyone who made it to last week’s Lowertown Reading Jam, Soul Sounds Open Mic and Almanac’s TV Takeover. We love the support. We love showing off Saint Paul in all its glory and the panorama of stories that make our town great.

MORE »

To work or not to work, that is the question

My kid: “I’m bored.”

Me: “Well it is summer. Did you drop off that application at the ice cream place    down by the Guthrie where your friend works?”

MORE »

What was lost

Walking around the valley on a spring day used to be so peaceful. A bird chirped, a car idled past me, and occasionally the faint muffled cry of a baby drifted through the air. Most often I was lost in thought and these thirty minutes were my favorite time of day.

MORE »

Enduring traditions: Swedish Heritage Day at Minnehaha Falls

For 81 years a bunch of American Swedes have congregated at Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis to celebrate their heritage with music, dance, and food. Svenskaranas Dag (Swedish Heritage Day) used to draw as many as twenty thousand people who danced around the maypole and picnicked along The Falls. Honored guests included politicians and celebrities. Fewer folks attend the event these days, although we still get the occasional politician, but we are no less enthusiastic than those who came before us.

MORE »
Syndicate content