Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Basilica of Saint Mary's

The Basilica of Saint Mary in downtown Minneapolis is the co-cathedral of the Twin Cities area, and has hosted a block party to raise money for repairs since 1995.  To me, it's really one of the events that typifies the Minnesota brand of moderation.  Similar to the fact that our notable politicians are Jesse Ventura (former professional wrestler), Michele Bachman (very conservative), Keith Ellison (the first Muslim congressperson), and Al Franken (comedian turned senator)....we're a very interesting mix.  The fact that a church decided to go forth and hold a music festival to raise money, one with beer and food trucks?  One that really broadened the community support for the church, despite the horrendous press about the Catholic Church going on in Minnesota right now?  Pretty amazing.

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At the event, they offered tours of the Basilica to show the progress since 1995.

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The damage that they're working to repair is from a roof leak - and when water ends up in rock, it takes years for it to dry, and then you need to do all of the actual repair.

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This very cheery beach umbrella is actually a symbol of this basilica's status as a cathedral.

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The Jesus part of the statue was actually carved in situ, after the giant piece of rock was installed.  I can't even imagine.

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The vestibule of the church has been repaired, and looks stunning! Look at that gold leaf.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Loring Park and the Bridge

Loring Park is the Central Park of Minneapolis, and it's such a lovely spot in the middle of the chaos. As a St. Paul girl, I haven't spent all that much time there, so when mom had to go early to check in for her bartending gig at Basilica Block Party, it was nice to wander around for an hour and a half.

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The Basilica through the bridge.

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Downtown Minneapolis

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Twin Cities Eats: Hmong Market

Inside these very unassuming doors lies the hub of the Hmong community in Minnesota.  It used to be a storage site for St. Paul schools, and now it is a great place to find excellent Hmong food, art, and groceries. 

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Murals, spices, and all sorts of unfamiliar fruits!

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And delicious boba tea.  Boba with a fruit smoothie is a bit more traditional, but I had to go with the familiar milk tea to start. 

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I loved the condiment options.

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Pho with toppings, egg rolls, purple sticky rice, Hmong sausage - I can't wait to have the pho on a freezing day in the middle of winter.  See a full review from Heavy Table here, there are so many different options for food.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fourth of July!

First up: the Fourth of July Parade in Longville!

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Sadly, it was a little shorter than in years past, but the Woodtick Wheelers ATV Club was still in attendance!

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Next up?  The boat parade on Lake Sanborn!  (our lake)

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One of the families on the lake always does a fun theme - this year's theme referenced the recent jailbreak.

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Such a difficult day of parades calls for one thing: burgers!

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Later at night---sparklers!

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And we were entertained from three sides at the end of the dock by some pyrotechnic neighbors!

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Not Boston....but certainly wonderful.