Salt and Light
Last weekend we attended the annual Winter Kite Festival on Lake Harriet. The weather has been remarkably mild, which makes the winter more bearable. But it’s been awfully overcast. And the mild temps might not hold so I’m adding to my previous list of activities to get us through until Spring:
- Each Wednesday St. Paul’s Union Depot hosts a free game night featuring oversized chess sets, Jenga, dominoes and more.
- At the end of this month my friend Luke is putting on the second annual Drone Not Drones 28-hour drone fest, a benefit for Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). The 2015 line-up looks amazing. Last year’s event was thoroughly enjoyable.
- I’ve been hearing about The Salt Cave in Minneapolis. While there are no proven health benefits, the anecdotal evidence is that the experience is quite relaxing. Especially for Minnesotans looking for a respite from winter.
- Our household has a Walker Art Center membership, so we can get in for free to the 2015 Film Independent Spirit Awards Screenings. But it’s also open to the public! Tuesday and Wednesday evenings for several weeks.
- Not exactly an activity, except it takes a lot of effort to eat…my favorite fruit is in season. Pomelo! For me, it’s one of the highlights of winter. I’ve been nerding out for them for over a decade now (according to flickr).
- For the lovers (or good platonic friends perhaps), there’s a Valentine’s Day Picnic at the Bell Museum. My partner and I enjoyed it a couple of years ago. This year’s theme is “Across the Universe” and it looks like fun. We’ve already got other plans that night. Some serious 90s riot grrrl era nostalgia, with Sleater-Kinney.
- Speaking of music, warm things up with some surf rock! Local favorites The Blind Shake teamed up with Rocket From The Crypt’s Swami John Reis, Listen here.
- For fans of Bob’s Burgers and H. Jon Benjamin, the cast will be touring with a live show.
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul
The shortest day of the year is behind us now, in the Northern Hemisphere. As are the holidays and the distractions they bring. Now what’s a Minnesotan to do? Sadly it looks like the Art Shanty Projects are taking this winter off. But the St. Paul Winter Carnival is right around the corner. And the 8th Annual Art Sled Rally is happening at Powderhorn Park Saturday, January 31st.
If you are more inclined to stay indoors, there are plenty of other options.
- It’s possible to enjoy indoor activities even at the Winter Carnival. One of my favorites is the Saintly City Cat Show, held inside the RiverCentre. This year it’s Saturday, January 24th and Sunday the 25th (disregard their site’s typos).
- Minnesota is under another Wind Chill Warning. That sends me burrowing under the covers. Though I have other friends who enjoy winter camping during the deep freeze. They must be part-Sasquatch. If I were to venture out it would be for a visit to the humid Como Conservatory. Being around all the lush plant life allows me to forget the harsh elements outside, for just a little while.
- My pal Theresa brought her signature series, Trash Film Debauchery, back to the Turf Club last night with a showing of Masters of the Universe featuring Dolph Lundgren (A LOT of Dolph – ooof, that outfit). Looks like this will be a regular event every first Monday of the month at the Turf. Along with the other screenings at the Trylon.
- Another more physical option is SkyZone – the chain of indoor trampoline parks. A great way for the kids to burn off excess energy but also good for grown-ups. Possibly in smaller doses. And I’m seriously tempted to try their trampoline aerobics class, despite the injury/embarrassment risks.
It’s far too tempting to just stay inside all of the time. Especially since Netflix made the Fireplace For Your Home series available. What are your winter coping strategies?
Go ahead, jump.
Making the commitment to get married is no small thing. But many friends have made the leap this year. It’s already been a fun summer of wedding celebrations, with more to come. One lovely couple eloped over the winter (smack dab in the middle of the polar arctic vortex) and saved the celebration for the most perfect summer day ever, at our favorite lake. Another couple picked what should have been a lovely June day but turned out to have the craziest weather ever. Torrential downpours, wall clouds, high winds. But we had just enough of a break to shoot some fun portraits on the front steps of a mansion before the chaos kicked in again.
Other friends wanted to keep it casual. A beach party with their nearest and dearest. And the bride shotgunning Hamm’s beer in the lake. No big deal. It was an all around beautiful day and a good time.
Doctors Without Borders
My friend Luke Heiken organized a benefit show for Doctors Without Borders (donations are still being accepted here). But it wasn’t your usual sort of benefit show. It was a 28-hour long drone fest. And it happened last month at The Cedar Cultural Center. I managed to be present for about half of it. Though I may have been sleeping for a portion of that. I brought along a comfy bean bag chair from home and did some serious lounging. It was a dreamy event.
Naturally my photos are below. Conspicuously absent? Photos of my boyfriend’s “6000 SUX” project. Because he and our friend Paul went on after 2am. I was awake for most of their set but not perky enough to grab my camera. Sorry honey.
Follow the Leader
It has been an exceptionally hot and generally dry summer, filled with activities. I’m pausing on this rare rainy day to look back at a subset of these outdoor activities. Marching band parades. One was a dry run along the West Bank, from the Mixed Blood Theatre to The Nomad World Pub. That was just a week before a bigger performance with the full band, for the 2012 Northern Spark festivities on the Stone Arch Bridge.
Saturday, June 9th, 2012 – for Northern Spark
Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 – on the West Bank
Heliotrope Nine at The Lab Theater
I’m still in happy blissed-out mode after three days of Heliotrope – an annual experimental music festival. This year marked its 9th installment. The week before a “Players Without Instruments” interview was posted with me, where I tried to namedrop Heliotrope as much as possible as it really is my favorite live music event in the Twin Cities. A gathering for and by our “oddball music community” as Zak Sally put it in this City Pages article. This year I was in attendance for the entire thing and saw (and photographed) nearly every performance. If chronological order is your thing or you are a completist you can view all the photos here:
Otherwise my favorites are posted below. I took nearly as many candids as performance shots and have divvied them up into those two groups.
Photos of People
Photos of People Playing Music
Arp of the Covenant
International Novelty Gamelan
Rana May, on the dangers of music
Unhappy Virgin Damage
Unhappy Virgin Damage
Tips For Twat
Tips For Twat
9th Annual Fools Day Variety Show
Spring sprang and suddenly it’s April. Which means today is APRIL FOOLS DAY. A day I generally try to ignore (ever since my son learned about whoopee cushions) but this year we were invited to a backyard variety show. Billed as “a time for feeling foolish, and acting on those impulses for idiocy!” We only caught the middle part but that included an adorable duo with a guitar and an accordion, a man who sang a funny Irish song about itches in britches, several comedians, a poet, someone banging on pots and pans, and a guy performing yo-yo tricks (while wearing a Blade Runner hoodie).
Battle(s) of the Bands
In some ways, winter in Minnesota can yield more inspiration than our warm weather months can. More time to sit still and allow plans to form. Not that I’ve been sitting still much. With this winter being so very mild I’ve been going out more, instead of falling into the cozy trap of couch and cats and comforters. But even with, and maybe because of, my active social life the ideas for my new photo series have been coming together nicely. I’ve been talking it through with friends and acquaintances and hope to start shooting in early Spring. I’m excited! In the mean time, here are some photos from a few lovely shows I’ve attended so far in 2012.
American Cream / Jabberjosh / The Deaf / Seawhores at Kitty Cat Klub
Cadette, Oaks, Crimes at Memory Lanes
Ice Rod Chatroulette, with Littlefoot and NV
Girls Night Out at the Amsterdam with Hot Rash, Cadette and The Pinsch
Perish at the Kitty Cat Klub, with Bloode Folke and Blood & Sun
The Deaf’s Saturday night residency at Grumpy’s
A Tale of Two Henrys
Fall is my favorite time of year. The changing of the leaves, the onset of sweater weather, and my most favorite of all holidays – Halloween! I love it all. And I was thrilled when asked to take outdoor portraits during this season for not one but two little boys named Henry. I photographed the first Henry on the day of his first birthday, in the Prospect Park neighborhood of Minneapolis.
The second Henry is double the age of the first. Not much of an age difference really, in the grand scheme of things – two years old versus one – but a huge difference in mobility! This Henry led us on a merry chase around Minnehaha Falls. Up and down stairs and across bridges and pointing out statues and throwing and kicking fallen leaves around.
My own son is just as enthusiastic about Fall and Halloween as I am. There are many spooktacular events coming up this weekend but we may go with an old-timey option, with the Old-Time Halloween at the Gibbs Farm Museum this Sunday, October 30, 2011 from noon – 4:00pm.
In the mid-1800s Europeans, especially Irish immigrants, brought their Halloween traditions to America. Trick-or-Treat at Jane Gibbs’ house; make popcorn balls in the Red Barn; find pennies in a haystack and enjoy a cup of cider!
Before you know it November will upon us and with it the holiday stretch from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. I plan to schedule a few days’ worth of mini sessions at locations around town, like Krueger’s Tree Farm and Pine Tree Apple Orchard. Stay tuned!
A September Wedding on Summit Avenue
Last year I took a walk around St. Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood with a lovely couple, shooting their engagement photos on an uber-hot August day. Fast forward a year and a month and they asked me back, to capture their big wedding day. The weather was much milder this go around but gloomy all morning with the threat of rain. Thankfully the clouds parted, clearing up just in time for the outdoor ceremony. And it was a lovely happening from start to finish.