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St Paul in Pictures


Just a head’s up – I WILL be at the Auburn Public Library tonight at 7 PM.

Opus and Olives was AMAZING. Everyone dolled up in cocktail attire, an ICE SCULTPURE with a long tube that the bartender POURED martinis through to make them drop into the glass frosty cold, TONS of SEXY PEOPLE BUYING BOOKS, a lovely sit down dinner, 820 people listening to authors talking about writing and libraries… It was surreal. It was almost like an event you would expect in support of SPORTS.

Apparently, they are Super Freakin’ Serious about supporting the arts in St Paul. If you are in St. Paul, and a crowd of people are coming at you on their way to support the arts, you better just ROLL out of the way, is what I am saying. You try to stop these people from supporting the arts? They will cut you.

I am a little bit in love with them.

I am also a little in love with the twin cities. I wish I had had ONE MORE DAY there. The Science Museum (which was right by my hotel) had the freakin’ DEAD SEA SCROLLS. The real actual ones. I REALLY would have loved to go. If you live anywhere near, GO. GO NOW. The exhibition closes soon.

I did find time to go to the Cathedral of St. Paul, which was amazing, and I walked around for a couple of hours looking at the historic homes—most built in the late 1800’s and beautifully restored and/or maintained. I got to tour one of the most famous (The Louis Hill House ) from the inside. Our first night there, one of Opus and Olives’ dedicated sponsors had us all to dinner there. It’s right next door to the James J Hill house and it has a ballroom and carved wooden walls and a built in pipe organ…I would be covetous except it also has 16 bathrooms. Even if I had a full time housekeeper, I am COWED by the thought of maintaining 16 toilets….

While walking down Summit Avenue, drooling over architecture, I saw something ….well. Maybe not Dead Sea Scrolls level amazing. But pretty amazing. It was a sort of tour bus. Powered by drunks.

Zoom Zoom *hic*

My pokey finger is a weapon! I shall use it to spear your little children and gobble them down!

I think this is the single greatest innovation toward getting ourselves less dependent on fossil fuels that I have yet seen. If only MORE things were powered by drunks! Imagine whole cities with rows and rows of cheerful booze hounds paddling madly away to loud thumpy music and blearily practicing ham-fisted pick-up lines while they keep the city’s lights on. Granted, I wouldn’t want some loved one’s LIFE SUPPORT machine to be powered in such a manner, but my washer could probably withstand a few bombed power surges and ebbs. Go Green, baby. Green with cocktails.

The one unnerving thing about Opus and Olives was that they had FOUR GIANT MOVIE SCREENS and as the emcee began introductions and the first author got up to speak, I was horrified and cowed by how HUGE these fellows appeared as these screens projected them all over the ballroom.

I have what’s known in theatre as a “rubber face” which isn’t catching, I assure you, or even a mean thing to say. It means my expressions are BIG and they read well from a stage. But trust me…they are not meant to be projected on screens so ENORMOUS that the audience can see the speaker’s pores. From space.

Oh well. I decided to pretend the screens were not there and just be myself. Heh. You can see how that worked out…

13 comments to St Paul in Pictures

  • DebR

    Ok, the Pedal Pub puzzled me at first because I couldn’t figure out how all those people weren’t getting arrested, but then eventually I spotted the driver (who one assumes was NOT drinking?!?) and ok…..NOW I get it…Yes, brilliant! I’m going to have to send my brother the link to this – he’ll love it! 😀

  • Oh! Oh! Oh! My friend went to Amsterdam for work and while there, she sent me an email to tell me about the drunken pedaled buses in the city! (You know Amsterdam is a big biking city – bikes are what they are trying to be best known for, though of course we all know them much better for pot and prostitutes. But they really want to be known for bikes, and apparently most Amsterdamish folks own multiple bikes: the beaters they drive around and into town and park in the BIKE PARKING GARAGES and don’t worry about getting stolen, and then they also have super-nice expensive bikes for their leisure riding or something. Anyway.) My friend thought the drunk-pedaly buses were amazing, but she didn’t take a picture so I couldn’t quite envision them. Now I know.

  • Sometimes I forget to tell you that you are one of the funniest people I know, and reading your blog is THE BEST way to nearly blow a deadline. Like what I am doing now.

    Note to self. Add Joshilyn’s blog to your Google reader. Self to note: done.

  • Carrie (in MN)

    Good Lord, that’s my neighborhood. I’m in an old but not grand house right near the Cathedral. You probably walked right by Garrison Keillor’s house (down a few from the JJ Hill house). So mad at myself for missing you, but really geeked out to know that you liked the Twin Cities generally and St. Paul specifically. You need to come back some time! Carrie

    p.s. you lucked out on the weather – we are having the nicest Fall ever.

  • Les in AZ

    OMG The Pedal Pub is the most amazing thing EVER. I live in a college town (Flagstaff AZ) and we could totally use these – for our university homecoming Tequila Sunrise. AWESOMENESS!

    ps – your ruber face pics are hysterical.

  • gillian

    off topic but I saw these shoes and thought they were just Joshilyn.( Unfortunately they don’t seem to be for sale )


  • Bridget

    There was a report on NPR recently that Dusseldorf, Germany banned these “beer bikes” or “pedal pubs” used for bachelor parties and other events when complaints of “rowdiness” by the participants came from regular auto drivers. (Shocked, I’m shocked!!) And this despite the required designated driver person to steer the “mobile conference center.”

  • If there’s an option to not be oneself, can you tell me how to find it? I’d really like to impersonate someone svelte and regal when I’m in front of others.

    Looks like you had fun, and all hail mad liberal arts fans.

  • jessica

    A bunch of coworkers and I were just joking about the pedal pub the other day. If you fall off the bar stool, the bar keeps going without you. You jump off to pee, and it’s gone when you return. It led to some very interesting “you know you’re too drunk when” types of jokes. 😉

    The Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit was WONDERFUL (we went to see it a few weeks ago when we also were down for the Renaissance Festival), but the best part was seeing the St. John’s Bible, which is the world’s newest illuminated Bible. It’s illuminated in the old way, on parchment and vellum and completely by hand. It’s so new that it’s not even completed yet. 😉 We’re members of the SMM, so we’re going back around Christmas to visit my in-laws who live in the Cities, but we’re going to spend more time with the triceratops and stegosaurus and check out the new Omnimax movie that’s playing (the Omnitheater is awesome, as it’s the only convertible dome theater in the US as well). King Tut’s burial items (not him, since he doesn’t leave Egypt) will be there in early 2011 as well, so you might consider coming back to visit those as well.

    Sorry, I’m equal parts nerd and geek. 😀

  • You can be not someone else quite easily for short bursts, I find. You could easily sustain svelte and regal for 12 minutes…Which is about how long I spoke on the big screens. I think i could have kept myself in check and acted like a decorous lady who doesn’t make the google-eye crazed face for 12 minutes.

    Now if I had to speak for 15…maybe not. 🙂

  • Brigitte

    After two martinis, I’m plenty clumsy enough to fall off one of those bar stools and be immediately run over by a bus. Wah!

    And the speeechifying and big screens . . I assure my husband that THAT is why I could never be an author (we’ll ignore the utter lack of talent issue).

  • Good to know. It’s sort of like Cinderella, except without the Fairy Godmother, the pumpkin or the prince. Yep. Exactly like that.

  • Michelle-who-is-Shelley

    I have family in Minneapolis and I know exactly what you mean about the support for the arts there. They are all uber-talented and make their living performing and are the relatives-that-I-brag-about.