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.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…