Sunday, March 16, 2008

St. Paul Saturday

Tony and I on a pedistrian bridge that spans the mighty Mississippi River

I'm blogging this time from my friends, The Cloyds' living room in Minnesota. Yesterday I spent a terrific day with my buddy, Tony, in the St. Paul area. What a fantastic day we had. Outside the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota

We went to the University of Minnesota and visited the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum. I liked the museum. It was small enough to see everything. My favorite small exhibit was the "Who is a Citizen? What is Citizenship?" spread. It included paintings, photos, and prints. It explored the immigrant experience. In another section the pieces were all "ink jet on canvas" and I found the art very interesting. Tony and I, downtown St. Paul, about to eat a delicious lunch at Cossetta's
After the art museum we went and had an amazing late lunch at a very popular resturant in St. Paul called Cossetta's. The place actually defies description. It's a market and resturant and it was booming with people. The entire downtown area was a buzz with St. Patrick's Day festivities and I loved the vibe. I had a wonderful sausage dish. It's a place that want to eat at again and again and again!
About to eat my Italian Sausage and pasta

With full bellys, we went to the Minnesota History Center. The place was full of interesting history. Right now they have a multimeda presenation called MN150. It showcases the 150 most important things that shaped Minnesota's history. Outside the lovely Minnesota History Center
We wrapped up our day with a performance of A Prairie Home Companion. It was Garrison Keillor's 1,173 performance of APHC. It took place at The Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul. We were lucky enough to be there for the APHC "People in Their Twenties" tallent show. I say lucky because nothing could have prepared me for how good the tallent was. I feel compelled to list the names of the performers because they were so good.
There were six acts competing in the show: 1. Pinky Lee; 2. Ashley Monroe; 3. Mattie Speece & Patrick Villiness; 4. Andrew Ryan; 5. Alyson Gilbert; 6. The Honey Dewdrops. The audience got to vote for the best performance and there was on-line voting. Here is a list of The Twenty Something Finalists. I voted for The Honey Dewdrops, a guy and a girl who did traditional folk music. They actually won. They sang "The Minor's Prayer," "Long Black Veil" and an original song, "Without Tears." Their vocals and guitar playing were so good. I actually had chills from the harmonies. Lyrically however, the best song of the night was from a young lady, Ashley Monroe. The song was called "Used" and it was deeply moving. The lyrics were wise beyond the singer's years and honestly the song was profound.
Right outside the historic Fitzgerald Theater

The entire A Prairie Home Companion experience exceeded all my expectations. The comedy was wonderful, old-fashioned humor. Of course, Keillor did his famous "News From Lake Wobegon." One bit in particular brought joy into my heart. It was called "The Adventures of Guy Noir" and it poked fun at Minnesotans. At the end of the bit Garrison Keillor had the audience sing along to "Oh What A Beautiful Morning." It was like a little slice of heaven. Inside the theater, at the stage, with the set in the background
At the end of the night Tony and I met Garrison Keillor. He signed a book for Tony and my program and then took a picture with us. The guy is a true talent and a kind human being. Seeing APHC made me realize what a great medium radio is. This night was truly as good a night at the theater I have ever had in my life. It made me feel like all is well in the world. Garrison Keillor with Tony and I
After that, Tony and I hung out in the lobby of the St. Paul Hotel and had a coffee and talked by the fire, hoping that some of The E Street Band would walk by. We saw tour buses outside and verified (by a small sign in a window) that the buses belonged to the Bruce Springsteen clan. What a day I had in Minnesota. I'll never forget it.



Blogger Tony said...

"It made me feel like all is well in the world." Which is how one would feel if they lived here in God's country!

Doah, this was a good time my friend. I'm so glad that you made the trip back here. The whole day was AWESOME! Lookin' forward to BRUUUUUUUUCE!!!!!

11:27 AM  
Blogger Julie Cloyd said...

I'm so glad that you and Tony got to have such an awesome weekend. I know Tony had a great time and is so thankful that you flew out here to spend the weekend with us. You're a great friend and we both really appreciate you and your whole family. We miss you all!!!

2:44 PM  

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