Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Twin Cities: Prairie Home, Flour Mill Museum, Fall colors

Garrison Keillor on the Prairie Home Companion set at St. Paul's Fitzgerald Theater
My step-daughter and her husband helped me cross a big item off my bucket list, supplying me with tickets to a Prairie Home Companion at the Fitzgerald Theater in St. Paul, MN last weekend.
I had seen Prairie Home and Garrison Keillor once before, at the Mother Lode in Butte, but always hoped I could see this great performer in his home theater.
This was the high point of a trip that also included a visit to the Mill City Museum and the scenic trail and stone bridge across the Mississippi River at St. Anthony Falls and the colors of the city park where Minnehaha Falls are located.
The Fitzgerald is much the same as and built in the same era as the equally ornate Mother Lode.
There was tons of energy in the crowd which had queued up outside the theater long before the two-hour performance.
The performance itself had many of the same elements as the Grand Old Opry, the variety show, the live radio broadcast, the schmaltz.
The program was built around a duet contest featuring six teams from around the country and included favorite skits, "Guy Noir," "Lives of the Cowboys," and "Lake Wobegon."
I am in awe with how quick Keillor is with the unscripted, humorous retort when engaging his guests.
The walking bridge over the Mississippi River at St. Anthony Falls
The Mill City Museum was a total surprise.  Of course I knew that Minneapolis was a grain and milling center, but until I toured the museum's mill ruin site I didn't realize how many people had worked in the industry.  Likewise, I discovered that Minneapolis was once a textile and millinery center.
Mill City Museum and mill ruins
I plan to return to this museum and the nearby St. Anthony Falls, the museum for more information on industry and the falls area for its scenery and the Mississippi River.
Yet another great surprise was the beauty of the the Catholic Basilica of St. Mary where we were treated to an amazing display of medieval Russian icons and the modern artistry of Ludmilla Pawlowska.
At the Minnehaha Falls dried by Midwest drought
I didn't think it possible for anything to compare to St. Paul's Catholic Cathedral, but the basilica in Minneapolis holds its own with its stained glass windows, limestone architecture and statuary.
The Minnehaha Falls are a victim of the Midwest drought and were dry, exposing beautiful sandstone shelves.  We walked the creek down to the Mississippi amid red, orange and yellow hardwood trees at the end of their fall color.
Of course, the Twin Cities are full of great restaurants and we sampled a few including Ethiopian, Ukrainian, Greek, Italian and Vegetarian varieties.
At the Basilica of St. Mary
Our stay was far too short.


1 comment:

scott davidson said...

Good details and contrast between dark shadows and white areas. You may know the work of the Greek-Italian surrealist artist Giorgio de Chirico, much of whose work you can browse at wahooart.com. This one, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8EWHDW, has the same feel as your drawings.