Monday, November 9, 2009

How I Survived My Open Studio Event

I was driving to my studio on Saturday morning, heading for the annual Art Attack Open Studios event, in which I was participating. I was late of course, eating my lunch because I knew I wouldn't have time once I got there, when I had the idea that it would be fun to document the event. So I took out my camera and began shooting "landmarks" along the way to the studio. I became one of those idiots that I loath, mindless jerks who text and apply mascara and search for a book in the back seat while driving their car. Only I was holding a camera in one hand, a chicken sandwich in my other hand, and the steering wheel in my third hand. (?) Hold onto your hats, I'm exiting the freeway.

I drove over the Mississipi River, which contrary to a non-resident's usual assumption, does not divide Minneapolis from St. Paul. It actually snakes around and through the town of Minneapolis. Look at this gorgeous brewery sign - it's for sale. It's been a fixture here for over 60 years, and used to light up the night skyline until its owner went bankrupt and couldn't pay the light bill. It can be yours for few 100 thousand dollars. If I had the money I'd install it in my picture window, even though it must be 10 stories high. An article about it is here.

After I crossed the river, I drove by Nye's Polonaise Room. Oh, how we all adore Nye's - it's the first place we take our visitors. It's been entertaining locals since 1949, and several years ago, Esquire magazine named it Best Bar in America. The piano bar is the domain of Sweet Lou Snider who has been filling requests with undiminished good humor for over 40 years. When asked when was she going to retire, she replied, "When I'm dead". The side room hosts The Most Dangerous Polka Band every Friday and Saturday night, and the large banquet room is always filled with every day diners as well as large parties who are recuperating from every event from weddings to funerals. Even their website is entertaining (be forewarned, it opens with music):
And the Esquire article is here: here

OK, so now I'm turning the corner to pull into the parking lot of the building, and what do I see but this classy oh so professional sign. It says, "BARGAINS GALORE".

Here's the main entrance, and I see that the place is already hopping with visitors! Yay!

Here I am. So tomorrow, Part 2, with some very interesting folks I'd like you to meet!

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