By Popular Demand *

* (OK, that’s a lie . . . )

A celebration of birthday number 72 . . . 

September 1

[Always a multi-day affair, it began with a trip to brother Cam’s and sister-in-law Karen’s homestead in Mounds View . . . ]

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[Our evening repast was at the iconic Moe’s in their neighborhood.  The Super and I shared a “commercial” that would have fed us all for the next five days . . . ]

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September 2 – Labor Day

[And a mini-family reunion day.  Our Uncle Tom and Aunt Mary Kay were in town from Scottsdale, Arizona, and Mary Kay’s brother Bob and sister-in-law Ginger joined us for fine dining designed, fashioned, and grilled up by Karen with help from son Michael John . . . ]

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[Their front yard – Cam removed 28 trees from here several years ago.  Still heavily shaded . . . ]

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[In today’s America, everyone has their own car, and then some . . . ]

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[Needless to say, a unique sign in their neighborhood . . . ]

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[After the Great Recession destroyed the jobs of both brothers, Cam went to Century College and tacked on a landscaping associates degree to his geography BA long ago obtained from the University of South Carolina.  He provided all the brains and brawn in landscaping his yard . . .

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[And now in his backyard as he prepares for company . . . ]

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[The Super helped with all the outdoor furniture . . . ]

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[No, I don’t slide – but Karen has 81 first cousins so this pool gets a lot of use . . . ]

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[I believe these are all annuals, requiring a total re-do next year . . . ]

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[Their yard shed on the left . . . ]

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[The back of the house from . . . ]

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[And the Super from . . . ]

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[The backyard cabana . . . ]

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[The Super’s pool towel; the Obert boys were all Cardinal fans in our youth . . . ]

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[Looks ready for company . . . ]

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[The pelican stands guard over the pool . . . ]

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[Beautiful day!]

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[Michael, Cam, and Karen fired up both grills . . . ]

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[Seriously, it’s going to be very good . . . ]

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[The guests have arrived . . . ]

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[Bob, Cam, Ginger, Mary Kay, and the original Tom Obert . . . ]

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[A serious discussion about . . . kabobs?]

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[No more than 20 different spices . . . ]

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[Why yes, I will be 72 in two days.  Why yes, this is bizarre.  Thanks again to our hosts, collectively known as the Mounds View Oberts . . . ]

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September 3

[Cam’s hanging baskets early in the morning . . . ]

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[The holiday was over.  Karen and Cam both work.  The Super and I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather to visit downtown Minneapolis . . . ]

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[Here we are on St. Anthony Main, along the west bank of the Mississippi River . . . ]

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[And on the other side is the Minneapolis skyline . . . ]

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[And that’s the 3rd Avenue Bridge, so named because it’s on 3rd Avenue (though it was originally known as the St. Anthony Falls Bridge, but that didn’t fit on the identifying plaque) . . . ]

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[The area at night as taken by our niece Katy, Michael’s older sister, some time ago . . . ]

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[An attractive bridge with arches (and Dr. Scholl’s inserts for support) . . . ]

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[Pillsbury’s Best Flour, or how it came to be named the Mill City . . . ]

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[The St. Anthony Main sign and area construction . . . ]

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[Infrastructure of water power . . . ]

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[Looking back while trending toward the river . . . ]

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[First glimpse of St. Anthony Falls (notice it wasn’t renamed 3rd Avenue Falls) . . . ]

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[From whence we came . . . ]

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[First glimpse of the renowned Stone Arch Bridge and the equally renowned Tyrone Guthrie Theater (black building, right center) . . . ]

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[Guthrie on the left, Gold Medal Flour on the right (again, that Mill City thing) . . . ]

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[The Guthrie (oh, you knew that already?) . . . ]

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[We’re trending toward the Stone Arch Bridge with every intention of crossing it . . . ]

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[And this guy was along the way . . . ]

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[Small band shell or place for a photo op?]

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[On the Stone Arch Bridge.  Badly posed by me – should have been farther out on the bridge to avoid the photo bombing by the electrical wires . . . ]

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[Walk left or right, bikes in the middle . . . ]

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[Looking downstream on the Mississippi . . . ]

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[Upstream to St. Anthony Falls, or as I noted on FB, why Minneapolis is where Minneapolis is . . . ]

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[The Super from our vantage point on the Stone Arch Bridge . . . ]

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[I believe this is still an ongoing park project on the riverfront . . . ]

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[As you probably guessed from the initial photo, this was a railway bridge.  I’ve always said you can never go wrong with a “graceful curvature”  . . . ]

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[And now just to further extol the virtues of this bridge, some night shots from the Google machine . . . ]

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[Now some telephoto shots of “the other side” from the bridge . . . ]

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[And no so telephotoish . . . ]

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[Looking back on the bridge, catching some of the “graceful curvature” . . . ]

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[Where we were on “the other side” . . . ]

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[Self-explanatory below . . . ]

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[Arggghhh, photo bombed by a bicyclist . . . ]

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[The shot I was trying to get . . . ]

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[I had a visit with her coming and going.  I really liked what she was working on – she said it’s been taking months because of the weather.  On our way back, she was packing up because it was getting too windy . . . ]

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[Looking back at the bridge . . . ]

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[We have to come back – heard nice things . . . ]

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[Remember when we were over by the construction crane?]

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[We’re at the theater.  The Super is leery of trying to cross an urban street with all the cars, bikers, and scooterers . . . ]

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[But we made it – this is the “Endless Bridge” appendage to the building . . . ]

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[The original Guthrie lasted from 1963 – 2006 – it moved into this new theater and opened with “The Great Gatsby” on July 15, 2006 . . . ]

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[Playwrite murals abound on the building exterior . . . ]

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[I tried to get them all, but I’m not sure . . . ]

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[Cam performed in “The Seagull” when he was at Century College . . . ]

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[The place is open, so just walk in . . . ]

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[Then up a DC Metro equivalent escalator . . . ]

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[On the next level, the Endless Bridge at the far end . . . ]

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[And now, the views from the Endless Bridge . . . ]

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[The rare triple play:  The Super, the 3rd Avenue Bridge, and the Stone Arch Bridge all in a single shot . . . ]

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[Happy Birthday weekend to me!]

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[And then out the opposite side of the theater.  Yes, that’s Vikings stadium, a place I’ve said I’m not going to enter until our Alexandria Cardinals make the state championship game . . . ]

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[The theater’s namesake is on this side . . . ]

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[I.e., you might hurt the ruins!]

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[The Pillsbury A-Mill is a former flour mill located on the east bank of the Mississippi River.   It held the distinction of being the world’s largest flour mill for 40 years.  Completed in 1881, it was owned by the Pillsbury Company and operated two of the most powerful direct-drive waterwheels ever built, each capable of generating  1,200 horsepower (895 kW).  The mill was named a National Historic Landmark in 1966 and has since been converted into resident artist lofts (Wikipedia).]

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[Where we parked is where Karen works – Cuningham Group, designer of Alexandria Area HIgh School and provider of the window for my selfie . . . ]

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[We lunched right next door . . . ]

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[At the Aster Cafe.  From their website:  The Aster Cafe is located under the trees on the prettiest street in Minneapolis.  Overlooking the mighty Mississippi river and the skyline of the city, the Aster is a candle-lit restaurant-bar with a sweet European patio.  Live music, great brunches, craft beers and cocktails, and a thoughtful wine list add up to City Pages calling us the “best place to go on a first date”.  Under Executive Chef Drew Ledo, our menu is fresh (no deep fryers!) and inventive. We also have lovely spaces for events and weddings, which you can check out by contacting our Event Goddess. So get down here!  . . . ]

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[That evening we went to see Michael John’s group, Mill Street Caravan, at Ambi Wine Bar in Anoka – and since that’s on the way, we drove home to Alex from there . . . ]

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[Never pass up a selfie opportunity . . . ]

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[And here they are . . . ]

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[From their FB page: Band Members: Sophia – Violin/Vocals; Nick – Guitar; Mike -Cello; Kyle – Percussion  Hometown Minneapolis, MN  Mill City Caravan is a group of Minneapolis musicians playing in the traditional stylings of early jazz artists and specializing in cafe music from around the world including tango, swing, blues, and bossa nova.]

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[You can find Ambi right across the street from Johnny Junk & Co. in downtown Anoka.]

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[Love their tip jar . . . ]

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[Place had the look and feel of our Garden Bar, but it’s smaller . . . ]

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[We had a little vino and a nosh . . . ]

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[Nephew Michael . . . ]

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[Sophia, Michael, and I believe one of the other guys are music teachers . . . ]

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[Stolen from the group’s FB page . . . ]

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[And the live video taken at that very evening . . . ]

September 4 – The Birthday

[Our usual Wednesday night fine dining at the AGC, opting for a birthday pizza . . . ]

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[Fries with those cupcakes?]

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[Birthday cupcakes all around . . . ]

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[The natural enemy of the smart phone – cupcake frosting!]

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[And thanks to the Super for . . . ]

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Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese.  ~  Billie Burke

Up Next:  Will I ever get the chance to finish Norway?

2 thoughts on “By Popular Demand *

  1. Wow!!!!! What a fun-packed Birthday, Labor Day and dining in the beautiful backyard at Cam and Karen’s place. Looks like gorgeous weather. Loved seeing the photos and thanks for sharing. Cam really worked hard to get their place looking like paradise outside.

    Like

  2. Moe’s!, Live Music!, and a Rainbow Fist? Oh, my! So glad you had a great birthday. Can’t believe we’ve gone a whole summer without a visit to Uncle Cam and Aunt Karen’s. Maybe we can remedy that soon… Pool is closing soon, I bet. 😉 Miss you all so it was great to “see” everyone!

    Like

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