Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tuesday, Tuesday in St. Paul

Tuesday was more productive.  I began the day with a bracing run, "bracing" being code for cold with a light sprinkle designed to chill that soon morphs into a driving rain.  I decided to treat this as a high adventure spectated by fellow rueful runners and the errant homeless who surely wondered at the fact that society views them as crazy.

Later that morning I embarked on a 3 1/2-hour walk that began with the Cathedral of St. Paul.

Magnificent.  Breath-taking.  A welcome sanctuary when you could do with a break from the hubbub of the city.

This is just one little piece of one wall.  It's not even one of the focal points of the cathedral; I just like beautiful stained glass.

I noted that there were free tours every afternoon, and determined I would return on a different day.  This means you will be subjected to far more photos and adjectives of the cathedral in a couple days.

After I wrestled my way out of the giant church (huge, heavy wooden doors vs me), I finally finally found my first bookstore.  It was charming and twisty and in the basement of a building that houses a cafe that sent down a steady stream of bewitching scents that has to be torturous for those working in the bookstore.  If I were running the place, I'd offer free books to anyone willing to bring me a treat from above any time they wandered down the stairs.  I'd also have to change the name of the shop from "Subtext" to "Lair of the 700-lb Broke Woman."  I'd get a AAA Diamond Rating in no time.

Next I hoofed it, and hoofed it, and hoofed some more, trying to reach Garrison Keillor's bookstore Common Goods.  On the way I stumbled upon an absolutely delightful bookstore by the name of Sixth Chamber Used Books.  It was stuffed to the ceiling with- spoiler alert- books, plus book-scented candles and t-shirts for an upcoming event titled Potterfest.  On a related note, I am moving to St. Paul for the sole purpose of attending this extravaganza.  Our children will understand.

After buying one lonely book (my restraint will go down through the ages) from the friendly and extremely knowledgeable staff (I may or may not enjoy subtly quizzing bookstore employees to see if they are worthy of their calling), I looked at the map and decided Keillor's bookstore just wasn't going to happen.  Woe!  My life is so hard!

That evening Derek and I dined at Cosetta's (thanks for the rec, Cheryl!), but whilst we were venturing back to our hotel, Derek noticed a steady stream of people heading toward a large performance hall- and not just any people; old people.  He insisted on investigating, because Derek knows that where there are large amounts of older people, there is often music or theater that young people are too stupid to appreciate.  My spousal bloodhound was rewarded when we discovered that the operatic baritone Nathan Gunn would be performing, accompanied by his likewise impressively accomplished wife, pianist Julie Jordan Gunn.  It was a lovely cap to a lovely day.  (Except for that lady two rows in front of us who spent the first 15 minutes of the second half flipping through photos on her iPhone.  It was incredibly distracting, and believe me, she was old enough to know better.  I promise, lady, 9 out of 10 doctors state that it is possible to go an hour and a half without looking at your phone with little to no side effects, aside from engaging in the world around you and not making your companions hate you.  YOU CAN DO IT.  I BELIEVE IN YOU.)

Don't worry, I didn't forget about the sassy sign- I mean, really, what's not to like about a city whose No Parking signs look like this:

Tomorrow:  Books and Getting Lost Again and a Hotel Room Tour, Oh My!

1 comment:

  1. I am looking forward to more photos of the cathedral.

    Book-scented candles!

    It is hilarious and also a sign of your excellent tourist skills that you found a great concert by following a trail of old people.

    That parking sign is truly awesome. I must ask, though: What is a "Degree of Honor Building"?

    I also want to know if you saw any Norwegian bachelor farmers.


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