A Subway Series

I’ve seen the Yankees play the Mets before, but it didn’t count.  The Mayor’s Trophy game was an exhibition game where the results had no play in the standings and a home run was not counted toward a player’s total.  Sometimes players didn’t put out because of fear of injuries that would affect the “real” season.  With only 14 games left in the season Sunday’s … Continue reading A Subway Series

Home of Phoebe Snow

The Beaux Arts Lackawanna railway station in Hoboken, New Jersey went up in 1907, built at the site of an old ferry landing.  It was designed as an intermodal transportation hub serving trains, ferries, and street cars.  Today there are no street cars but you can add light rail, the PATH Tube (a subway rapid transit system between New York and New Jersey) and busses. … Continue reading Home of Phoebe Snow

You Have Built It, But Will They Come? St. Paul Union Depot

When I was in college I became familiar with St. Paul’s Union Depot.  I took Great Northern’s Western Star for spring break skiing in Whitefish, Montana.  The Star was Great Northern’s ‘ “second train.”  I couldn’t afford the flagship Empire Builder.  On shorter holidays, like Thanksgiving, Suzi’s family hosted several of her college friends who lived far away from Minnesota, including me, for Thanksgiving.  We … Continue reading You Have Built It, But Will They Come? St. Paul Union Depot

“Wait ’till next year!” The end of the season at Citi Field

It’s the post season, the end of summer.  A couple of weeks ago Suzi and I went to a Mets game during the last weekend of the regular season.  We arrived on the 7 train from Grand Central Station after spending some time in the City.  We would be going home on the Long Island Railroad to Penn Station where we would catch the Path … Continue reading “Wait ’till next year!” The end of the season at Citi Field

Keansburg, A Living Museum “Down the Shore”… But Not Too Far.

When I was a kid I loved to go “Down the Shore.”  Well, when I was really young, not too far down– as far as Keansburg, New Jersey to be exact.  You have probably seen Keansburg.  When movie makers need a rundown kind of seedy Jersey Shore location they pick Keansburg.  One of James Gandolfini’s last movies “Down the Shore” was filmed, in part, there.  … Continue reading Keansburg, A Living Museum “Down the Shore”… But Not Too Far.

New York’s Deco Towers

Growing up we could see the New York Skyline from the back window of both my grandparents’ flat and from our flat, although the best view was from Grandma’s kitchen fire escape.  The Empire State and Chrysler buildings dominated the skyline.  When I moved to Ridgewood the favorite spot for “parking” was on a ridge overlooking the skyline.  Again, those two buildings were the focus … Continue reading New York’s Deco Towers

New York’s World Trade Center in transition.

It looks like a giant Klingon Bird of Prey has landed in the middle of the World Trade Center.  It’s the skeleton of a new railway station, designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, who says the design is that of a bird being released from a child’s hand.  Now, under construction, with welders sparks flying, it looks ominous, but I can see how, minus … Continue reading New York’s World Trade Center in transition.

On Broadway! (And Off Broadway)

On our recent trip to New York, working our way toward midtown we find half of Broadway has become a partial pedestrian mall from Herald Square to Times Square.   Broadway becomes one way southbound,  the old northbound lanes are a pedestrian zone with tables, chairs, food booths and sculpture.  Times Square itself a cleaned up, walking zone lined with theaters running stage version of Walt … Continue reading On Broadway! (And Off Broadway)

St. Paul’s Chapel, New York

St. Paul’s Chapel is one building near the site of the twin towers which was unharmed by the attack but, somehow, utterly transformed.  When, as a kid, I made my annual trip to Manhattan, we would always stop at St. Paul’s.  It is an 18th century Georgian chapel and is the oldest public building in continuous use in New York City.  When my grandfather took … Continue reading St. Paul’s Chapel, New York

Irish Hunger Memorial, Battery Place, New York

Whenever I visit the city I find something new and striking. This trip I thought it would be the 9/11 memorial, but it wasn’t– it was Brian Tolle’s Irish Hunger Memorial near The Battery.  It transports a stone cottage from Co. Mayo and integrates it with a modern building that has illuminated strips with quotes about hunger, drawing our attention not only to the Irish … Continue reading Irish Hunger Memorial, Battery Place, New York

Winnipeg Folk Festival 2014

When we first started going to the Winnipeg Folk Festival it was a way to get away from everything and spend several days in Birds’ Hill Provincial Park 40 KM north of the city.  There were no phones. Even when I started carrying laptops and mobile phones the Winnipeg Folk Festival remained a black hole for communications, for a while.  I liked it that way.  … Continue reading Winnipeg Folk Festival 2014

St. Croix River Soo Line High Bridge

I love the iron and steel constructs built between the American Civil War and the First World War. Many were built by the railroads, the wonder train sheds of Europe. But the US has its share of railway architecture. The St. Croix River Soo Line High Bridge is a magical construct of steel latticework. I never tire of taking a boat down to the bridge … Continue reading St. Croix River Soo Line High Bridge

A Professor, An Art Barn and A Lifetime of Enjoyment

Liberal Arts educations are often derided in the popular press today.  Today the reason for a college education seems to be to find a job not to find a life or a vocation.  I’ve never regretted the broad liberal arts education I got at St. Olaf College.  Sure, it gave me skills to function in the workplace but more than that it gave me insight … Continue reading A Professor, An Art Barn and A Lifetime of Enjoyment

Target Field, July 4th weekend and Tanaka Pitches, what could be better?

A great way to spend part of the July 4th weekend is at a ball game.  For the second year we enjoyed watching the Twins loose to the Yankees at Target Field.  Our tickets were tagged “Skyline View” because we could see the Minneapolis Skyline probably better than the action on the field.  But it was a great day, nice crowd, a lot of fun … Continue reading Target Field, July 4th weekend and Tanaka Pitches, what could be better?

After 238 Years, Jefferson Still Lives

238 years ago in Philadelphia John Adams moved a resolution written by Thomas Jefferson.  It read, in part: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their … Continue reading After 238 Years, Jefferson Still Lives

Breakfast in a Yukon Roadhouse on the Alaska Highway

Driving south on the Alaska Highway we stayed in a Yukon roadhouse on Destruction Bay that looks Northeast across the frozen Kluane Lake.  We breakfasted with a collection of travelers while we waited for it to get light.  One was a guy from Kenai who drives a big rig up the Dalton Highway to the North Slope, the type of guy featured on “Ice Road … Continue reading Breakfast in a Yukon Roadhouse on the Alaska Highway

Christmas on the Street of Dreams

St. Paul Minnesota’s Summit Avenue runs from St. Paul Cathedral, towering above downtown St. Paul for about five miles, to St. Paul Seminary on the Mississippi River.   Along the street you can visit The College of St. Thomas, Macalester College, the William Mitchell College of Law and a few tony private schools.  There are lots of churches.  Although the Catholics control the anchors of Summit … Continue reading Christmas on the Street of Dreams