Dog days

These are very much the dog days of summer. Drought. Parched lawns. Drooping shrubs. Crispy corn fields. Dust. I got up this morning and took a bike ride just to enjoy the day before it gets hot.

The trip to the Cities was enough stimulation to last several weeks. Sirens. Yelling on the street, which I always assume means conflict, even when it is just people of different training having fun.

Friday evening, Lance and I met cousin Laine at Burch Steakhouse and Pizza Bar and feasted on appetizers for our entire meal. Bone marrow dumplings was one highlight. It all was fantastic. Foodie stuff. "Let's try this!" was our motto. Afterwards, we walked around the Mount Curve neighborhood where we looked up the prices of the homes which were for sale. Out of range! On one street a developer put about $8 million (we talked to a woman who lives there) towards building three homes in the same 1890s style as the others. They have been on the market for five years. Empty. We looked in the windows. The lights were on, there were fresh flowers, the one house was fully furnished. Staging for window shoppers, apparently. 

Thursday, Lance had a product photo shoot at a studio in Roseville. It was for a friend in Grand Forks who is starting a line of leather goods made from leather thrown away by the big companies due to flaws--such as a brand from the ranch, for example. Or tick bites. But the result is utterly intriguing: Handbags, satchels, wallets, etc., which are utterly unique. 

After the photo shoot, we went out to the Lyndale Tap House. The mascot wasn't there. I had smoked haddock soup, which needed salt, but with salt was very good. 

Friday morning, I met a fellow Bush Fellow at the very excellent French Meadow Cafe. It has been a while since I have trapsed around south Minneapolis sampling restaurants. I found out some inside scoop: The cafe was started with a $100,000 SBA loan that the new owner paid off in six months. 

Earlier, the Bush Foundation put us up in the very gracious and grandly restored St. Paul Hotel. It is really, really a great place to stay. Especially when somebody else is footing the bill.