Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Upcoming Twin Cities Marathon Review Oct. 2

I have seen sub 5 minute milers smiling, winking and cruising down John Ireland Boulevard to victory. I have watched two lovely blond girls laughing and bantering back and forth - debating if they should sprint the final half mile of the marathon (note: they were sub 3 hours). I have watched 11 minute milers sobbing and clutching their thighs, realizing that they would not finish the run. I have even watched as two children begged their father to quit as he stumbled down Summit Avenue bleeding, 3 miles from the finish line. This is the strange reality of the marathon (26.2 miles).
I personally think that the marathon should be an anomaly in a runners career. Running should be more that dogging out long miles at definite health risks.

Minnetonkascenes is going to be on 'the scene' at the TCR, attempting to show a ground level portrayal of the race. This falls into the banner category of "things that interest the author". I am fascinated by this self imposed human drama. My camera and skills at an athletic event are limited, but I will take notes.

Once America's running darling, Joan Benoit Samuelson will be in the 2005 TCM. She is the owner of an Olympic Gold Medal in the Marathon in LA 1984. She must be in her mid 40's today, so it is the Masters title she will probably, but not necessarily, be aiming for. Just seeing Joan Benoit will be a thrill. Her in your face victory in Los Angelos was unprecedented for an American runner. Running past the waterstops in 88degree LA heat she built a lead that the broadcast announcers assured everyone would fade. Only the emotional cheering of 100,000 fans as she entered the stadium threatened her from finishing - Her winning time was 2 hours and 21 minutes.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Monday dawns at the Colonial Square parking lot

This is home base for Minnetonkascenes on workday mornings. It is 6:30 am. Coffee and newspaper in hand(s). I watch as the morning traffic rushes in and out of Bruegger's and Lunds. Eager , or pensive Monday morning workers drive diagonally acrossed marked parking spaces in a last rebellious act before submitting to the demands of the work day. I channel surf, and shuffle pages.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Late September leaves Shorewood

Fall leaves in Shorewood
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The Towers

Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

The Carlson Towers and Madonna

Curt Carlson seemed to have a nautical theme on his mind when he built the dual Carlson Towers. My backlit photo makes the row or "portholes" across the top of the looming structures hard to see. The nautical theme is in keeping with Lake Minnetonka yachtage. These bronze colored duoliths along Interstate 394 are truly the Gateway to Lake Minnetonka, and its often gaudy architecture. - They also recall Madonna's metallic/pointy bras of the 80s. Material Girl and all.


Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.
Carlson Place,
The Gateway to Lake Minnetonka

Monday, September 19, 2005


Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.
A monday morning scene from the inside of my VW.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Reflections in September

Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Twin Cities Marathon - the last long run

Note: Written Sunday Sept.18

Experienced runners know that the time for logging heavy mileage is done. Inexperienced runners think they still have 2 weeks left to train. Realistically this Sunday (the 18th) was the last chance to put in a quality long run, and so around the Minnetonka streets and trails the runners numbers now dwindle. Still a few runners can be seen with headphones, water bottles, and heart rate monitors strapped on like cyborgs on a last mission before the big one. You can watch them taking physical and mental inventory. "Will this strained achilles hold up?", "Should I press the pace today?", "Will my nipples bleed during the race?", ....or the most ubiquitous: "What the blank am I doing this for?"

I took some photos of these runners, but frankly I did not feel fair posting them. One runner I talked with was walking/running as a last ditch effort to get prepared. I withold his photo, but I will not be so kind during my "Agony and ecstasy" photo shoot at the T.C. Marathon.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Early Fall comes to the neighboring trail.

The sumac and maples are beginning to turn colors. Longer shadows and cooler mornings ... I decided to go for a walk and test my recovery from a cold. It was early and there were only a few walkers and bicyclists about. this trail runs from Hopkins to Victoria on the west side of the Lake. It is a pretty trail built upon the railroad bed that many older Twin Cities residents will remember from the time they took the train to the Excelsior Amusement Park (now defunct).

The Old Vinehill Bridge over the trail

A pond along the trail

A Pond along the trail
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

A bicycle and walking trail

A Bicycle trail
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Two artists obscured

The show opened last night, and I will admit that a Friday night opening didn't even appeal to me. Eric's prolific conceptual work can confuse a viewer, and it's politically charged rhetoric (he is an artist that is quite willing to add written information to his work) can alientate many. In Lowertown St. Paul, as in most artist gathering spots, leftist ideology is fairly standard stuff. Still his work is very interesting, if only for the mystifying motivation that drives one to create so much artistic pedantry. OK, let me refrase: The motivation to create work that lectures and obscures simultaneously. By the way, a warning; it earns a strong R rating.
My work is tame by comparison. Pictorial. Formalism with some hints at whackosim.

Monday morning note; Public outcry has caused Eric to edit some of his depiction of male genitalia illustrations. This is intellectual castration at its most literal. I must note, however, that the show that was up just last week was a "Christian Theme Art" show. I say this to note that this disparate mix of subject matter might catch an unnaware visitor off guard to say the least.

Obscure artist

Obscure artists
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Eric Lunde in a box

Obscure artists
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.
One more cup of coffee and I am on my way.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Ravellos In Long Lake - Restaurant to the Stars

We met Dan and Jennifer at Ravello's on Saturday night. Dan worked with my wife and aside from a being a successful lawyer, he is an avid fitness proponent - and cook. This was our first meeting - he was a fellow employee of Shelly (my wife) but now is off on another career endeavor.
As we discussed distance running, weigh control and sundried tomatoes, our host (photo follows) interjected that Ravellos has a clientelle of stars like Kevin Garnett, Vikings players, and now the the Rolling Stones. He said he was preparing a special order of mushroom raviolli for the 'Strolling Bones' when they perform in the Twin Cities (Sorry folks, I just couldn't resist the hackneyed use of "strolling" in a sentence about the Stones).
Ravello's owner/host was congenial, the service excellent. I found the food to be trendy, yet somewhat unremarkable. Not bad by any standards- my quail with orange glaze served on a bed of savory basamatti rice (I am not sure of the spelling) was sweet and flavorful. Yet I did not hear the oohs and ahs I expected. My wife's pasta with asapargus, sundried tomatoes and mushrooms was quite plain. Dan and Jennefers entrees also lacked personality. I must say that it is possible that the chef knows the local clientelle and their palettes better than I do. If you want to have a very warm dining experience, this is a great place. Note: I will return.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Ravello restaurant

Ravello restaurant
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Ravello restaurant

Ravello restaurant
Originally uploaded by minnetonkafelix.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Vanity Plates around town

OK, they're not boat names, but they are fun. Heading into the Fall I have noticed some interesting vanity plates and I will feature them, when I can capture them safely. "Mother Esq." in a mini-van was too fast for me. "Team #1" is one I will capture digitally (obviously they can't be Vikings fans).

Vanity Plates - Minnetonka style