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The History Center by Ann Treacy
November 26, 2009, 4:34 am
Filed under: St Paul

We were kind of the rerun family this month; we also went to the History Center twice this month. We hadn’t been there is years. Aine was still in God’s pocket last time we were there. But I have to say, the History Center was fun – a ton cooler than I remembered or maybe the kids are just at better ages to enjoy it now. (In other words, maybe we’re cooler now.) I’ll just tell you about our favorite parts…

The tornado room
There’s an exhibit on weather – big shock for Minnesota. But there’s a cool reenactment of the 1965 tornado in Fridley. None of us were around for the 1965 tornado, but we’re all experienced tornado watches so we knew a little bit. But this exhibit gives you a much better sense of having been there. It’s in a space that looks like a basement. You turn on the radio and you start to hear the radio report from the day of the tornado,. You can see the sky changing color out the basement window. You here that it’s coming. The hear and see the hail and then the yellowish quiet before you hear the loud noise like a train going overhead – then you see a tree fall down out the window. It’s pretty scary – in a good way.

Fighter Plane
The next exhibit is cool in a sad way. You climb into an old fighter plane as if you’re a new recruit on the way to Normandy or someplace like that. The exhibit doesn’t have a super high tech feel but you do get the sense that you’re taking off and flying through a little vibrating, the noise and the change in the clouds out the window. They talk through the history of the time by talking to you as If you were a soldier. Talking about how so many of the soldier would have been sick on the plane – too many to all reach the sick bucket. They give some context for why you’re going over in the plane – and then you’re hit and the plane starts to spiral down. Only 3 make it out alive. As I said – it’s sad. Even poor Aine left saying – so we died then, huh? But I feel like if you’re country is in a war that maybe you ought to get what that means no matter how old you are.

It’s part of the Greatest Generation exhibit. We were with Grandma, but she isn’t from the Greater Generation but the others who were there at the same time were a little older. It was kind of interesting to be there with folks who might have remembered some of it. Grandma did remember other parts of the exhibit – in fact I remembered some of the plates and other items because my Grandma Murphy would have had all of it still when I was a kid.

The House
Finally there’s a house replica and the historians have tracked the owners of the home since it was built. It’s from the East Side, which is an areas that we don’t really know – but it’s fun to walk through the rooms and learn about the inhabitants. You see how it went from what seemed like a pretty fancy place to becoming a duplex and what that meant for the new inhabitants. You get a sense as you read the info from the families that the neighborhood was super friendly at one point but that it became less so – maybe because everywhere just became less friendly, maybe as new immigrants moved in from new areas, maybe as the house got older and older and probably fell into needing more repairs.

They have a class at the History Center where you can research the history of your own house. Maybe I’ll do that with the kids when we get back this summer.

The Walker by Ann Treacy
November 26, 2009, 4:28 am
Filed under: Minneapolis

We’ve had two fun visits to The Walker in November. First we went to the Dan Graham show on the first Saturday, which is always a good kid’s day. Sadly we missed the Suicide Commandoes because I went to a conference with the Twin City Media Alliance. The conference was good – but the Suicide Commandoes would have been good too.

Back to what we did do – Dan Graham is very modern art. He uses plastics, perspectives and a video from Minor Threat circa 1983; sadly not filmed in the Twin Cities, but still fun to watch. Actually one work I really liked was installed in a small room; on one walk you could see a video of someone rolling down the hill holding a video camera; on the other wall you could see what was being videotaped.

Despite the fact that it was November in Minnesota, it was also a great day to visit the sculpture garden. So we walked around there too.

A couple of weeks later, Patrick and I went back for the After Hours show – where they gave a sneak preview of the benches and binoculars exhibit. Even Patrick liked the new exhibit, which was really lots of classic Walker pieces all posted in one very tall room. It included the Chuck Close face, which I think is the most classically Walker piece ever. Except of course for the talking dolphin, which they are taking down. That’s the family favorite exhibit. In fact I’ve started a “Dave the Dolphin” Facebook group you can join if you too love the Dolphin. I read where they were talking it down mid-December – but someone at the museum said February.

Anyways the After Hours was a lot of fun – great people watching. We saw a fun band. I tried a new cocktail, which really reminded me that I’m a beer girl.

Halloween, Halloween, Halloween by Ann Treacy
November 1, 2009, 3:20 pm
Filed under: St Paul

Well, we got our use out of our costumes this year. Lily was a flapper, Kate was Dorothy and Aine was Super Girl. We did well by checking out Good Will early – like 6 weeks early. The Good Will is still the best place to find costumes.

We started the festivities by going to the Zoo Boo at Como Zoo. We had never been. It’s a fundraiser for the zoo. You walk around and collect candy. It was fun. I was surprised that they didn’t incorporate the animals more. Not that I thought they should dress up the elephant as a globe or anything but I was hoping to see the animals at rest. Maybe they decided they wouldn’t pay them the overtime. Aine was a good age for the zoo; the other girls were a little old. But we had fun. I nearly forgot the best part – the girls rode the carousel too. That is fun at night.

Collecting candy in Edina. The Saturday before Halloween was beautiful – too beautiful to sit and work all day. I checked out the various outdoor events and we decided to go to the trick or treating at 50th and France. No we’re not from the area. Yes we were interlopers but it was fun. The kids ate free at Tejas, which is a restaurant I like and rarely visit. Kate won a banana bread, because she is the luckiest little thing in the world. We got tons of candy.

Boo Bash on Grand. This one was close to home. We walked from our house to Dixie’s on Grand Avenue and back collecting candy, face painting, tattoos and more. (I’m going to say that’s at least a 3 mile walk.) The girls were able to get a pair of sunglasses or bracelet from Lillian’s. It was a fun but tiring day!

Highland trick or treat – Halloween day we trekked around Highland for more treats. Mostly we had to do some shopping but we figured we were getting so good at it we might as well join the trick or treaters here too. The kids got to eat at the Highland Grill for free – that’s always fun.

Halloween was last night. We are finally and officially finished with trick or treating. Aine got 54 pieces of candy. Kate got 124. Lily spent the night at Chloe’s so she’ll have to check in with her haul later.

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