Land of 10,000 Pages: MSP Reading Time- “State Fair: The Great Minnesota Get Together”

Hey, new name for an old segment! In conjunction with my BookLikes book blog, Reading Rainstorm, I’ll continue to host some Minnesota themed book discussion here under the name Land of 10,000 Pages. Plenty of time to read books in the winter, so here is a taste of the summer!

Last year, I recall sharing a list from the City Pages, Maggie LaMaack’s 50 Things to Do in Before You Die; a year later, I have not yet had the chance to attempt some of the tops of my list. WIth closer proximity, I’m hoping to do something about that this year, once the weather gets warmer. Among the entries was “try something on a stick at the Great Minnesota Get Together.” It has probably been a good ten years since I’ve ventured into the odd little rural campus in the middle of the Midway-Hamline neighborhood and looked around, despite going through that area all the time.

The last week, I found myself packing up books gleaned from many library book sales (see here), deliberating on whether I should hold on to them or pass the along at the next one, or even try to milk a few bucks out of Half Price Books. The temperature in my apartment has been a bit less than temperate in recent weeks and, as I bundled up with an extra sweater and hoodie, rubbing my numb hands together to return the feeling to them, I paused to flip through a book to be weeded; State Fair: The Great Minnesota Get Together, a coffee table book by photographer Susan Miller. A withdrawn library book I’d picked up at a booksale a few years ago, it’d been sitting on my shelf picking up dust before I picked it up and read through in the dead of the Minnesota winter.

The vibrant photos of all of those Minnesota State Fair standards; farm animals, unhealthy food on sticks, all you can drink milk (a childhood favorite), carnival rides, crowds. A quick, easy read, it really did bring a bit of the feeling of late summer into my freezing apartment and did a good job capturing the essence of the fair. It’s good to get a little taste of summer as the wind chills dip into the double digits below zero one again and we can transport ourselves to a warmer season.

In spite of a few stories collected from fair goers by Lorna Landvik in the forward, the photos are included with minimal explanation or description, with some juxtaposing images such as “favorite fare” (corn on the cob) and “fair favorite” (the Fair’s “Space Tower). These are fun, but on the other hand don’t offer much insight. Still, I enjoyed it, and it sparked my desire to, once late August rolls around, return to see how things have changed. now that I am clearing off my shelves, it will be available once again to hang out on yours!

2015 in MSP Adventure Time: Stuff’s Happening

2014 summer 127

Onward towards the future?

Isn’t it strange how fast things can change? Like many, I find I am not too sad to see the end of 2014. So far, 2015 is promising to be a pretty exciting year for both MSP-Adventure Time, and myself. The last couple weeks after the New Years and the stress of the Holiday Season has been, as is often the case, a little bit like being trapped in a limbo; frozen between the past and the future. Of course, the prototypical winter freeze of the last few weeks has added to this effect, with subzero wind chills and punishing chill keeping everyone huddled inside. Stuck inside, peering through frosty windows at the frozen air, puts me in a reflective mood.

2014 was an eventful inaugural year for this blog, all told, and I did not manage to report everything on this blog. I learned about the odd and interesting experiment of Prohibition, took an elevator on the surface of a frozen lake, got 3-d scanned, explored the haunted basement, and drank lots of tea and beer. I kept up some time honored personal traditions, such as the Fringe and the Como Park Lantern Lighting Festival, and experienced some things, such as Music Under Glass and the Moth Story Hour’s Twin Cities venue. Though I did not blog about it, I took a few trips on the newly opened Green Line between St. Paul and Minneapolis. As a person who, until this point, has lived sans automobile, the development of public transportation options is always something I pay close attention to. I expect I’ll be using it quite a bit more this year.

Yes, as I mentioned last June, my blog was a bit of a long distance relationship, as I lived a fair distance away from the metro, venturing back as much as I could to visit friends and family (probably too much) and then drag them into these things. It is not like I was living actually far away, of course. I did manage to find myself back in “the Cities.” Now, I am looking forward with eagerness to a brand new year, experiencing new things and continuing to explore.

As the year dawned, I took the opportunity to change jobs and return to “the Cities” next month. I’m excited to live this new, challenging life in the public library! I will, no doubt, expand upon this as the year proceeds. I’ve already managed to score a nice place right off of Loring Park; a good hub of transportation to access the metro area. It is with some bittersweet sadness that I leave my comfy place in southern Minnesota and the library I’ve worked at these two years and start off to work in a vibrant new environment, but I have a feeling that there will be no shortage of adventure in 2015. During the interim of these frigid, bleak weeks in midwinter while I’m scrambling to get things squared away in my old life, I’ll be dropping a few lists of some of my favorite places around the cities. Still, I am eager to see what the next year will bring! I think this calls for celebration!