As Old Man Winter continues to send us bitter subzero temperatures (it’s -2 degrees today with a wind chill of -11), it more important to make sure our winter wardrobe contains the proper items to keep us warm – both physically and mentally. When it comes to that mental, and emotional, warmth, nothing beats the Rep Your Stripe bow tie from Mill City Fineries.
Made from 100% jacket-weight wool that was hand-picked in new York, this beautiful deep gray tie with red stripes is the perfect confidence boost you need to get through the cold. The style and colors are classic, making it the perfect accessory for many of your winter outfits, and the texture of the Repp Your Stripe bow tie’s high quality wool gives you that certain edge, whether you’re heading to a wedding or a night out on the town with friends.
I also love that this tie is made locally, and Mill City Fineries is one of my favorite bow tie manufacturers. Their fabrics are amazing, and the look of their ties is first rate. The Repp Your Stripe bow tie is fast becoming a favorite of mine, as it’s such a versatile bow tie and goes with so many looks. Many of Mill City Fineries’ bow ties sell out quickly so I would recommend that you grab the Repp Your Stripe bow tie while you can. As winter lingers on, you’ll be glad you did.
When I moved to Minneapolis thirteen and a half years ago, one of the first things I heard about were Jucy Lucys. More so, I heard about the great debate as to who invented them. Was it Matt’s Bar or was it the 5 8 Club (both located on S Cedar Ave.)?
There is almost always a line at Matt's Bar, but it's worth the wait.
Let me begin by saying that a Jucy Lucy is a cheeseburger like none other. The cheese (American cheese only) is in the core of the burger surrounded by the meat, and as the burger is fried this cheese becomes molten hot. I admit that I’ve only had them at Matt’s in all of these years I’ve been here, but that is probably because I found them to be so wonderful and they are definitely a favorite of mine. I also need to do a shout for the fries at Matt’s as they are amazing as well!
Over the past sixty years many other establishments have, and still do, offer variations of the Jucy. Many offer an assortment of cheeses to choose from, as well as spices to season the burgers with. Again the burgers at Matt’s and the 5 8 Club are plain burgers and only come with American cheese inside.
While a number of people are quick to point out how bland the burgers are at Matt’s and the 5 8 Club, and will tell you they prefer the variety of Jucys available at the other establishments, I think they miss the point of the Jucy Lucy. Both Matt’s and the 5 8 Club began in the 1950’s and have retained that feel and attitude. The Jucy Lucy was birthed in this era. A time before gourmet became the “in” thing, and a time when just a basic burger was offered on most menus.
The amazing ambiance of a Jucy Lucy, if a burger can have an ambiance, is that it is an old-school “dive” burger from and old-school “dive” establishment, without any of the fancy, upscale frills. It’s just a plain, traditional burger, unchanged for roughly sixty years, and legendary in its deliciousness.
The debate between the S. Cedar Ave. establishments
will continue for years to come.
There may be a slight edge in the debate, given that when President Obama came to Minneapolis last June to meet with Rebekah Erler, they dined on Jucy Lucys and fries at Matt’s Bar. Edge or not, the “competition” will go on, and the Great Jucy Lucy Debate will continue for many years foreward.
***Do you prefer Jucy Lucys from Matt’s Bar or the 5 8 Club?
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to attend a performance of “Pippin” at the Orpheum Theater during its closing weekend. I first became familiar with Pippin when I was in Junior High School and the show had only been around for a couple of years. I saw the cast perform on the Tony Awards, and somewhere had heard the cast album, and instantly fell in love with the music. Later I bought my own copy of the album and played it non-stop, committing all of the songs to memory.
The beautifully ornate lobby . . .
. . . Led into the theater which was crown by this gorgeous chandelier.
I was already familiar with cast members, Ben Vereen who played the narrator, and Irene Ryan (of Beverly Hillbillies fame) who played Pippin’s grandmother – her soog “Time to Take Time” is still my favorite from the show. I was also familiar with John Rubinstein who play Pippin, and would go on to star in the television series “Family” which I watched faithfully. And finally, I loved Jill Clayburgh, who later starred in films like “An Unmarried Woman” and “Bridesmaids” which came out the year after she died. Yes I knew the cast and loved the music, but sadly had never seen the show performed live.
In 2013 there was a Broadway revival of the show that is now touring the country, and last week it was here in Minneapolis. As a special treat to myself, I went to the show, and was able to see it performed live for the very first time. I loved it!
The Orpheum is a great theater to see shows in. It originally opened in 1921 as the Hennepin Theater, and as is the case with many such theaters, time took its toll. The theater underwent an extensive renovation and reopened in 1993, and is now part of the Hennepin Theater Trust which also maintains three other restored theaters on Hennepin Avenue.
To say I was pleased with the performance would be an understatement. The cast was amazing, the acrobatics and aerial performances were breathtaking, and the subtle magic tricks were mesmerizing – I’m still not sure how Fastrada got into that red dress so fast.
The only thing I was disappointed in was that they had changed the lyrics to the song “War is a Science,” but that was minor compared to how wonderful the show was. Needless to say, it was an amazing evening for me.
What I wore to the theater: Blue Shirt: Jos. A. Banks Tan Sweater vest: Polo Ralph Lauren Bow Tie: The Bow Tie Shoppe Navy Pants: Izod Shoes: Allen Edmonds Shelton Socks: Vannucci Phone Case: J. Crew
Even though we are starting to turn our fashion
sights to updating our spring wardrobes, the truth of the matter is that it is
still winter, and we still need to dress accordingly.Here in Minneapolis our stretch of subzero
wind chills continues, which means we have to bundle up in multiple
layers before heading outside.One of
those foundational layers is the much needed sweater.
Knowing how much I love L.L. Bean products, my
friend Connie bought me their lamb’s wool crewneck sweater, in a beautiful shade
of burgundy, for Christmas. Needless to
say I love this sweater.Not only is it
soft and warm, it fits perfectly, and can be can be dressed up, while still allowing you to feel
comfortable and unrestricted.Likewise,
this sweater can also be dressed down with a pair of khakis and will still give you that winning
edge.Either way you are assured of
As you have probably guessed, L.L. Bean clothing
makes up a huge part of my winter wardrobe.Their products, for the most part, have maintained their quality over
the years, but as with everything nowadays, you do need to pay attention to what
you’re buying.I can truthfully say
though, that L.L. Bean is still one of my “go-to” stores, and their lamb’s wool
crewneck sweater is just one more reason I will continue to shop there. ***Are you an L.L. Bean fan as well?
One of China's oldest festivals, the New Year celebrates both the beginning of a new calendar year as well as the beginning of a new agricultural year, and is a time for families to come together to take part in festivities believed to bring good luck throughout the next twelve months.
HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!
***Are you doing anything to celebrate the Chinese New Year?
For many people throughout the world, today begins the forty-day period known as Lent. For Christians, Lent is a time to ready themselves for the joy that comes at Easter, and today, that preparatory journey begins.
***Are there any ritual that you do prior to Easter?
"There is nothing better for mortals than to eat and drink and find enjoyment, for these are the hand of God. Come, therefore, let us enjoy the good things that exist, and make use of the creation to the full as in youth. Let us take our fill of costly wine and perfumes, and let no flower of spring pass by us. Let us crown ourselves with rosebuds before they wither. Let none of us fail in our revelry, because this is our portion, and this our lot."
Eccclesiastes 2:24, Wisdom 2:6-9
Tonight we make the transition from the revelry of Mardi Gras to the more solemn time of Lent.
Minneapolis is fortunate to have one of the premier sculpture gardens in the country. Located on eleven acres of land just north of the Walker Art Center, this beautiful garden houses one of the finest collections of sculptures in the world. My favorite from this collection is George kolbe’s beautiful bronze, Junge Frau (Young Woman).
Created in 1926, this sculpture represents a high point in his style as a mature artist. Kolbe began sculpting at the beginning of the twentieth century and this piece, inspired by the great gardens of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, brought the traditions of neoclassicism to the sculptures of his day.
Sometimes referred to as an idealized, modern nymph, Junge Frau truly represents Kolbe’s work at its finest. Many of his sculptures after this were banned during the Nazi era, and although he continued to work, his pieces became more inline with the rigid, heroic style that was acceptable at that time. His work never again reflected the fluid beauty of Junge Frau, making the inclusion of this piece in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden's permanent collection even more spectacular.
***Have you had the opportunity to visit a sculpture garden?