Uptown Adventures

Yesterday was a really good day. 

I left work a little early, made it home by 4:15pm and I dove right into chores.  I spent about an hour and a half washing dishes (the correct response to the fact that I had to spend an hour and a half cleaning dishes for a two-person family is “ewwwww”), I did three loads of laundry and I picked up the living room.   After all of that I had earned myself a guilt-free evening.  I could sit staring at the wall for the next three hours and be fine with it because I had Done The Housework. 

But I didn’t sit and stare at the wall for three hours.

According the the forecast on MPR, the temperature is supposed to be taking a nosedive any day now.  So when the Hubby got home at 6:30pm, we decided to take advantage of the currently perfect 70°C weather with a walk to Uptown for dinner.

Along the way from our place in LynLake we passed a new theater under construction.  Huge Theater is going to be all improv shows and workshops.  I’ve seen a couple of their Show X performances at the Bryant Lake Bowl theater, and those were always fun.  It’s cool that they’re getting their own space.  When I was doing community theater, finding performance space was always a big topic of conversation.  

Later on our walk we passed by a retail space turned art gallery.  Through the all-glass window front we saw a hoity-toity art show in progress: Lots of open space, bright lights, abstract paint swirls on canvas, and lots of people milling about wearing natural fiber clothing and balancing glasses of red or white wine in their palms.

We decided to eat on the rooftop of Stella’s Fish Cafe.  Yummy – I had cornmeal-crusted catfish and the Hubby had fish and chips.  We managed to resist the calamari and crab-stuffed mushrooms because we know from experience that the portions at Stella’s are gigantic.  Sure enough, we still had leftovers from our entrees, even without the appetizers.  During dinner we had lively debates about religion, the tax-free status of churches and charities and whether charities should be allowed to endorse political candidates, and elder bugs.  Also there were fart jokes. 

From the rooftop, the Hubby saw a motorcycle in the parking lot of Cowboy Slim’s that appeared to be glowing.  After dinner we took a stroll over and found three HUGE Boss Hoss motorcycles.  One of them had neon lights flickering on the dash and the  in-laid lighting on the gas tank that the Hubby had spotted from Stella’s.  This beast had a 632 cubic inch engine; the water-cooled radiator was bigger than my torso.

We didn’t get a photograph of the Boss Hosses that we saw last night, but this photo gives you an idea of how freaking huge these bikes were.  Lookit that engine!

On the meander home we stopped at a store on Lake Street called Monkey Business.  The place screamed new, small-business, what with the limited furnishings, the mix-and-matched store fixtures – and probably most telling- the only store clerk was also the owner of the shop.  The place had rockabilly-style clothing, body jewelry, a wall of goth baby jumpers and other novelties (goth oven mitts, lol!), and another wall of neon-striped knee socks and funky tights.  There is a back-room consisting of smoking supplies and sex toys, but for patrons who don’t want to see these products the back room is clearly marked “18 and up” and is curtained off from the rest of the store.  We chatted with the owner for a bit, and she was friendly and engaging…especially so close to closing time!  We wished her luck with the store and continued on our way (after I pointed out a few earrings to the Hubby with a reminder that Christmas is a mere three months away). 

After that we walked by Bryant Lake Bowl and heard the quote of the night: “Remember when we were in Thailand and you got that tattoo?” 

And we had almost made it home when we were drawn into the brand new Lake Wine and Cheese.  There were people at the register, so we decided to go in and explore.  A few feet into the entryway, one of the owners hurried over and told us that they weren’t actually open yet – their grand opening is today!  But then the owner told us we could look around, and he could open the register for a credit card sale if we wanted to buy anything, which I thought was very nice of him.  There were still boxes everywhere, and most of the products hadn’t yet been labeled with prices, but the place looks nice.  They have a browsing-friendly store layout and the ceiling is high, which gives the store a very open feel.  There is a separate glassed-off room where they sell fancy cheeses (stupid no liquor sales in grocery stores law!).  And they have the best liquor store chandeliers ever. 

We’re going back for the grand opening tonight – Lake Wine and Cheese is right down the street from our apartment and according to the owner they’re having INCREDIBLE grand opening sales this evening. 

We finally made it home, and were happy to discover that it was still only 9:30pm.  That means I cleaned the house, went wandering around Uptown and LynLake, had dinner AND I was able to watch two episodes of House before bedtime.  Score!

Uptown Adventures

Nightlife and An Atheist in Perugia

The Hubby and I went out about Perugia this evening.  We left the apartment at 10:30pm and headed to a couple of bars that we had discovered earlier in the day.  We stopped at La Terrazza,  a quiet, snazzy, classy place with what I can only describe as “experimental” music playing over the speakers.

At La Terrezza bar

Then we headed to an Irish tavern named Shamrock’s Pub, where we met a bunch of English-speaking students from the Foreigner’s University.  Next we stopped and sat on the steps of the Piazza Quattro Novembre (THE fountain in Perugia) with all of the rest of Perugia’s nightlife – the steps of Cathedrale S. Lorenzo were packed with people drinking birre, smoking, laughing and generally having a great time.

At the Piazza Quattro Novembre

And then we strolled up the busy touristy street of Corso Vennucci, where the Hubby bought some gelato.  On the way back we ran into a guy who was standing with a small group of people  and wearing a shirt that said Kill Your Idols with a picture of Jesus Christ wearing the thorns and gazing upward.  I approached him with my phrasebook in hand and asked “Mi scuzi, ateo?”, which means “Excuse me, atheist?”, although with my broken Italian (did I say broken?  I meant non-existent), who knows what I really asked him.  He and a girl standing next to him looked a little worried, but I grinned and pointed to myself and said “Atheist!  I’m an atheist – ateo americana!  I didn’t expect to see too many out atheists in Italy.”  He grinned, and his friend grinned.  He said in heavily accented English, “You like my shirt?  It’s a very important message.”  To which I replied, “Yes, yes, I like it very much – may I take a picture with you?”  And there we go.

And now off to bed at the wee hour of 2:00am local time – 7pm Minneapolis time 🙂

Nightlife and An Atheist in Perugia