A Line or Two: Five from my top-ten list
For our Buzz section last week, my colleague Anna Pratt found an item
on the USA Today web site in which local writer Amanda Fretheim Gates offered her Top Ten list of reasons to visit the Twin Cities. It's a fine list--the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
is on there, and First Avenue
, and the Chain of Lakes, and the Jucy Lucy hamburger, and plenty more.
It inspired me to come up with my own list of lovable, visitable, enjoyable things that are less well known, or at least less often listed. It reflects, I will admit, my background in Asian studies and my love of the obscure, and it may prompt a "huh?" or two. But Twin Citians of any stripe can, I think, be proud of each and every entry. Here are my first five; the rest next week.
1) Kats D Fukasawa:
the Japanese-born dancer and choreographer
[photo] is our own representative--and a fine one--of the profound, highly theatrical modern Japanese dance style called butoh
. He's got a major evening
of solo dance coming up on February 24-25, summing up seven years of work, and it's free.
2) Present Moment Books and Herbs:
When I was in West Hollywood a couple of years ago I did a little metaphysical-spiritual-bookstore comparison shopping. Result: the legendary Bodhi Tree Books (now, sadly, defunct) was no better than our own emporium of esoterica—jammed with books on themes ranging from Wicca to Tibetan Buddhism to astral-body travel--at 3546 Grand Avenue South in Minneapolis. And it's still in business despite online competition, supported, I suspect, by its herb sales.
3) Keefer Court
: Do you love Chinese pork buns as much as I do? Head to this venerable West Bank bakery/café
. You won't find better ones in any Chinatown.
4) House of Balls:
It's the studio of sculptor Allen Christian,
who has been a Warehouse District presence since the days when artists outnumbered intoxicated college students in the neighborhood. He carves bowling balls into faces, which would be cool enough. But he also transforms a lot of other everyday things into wacky-elegant objects of art that make you smile while expanding your sense of reality.
5) Martin Patrick 3
: I'm amazed that this wholly original, fascinatingly eclectic men's-"furnishings" store
doesn't get more press. I stumbled into it while waiting to meet friends for dinner at The Bachelor Farmer
a few months ago and was immediately won over by its blend of the quirky and the urbane. It's not just the vintage cufflinks and the herringbone shooting jackets. It's the Malin & Goetz tobacco-scented candles and the ceramic condom caddies.