Monthly Archives: June 2012



Today was my first visit to The Raptor Center in St. Paul. Established in 1974 as part of the Univ. of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine, the center rehabilitates more than 700 sick and injured raptors each year. I learned about all sorts of raptors: hawks, falcons and kestrels, eagles, owls and osprey, as well as the turkey vulture. Raptors are characterized by a hooked beak, strong feet with sharp talons, keen eyesight, and a carnivorous diet.

Did you know the peregrine falcon can reach speeds of 200mph? That the bald eagle has 7,000 feathers? How about that the Northern Saw-whet owl is one of the smallest owls, standing at 7 inches tall? Or that if humans’ eyes were proportionately equivalent to owls’ huge eyes and their skull, we’d have eyes the size of tennis balls?

Today’s photo is of a juvenile bald eagle. They don’t get their characteristic white color markings until 4-5 years of age.

Trivia: When is a minute 61 seconds? Tonight actually. At the last minute before midnight on June 30, I learned that the UTC will be adding a leap second. This is the 25th leap seconds that’s been added since 1972. About every 1.5 years, one extra second is added to Universal Coordinated Time (UTC). This accounts for the fact that the Earth’s rotation slows down over time while the atomic clocks we use to measure time tick away at almost the same speed over millions of years.

June 30th, 2012|Nature, St. Paul|Comments Off on Raptor

Triple Berry


Today was a day for socializing and celebrating food: from lunch at the food truck Dandelion Kitchen (one of City Pages Top 10 Street Eats, I’ve also eaten at Smack Shack and Hola Arepa from their list and Turkey to Go from my list), to samosas and a lemon shandy at Brit’s happy hour, my favorite kung pao at Big Bowl, and finally a slice of triple berry pie at Baker’s Square.

June 30th, 2012|Food & Drink|Comments Off on Triple Berry

Boulders & Open Field

Boulders - Walker Art Center

I was intrigued to check out Jim Hodges’ boulders (Untitled, 2011), which were installed at the Walker Art Center’s outdoor green space this past spring. The artist spotted these four massive boulders in Massachusetts, each weighing between 8-13 tons and thousands of years old. Shipped to Minnesota on three semi trucks, the boulders are “wrapped” in a layer of high-polished stainless steel in a different color—copper orange, blue, gold and lavender. The viewer is able to walk around them and between them, and the light and shadows dance off the surface in myriad ways.

Boulders, Walker Art Center

Boulders, Walker Art Center

June 30th, 2012|Nature, Photography|Comments Off on Boulders & Open Field



Near the corners of Larpenteur and Lexington in Roseville, Snuffy’s Malt Shop has an unassuming storefront in the neighborhood strip mall. Today was a hot and hazy day with a summer air that was palpable from every pore. My medicine? A butterscotch malt.

June 29th, 2012|Food & Drink|Comments Off on Snuffy’s

Twins in lights


I went to the Twins vs. White Sox game, and I wasn’t at all conflicted on who to root for compared to when the Twins played the Cubs earlier this month. Of course, I found the Minneapple pies. Saw two runs from the Twins finally in the bottom of the ninth inning, but it wasn’t enough to win. If nothing else, it was perfect weather to be at the ballpark with friends.

June 29th, 2012|Minneapolis|Comments Off on Twins in lights

Ziach Polish Foods

Ziach Foods

Twin Cities Metro magazine recently highlighted a host of local haunts in its Hole in the Wall guide, which is how I ended up at Ziach Polish Foods in Northeast Minneapolis. It clearly lived up to its name because everyone in the store was speaking Polish, except me. Nearly all the groceries were labeled in Polish with very few English translations. It was like I’d transported to a European neighborhood market.

Somehow I missed the Polish experience when I lived in Chicagoland, aside from pączkis and Pulaski Day, a Polish holiday observed by Illinois public schools. I love that even in Minneapolis, I’m still discovering pockets of culture and new experiences that awaken my senses.

I have an insatiable curiosity and appetite for ethnic foods. From the shelves, I picked up and turned over each dry good, canned and jarred vegetables and fruits, and of course, the candy, cookies and chocolate. I eyed the extensive pierogi options in the freezer and limited myself to three flavors. My last stop was the deli case where I bought Polish ham and kielbasa, carefully selected and wrapped in butcher paper. Quite frankly, it’s the first time I’ve bought kielbasa that wasn’t Hillshire and I’m really excited. (Thankfully, the family running this store also speaks English!)

If you listen, keep your eyes open and make time, you’ll gradually identify the nuances of what makes a city great.

June 28th, 2012|Food & Drink, Travel|Comments Off on Ziach Polish Foods

Stone Arch Night

Stone Arch Bridge

Sometimes my plan for the daily photo doesn’t pan out, which is how I ended up trekking through Mill Ruins Park at 10:15pm Sunday night with my camera and tripod to capture the Stone Arch Bridge. (Also seen here.) Surprisingly, there were a couple dozen people milling around (no pun intended) and even 6-7 runners, who appeared to appreciate the cooler night air.

June 27th, 2012|Minneapolis, Photography|Comments Off on Stone Arch Night

Minneapple Pie

Minneapple Pie

When mom’s apple pie is in a kitchen 310 miles away, Minneapple pie is my ticket. The Atsidakos family created this sweet treat in 2008, and it’s served at Minne’s Dinner in Rogers, Minn., Target Field, the Minnesota State Fair and other summer fairs throughout Minnesota. The deep-fried pie has diced cinnamon apples inside, with a generous coating of cinnamon and sugar on the outside. Topped with a dollop of cinnamon ice cream, it’s simply perfection.

Minneapple Pie 2

June 27th, 2012|Food & Drink|Comments Off on Minneapple Pie

Long Jump


Evan leapt in a record setting long jump in the United Way Olympics for the marketing department at work. Tammy was a superstar as well in the five event competition, including long jump, ring toss, ping pong, relay, and hula hooping. Thanks for representing Team PR!

June 24th, 2012|People|1 Comment

Hands-on Science


CMY no K(idding), it was hands-on science tonight with friends at the Science Museum of Minnesota at their 21+ night “Game Theory.” It was pretty busy and pretty fun (for science geeks). Special thanks to Cheryl for posing as the hand model.

June 22nd, 2012|People, St. Paul|Comments Off on Hands-on Science