It was like spring today, with birds singing and a sky that was actually this blue. Sometimes taking new routes has its rewards. Like walking down an alley in Minneapolis and finding this gem. Flanked by WCCO-TV on one side and surrounded by modern skyscrapers, finding a shop here that makes old world instruments was unexpected. Considering my modern instruments are manufactured in Japan (Yamaha alto and soprano saxophones), I’m fascinated by instruments that are not only pleasing to the ear, but an example of fine craftsmanship and art in itself.
The St. Paul Winter Carnival kicked off this past weekend, and although the snow sculptures were canceled for obvious reasons, the show went on for icy art. While temperatures last!
In February 1886, the inaugural carnival was held to showcase St. Paul as well as disprove a New York newspaper reporter who had described the city as “another Siberia, unfit for human habitation in the winter.” But in 2004, the last year St. Paul featured an ice palace, it might as well have been Siberia. You know it’s cold when the 2004 Ice Palace closed for several hours due to cold weather. It was a palatial, 27,000 blocks of ice (each weighing 400 lbs.) covering a steel frame and wired for a sound and light show.
This year’s carnival was much simpler. As I surveyed the sculptures, I heeded some recent photography advice to not just take the picture, but make the picture. After all, nearly everyone takes the same photo on the first approach. But if you study the scene, you can find more. And that’s when, while crouching like a tiger, I found my “hidden dragon.”
Footsteps from my front door are music venues galore. This afternoon, I traveled ’round the globe during a free one-hour concert at Orchestra Hall. I heard Gershwin’s Caribbean rhythms in Cuban Overture, the festive music of An Orkney Wedding, with Sunrise (including a finale with bagpipes!), the Spanish-infused Boléro, and a new concerto from India for violin and tabla drum. The tabla player was amazing. I’ve never seen such fast working phalanges. (See an example below the jump.)
Listen to the tabla:
You don’t have to look too closely at the Minneapolis skyline at night to notice something distinctly different. Not all bulbs are created equal. Atop the Target building is something bolder: a digital light art display featuring 700,000 LED lights. Tonight, I captured an aquarium with schools of fish, a shark, and the comical but shy orange Puffer fish. A couple new designs are featured every month. As I leaned against a wall snapping photos, smiling passersby shared:
- Are you taking photos? (Um, yes.)
- Make sure you get the Puffer! He moves fast. (I know, right?!)
- Cool, huh? It’s like my personal aquarium outside my condo living room. (Yes indeed.)
Learn more: Top of the Target Building Glows
Hi, my name is @JoeJCurry, and I have a social media #addiction. Depending on who you ask, that may not be far from the truth! However, considering social media is part of my job, it’s no different than other folks’ curiosity for their careers. Today in Dallas was a reunion of sorts for people like me–people who work in a converging space of communications, marketing and technology.
Every couple months, my pioneering peers and I turn off our digital devices and meet face-to-face to talk ideas, swap solutions & success stories, and rally each other in our goals. It’s energizing. It’s humbling. It’s even a bit therapeutic. Over the past three years, I’ve not only been fortunate to attend 8 sessions with these extended colleagues; I can count many of them as friends.
My day began with my worst nightmare: I overslept the morning of a flight.
Something I’ve never done before. And by a whopping 105 minutes! I woke up at 7:45am for my 9:15am flight; I didn’t need a 5th alarm, no, I needed a low voltage electric shock to get out of bed today. It was questionable whether I’d make it, but I stepped up to the challenge. Luckily, I was already packed and my clothes were selected for the day. A sprinkle in the shower (literally), a stick of gum & a bottle of water, in under five minutes, I was out the door. I drove like a Chicagoan, rode the elevators like a New Yorker (waited for no one), and hopped on airport trams like a local Minnesotan.
May the Force be with me, I prayed. And it was. Miraculously, at the airport security checkpoint, there were only 2 people there, and I arrived at my gate with 30 minutes to spare.
Something I never want to do again.
I was hoping to photograph something sunny or yellow today, but no dice. Winter is finally here. Tonight, my friends and I celebrated the Chinese New Year with Thai food and Farkle. Thai because the Chinese restaurants we like are closed for the holiday, and who doesn’t love a good curry? (Not what I ate, but it sounded poetic.) You might think that Chinese checkers would be a more authentic game to play, but you’d be wrong. That game was created in Germany.
No sun today, but I’ve got sunflowers. I chatted with my Alaskan friend tonight, and I’d taken this photo during my visit last summer at Fairbanks’ Pioneer Park (formerly known as Alaskaland). Right now, -25 degrees is warm there. However bad the Midwest winter is, I know not to play the winter weather game with my friend Casey; after all, she always wins.