Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I like museums, but I think this is one anyone can appreciate. The building opened in the 1880s, and was condemned as a living residence in 1935. The owners only rented out the storefront, and in 1988, a person looking for a place for a tenement museum found one that hadn't been touched in more than 50 years. That's pretty amazing in most any town, but in New York I'd say it's near miraculous. The building shows apartments that are dark, cramped and very stuffy. It's hard to believe people thought they were actually bettering their lives in a foreign country by moving into such a tight, wretched space...and then working alongside your family day and night sewing garments in that tight, wretched space.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Here's a quick photo album of the hike, which took about 2 hours.
Dave is walking through Prairie Sedge, which is a thick grasslike plant that grows in clumps.
Here I am, pondering the meaning of "Minnesota Nice."
And finally, here Dave is with his best imitation of Man versus Wild's Bear Grylls... putting the finishing touches on an already completed shelter. He did quite well, actually.
So, for the other genuinely NICE Minnesotans, here are a few of the niceties we have experienced here:
The gracious families who have invited us to share a Yom Kippur break fast, a Christmas lunch, an Easter dinner, and a Passover seder. In the absence of family, holidays are always easier to bear when surrounded by nice people.
Our coworkers at both jobs make going to work fun and bearable. Some coworkers have worked extra so we can be off for family visits and upcoming vacations. That’s nice.
When I first designed my costume for work, a few coworkers went antiquing and came back with a nice gift… gloves that perfectly went to my outfit. It was an unexpected nice surprise for a newcomer from a Minnesotan.
And, Dave's former following in Bemidji and Brainerd that have noticed him on KARE. He's gotten a few emails, and even run into people from the North down here in the cities. It's always nice to know people remember you in a good way.I have been told the “Minnesota not-nice” people I’ve met are the transplants to Minnesota. There are certainly enough of those. But one thing we all agree upon: there is no such thing as Minnesota nice-anything when you are on the interstate.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
Someone waves you in on the Interstate, and once you are safely in their lane, they flip you off. People flip off people here more than any place I’ve been. And that’s including driving in big cities like New York, DC, and LA. I even saw a kid flip off another driver while their parent was driving.
At Kinkos, clerk will reference the pictures you are copying as if interested. Then, when you elaborate on the picture, they give you the blankest stare you’ve ever seen. And not speak again.
A volunteer called and left a “Minnesota Nice” message where I work. She started off the message politely, as if she misunderstood the meeting place and time (she did). By the end of the message, she said our behavior was inexcusable and please take her off the volunteer list. (I hope we did)
I haven’t been the only one to notice the oddity. I bumped into a woman from Dallas, Texas in the coffee shop, and within minutes we were talking about “Minnesota Nice.” She’d felt it too—and so had her friend, another transfer from Tennessee.
So, forget Garrison Keillor’s hometown tales and Midwestern niceties. You might find it in Iowa, Nebraska, or maybe even small town Minnesota. But, not in the Twin Cities.
And, if you are ever in Minnesota, know this: It’s quite okay to ask “how are you?” but definitely don’t go a step further and say, “How’s the family? Or that old favorite, “How’s your mama and ‘em?” If so, expect a helping of “Minnesota Nice.”
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Then, visitors journeyed next door to our German neighbors, the Bergers. There, they watched as interpreters made several recipes from the syrup. Kids got to stuff matresses, grind corn, sort beans, and do several spring chores. We had 19th century games at several locations throughout the site as well as 19th century music.