Saturday, May 14, 2016

Last call

Then, finally, there was a day without Prince.

On a glorious day a week or two ago my wife and I had a day, a Minnesota day, a regional day. It was a day rich in what the greater twin cities had to offer. We went to a better than you would think is possible Minnesota winery. A person there took us on a tour of the place. We tasted half a dozen wines until we were too drunk to drive, so instead we wandered among the just budding vines and flowering apple trees. Mostly sobered up we drove back to the cities. We poked about a couple new, interesting restaurants without eating at them. We went to an art opening at a gallery near our modern art museum. I had champagne there, perhaps inadvisably. We took a walk in one of my favorite neighborhoods, up by Groveland Terrace with all its mansions and views. We managed to squeeze in, without reservations, at a high end but fun restaurant, where a snack turned into something of a feast, scallops and lemongrass aioli. From there we went to a chorale concert, a composer's doctoral thesis concert for free, held at the beautiful Tedd Mann Auditorium pitched up high on the banks of the University over the Mississippi River. 

And then we were out of things to do and drove home. And driving home I thought about how it was the first day in maybe a week and a half where Prince didn't come up. I know that internationally his death was a big deal, with major musicians doing tribute covers from out of nowhere and famous monuments being lit in purple, but in his home that was multiplied exponentially. Billboards all filled with Prince here. He was on everyone's lips. No event excluded his memory. All the spring flowers turned purple. The city was renamed with a symbol. Highways suddenly had lanes strictly for the use of purple motorcycles, and all shirts were ruffled. Even those of us with no notable memories of Prince recounted them somberly and reverently as if we were at a never ending funeral of reflection.

But it was finally over. Prince was gone. The funeral was done. The city moved on and he was invisible to us for our whole day.

And then, within just a few blocks of our home and bed for the night we drove past the local old art deco theater. A late show of Purple Rain was starting in five minutes. Neither of us had ever seen it. We looked at each other. We pulled the car over onto a side street and raced over to the packed movie house.

No one ever mentioned to me that Purple Rain is a very awful movie about wife beating, interspersed with a sort of funny movie about an ambiguously aged Prince, interspersed with a truly great concert film. Whatever it was it was for me the brilliant last gasp of the death of Prince.

And then it became a new time in Minneapolis, and it was history.


  1. I am taken by your regional trip (no offense to Prince). I wish my wife and I would do more of that. We have started here and there, most notably a couple of years ago we had dinner in Santa Paula. Now, we have driven through SP probably 500 times, but we never stopped there. So that's what we did. We walked the downtown, which is full of rich historical buildings, checked out the train depot, spoke bad Spanish, had a meal in a restaurant that had a stage. And the other day my son took me to a hole-in-the-wall in Oxnard where the burritos are legendary, and they were! But there is one place, FC, that I have yet to visit: The Carrizo Plain National Monument, only 1.5 hours or closer, which looks spectacular. One day I'm going to surprise my wife and we'll get a hotel room near there and take day trips. Here is a link to see what I mean. Doesn't it look wonderful?

  2. Might you be willing to share name of said winery?

    1. Sure. St Croix Vineyard, off of Hwy 36 most of the way towards Stillwater. We liked their Vignoles best, reds not bad but a little thin and light- though still interesting.


If you were wondering, yes, you should comment. Not only does it remind me that I must write in intelligible English because someone is actually reading what I write, but it is also a pleasure for me since I am interested in anything you have to say.

I respond to pretty much every comment. It's like a free personalized blog post!

One last detail: If you are commenting on a post more than two weeks old I have to go in and approve it. It's sort of a spam protection device. Also, rarely, a comment will go to spam on its own. Give either of those a day or two and your comment will show up on the blog.