Steamy days and warm nights

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. As I mentioned on July 1st I decided to challenge my self and ride my bike every day 55 days in a row.

So far I have gone out for a ride every day and have ridden about 110 miles.  Some days I had to ride in between the thunderstorms and a few days there were extreme heat advisories. One day I used my bike to run an errand and that was enough.

Early morning is by far the best time to go for a ride around the neighborhood or through the woods. It is cooler out and there is less traffic.

Here is a picture I took one steamy morning from the Smith Avenue Highbridge. I took it with my phone without any filters. It really was that steamy.

Picture of river valley
Steamy July Morning

One steamy moring out on my bike is better than any cold winter day.

A quiet July 4th?

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun especially when tomorrow is July 4th. People got an early start with the fireworks this year. In the beginning of June, it was hard to tell the tear gas canister explosions from the cherry bombs. There was a segment on the national news about how people like to blow stuff up and fireworks are very popular this year.

Just like last year, we won’t have to worry about those pesky public fireworks displays in St.Paul. This year we don’t even have running water in the water in the parks.  The water fountains and features are turned off in St. Paul. There will definitely be fewer distractions this year over the holiday with so many events canceled.

We have food and alcohol and books and movies. I guess that will have to do.  I think I listed them in the order of importance too although food and alcohol are almost equally important.

Here are some pictures I took on July 4th during the before time.

July 4th 2014 – St. Paul, mn – at the state capitol. 
July 4th Fireworks in St. Paul over the Mississippi River. The year on the picture is wrong. This was probably taken in 2012 or 13. 

. . I have more but you get the idea. 🙂 Photographing fireworks can be tricky. It takes practice.

Please be careful this holiday weekend. Do not blow yourself up. Wear a mask when appropriate and keep your distance from other humans.

First Friday of summer 2020

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Our plans for the summer have changed due to circumstances beyond our control. Right now for me, summer is about being outside as much as possible.  I have never enjoyed my front porch as much as I enjoy it this year.

Yesterday I went on a walk and used my phone to document the wonderful wildflowers that bloom this time of year.

wildflower collage

I did not see many bees. I suspect they are all hanging out in the pollinator-friendly gardens of my friends and neighbors like they did last year and that is why I don’t see as many of them in the park.

Get out this weekend and enjoy the flowers. We all know what comes next . . .

Happy Juneteenth

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Today is also Juneteeth which is a holiday but not a national holiday.

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.  Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. The news arrived in Texas two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. (January 1, 1863)

Some large companies are observing Juneteenth and it is now a holiday in New York and you will be hearing and reading more about it today. I believe one day Juneteenth will be a national holiday as it should be.

There is a Juneteenth website which is one of the many reasons why communication is faster today than it was in the 1860s. The site has a lot of information on it. Juneteenth is the perfect day for learning more about Juneteenth.




COVID-19 is a tricky virus

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. Local businesses are starting to open up. First outdoor dining was allowed and now limited indoor dining is allowed. This is all part of opening the economy.

Eating in a restaurant or on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant is now considered safe enough. I have no idea if that is true. I am not a doctor or scientist.

I can tell you that taking pictures of  Cossetta’s on the public sidewalk in front of Cossetta’s is not safe. Dave Cossetta doesn’t wear a mask when he chases people away and he doesn’t seem to believe in social distancing.

Dave Cossetta – chasing photographers off the sidewalk, in front of Cossetta’s

I miss the coffee shops. They had been open for take out only but that isn’t any fun. The whole point of coffee shops is to have a place to go that isn’t home. No one will chase you away for taking pictures.

Coffee shop
Claddagh on West 7th

If you are looking to dine out this weekend check out the patio at Burger Moe’s or the Hope Breakfast bar on Leech street at Grand avenue. DeGidios on West 7th made a wonderful outdoor dining area. They have good food.

I plan to go out and get some more pictures over the weekend.


Too soon for fun Fridays

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun except for this week.  I have been reading the bland kind of messages and statements against racism but in a Minnesota nice kind of way. Human life is more important than money and black lives matter.

It was a heartbreaking and scary week. I want to see justice for George Floyd and I desperately hope that he is the last black man who has to beg for his life and to die while in police custody. The arrests of police officers are a great start but that is only one step in our flawed justice system that does not deliver justice to all.  Racism is a human crisis and it must end now.

There are no words to really describe what civil unrest on top of a pandemic feels like. In my community, all of the stores including the grocery store, liquor store, and drug stores were closed for the weekend. Many are still boarded up and some have opened up while boarded up. Restaurants were allowed to open on June 1st for outdoor dining but they remained closed.

Last weekend many of us stayed up for most of the night sitting on our porches messaging our neighbors and keeping watch.

Business owners and neighbors guarded businesses but 170 of them in St. Paul were damaged.  In Minneapolis, more than 20o buildings were damaged. There are a lot of narratives about who was burning and looting. There is a lot of information but few verifiable facts.  Fear spread as we were told outside agitators were in our neighborhoods with stolen vehicles and gasoline.

boarded up store
Grocery store

Most of the protests were large and peaceful. Protesting is scary during a pandemic but the protests I attended felt safer than going to the drug store. People were kind and they wore masks and took care to keep their distance. Everyone was outside in the sunshine.

Here is a collage I made from pictures I took during the week:

pictures from the week
The week of May 29 to June 5

There won’t be a visit to Minnesota from our president or any healing words from the white house. We all need to be the peacemakers and healers.

Maybe if all goes well Fridays and the days in between will be more fun. For now where. your mask, wash your hands, keep your distance from one another and be kind. Black lives matter.