Cinematheque

The Jerusalem Cinematheque is a movie theater and arts venue just a few minutes walk west of the Old City walls.

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Last week, Noah and I went to the Cinematheque to see an origami exhibit as part of Jerusalem’s week long Japanese festival.

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The exhibit has some pretty amazing origami figures:

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For the event, they were also handing out free samples of sake and ‘origami-ed’ vegetables:

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While at the Cinematheque for the origami exhibit, we bought tickets for the following week to see the movie Boyhood. When we returned a few days ago for the movie, we got there a little early to get drinks at the small food kiosk at the theater:

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WARNING: you can’t bring food and beverage into the theater, so if you get a snack or drink, make sure to leave plenty of time to finish before the movie starts!

The theater itself was clean and comfortable…although the chairs were a little step down from the couch-like chairs atย fancy theaters I’ve been to in the U.S!

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The movie was in English with Hebrew subtitles. Boyhood is a really unique movie. It was filmed over a period of 12 years, using the same actors to depict a family growing and changing over time. The main character, Mason, starts the movie as a six year old, and the movie ends when he is 18 and just starting college. Despite having been filmed in segments over a number of years, the flow of the movie worked great, and the transitions between each time period felt totally natural. The main themes of the movie dealt with social conditioning, personal connection and relationships, and how beauty and love can exist even in times of hardship. I thought the film was incredibly realistic and touching,ย and I’ve continued to think about it over the last couple days since seeing it…definitely a sign of a good movie! I would definitely recommend going to see it if you have the chance! I’m glad the Cinematheque offers films in English, and I definitely hope to go to more movies there over the course of the year.

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Aquatennial 2013

The Aquatennial is a 10-day annual festival in Minneapolis. It’s a civic celebration of the city. What is a civic celebration? As far as I can tell, it’s basically a celebration of anything and everything the city has to offer: museums, arts, outdoors, etc. The celebration includes everything from sandcastle-building competitions to 5ks to smoothie sampling events. The official kick-off of the event is the Torchlight Parade – a two hour extravaganza along Hennepin Avenue downtown.

Noah and I went to check out the fun. The parade started at 8:30pm when it was still light outside:

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There were a lot of city floats with various ‘royalty.’ Several organizations, bands, and civic groups also made an appearance:

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I don’t have a picture, but Mayor Rybak was there and I saw him get funky with it with a staff member from Total Entertainment. The parade really started toย  pick up once it got dark and a fire truck came through spewing flames:

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We saw the MN Roller Girls and Snoopy:

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Minneapolis got one-stream recycling over the past year – woohoo!

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If I were a MN princess, I would want to live on this float:

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Overall, the parade was really fun and it was awesome to see so many people out on the streets in support of a Minneapolis celebration.

Besides the parade, we went to one other Aquatennial-related event. The Bakken Museum – a museum all about electricity! – offered free admission on one of the days, focusing particularly on the connection between art and science.IMG_2088 IMG_2087 IMG_2085

The museum is located right by Lake Calhoun, and it seemed like a great family destination (but we weren’t too old to enjoy it!).

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The museum is located within a beautiful old house:

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And almost all of the exhibits are interactive. Look at these kissing dogs – drawn together through magnetism.

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As part of the aquatennial, there were a few special activities that linked art with science. Like this battery-powered Scribblebot:

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oooh. aaah.

Even though I only participated in two Aquatennial events this year, it could definitely keep you busy for the full ten days. It’s a great community event, and definitely a symbol of how Minneapolis cares about the civic life of its citizens. But, you don’t need to convince me – the Minneapple already has my heart. ๐Ÿ™‚

Lutefisk

Lutefisk is a culinary delicacy of the Nordic countries. Delicacy might be a bit of a misnomer…

Lutefisk is made from aged fish and lye. It is gelatinous. It is stinky. Its name literally means ‘lye fish.’ Yeah…

As I mentioned in my previous post, after hiking around Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse, we headed into Two Harbors proper to go to Heritage Days. Heritage Days is a multi-day event of parades, music, activities, and general festivity in and around downtown Two Harbors. When we stopped by Two Harbors on Thursday night, we asked directions from someone out on the street, and they told us (after giving directions) to come back the following day for the Lutefisk Throw. It is (and I quote), “the best thing that happens in Two Harbors all year.”

Well, with that recommendation, how could we refuse?!

And that is how we came to be in downtown Two Harbors for the Lutefisk Throw on Friday afternoon.

When we first arrived at Heritage Days, we wandered through a few booths selling clothes, art, knick-knacks, food, etc.

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Finally, we found the music stage where we were told the Lutefisk Throw would be.

You are probably wondering what a Lutefisk Throw is. We were also wondering.

Luckily, the band played an introduction song to the event to help clear things up. The song went like this:

Here comes that Norsky bunch, they’re gonna throw some fish now.
Lutefisk, better stand back, you know they’re gonna throw some fish now.

Lutefisk. Lutefisk. Lute….fisk.

Yes, those are the real lyrics. Here’s the rundown:

Each year the Sons of Norway face off with the Swedes at the Two Harbors Heritage Days Lutefisk Throw. Each team attempts to throw frozen lutefisk (gloves are worn because it is so gross) across a tarp and into a bucket, and the team who successfully sinks the greatest number of lutefisk in the bucket wins.

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There was even an honorary first throw of the game:

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IS THIS REAL LIFE?!

This was not a high-paced game, and when we left (after three rounds), the score was 1-0.

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After leaving the Lutefisk Throw, we stopped by the other big Two Harbors tourist attraction (har-di-har)…the 3M museum! Inside thisย  building is the most comprehensive and informative exhibit on tape:

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Oh yeahhh.

Even though 3M started with tape, as you are probably well aware, they have now expanded to many other products:

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And they’ve even made contributions to the field of science! Check out these butterfly tracker stickers that 3M created to help scientists learn about migratory patterns.

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My thumb is in the picture to help illustrate the size. Just in case you were wondering. ๐Ÿ™‚

On the way out, I met this fellow.

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Why was he in the 3M museum? Still unknown.

Other Two Harbors posts
Betty’s Pies
Grand Superior Lodge
Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse

Food Grows in Trucks

Wikipedia, the source of all reliable information, defines a food truck as:

A food truck, mobile kitchen, mobile canteen, roach coach, or catering truck 
is a mobile venue that transports and sells food. Some, including ice cream trucks, 
sell mostly frozen or prepackaged food; others are more like restaurants-on-wheels. 
Some may cater to specific meals, such as the breakfast truck, lunch truck or lunch wagon, 
and snack truck, break truck or taco truck.

Food trucks are all the rage these days in Minneapolis. You can see my first venture into food trucking here. To celebrate mobile food, Uptown hosted the second annual Minneapolis Food Truck Fair a couple weekends ago. I did not attend the original food truck fair, but from what I gather on the internet, it did not go well. There was an entrance fee, lines were monstrously long, etc, etc.

This year’s fair was held in Uptown instead of downtown (where the first one was located), there was no entrance fee, and the lines were still monstrously long.

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I can’t compare the lines to last year, but I waited about 30-40 minutes. Admittedly, I don’t think there’s much that could have been done to speed the process if people wanted their food fresh, but if you hate standing in line this probably would not be a good event for you. It also didn’t help that there is an unwritten agreement between Minneapolis and myself that whenever there is an outdoor festival that I attend the weather will be boiling hot. Thanks, MPLS, I โค U. ๐Ÿ™‚

My first stop was at The Anchor Fish & Chips truck.

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While waiting in line, I watched the kid next to me chomp on a hunk of meat:

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I ordered the classic. Fish. And Chips.

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yummm.

My friends had a slightly shorter wait at Holy Arepa. They got – you guessed it – arepas:

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A chicken pot pie pasty from Potter’s Pasties was also enjoyed:

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Overall, the Food Truck Fair was a lot of fun and a neat opportunity to get a better idea about what the food truck scene offers. If I could plan the event though, I would have the trucks offer sampling sizes of their most popular dishes. With all of the option, it would have been fun to get to do more sampling. But with such big portions it’s not realistic to get more than a couple things.

If this happens next summer though, I will definitely be there!

Ameri-cuh the Beautiful

4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. That and Thanksgiving. I guess I’m a serious American, huh?

The holiday actually started for me this year the night before on the 3rd at the Red, White, and Boom. RWandB is a 2 day festival hosted by Minneapolis Parks and Rec at Nicollet Island that includes music, food, fireworks, races, and an outdoor movie. On Fourth of July Eve (yes, that’s a thing now), the outdoor movie was hosted. Look at this crowd:

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Who would expect anything less for a screening of the most patriotic movie of the 80’s:

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Yesssss. Young Tom Cruise. ๐Ÿ™‚

After a fun night of jingoism, we awoke the next morning ready to get our parade on (nothing says Fourth of July like parades, right?). St. Anthony Park in St. Paul offers a parade and festival that we decided to attend.

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Lots of people lined the streets of Como Ave to see the parade.

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The boy scouts definitely had the coolest float:

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Someone forgot to mention to this float that today is all about AMERI-CUH:

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After the parade passed, everyone followed the floats to the parade end at Langford Park:

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After getting to the park. We had to do some people dog and car watching:

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The park was packed with folks having picnics and enjoying our freedom in the sunshine:

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For lunch, we left the park and headed to the nearby Finnish Bistro. As adorable as always, the bistro was a bit more crowded on this visit. We ordered a cold salmon salad and veggie omelet:

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Delish! After eating, we headed back to the park to see the boy scouts continuing their antics:

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We also listened to some jazz music at the bandstand:

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Once the festivities had been thoroughly explored, it was time to head home for a BBQ that my roommates and I hosted in our backyard. The food was awesome:

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Of course, no 4th of July is complete without fireworks. We biked to the Stonearch Bridge to watch fireworks there. Undoubtedly this is the most crowded spot in Minneapolis to watch the fireworks, but it was totally worth it. There were HUNDREDS (thousands?) of people, and the fireworks display was great.

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Happy Birthday America. I โค you. ๐Ÿ™‚

PRIDE

In case you haven’t read the news lately, here are a few highlights from the last year:

1. Last November, Minnesota defeated a proposed amendment to their state constitution which would have defined marriage as the union between one man and one woman.
2. In May, Minnesota became the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage. 3. In June, the US Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), giving federal rights to same-sex couples.

As you might imagine, this years Twin Cities Pride Festival last weekend had a lot to celebrate. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Although there were concerts, parades, and events throughout the whole city over the weekend, the main area of celebration was Loring Park where hundreds (yes, HUNDREDS) of booths, vendors, and activities were set up:

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As another bike-friendly event (this is Minneapolis, after all!), there was special bike parking inside the park:

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It took well over an hour to walk through all of the booths:

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It was great to see so many people out for the Pride Festival, and hopefully there will be even more to celebrate next year!

Secret City

This post is way overdue…as are many of my Minneapolis summertime fun posts…but I suppose my excuse is that I am far too busy doing more fun things around the city to blog about the things I’ve already done. Nonetheless, here’s a post about Secret City. Secret City is a free festival of art and performance that takes place each summer in Minneapolis. Featuring various displays of art, dance, and installations around downtown Minneapolis, the Midtown Greenway, and the Minneapolis Convention Center, this is a large-scale community event with plenty of entertainment for every art taste.

We started our exploration of Secret City at the Basilica of St Mary where we watched some Aztec dancers:

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Secret City was super bike-friendly, and there was a special lane for bikes blocked off along Hennepin downtown so bikers could travel safely from place to place:

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The next performance we watched was a dance called The BodyCartography Project. The dance was performed in the I-94 underpass parking lot….very West Side Story of them. ๐Ÿ™‚

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I will admit I am not exactly clear what the message of the dance was, but I would say it had something to do with how people move – either individually or within a group – as part of a city’s landscape. It was interesting and there was a decent sized crowd watching.

Moving on…we headed to the Convention Center to check out the plaza’s new centerpiece: MIMMI:

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MIMMI is a pressurized sculpture suspended in the Convention Center Plaza. The really neat thing about sculpture though is that its color is determined by the emotions of Minneapolis residents! Emotive information is gathered in real time through tweets directed at MIMMI as well as detected movement in the plaza. The real question though…what do the colors mean? We tried to figure out how MIMMI was feeling based on the colors shown in the picture above, but we didn’t have any great breakthroughs.

Since no Minneapolis event is complete without a few food trucks, there was a quick break at AZ Canteen for their signature AZ Canteen dog:

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We took the Midtown Greenway home to check out some of the festivities fair. Highlights included karaoke, lots of music (both live and from speakers), and a s’mores station set up on a bike!

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Overall, this was a great community event, totally making my infatuation with Minneapolis grow. How great to live in a city that hosts this sort of free event for its citizens? Major bonus points for the festival’s emphasis on bike culture. ๐Ÿ™‚