On the Map: St. Anthony Park

I've decided to claim a new title for all the little MN adventures I have with my friends: On the Map - hopefully it'll be an easier way to sort it all (yeah right, like that's gonna happen). 

ANYWHO! Whit and I had a lovely discovery trip on our Girl's Night Out. Well, it was more like Girl's Evening Out since we both had to be in bed by 10pm. (Oh the lameness). However, I think, and I know she would agree, that we had a great time in the great weather. First I had to drop off a box of wedding programs for my friend Jess - congratulations to you and Peter - and then we had our dinner at Panera. I tried the new steak sandwhich ... not a fan, but its always good to mix it up. Does that happen to you? You know what you like and you know what you don't like - even if you seem picky. I tell you, almost everytime I try something new - I know I'm not going to like it and I don't! This makes me giggle. This also happens when I feel pressured to try something at someone's recommendation - usually food - and I can tell from looking at it that I know its going to make me gag - but alas I am frustratingly right! Oh well, you have to at least try.

image via MediaDoggie

Ok, so the sandwich doesn't trump the Frontega Chicken panini - but almost nothing does.  Whelp, then we took a quick drive over to half price books on Fairview - treasure of a bookstore...did you know you can learn French for $10? - and I bought a new Bill Bryson book for lunchtime reading.  It gets boring without a book. Plus, he's hilarious; so, its a win-win.

Well, Whit was craving chocolate covered peanuts (which I thought were the same as peanut M&Ms, but I WAS WRONG); however, the BP (which I have a slight problem frequenting...[see deep horizaon oil spill]) didn't have them.  Gasp! She was shocked.  I, nonplussed, proceeded to drive South on Fairview to the U of M St. Paul campus towards St. Anthony Park.  Its lovely.  Michael took me here once or twice this summer.  The April sun was setting over the background of Minneapolis as we drove down the narrow streets.  This was old Minnesota.  I could die peacefully here.  Its a small district, but so home-y.  Everything is personalized - buildings are unique and varied.  There's a library, a coffee shop - the Finnish Bistro (looks like a Dunn Bros.), a ceramics studio called Bungalow Pottery (M loves it there), Micawber's Book shop, and an interesting restraunt, Muffuletta, that M & I plan to frequent.

Whit and I spent only a few minutes there, seeing as the sun was setting, but we purused Micaweber's and I learned about a fascinating British book publisher named Nicola Beauman, owner of Persephone Books :

"Persephone prints mainly neglected fiction and non-fiction by women, for women and about women. The titles are chosen to appeal to busy women who rarely have time to spend in ever-larger bookshops and who would like to have access to a list of books designed to be neither too literary nor too commercial. The books are guaranteed to be readable, thought-provoking and impossible to forget."

image via UPPERCASE

I love this woman's daring and creativity.  I sat transfixed, reading her business philosohpy which included phrases like "allergic to corporate", describes herself as a "gentler feminist", and highlights the beautiful endpapers modeled after vintage wallpapers and scarves, featured on all the published books. She shares "a love of aesthetics, and a hunger to create books that are not just a good read, but a mixture of style and substance" - they've developed a cult-like following in England - quote via The Guardian.   I like her.

We strolled along the little avenue, finding a shortcut to our parking spot and vowed we'd come back this summer. There was a wine shop.