Posts Tagged ‘Neil Gaiman’

The Twin Cities (Day 2): Gluttony

23 March 2014 Leave a comment

(The mid-term long weekend of Winter Term at Carleton. The Twin Cities are Minneapolis and St. Paul.  See also Day 1.)

We were up quite late the night before, with Zheyu working on a paper and myself getting into his copy of Dave Eggers’ The Circle. I’d been predisposed to dislike it by this article (the article in question having become something of a regular reference, and a perennial favorite, of mine).

Brunch was at the neighborhood café.


That is a glass of winter ale in the background (Indeed’s ‘Stir Crazy’, for the interested).

Our plans for the rest of the day, though, were more sedate, as we both had things to work on, during this mid-term break. We took a bus to uptown Minneapolis and eventually stationed ourselves at Dogwood Coffee, where we worked for most of the afternoon.


The coffee was solid, but my personal favorite there was actually the tea: long3 jing3 cha2, which was translated (fairly enough) as Dragon Well Tea.

At some point in the afternoon, I took a walk across the street to Magers and Quinn Booksellers.


It was partly for a break, but partly also premeditated gratification-through-consumption, since I’d got into my head the vague intention of a purchase or two. I eventually picked out a copy of Smoke and Mirrors, a collection of short stories by Neil Gaiman, and the collected volumes of The Books of Magic, comprising four comics written by the same (but drawn by a different artist each time).

At the cashier, the assistant noticed that I’d picked up two titles by the abovementioned author, and so proceeded to tell me about the occasion Mr. Gaiman himself had walked into the store. The shop assistant gave an engaging account of the occasion (his noticing Mr. Gaiman walking past the shop the first time and his return fifteen minutes later, the buzz of recognition inspired by the great man’s great hair, the injunction, ‘Let the man shop in peace!’ made in a stage whisper, etc.), but the detail that was most interesting to me was that he’d picked out a huge stack of books from the mythology section. I gathered that this happened not too long ago, since Mr. Gaiman had signed copies of the then-newly released The Ocean at the End of the Lane on display near the counter at the time.

So overall, the mid-afternoon-session visit was quite gratifying.

We continued to work for a while more, and we left around sunset.


For dinner, we headed to the Blue Door pub, which boasted as its signature dish the Jucy Bluecy. The Bluecy itself is a variation on a Twin Cities signature called a Jucy Lucy, which is a burger with a cheese-infused patty (making for a molten cheese core). The Bluecy, as one might imagine, is made with blue cheese instead. If that sounds decadent, let me quote the description from the menu of what I eventually ordered: ‘We soak mozzarella in coconut milk before we stuff it into the patty and top it off with our pickled ginger veggie mix. Served with a side of curry for delectable dunking.’ Sin.