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Long weekend in Minneapolis

 

seen on my walk on Friday

seen on my walk on Friday

On Thursday, a terribly windy day, I sat on the upper deck of the double decker bus to the Twin Cities, to meet Mark who was already at the techy librarians conference. The bus was full and I had to share a seat, so I only got out my computer to shut it down – there was no room, and it was too bumpy to type because of the wind.

The first keynote was an expert on digital governance. Even after her talk, I’m not really sure what that is, but seems like another kind of project management.

The second one was the technology director of the Digital Public Library of America. He rambled quite a bit, but the main message was check your privilege before you create metadata and linked data (the new data format for libraries that is going to get our collection info out on the web with all the other stuff), because whose story are you telling – or description are you creating, I guess. Kind of in opposition to most of the discussion I’ve been hearing, and my thinking around the topic, which is that getting library, archive, & museum data out onto the Web is inherently good – because we’re not selling anything, and have reputable data – so we will class the joint up.

The closing keynote was a library consultant, who talked about getting out of your comfort zone – the echo chamber – to bring about innovation and organizational change. And a lot about SXSW.

In between I heard talks about altmetrics, linked data, data visualization, and trying to de-dupe a collection of 25 million MARC (the old library data format) records for government documents.

My brother lived in Minneapolis for about 6 years, from 1988 – 1994. On Friday, I went past his old old place across from Loring Park on the way to the Walker Art Museum (and the Claes Oldenburg cherry on the spoon). On Saturday I went near the last place he lived before moving to Seattle, near the Minneapolis Institute of Art. I fell and skinned my knee on that walk.

On Friday night we went to dinner with a big group at an Indian place, Dancing Ganesha. Good spicy food, but everything I had on that night, down to my bra, smelled like curry. On Saturday I could’ve easily skipped dinner, because we had a big lunch with the conference, but Mark wanted pizza and a salad so we went to Pizza Luce, and split a small pie and a salad with apples and walnuts and blue cheese.

On Sunday, we spent the afternoon walking – visiting the Minneapolis Institute of Art, to see a Delacroix show, that was about his influence on other painters, and honestly didn’t have much Delacroix¬† in it. These were my two favorite paintings & story in the show, one by Delacroix¬† and one by John Singer Sargent, both now in the UK National Gallery. We went back to the hotel by way of the Walker sculpture garden again. After working up an appetite that way, we went to Restaurant Alma, a 3-course fixed price dinner. Mark had been there before, and liked it so much he wanted to go back. I sort of wanted to try two courses instead of the full three, but even though the menu had assurances that a la carte was perfectly OK, there were no prices. Probably price-wise the fixed price was better. It’s the type of place where they list the ingredients and you figure it out, like the warm roasted beets I started with, subtitled petit basque, pickled chilies, chorizo sauce, that turned out to be the beets, a few thin slices of chorizo – which must’ve been house cured and was very good, and a foamy white faintly cheesey sauce, which was the petit basque, kind of melted, I think. I liked my middle course the best,¬† a coconut and rice crepe, supposed to be filled with pulled pork, but I opted for the vegetarian filling – roasted butternut squash. I thought if I was going for three courses, I should do whatever I could to lighten them. I couldn’t detect the coconut in the crepe, which was nicely herb-y, nor the cucumbers in the description. For thirds I had the duck two ways, 3 slices of breast that were way too rare for me, and a confit leg that was delicious, with a puddle of apple puree (applesauce) and parsnips and Brussels sprouts. The vegetables were there but so tiny, they just kind of merged into a bed of matter the meat sat on. I would’ve preferred a couple of visible sprouts and hunks of parsnip. Everything came decorated with fresh chives.

Sunrise from the hotel room window on Saturday morning

Sunrise from the hotel room window on Saturday morning – NPR talking about Paris in the background

We stopped at Norske Nook in Osseo for pie on the way home on Monday. I’d been craving sweet potato, so I had pumpkin, which inspired me to bake a sweet potato pie on Wednesday night. Lard crust.

Sweet potato pie with a lard crust

Sweet potato pie with a lard crust

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