Cafe on the Bay, Chesapeake City, Maryland - Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Cafe on the Bay, Chesapeake City, Maryland - Tuesday, May 7, 2019
Cafe on the Bay, Chesapeake City, Maryland - Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Sunday, July 22, 2018

St. Paul, MN: Charles Schulz, Cathedral, Mickey's Diner, Quadriga, Capitol, Part 2 - Thurs., July 12, 2018

Continued from Part 1...

As we walked down the stairs, we came to the historical marker for the Selby Streetcar Tunnel.

Historical photo of the streetcar
Susan Medlin continuing down the trail.
You can see how steep the grade is (16%)
The tunnel exited just below the cathedral.
The tunnel made the grade only 7% which meant the electric streetcars no longer needed a cable assist to get up the hill. From this point, we turned toward downtown St. Paul. There were a number of homeless people along the next few blocks of our route. One couple with an "assist dog" walked with us for a short distance. We heard about how they stand on the corner and beg with a sign. They said all the money they collect goes to feed their dog. I said, "I hope you're feeding yourselves, too." They insisted all the money was for the dog. We left them in the dust.

As we headed toward the Xcel Energy Center, I found a quote in the cement. Here it is...not sure I agree with it because it wasn't exactly quiet at this off-ramp from the freeway, and what is the scent of concrete, anyway?

Xcel Energy Center
St. Paul's downtown skyline
Our entrance to downtown was on 7th Avenue crossing in front of the Xcel Center to 5th Street. We came to the 1902 Landmark Center which originally served as the Federal Court House. It is a grand building. The triangle park across Market Street from the Landmark Center is where I found a number of the Peanuts sculptures. (See yesterday's blog.)
The Landmark Center, corner of 5th & Market
Landmark Center arches (Susan on the bench
waiting for me to take photos)
Many capital cities in the U.S. do not allow buildings or structures to block the view of their Capitol. Not so in Minnesota as you can see in the photo below.

[CORRECTION UPDATE: Thank you to the Twin Cities Volksmarch Club who used my blog in their fourth quarter newsletter. They found an error in my identification of the building in the photo below and sent the following message. "NOTE: Some eagle-eyed editors noticed that the building blocked by the skyway noted in the article is actually the Cathedral and not the State Capitol." I really appreciate your editors for catching this! And it's good to know they're not blocking the view of the Capitol.]

Oops, you blocked the view! But it's not the
Capitol, it's the Cathedral in this photo.
A pretty pedestrian mall downtown.
Church of the Assumption - Catholic
Romanesque Revival Church built 1870-74
(across the street from Mickey's Dining Car)
Susan and I had eaten a small breakfast at 6:30 a.m., but at 10:30 a.m. our tummies were grumbling. The walk directions mentioned Mickey's Dining Car, a Classic American Diner in a 1930s dining car. We wondered if they would be open so early for lunch. Not only were they open (they're open 24 hours a day)...they weren't crowded. Apparently, there is usually a wait to eat here. There's even a sign inside that says, "30-minute limit." 

Susan outside the dining car.
It's worth reading the back page of the menu for the history of the restaurant and other trivia. Enlarge the back page of the menu by double-clicking the photo below.

Inside the dining car. Photo was taken from our table.
The rules sign in the dining car.
We recommend the Mulligan Stew, and the baked beans were good. The burger was so-so. The fries I could have lived without.

The temperature outside was in the high 80s by this time with high humidity. A break to sit down and eat in air-conditioned comfort, replenish our water, and use the restroom was a most welcome respite from the heat. The food gave us the energy to make it through the rest of the walk.

F. Scott Fitzgerald mural
On the corner just past the F. Scott Fitzgerald mural is the Fitzgerald Theater, home to NPR's radio show, "A Prairie Home Companion." 

Central Presbyterian Church -
Richardsonian Romanesque built
Church of St. Louis, King of France
From the heart of downtown, we walked to the Capitol Complex grounds. Many memorials and pieces of art are spread out over a few blocks around the Capitol. We saw a portion of them.

First, we stopped at the Minnesota Workers' Memorial Garden. "This memorial is dedicated to all Minnesotans that [sic] have given their lives in the workplace.."


Very large mural dedicated to all types of workers.
More of the mural.
The quote below is also from the Workers' Memorial.

Quote from "Freedom's Plow"
A few steps up the hill is the Minnesota Woman Suffrage Memorial which honors 25 Minnesota women for their leadership in the national 72-year struggle to win the vote. For more than 150 years, American women were denied the basic right of citizenship even as they were expected to conform to laws they had no part in making. Many plaques show the evolution of the Women's Suffrage Movement. One of the groups that came out of the Women's Suffrage Movement was the League of Women Voters, who now educate voters on the candidates and issues. We learned a lot reading everything. Below are a few of the informative plaques

Minnesota Woman Suffrage Memorial

Where women started out
What women aspire to

A cover of "Life" magazine memorialized.
Our walk instructions told us to head up to the Capitol. And there it was, tempting us. 
Minnesota state capitol
However, I looked farther down the hill and saw a bunch of boulders spread out in a random design and my curiosity was piqued.

I headed down to see what that was about. It is part of a walkway dedicated as a military family tribute. (I admit, we were killing time looking at all the outside memorials. The next guided tour of the Capitol was scheduled for noon and we had 45 minutes until then.) 

The boulders are called "Story Stones" which are excerpts from a letter from a serviceman to a member of their family. Some of the quotes are quite telling about the war they were in or how they were feeling when they received a letter from loved ones. Here are a few...

From the Story Stones, we meandered over to the Korean War Memorial. 

Korean War Memorial
Korean War Memorial
Me paying my respects to the
Korean troops.
Susan with the big sculpture
Time was quickly passing as we explored all the memorials, but it was time to high-tail it up to the capital so we didn't miss the tour. Besides, we still had to take outside photos of the building, too.

Capital Mall area
Pretty posies - dusty miller and purple petunias
The Quadriga (more on that in Part 3 of today's blog)
Things are looking up!
 Time to head inside for the group tour. To be continued in Part 3.

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