C.J.: Swimmer Torres gets taste of hot on the Nicollet Mall

  • Article by: C.J. , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 18, 2013 - 10:22 PM

Dara Torres, the 12-time Olympic swim champion, had something really hot Tuesday at Masa on Nicollet Mall.

Torres was in the metro promoting her two new passions: Koss headphones, which she helped the Milwaukee-based company design with the size of a woman’s ear in mind, and spinning.

She had a couple of appearances at spin classes. I met her at Joe Ducosin’s CycleQuest in Eden Prairie, where each bike was wired Tuesday with headphones from the Koss Fit Series so that everybody who participated in the class Torres taught had her instructions and soundtrack playing in their ears.

When Torres went to KSTP-TV for a media appearance, she was surprised to find a couple of fans outside waiting for her autograph, according to my Koss source.

I was told that Torres had a pretty spicy taco salad at a Mexican restaurant on Nicollet Mall. That would be Masa.

“We don’t have a taco salad,” Masa manager Michelle Hummer told me Wednesday, “but we could make one.”

When I told Hummer why I was asking, she put me on hold to canvas the staff. She was eager to accommodate because of something I wrote about Jennifer Hudson dining at a D’Amico restaurant.

Hummer said the chef had made a special taco bowl for a woman fitting the description of Torres. “A taco bowl has rice on the bottom, beans, pico de Gallo salsa, chicken with chipotle crema,” Hummer told me.

How spicy could it have been? After all, this is Minneapolis.

“It’s a little spicy,” said Hummer. “It’s Mexican!”

Works for me. I love spicy Mexican food better than Mexicans do, according to one friend.

Hair tutorials

Award-winning Twin Cities hair stylist Faatemah Ampey is doing a series of hair tutorials for VibeVixen.com.

“These tutorials will be survival tips for beautiful black women,” said Ampey, who works at Edina’s Bells Salon and Spa.

I told her that I have a reliable caller who complains when I write phrases like “strong black women” or “beautiful black women.”

“Why would she resent that? Black women have struggled so long with hair and identity and TV and the media have not celebrated [them],” said Ampey. “I think it’s a great time, not just for black women but all women to embrace their hair texture.”

Ampey was in Paris for a private Fashion Week event by Intercoiffure, whose members are the “most famous” hair designers. The group gave her another award.

Recalling the Emmy winner

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  • a new spinOlympic swimmer Dara Torres is now promoting headphones and spinning.

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