Withering Glance: Sights and sites to delight sore eyes

  • Article by: RICK NELSON and CLAUDE PECK , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 8, 2011 - 5:26 PM

Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.

Alan Cumming suits up for “The Good Wife.”

Photo: David M. Russell, CBS

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RN: You're in an uncharacteristically good mood.

CP: Surely you mistake me for another. I'm my usual self -- peevish, out of sorts, ill at ease. What has you so filled with glee, besides "Glee"?

RN: I am loving the show's new season, I have to say. But my favorite new mood elevator comes courtesy of Walker Art Center. I don't know who's responsible for restoring Calder's "The Spinner" to the museum's prominent Hennepin Avenue sculpture pad, but I feel as if I should send them an FTD keepsake mug to express my gratitude.

CP: Yeah, nothing expresses gratitude like a mauve mug stuffed with mini-carnations. Still, Calder's splash of color and intelligent whimsy is just the thing for that busy corner, where it may bring a shot of joy to the 17,000 motorists who see it daily.

RN: My other new daily dose of urban color is the ongoing De Stijl- style paint job at Riverside Plaza, née Cedar Square West. Have you seen it? Depressing flesh-tone and gray panels -- out. Jaunty pops of red, blue, yellow and white -- in. It's fabulous, and I'm convinced that Piet Mondrian and Ralph Rapson are looking down from the design heavens and smiling.

CP: Mary Richards, the character who once lived in those apartments, would also be beaming. Lou Grant should fire the guy who agreed to painting over those panels in the first place.

RN: I'm also loving Opus Development's proposed 33-story, $100-million-plus apartment tower on the dreary parking lot at 5th Street and Nicollet Mall. It can't go up fast enough for me.

CP: That and other signs of an economic pulse downtown -- a new Lunds, a new mixed-use thingie at Washington and Hennepin -- are sites for sore eyes. But the luxury high-rise development may end up like others: trotted out, then forgotten.

RN: Yes, but those were condos. In this market, everyone is renting.

CP: We weren't really speaking of TV, but I'm desperately searching for things I've liked lately. I saw pilots for "Boss" and "Homeland." The former features Kelsey Grammer as mayor of Chicago, the latter stars Claire Danes as a pill-popping, high-intensity CIA operative with a lot on her mind. Both great.

RN: I'm still the No. 1 fan of "The Good Wife," which is off to a riveting start. Why aren't you watching? Alan Cumming is fantastic as the ever-plotting political operative Eli Gold. He has the best suits on television. I can see you wearing all of them.

CP: I can see someone buying all of them for me. You want to see good-moodiness.

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