Withering Glance: Our fave escapes in the Twin Cities

  • Article by: RICK NELSON and CLAUDE PECK , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 21, 2014 - 2:11 PM

Central Library on the Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis.

Photo: Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

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


CP: Before we start, promise you will not share this with anyone. If we name our secret, feel-good spots (no, not those), we will have to stamp the column “National Security, Eyes Only.”


RN: I swear, on all that I hold holy. Right now that’s my airline ticket out of this winter wonderland.


CP: Stricken with cabin fever, I will go to the Central Library in downtown Minneapolis, laptop in tow, get a Dunn Bros. with no room, and settle in at one of the third-floor study carrels. For one, I love the Cesar Pelli library. For another, this activity time-machines me to my heady, carefree college days.


RN: If only my alma mater’s odious O. Meredith Wilson Library possessed Pelli’s generous way with sunlight. Had the restorative refuge that is the Weisman Art Museum existed during my undergraduate years, I probably would have made the dean’s list.


CP: Shopping is therapeutic, too. I used to have several favorite places here, such as L’Homme at Dayton’s and the shoe shack at now-closed Neiman Marcus.


RN: Don’t get me started on downtown’s retail past. I still miss the Williams-Sonoma outlet on the second floor of the original Harold. It disappeared, by — what? — 1985? Jeez, I’m old.


CP: As the hills. Though you also are that rare breed, a journalist who doesn’t drink coffee. Still, you steered me to Spyhouse Coffee in the converted paper warehouse at Broadway and Central in Northeast. It is a great big timber-and-brick barn where everyone seems as happy as a cat on a radiator cover. If I lived closer, I would be a regular, switching from coffee to 612 Brew craft beer (on the lower level) at the appropriate time each day.


RN: When I’m in need of a non-caffeinated mood elevator, I’ll slip into the Rand Tower’s swellegant lobby — “the most exceptional art deco space in downtown Minneapolis,” according to our employer’s former architecture critic, the astute Linda Mack — and take a few deep, calming breaths.


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