Re: A great new ballpark and everything is perfect -- except ... read on.


As I said, everything is perfect with the new Minnesota Twins ballpark except we still need a ballpark song that is easy to sing.

In the past, I've mentioned "(You've Gotta Have) Heart," the hit baseball tune from the musical "Damn Yankees," as a good one. So is the Yankees' seventh-inning winner, "New York, New York," with or without Sinatra. Just about everyone can sing it.

And there is Boston's darling melody, "Sweet Caroline." Recently, during the Red Sox' seventh-inning stretch, Neil Diamond in the flesh sang it. And guess what, all of the fans joined in. That is the way a ballpark song is supposed to be, easy for even ballpark singers like me, who do nicely on "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."

One tune that should be silenced right away is "Twins Territory," the G.B. Leighton song commissioned by Fox Sports North, which televises many of the Twins' games. Leighton debuted the song after singing "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch on Opening Day and here's hoping we won't hear it again at the ballpark. What I heard on Opening Day was a mish and a mash with no melody and words I could not hear, let alone understand. It was the worst.

So, please, don't play it again. Look for something else like "On the Sunny Side of the Street," for example. That's a great tune. And I am certain that there are many more. OK?


Guess what, I kind of like those great blue horns on our Orchestra Hall, you know. Nevertheless, they are about to disappear. The new plans to renew Orchestra Hall call for them to go away, along with some other outdoor items. Architects Marianne McKenna and Bruce Kuwabara have created what looks to be a splendid rejuvenated hall, but I am sorry.

There will be lots of glass, a bigger front lobby, a terrace overlooking Peavey Plaza and more. As for the plaza, I asked them to bring back the winter ice skating pond (and the summer pool) and they told me that the city has not fixed the broken water line that feeds the plaza. That's why the fountain doesn't bubble anymore.

Peavey Plaza is a popular spot and it needs constant care. If the city can`t handle it, turn it over to the Minneapolis Park Board. That is what they are here for -- our parks and plazas, right?


On May 11 at 7 p.m., there will be the second Loring Park Sing-Along. In Loring Park, of course.

It is a thrill because sing-alongs or community sings, as they once were called, are fun and a splendid way to spend a springtime evening.

The Loring sings are directed by Dan Chouinard at the piano with Bob White on violin. I have no idea what is sung, but who cares? Enjoy.


And speaking of people making art outdoors, I will bring up once again that famous tap dance parade that was put together by dancer Beth Obermeyer. Now she has written a book about it, titled "The Biggest Dance -- a Miracle on Concrete." She said her dining room table disappeared for three months, but she put it all on paper. And it will be published. Bravo, Beth. I will be a reader.


Someone on the staff of GQ magazine gets around -- or at least as far north as Parkers Prairie. In the May issue is an item about Chet's Lakeside Inn and especially its Swedish chicken, "delicately breaded, deep fried and almost fragile to the touch and so crumbly and buttery you will mull eating the bones.'' Wow!

Not only is the chicken superb, apparently, but so is the cabbage salad with something called ''red zippy sauce.'' And it is zippy. Wow, again.