Target Field. Don't get me wrong; I think it's great, with the view of downtown and the night sky overhead and the tall lights illuminating the intensely green grass. But with all the treacly, cloying hype that we've been subjected to all summer, it can't help but be overrated; nothing could live up to "jewel box" this, and "Minnesota treasure" that. In truth, the seats are pretty small, and the concourse too narrow. There are times when it gets so crowded you can't move in any direction but must just stand still and hope you don't get crushed. Signage is inadequate, and first-timers wander aimlessly trying to figure out how to get to the second deck. The stadium lacks the distinction of Kansas City's fountains, or (face it) the convenience of Toronto's retractable dome. Target Field is a nice ballpark, a pretty ballpark, maybe even a long overdue ballpark -- but it's definitely overrated.


The end of summer. During those dark and frigid January days, we longed for summer. We dreamed of dashing outside wearing only three things: shorts, a T-shirt and a pair of sandals. We thought what an incredible convenience it would be to not have to scrape ice from our car, to still have sunlight at 9 p.m., to eat raspberries right off the vine. (Or, in my case, my neighbors' vine.) And now all that loveliness is winding down. But, I, for one, am looking forward to cool breezes, to sweaters, to thick wool socks with my sandals, to rainy afternoons with wet golden leaves plastered to the sidewalk. Summer was great. But it's time: Bring on autumn.