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Flanagan: Bow to the queen, and pleas for art, hammocks

  • Article by: Barbara Flanagan
  • Special to the Star Tribune
  • August 6, 2012 - 10:03 AM

The Flanagan Memo, Re: The Olympics opening smash, how about nap time in our parks and downtown keeps up.

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For openers, Lund's has opened downtown. It is a step forward.

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Give the British a great big bow.

To open their version of "the Games,'' there was "James Bond" in the person of actor Daniel Craig, arriving at Buckingham Palace to escort Queen Elizabeth to the Games. And she was ready.

He led her to a courtyard where they boarded a helicopter for a ride to Wembly Stadium, where they parachuted to their seats. Yes, they did, but not really.

At any rate, it was a totally smashing bit, very gracious but, well, hilarious. And she wore a stunning pink dress.

Certainly the TV watchers and those on hand loved it as much as I did.

I have only one mild complaint. Shouldn't Mr. Bond have been the original, the unforgettable Sean Connery? Just a question.

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I grew up in Des Moines in a house with a couple of big and sittable porches and I remember my grandfather and how he loved to nap.

And at one point we had a wonderfully comfy hammock.

The other day, I was reading about parks -- what else? -- and noted some great hammock news from, of all places, New York City. The Wall Street Journal reported that a remake of Governors Island will include a Hammock Grove "with 50 hammocks for swinging of a gentle kind.'' My grandfather would have liked that. So do I.

But where to put them in our park system, and who would look after them?

Maybe an idea would be to try one or two hammocks in the street corner parks downtown. Perhaps somebody could donate them.

One other idea is currently entrancing New Yorkers -- sculpture by Niki de Saint Phalle is on view until November on the Park Avenue Mall. Lots of her swimsuited "Nanas" are diving in.

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Putting artists in the middle of our town is already a going thing, but we don't see much of their art, or so it seems.

A Minneapolis plan to select several artists each year to join in city planning has been underway since 2006 when some works were designed for our transit.

The Minneapolis Plan for Arts and Culture continues this fall when four artists are expected to be named to city offices to work on ideas throughout the year.

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One thing I have fussed about over the years is the food in our parks in summer. Finally we are getting it -- at Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet and at Minnehaha Falls. May I say "Thank you" to the Park Board.

One item that has yet to make the move from New York to our parks is the egg cream.

This is a different drink from the Midwest's ice cream soda and many people don't know that. They call the egg cream "a soda'' and it is, but it isn't. The egg cream has seltzer and a flavor such as chocolate in it. The soda has soda, the chocolate flavor and a couple of scoops of ice cream.

A rich and very chocolatey egg cream is now on the menu at the Eat Street Social, a brand-new but kind of old-fashioned place at 18 W. 26th St. From all I know, their egg cream is a copy of those served in Brooklyn or the Bronx that comic Jerry Lewis used to rave about.

So how about adding egg creams at our lakeside dining spots? Plus sodas, too, of course.

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