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.

 

CP: I see you coming down the marble spiral staircase there and instantly think Roz Russell in “Auntie Mame.”

 

RN: Thanks, I think.

 

CP: The Rand’s St. Paul counterpart is the Ramsey County courts building. Same architect, very different vibe.

 

RN: Field trip! I can’t enter the Crystal Court without offering silent thanks to the 1960s corporate leaders who had the foresight — and the checkbook — to hire architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee. Where would Minneapolis be without the IDS? Cold Omaha, that’s where.

 

CP: Bookstores are a comfort. I think of closed ones I have loved: Savran’s on the West Bank, Hungry Mind on Grand Avenue, Border’s at Calhoun Square. My current top spot for a browse-and-buy is Magers & Quinn Uptown.

 

RN: Guilting out over Gringolet, Odegard’s, Baxter’s and other beloved bookstores is why I’m hedging on buying an e-reader.

 

CP: Guilt has no place in a feel-good world. Buy it.

 

E-mail: witheringglance@startribune.com

Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib