My perfect Saturday is sunny, in October, inside Kinnick Stadium with the Hawkeyes up two touchdowns, but nobody in Minnesota wants to hear that so I’ll stick to Minneapolis.
7 a.m. I’m out of bed and running east on 38th Street toward the river. The route turns south along the Mississippi, then west below the trees along Minnehaha Creek. The busy trail weaves beside the smooth, quick water. I should admit now that a 7 a.m. run is a blue moon-type rarity for me — but this day is perfect! I circle Lake Nokomis then run north to my home near Roosevelt High School.
9 a.m. We walk to A Baker’s Wife (4200 28th Av. S., Mpls.). The line’s out the door but it moves fast. People don’t dawdle. The ham and cheese and the chocolate croissants have become old friends. So have the doughnuts and the blueberry turnover. If we’re talking about perfection, we’ll have all four.
Next door to the bakery is Mend Provisions (2719 E. 42nd St., Mpls.). Neither my wife nor I go fishing, but there’s something satisfying about the wool blankets and hatchets.
11 a.m. I like to ride a bicycle the way kids ride one — rolling around a neighborhood aimlessly. I chart a zigzag route between 28th and 34th Avenues, hitting alleys, checking out back yards, inspecting quiet four-way stops. A place whose name misleads in its straightforwardness is the Book Trader (5344 34th Av. S., Mpls.). The variety of taxidermy — including a baboon, pheasant, bobcat, African gemsbok, beaver, coyote and two buffalo — is mesmerizing. You can buy a $75 Langston Hughes reader, a stool made from an elephant’s foot, or dig through an avalanche of trashy paperbacks.
Next I ride to Bossen Field Park and find a hill up behind a softball field’s home plate. Passenger jets angle in low over the outfield and metal bats clink base hits out into the green. It feels like a park for regular folks.
2 p.m. In the afternoon I might go to Hudson Hardware (2900 E. 42nd St., Mpls.). But I have to admit, even if it makes me sound like Marilyn Hagerty, that I enjoy Home Depot. I go to the one in Richfield, wander around, and imagine projects I will never complete.
4 p.m. Take a nap.
7 p.m. Clean up and head to dinner — hopefully with a few Hastings and Duluth natives, a Hoosier and a dude from Cleveland. Burch (1933 Colfax Av. S., Mpls.) is a favorite lately. Get the marlin crudo, fried semolina and potato pierogi. The Porterhouse for two is enough for four, and it’s delicious.
10 p.m. We dance. We’re not picky about where. Even the mediocre downtown rooftop scene will do if the mood is right. We’re hot for Private Oates, the occasional local Hall & Oates cover band. Honey (205 E Hennepin Av., Mpls.), with its basement concrete, works. The best is Clubhouse Jager (923 Washington Ave. N., Mpls.), with its checkered floor, high ceiling and DJ tucked just inside the door.
1 a.m. If we’re feeling ambitious then we’ll end the night at this standing Saturday party I know in Midtown. There’s no sign of it from the street, you hit a buzzer to get into a velvety old parlor and they serve an outstanding Bee Sting. If you’re not careful you’ll stay too late, and your Sunday will be anything but perfect.