Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.
CP: I once had black hair, and you once had hair. What else do we miss around here?
RN: Can we please take a moment to pause and silently reflect upon our former coiffured fabulousness? OK, you were saying?
CP: While I tend to agree with a current rock lyric that says, “No nostalgia. No sentiment. We’re over it now. We were over it then,” one does miss certain things. Like L’Homme, the aspirational menswear store in the former downtown Dayton’s.
RN: To that I would add, all of the former downtown Dayton’s. Dayton’s, in general. And with that I will change my middle name to “Broken Record.”
CP: What about the former downtown Minneapolis train station? One could arrive in town in grand Beaux Arts style, right alongside the Father of Waters. Then, for years, the Amtrak pulled to a stop in an utterly nondescript siding in St. Paul’s Midway.
RN: Or the original Nicollet Mall. Here’s hoping the new one delivers a cool factor that’s commensurate with landscape architect Lawrence Halprin’s 1960s design.
CP: My guess is that you will be disgruntled. I miss Shinders for its newsstand, and Paul Magers for being practically perfect in the airbrushed world of TV news readers.
RN: And the late Bud Kraehling for his avuncular weather reportage.
CP: I miss the Uptown Bar, where local rock acts kept things live and loud. Now that block has about 12 mountaineering stores, and the nightlife crowd is of the liquored-up d-bag variety.
RN: Speaking of neighborhoods long gone, how about the Minneapolis Warehouse District? Cheap wine and ham sandwiches at the New French Cafe, a late-night slice of gateau Marjolaine at Faegre’s, a thought-provoking show at Montgomery Glasoe, a famous-person sighting at Cafe Brenda. All gone.
CP: You pull at my post-college, pre-oldster heartstrings, ami. What about the recent past, when one could come downtown to shop on Sundays, and park free?
RN: Hey, someone has to pay for all of these downtown professional sports venues. Might as well be the street parkers.
CP: There once was a perfectly nice gay beach at Lake Calhoun. The stretch of grassy shoreline lying roughly between 31st and 32nd streets was a fun summer cavalcade of tan-and-ogle.
RN: Sadly, Glitter Beach is now a tot lot. It has gone to that Big Gay Memory in the Sky, along with Ye Gadz, on Loring Park. That’s where Minneapolis was introduced to white zinfandel and chicken nachos. Well, at least I was, circa 1984.
CP: And a foodie celebrity is born! The Land of Lost Bookstores is a category to itself, with such late great ones as Hungry Mind, Savran’s and Odegard Books.
RN: Don’t forget Gringolet.
CP: Oh, yeah. Where was it again?
RN: St. Anthony Main, during the 20 minutes in the early 1980s when the place was white-hot.
Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib