Visit France, the secret Twin Cities and Fergus Falls – Twin Cities

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Today, we linger in Paris with a local author full of spirit, explore the places of interest of Twin Cities and meet the inhabitants of a city where very strange things happen.THOSE: Scott Dominic Carpenter discusses “French Like Me: A Midwesterner in Paris” with Marcia DeSanctis, essayist, journalist, former television producer and author of “100 places in France, every woman should go”

WHEN: 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 8

OR: Live broadcast on Magers & Quinn’s Facebook page

EDITOR / PRICE: Travelers’ Tales ($ 29.95 bound; $ 16.99 paperback)

Travel is suspended for most of us during these coronavirus days, but thanks to Scott Carpenter’s new fun book “French Like Me: A Midwesterner in Paris”, we can live everyday life in a condo that is not in the posh part of town.

Scott D. Carpenter / Photo courtesy

Carpenter, who teaches French literature and creative writing at Carleton College in Northfield, moved to France with his wife and daughter and shares his achievements on the differences between the way of thinking and doing things in France, and his Native Midwest. He writes of everything, from closed doors “… a peculiarity of French life …” to paperwork by simply trying to make a light bulb, and arguments about a precious space in the city where there is not enough to make. When Carpenter sat on the condo’s board of directors, they discovered that residents had been adding small pieces of the building to their property for years. (He describes the condo board as “a bit like the everyday characters in a Molière comedy, a delicious team of pendants, scoundrels and Tartuffes”.)

Here is the author meditating on the propensity of the French to share their knowledge: “People take pleasure in teaching you things, and if you are a foreigner, their eyes close happily when opening each statement with ‘In France …’ If the conversation were to focus on certain national topics (cheese, for example – or wine, sausages, colonialism, World War II, steel-hulled ships or atomic energy), you want to step back to don’t be splashed by their enthusiasm. . … All of this is part of the educational reflex, which in France is as common as acid reflux, an involuntary scorching of knowledge. In this part of the world, people are still infatuated with things, while in the United States, we have outsourced this pesky task to Google. ”

Then there are differences when buying health items. In the United States, Carpenter points out, you can buy everything you need from Walgreens or CVS. and you don’t have to tell anyone what you’re doing. But in France, pharmacies have a monopoly on health: “Each time my body betrays me, I walk down the street, stand in line and explain to a woman in a lab coat whose bun was tightened with a key exactly what liquids ooze from which parts of me. For the benefit of anyone within earshot, I provide details on frequency, color and duration. … ”

If you feel bad about this heat wave, have a drink, go to a cool place and meet a charming cast of Parisians, including ” The lady of the fifth, ” the notorious woman on the fifth floor who keeps her desk in the hallway and her small dog leaves brown deposits on the carpet.

“Secret Twin Cities”

COVID-19 is still here and families in Minnesota will be looking for safe places near their homes to explore this summer, as social distance remains important. If you’re looking for sites you’ve never heard of or don’t know about, grab a copy of “Secret Twin Cities” by freelance journalist Julie Jo Severson (Reedy Press, $ 20.95).

polycopié / secret

Subtitled “A Guide to the Strange, the Wonderful and the Dark”, this information-filled gem presents 198 sites, inside and out. Each has a two-page page with text that explains the background and interesting facts about the place or object, as well as a picture and a box with information giving the address, the cost of admission (many are free), and a Pro Tip, such as the best time to go and other interesting places in the vicinity.

Severson immediately captures a reader’s imagination with teasing chapter titles such as “Tangled Tower”, “Longfellow Zoo Artifacts”, “Dayton’s Monkey and Mementos”, “Insane Asylum Makeover” and “Once There Were Frogs”.

“Secret Twin Cities” is a double iron. You can read it just for fun without leaving home, or you can use it to plan a day trip. (Some indoor sites may be closed now or may have different hours due to the virus.)

Here are some examples to fuel your interest.

What is this wavy, bright thing behind Target Field?

It’s Sidewalk Harp, a glow-in-the-dark musical sidewalk, steps from the tram stop. It is intended to inspire connection and lightness between strangers.

Where and why is there a face overlooking St. Paul?

Overlook is a 9-foot, 2.5-ton structure representing a face of stone sculptor David Wyrick on the bluff above the Wabasha Caves at the corner of Prospect Boulevard and Stryker Avenue on the west side. (I have lived a few kilometers from this site for years and have never known this imposing face.)

What happened to the famous statue unveiled at the opening of the Foshay tower?

Wilbur Foshay opened his magnificent skyscraper in 1929, the centerpiece of which was a life-size nude known as Scherzo. After Foshay went to jail, the statue moved to the entrance of Charlie’s Cafe Exceptionale in downtown Minneapolis, to the now demolished Leamington Hotel, and then to a private home. Now she is in front of the Calhoun Towers apartment building, 3430 List Place, Minneapolis. Also relevant: Foshay Tower Museum and Observation Deck, 821 Marquette Ave. S., Mpls.

What place is considered the center of the earth by many The people of Dakota?

The confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers, Pike Island, Fort Snelling State Park, 101 Snelling Lake Rd., St. Paul.

«Fergus Falls»

If you are planning a lazy reading summer, dive into St. Louis Park native Ferguson Falls novel Joseph Berman (Kobo ebook, $ 10.49). At 741 pages, it’s a big bundle of looping fun. Based very freely on the county town of Otter Tail of the same name, the story follows the fortunes of the rich and the less wealthy in this place where strange things happen, including the disappearance of people. There is an electronic clock that flashes hundreds of variations of the name of Fergus Falls. who seems to house a squirrel talking to Mayor Mingalone. When the mayor walks through the door that leads inside the clock, he has a conversation with former vice president Walter Mondale.

Evelyn Kopak, the outspoken “hard haired, iron-haired” columnist for the local newspaper, who owns the structure, is to whom magic things happen. Then there is Ms. Lust, who seduces Bernie, the snow removal guy; Jose Hosea, the resident gangster; Ms. Euphemia Roof-Tichinski, who is trying to write a memoir with reluctant help from Evelyn; and Sarah, a gypsy girl who is going through difficult times. One of the funniest and most inventive characters is Tommy Mingalone, the 12-year-old mayor’s brilliant nephew, who invented a plan involving free airline miles that ultimately gave him control of an entire airline.

Berman, a graduate of the University of Minnesota and living in Massachusetts, is a seasoned writer and writer.

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