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January 21, 2006

Без перевода

Weekend Outing: Recommendations for the Locals

This weekend, we threw all our compulsory chores aside and had some enjoyable family time. On Saturday, we started out by having breakfast at a new Minneapolis diner that Brian had read about in the STrib. Of course because of the great review this meant that we had to wait 30-minutes to be seated.

It was worth it. Hot Plate is a diner like the kind you imagined you visited as a kid, kitschy 70s decorations and all. The staff was harried but attentive, the food was wonderful and the prices very affordable. It felt like an NYC diner but with a Minnesota flare.

I had pumpkin-buckwheat waffles and Brian opted for the lower carb breakfast burrito. Graham had a banana-pecan muffin and silver dollar pancakes. The parents both ended up skipping lunch that day, to be sure! If you live in the metro area, you should definitely check this diner out.

I suppose you are wondering about the title of this entry. It is Russian for "good morning" and I’ve included it because after breakfast, we went to the Museum of Russian Art. We were all very impressed. Even Graham found many interesting things to search for in the paintings. And I was pleased because I’ve wanted to see this new museum for quite some time.


Stunning in its re-use design, this former church is now a museum that offers many styles of 20th Century Russian painting, including classical realism, Russian impressionism, socialist realism, the severe style and modernism, among others. The collection on view is impressive with works by such important Russian artists as Aleksandr Mikhailovich Gerasimov.

Gerasimov was one of leading Realist artists from 1925-1932. As the first president of the USSR Academy of Arts, he presided from 1947-57, until compelled to resign by Nikita Khrushchev. Gerasimov was awarded Stalin Prizes in 1941, 1943, 1945 and 1948. He is the artist most closely associated with the Party line in Soviet art of the Stalin period. In 1958 he received a Gold Medal at the World Exhibition in Brussels. His works hang in many Russian museums, and he exhibited in Paris, Tokyo, Cologne, Pittsburgh, Damascus, Moscow and at the World Exhibition in New York in 1947. Two of his paintings are on display, one of which is Trees In Bloom which is shown below:


The other is Still Life with Flowers from 1935. You'll have to visit the museum and see that one for yourself. If you are looking for different art experience in the Twin Cities, head to the Museum of Russian Art. You’ll be very pleasantly surprised.

My interest in Russian art started in 1995 when Brian and I traveled to Moscow and St. Petersburg for eight glorious days. I was working at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts at the time, and I helped lead a members’ tour of 65 senior citizens to see the “Hidden Treasures Revealed? exhibit at the Hermitage. Brian came along as an additional “sheep herder?.

Our group was filled with some truly great people who had incredible stories to tell, including many a tale of World War II heroics and life in America under the Cold War. Hearing the stories while walking Red Square one evening was something I’ll never forget.

Brian was influenced by Lenin’s van Dyke beard on the trip and decided to grow one for himself. Not that he was making a political statement! He just saw the beard on so many faces and in so many museums that he had to try it. He wore that style of beard for about eight years.

I’ll probably post a few more photos from that Russian trip during this week. We visited a ton of places and got behind the sealed doors of the Kremlin. A trip of a lifetime, indeed. And I hope to get back again some day.

Paint by Number for Adults

The décor at Hot Plate included many, many paint by number artworks, which made me think about the 2006 calendar I purchased.

I’ve always wanted to learn to paint with watercolors. I even took a class on how to do it. The most important thing I learned was that you need to know how to draw before you can paint. Oh, well…

This little daily calendar offers me the best of both worlds – individual watercolor paintings that have already been sketched in. I just have to paint them, sort of like paint by number for adults. Could it be any easier? Or more fun?



Next week – the gardening bug has returned. Stay tuned!

Posted by maasx003 at January 21, 2006 4:59 PM | Family