is older than it's ever been and now it's even older


Neighborhood food

When we took our three week trip to Germany (and Austria and Italy) at the end of 1998 and beginning of 1999, one of the things I was struck by is the number of sausage stands scattered about. For me, it was a hell of a lot better to go pick up ein Wurst in der Semmel (that's a sausage, usually a Bratwurst, in a roll) than to go to a shitty American fast food restaurant. I mean, there's nothing worse than going to the Rialto in Venice and realizing that at one end of this bridge is a McDonald's. So, while we were tromping about if we got hungry I'd suggest to Jeron or Maggie or Jerry that it was time to go from bad to Wurst, which would draw a groan or a smack, depending on who I said it to, what mood they were in, or how many times I'd uttered that phrase on that particular day.

I'm thinking about the wurst because after eating so many in Deutschland, we began searching in earnest for good bratwurst here in St. Paul. Very close to our house we found them - there's a liquor store, deli, and semi-grocery store called Morelli's that is perhaps the most amazing store in the Twin Cities. For one, apparently it's so old it's been able to avoid all the weird liquor laws that govern all of the other liquor stores. There is literally nowhere else you can pick up food while you're getting beer, or whiskey, or wine. The deli is something from another era. Not only are the prices better than any other meat market in the Cities, but they actually make their own sausage. Those bratwurst are quite literally the best in the world - and they don't start making them until summer. Last year they were already making them but this year they haven't started yet. C'mon, Morelli's… make the bratwurst! How can we go camping without them?

Morelli's was started in the teens at the top of a hidden valley called Swede Hollow. Swede Hollow was the site of a bustling immigrant community from before statehood to the 1950s, when the city decided to rid themselves of what they considered a bit of an embarassment to their image. Now, Swede Hollow is a park. Despite the overgrown nature, a neat trail winds through there and if you go off the path you can see flagstones and foundations like a huge archaeological site. Next to Morelli's is a very working class, basic, and thoroughly charming southern Italian restaurant called Yarusso Bros, home of the fifteen dollar date. Yarusso's was founded in 1933 and thus is the oldest Italian Restaurant here. I have now talked myself into taking Maggie there tonight. Chicken Parmesan, Spaghetti, Antipasto and spicy fried ravioli!

Odds 'n' ends

A journal-style page I like is Squirrel bait. I have to say I was especially intrigued by this long entry about two Nathans. Of course I'm biased, being a Nathan myself, but I can't help but think that the description of them kinda sounds like me:

Nathan's twenty and boy-band cute; big blue eyes in a classic face framed by blonde hair, wiry muscles, the whole nine yards. He's funny, smart, has a continent-sized ego, tends to hide behind acting silly and cute, flirts shamelessly with everyone, and plays mind games for fun. When I first met him, he annoyed the crap out of me -- but as I got to know him, I was won over by his charm and obvious affection for me.

Ok, the "boy-band cute" and "blond hair" are a little off, but funny, smart, continent sized ego… HEY! It's me! To make this more interesting, the entry in question features the younger and older Nathans meeting. She assigns both of them the description I've just reproduced. After they meet:

As the intoxicants flowed, Nate and Mini-Nate came to the same realization."Dude! You're me, three years ago!" cried Big Nate."Dude! You're me, when I'm, like, old and stuff!" cried Little Nate

Dude, I'm both of you, three years older and stuff. Deal with it. Nice journal, Meg.

Anyone from the Northwest might be proud to know about the mysterious and large clam called the geoduck. That's pronounced "gooey duck." I never knew how to pronounce that until I read this article, seeing as I'd only seen the word written and never heard it. I've had the same problem with other words like "assuage" and "communique." Don't bother telling me how to pronounce them now. I looked them up. (Huh huh, he said "ass wage")


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