New Places, Down the Block

Reluctantly stepping out of the dark house into the burning August sun, after a lazy Sunday morning, I mounted my trusty red bicycle and headed south down 7th street towards the Smithsonian. There is a wonderful gallery of Spanish armour circa 1400-1600 or so in the NGA.

The instantly recognizable echo of brass and bass drums was completely out of place in the deserted sun-washed streets and row houses. As was the crowd of people dressed completely in white radiating out in small goups from the huge crowd gathered on M street. Out of place for me, because it was completely outside of my experience.

Drawn into the fray, I found myself in the middle of at least three brass bands, belting out soul-shaking music as if to topple the soul-less new buildings that have popped up along 7th street over the past few years, threatening scenes of community and faith like this one. The groups seemed spontaneous, improvised, but again only because I had no idea what was going on. It was quite the opposite – these groups were tight, and loud, and they were driven by an all-encompassing passion and faith that I can envy.

This white boy from Minnesota couldn’t have been more out of place in the crowd, but I felt completely at home.

I joined the crowd, stomping the pavement in time with the base drum that was dictating our heart beats. The event was celebrating a Baptism that had just finished inside the church.

The debates rage on, but not on this hot August Sunday in DC

The Secretary of State debriefs after a marathon of meetings with African leaders and citizens, the President defends health care reform at town hall meetings across the USA and takes his family to Old Faithful (what is more “American”?), and interest groups spend tens of millions of dollars battling each other for the hearts and minds of the masses.

Yet here am I, taking the Sunday off to peddle and sweat my way across our nation’s capital. A good day.

Grass Roots beta. Redefining a generation of the community greenhouse

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Located on the hundred year old Miller farm, nestled between Rush Lake and Buchanan Lake outside Ottertail, Minnesota, the family run Grass Roots Greenhouses has redefined itself in a new location and with a new mission. The retail site has “come home,” now inseparable from its organic plant production, reducing waste and creating a more genuine, exciting experience for visitors. The site also includes the long-incubated Center for NonViolence. Other innovations include Wireless in the Woods for those who want to be connected to both nature and the digital world at the same time, and even pet chickens.

Minnesota Voyage

Kat and her mom, Lake Geneva, WI.

Happy hour with Papa, Erik and Micah at Figlio. Best happy hour in Uptown, still.

Always ready for biking in Minnesota…

The freeloader (other than Ted) Molly and Jason that stays at Molly and Jason’s place rent-free.

Mom, in Ottertail, talking to Veena, in Malaysia.