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City VIP Blogger Meet Minneapolis

Welcome to the Insider blog. The City VIP section will feature posts straight from the minds of Minneapolis celebrities, as well as some cool inside information from us. Also, the Insider Post area will spotlight a random member of the Minneapolis community, allowing them to share their unique perspective on the city. Read on and become an Insider.

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Monday July 22, 2013

An Artistic Swing: Putt-Putt at the Walker Art Center Part 2

After a round of even par on Course A of the Walker Art Center’s new “Walker on the Green” putt-putt course, I knew I was in for a challenge on Course B. If you missed the adventures of Course A, you can find them here in Part 1.

FOR INFORMATION ON HOLE INSPIRATIONS, PRICES AND ADDITIONAL FACTS ON THE COURSE, DOWNLOAD THIS PDF.

Click the picture for a larger view.

HOLE 1: TILT-A-PUTT

Wow, do they start Course B off with a bang. Remember this game? That’s essentially what this hole is, but BIGGER! Once you hit your ball up the ramp, you run to the middle of the course, grab what appears to be an airplane steering wheel and guide your ball through this huge labyrinth. Just like in the regular game, falling in to a trap hole will severely tack on a couple strokes to your final score. Guide your ball all the way through for a hole-in-one.

Par:  


Score: 


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HOLE 2: HOLEY LIGHTED

From the artist, “…the hole attempts to recreate the sensation of a shaded canopy in summer.” And let me say, on the 95 degree day I was there, that was an excellent reprieve. I lined up every shot like a pro, taking minutes per shot to scan every break in the carpet. Was I the most popular person on the course? Most likely not. But did my perfuse sweating cease? Absolutely. For that, I salute this hole.

Par:   


Score: 
 


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HOLE 3: MEGA GOLF

Golfing in the Walker Art Center, meet Walker Art Center in golfing. When I stepped inside the big golf ball that comprises Hole 3, I glanced down and saw a couple obstacles on the ground. Then I really looked at what those obstacles were and realized I was facing down an exact replica of the Walker Art Center grounds. If you want to become more familiar with the complex, you can putt around the whole thing before you reach the hole. I, however, two-putted and promised re-familiarize myself with the grounds when scores weren’t involved.

Par:   


Score: 
 


Click the picture for a larger view.

HOLE 4: ZEN (ROCK) THE GARDEN

Maybe it was the zen-like attention to detail on this hole, or perhaps it was the nature music I quickly threw on via my phone, but I was definitely feeling the good karma vibes on this hole. I feng-shuied the sand garden, paid homage to the intricate rock stack and let the universe guide my ball into the hole. The Dude abides.

Par:    


Score: 
  


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HOLE 5: ROCK! GARDEN

Ah…ohhhhhh alright I see what you’re getting at, course designers. Rock the Garden occurs in the garden of the Walker Art Center, and here we are at the Walker Art Center. Clever. I’m picking up what you’re putting down now. While the last hole was a more Wheel of Fortune play on words combination, this hole literally combines rocks and music. You can carom your ball off special slots in each rock, and each bounce off those slots creates a different sound. Unfortunately, I only know what one of the sounds are, because I was unofficially closing in on a course record (it’s automatically a record if there was no record before it, right?) and only hit off one of the rocks.

Par:   


Score: 
 


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HOLE 6: GARDEN GNOME FOOSBALL

Remember Hole 2 on Course A? I hope you all made amends with each other after that, because the fate of your score is entirely in the hands of your friends. Once you make it up the first ramp of the hole, your next putt must navigate up another ramp and through……through……..foosball gnomes. Not only do the soulless eyes of the gnomes provide enough intimidation, but you’ve also got your friends manning those gnomes, and they’re ready to either usher your ball through the goal or mercilessly send it flying back down the ramp. And, I must say, nothing gave me more joy than swatting someone else’s ball down the ramp and doing the Dikembe Mutombo “Not in my house” finger wag.

Par:   


Score: 
 


Click the picture for a larger view.

HOLE 7: BE A SCULPTURE

At first, this hole looks kind of…..bland. It’s just flat, and the hole is right in the middle of the . But then you notice there are footprints scattered around the hole. Guess what those are for? Yep, the people in your group get to place their feet on those prints and act as the obstacles of the hole. Here’s what I determined about these “obstacles”:


Smiling Obstacles- Obstacles will trash talk a bit, but your ball will follow the route you gave it. Good scores all-around.


Smirking Obstacles- Obstacles will seemingly become life-like and kick your ball multiple times. Bad score immanent.

Par:   


Score: 
 


Click the picture for a larger view.

HOLE 8: 18 HOLES IN ONE

Course A and B share the same last hole, so you’re going to get one more go at this beautiful hole. 

Par:   


Score: 
  

Par for Course B: 24
Score on Course B: 17

COURSE TOTAL: 40 (-7)

Thanks to some beautiful and inspired putt-putting on the Course B, I managed to close out like a tour pro. This course is fantastic, and absolutely has to be on your “Things to Do” list for the summer. Check it out, have some fun, then wander around and enjoy everything else the Walker Art Center has been offering for the last 25 years.

Insider Blog Post
Friday January 18, 2013

Prince's Princess: A Brush With Greatness

As you all have surely heard by now, Prince had been rocking the 612 over at the Dakota Jazz Club last week. Most accounts of this legendary event have only been seen on Twitter.

Until now.

We tracked down a concert goer that had a truely one-of-a-kind experience with the exhaluted purple one. Getting complimented by Prince AND snagging some rare memorabilia? That. Happened. Check it out:

Meet Minneapolis:First off, we have to ask….HOW did you manage to get tickets to this once-in-a-lifetime event?

Gina Reis:I was actually at work when I heard about the Prince concert, and was immediately in a fluster trying to figure if I'd be able to squeeze in online and buy a ticket. I immediately text my friend Paul, a Prince fanatic, because I knew he'd be in to go. He got online and snagged two tickets for us right at noon. He must've been one of the first to get them, since we got front row center seats!

MM: Wow, front row center. That's crazy. So, how was the concert?

GR:I don't know if I can find the words to accurately describe the show. I went in with low expectations--everyone was telling me that Prince was most likely not going to come out until 1:30 am and would only sing a couple of songs. He does have an infamous reputation for this type of behavior. So, when he came out, strutting his stuff behind a parade of trumpets, saxophones and trombone players right at 11 pm, I was floored!

When he got on stage, I was honestly a foot away from him--up close and personal to lose myself in his guitar and piano playing, as well as the amazing improv solos by the rest of the band. Although he barely sang a note during the night, everyone had an amazing time. Prince is an amazing musician, and he was really in his element, reacting to the other musicians' ridiculously intricate solos by throwing up the hood on his heavy white sweater or even stopping his piano playing to stare and smirk in amazement.

The concert was a fusion of funk, jazz and blues beats that were so raw and hypnotizing! Prince was so genuinely caught in the music that I felt like I was spying in on a private studio jam session.

MM: Sounds intense. Now, something else about your story caught our ears. We hear Prince called out your shoes. For real?

GR:This was, without a doubt, the best moment of my life. I'm going to be an old, wrinkly lady, telling all my little grandchildren about this moment, and their jaws will drop in amazement and awe at what happened to their grandmother so many years ago.

It was the beginning of his set, and throughout the whole concert, Prince went back and forth between playing the guitar and the keys. As one song ended, he set the guitar down and, as he took the few steps across the small stage to the keyboard, he breezed passed me and said "Nice shoes".

Yeah. Take that in for a second.

In a concert where he sang about one line, said nothing in between tunes, he felt the need to compliment me on my leopard print booties from Marshalls. Best $16 I've ever spent! I'm never taking these puppies off. And, they obviously did not even compare to his shoes--one sparkling gold, the other sparkling silver, with matching clear light up heels that flashed red whenever he stomped to the beat. Leave it to Prince to make light up shoes cool for adults!

MM: And leave it to him to have more fabulous shoes than most women. Plus, if that weren't enough, you snagged a guitar pick from him. Be honest, how long did you spend feng-shuing your house to get the level of universal karma necessary to get that pick?

GR:Prince marched off stage with his band after the amazing encore and I spotted two picks: one on the ground by the mic, the other resting on the keyboard. I wanted to grab one of them but was afraid of security descending upon me if I tried.

So, I waited a little bit until the bass player came out to pack up his gear. The woman next to me and I were determined to get these picks, so we got the attention of the bass player and asked him if it'd be okay to take them. He gave us the green light by pretending to look away. I wanted to snag the one on the keyboard--a white pick, with the iconic Prince symbol on it, but the woman got it before me.

I ended up getting the one by the mic. Unfortunately, this one is just a plain orange pick, but still--Prince touched it. He played beautiful, beautiful guitar with it. I’m most definitely drilling a hole in this and turning it into a necklace to wear permanently around my neck.

MM: Did you feel yourself transcend into a higher plane of existance?

GR:I became the person formally known as Gina and melted into a puddle on the spot.

MM: That's an appropriate response. So, what were some of the coolest moments of the concert?

GR:At one point in the night, he picked up his guitar, started to play the opening measure of "When You Were Mine" before stopping, looking up coyly at the audience and simply mumbling into the mic: "Psych!" What a tease!

It was captivating seeing Prince command the stage--signaling to different musicians for improvised solos and his demure reactions to their standout performances. It was great to see him smile and dance along to the funky beats. It made it impossible for me to sit still.

Throughout the night, Prince directed the audience to join in on the fun--clapping hands, snapping fingers and, near the end, directing us to stand up and join in on the boogy-ing. If Prince tells you to get up and dance, you get up and DANCE!

MM: That's crazy. Alright, leave us with a two-word phrase that described the experience.

GR: Hypnotic boogie!

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