Thursday, August 25, 2011

Spotlight on the City

Today is another post in my occasional Spotlight on the City series. You can read more about the series here.

I mentioned in a previous post that as part of a birthday wish of my Mom's, we visited several of the independent bookstores here in the metro area. We're lucky enough to have a number of thriving businesses.

We had the perfect day.
The weather was perfect.
The company was perfect.
Perusing the stacks was perfect.

Our first stop was Micawber's Books. This store was nestled in a quiet St. Paul neighborhood. The store had wood plank floors and living room style lamps hovering over comfortable leather chairs. The store smelled of books. It was fabulous. They had an excellent young adult section too.

Next up was Garrison Keillor's bookstore, Common Good Books. His store is a bit harder to find, as it's located in the basement of a larger building, but the subterranean nature adds to its charm. Even though it's in a basement there's great natural light shining on tunnels lined with books top to bottom.

All this perusing made us hungry, so we decided to stop for a bite to eat. We went across the street to the best outdoor patio in St. Paul; W. A. Frost. Delicious as always.

After getting recharged, we headed to Minneapolis and Birchbark Books. Owned by Minnesota author, Louise Erdrich, this store is also tucked away in a neighborhood and is an intimate space. Along with an eclectic selection of titles, it's also full of Native jewelry and artwork. The employees were especially helpful here. Sharing books they thought we might like after a bit of conversation. I wanted to cozy up with a cup of tea and stay awhile.

Last up, Once Upon A Crime. This stop was in a bit shadier part of Minneapolis, which fits nicely with the theme of the store; mysteries. Now, I'm not a fan. But my Mom and sister love a good mystery, so this was right up their alley. The store was also in a basement, but was darker and smaller than Garrison's. The windows were plastered with posters blocking out the light. Good pictures were not possible. To be quite honest, I won't be returning, but you should definitely check it out if you're a fan of the genre.

To top off the day, we stopped at Yum for cupcakes.

A perfectly sweet ending to a perfect day.

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