June 5, 2011 § Leave a comment
Lately my excursions behind the wheel have led me onto unfamiliar roads. Roads that empty me out into parts of the city I never expected to be. Neighborhoods that were always islands in my mind, totally separate from the rest of the city’s arteries, suddenly merged into the whole pulsing thing. It has been blowing my mind. What do you mean if I stay on Como Avenue I get spit out on the East Bank by St. Anthony on Main? And how did I get here—to a park I’ve never been to behind the Science Museum along the river, barges floating by and the city turned around 180 degrees? I’ve been trying to digest it. The shock has shaken me. What I thought were islands were actually peninsulas. Where I once saw dead ends, I see tunnels. (This, by the way, was taken the day I suddenly found myself exploring Nicollet Island. The photo below as well.) Coincidentally, my recent amazement with isles and new passageways sort of relates to my most recently celebrated baked-good holiday: National Donut Day. (Does that seem forced? I don’t know. A donut is kind of like a tunnel. It’s got a hole in the middle of its deepfried sweed bread. And the hole—that’s kind of like a separate island. A bobbing buoy far from the rest of the jelly-filled mainland. ….Right?) Well, whether or not my metaphors are well received, I’m always glad to announce successfully celebrated food holidays. The first Friday in June has been National Donut Day since 1938 when the Salvation Army initiated the holiday to honor the women who served donuts to soldiers in WWI.
All I know is that I never need much of an excuse to buy something covered in frosting or sprinkles.Or even plain and dunked in coffee, as I’ve illustrated below. I wanted to get donuts from the much-anticipated Donut Cooperative.
However, they’re not yet open. I did the next best thing and bought a box at Cub Foods. (Actually, that may be far from the “next best thing.” I imagine the Donut Cooperative will be incredible.) But what can I say—I finished work at the restaurant and swung by the nearest donut oasis to stock up.
With a tall glass of milk, donuts are one of the most satisfying afternoon snacks I can think of. Yeah, they’re all right in the morning. Though I prefer something über-healthy these days since I started running more. Check this action out: Wait—-zoom in to what’s in the bowl… I recommend starting the day with yogurt and fruit and granola, then after you’ve put in a few hours of work, whatever that work may be, reward yourself with a donut. I’ve been falling into holes lately. The sweet, sprinkled centers of donuts, and more importantly, the holes in my mind’s map of the city. And in so doing, I pull a pencil from behind my ear and quickly connect the streets, fill in the grid, make the connection.
There is the dawning, which I love. The “Ah-ha!” moment. The “Ohhhhh…” settles over you like a warm mist. New perspectives, new information. Old neurons binding new pathways in your brain. And people, too. The “Ohhh, I never knew that about you” dawning. The “What?” staccato over wine and bruschetta. The “How could I have not seen that?” question that sighs as it’s being asked. All city islands dissolving. Filling in holes you didn’t even know existed.