Bike Repair Station

On Saturday my niece and I decided to go for a bike ride. Since she lives in downtown St. Paul, we arranged to meet at a parking lot on Shephard Road and bike along the Mississippi River. When I arrived, I noticed that one of the tires on my bike was running a bit low on air.

“No problem,” my niece said. “There’s a bike repair station down by the riverboat dock.

Having lived in China for nearly thirty years, when I heard the words “bike repair station,” this is the picture that formed in my mind:


However, when we arrived at the location of said bike repair station, this is what I saw:


Remember, folks. Living cross-culturally affects the pictures that form in your brain, which is to say, it affects the way you think!


I Lost My Bike

Holiday Bike Ride

Bikers of Beijing, Arise!

Little Wheel Bike Race

Where’s My Bike? 

Under Water

Thanks to record rainfalls this month, many rivers in Minnesota are spilling their banks. The Mississippi River is still two days away from cresting in the Twin Cities and Harriet Island, across from downtown St. Paul already looks like this:

flooding in st. paul






Snapshots from the Polar Vortex

The dreaded Polar Vortex (what we used to call a cold snap) has once again descended on Minnesota. It heralded its return on Thursday by dumping close to a foot of snow on much of the state (including the Twin Cities), and until it slithers out of here we are looking at below zero temps every night this week.

Here in the Twin Cities, we had our first measurable snow fall the first week of December. But unlike  other parts of the country that have gotten a lot of snow, ours doesn’t melt shortly afterwards. With each successive snowfall, it just gets deeper and deeper and the snowbanks get higher and higher.

It is absolutely gorgeous here now, so yesterday, despite pleas from “authorities” to stay off the roads, I took a drive around town to get some pictures. Never wanting to miss out on a road trip, my mom demanded to be allowed to ride shotgun. Herewith, then are some snapshots of the Polar Vortex in the Twin Cities.

LLRP2Can you see the park bench? I had to stand on the back bumper of my car to see over the snow bank to catch a glimpse of the park bench. You can see the park bench, right?

LLRP4The road in Long Lake Regional Park.

stuckThis poor fellow was sent out to “blow” the sidewalk along Old Highway 8 in New Brighton;  he got stuck. The snow deposited by the plows was too deep and packed.

msriverThe Mississippi River is frozen solid this year.


In Lilydale Regional Park, we came across these intrepid painters.

LDRP3This is the scene they were painting.

stpaulwinterDowntown St. Paul. Brr.


My mom (aka “Gracie”) standing in front of the snowbank in the cul-de-sac where she lives. Anyone care to predict the date that snow bank is GONE?

Minnesota winters may not be for the faint of heart, but they certainly are beautiful!