This last weekend, my fiancée, Laura, and I, spent the weekend in the Twin Cities. We visited friends and family, and, of course, we ate, drank, and made merry. But we also noted a great different because of what almost everyone is seeing as the passing of the COVID crisis. Now, on a separate note, if you're looking for food and drink recommendations, you can always get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In Minneapolis, masking signs are everywhere. Even on the streets, people are out with masks, There were five weddings in our hotel, and the masks and the wedding attire was really a shocking sight. I'm sure that when they were within their clans, it was different, but the constant masking was a surprise to me. Restaurants and bars were about the same here and there, but the first larger scale event I attended was definitely a positive surprise.
The St. Paul Saints are the AAA affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, the "older brothers" of the Cedar Rapids Kernels. On a side note, one of the ownership team is Bill Murray, noted as "Team Psychologist." Saturday night, they played my Pirates AAA team, the Indianapolis Indians. We won, by the way, but the greatest difference I saw was the nearly absolute tossing of masks. Sure, we were in an outdoor setting...but STILL! It was so great to see thousands of people celebrating a hot, May night with baseball, beer and brats without masks! They even had a set of "Drag Queens" (which, I honestly don't think they were actually drag queens, but just the crew is dresses and scarves).
Smiles, frowns, unencumbered yells, boos and catcalls at the opposing team's players, all without masks. We're getting closer to normal, friends! Hang in there and we'll get there together!
On a separate note, today marks one year since the death of George Floyd. The effects of the riots are still evident in downtown MPLS. Stores having closed and/or moved, no liquor sales by groceries, and restaurants closing at 10 or 11pm on the weekend. Curious, to say the least.