Friday I dropped Jaime off at work and went back to Como Park, but this time I went to the Conservatory and to the Zoo. Both are free to enter, which is amazing and a big change from NYC.
The Conservatory is kind of like the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. I loved walking around.
The Zoo was sad. I hate zoos and I should have listened to my gut and not gone in there. I do not believe in capturing wild animals to cage them up in unnatural settings in order for people to go and gawk at them. It makes me really sad - even "good" zoos (nature reserves and animal rehabilitation centers are fine though). The Como Zoo was fine, but there is definitely not enough space to keep gorillas, giraffes, zebras, lions, tigers.... seeing a giant male gorilla spacing out on the cement floor of a glassed in cage breaks my heart. It has nothing to do with whether or not the people running the zoo love the animals/take good care of them - it's just not fair to lock wild animals up like that.
Anyway, the Conservatory was great.
Nice use of succulents:
For the evening I decided we were going to go to Nye's Polonaise per the request of my friend, Colleen, who made me promise we would go. The front room is a slightly dive-y, but awesome, bar. It is here where you can dance to the music of The World's Most Dangerous Polka Band. No joke. They might be old, but they will play the hokey poky for all the youngsters.
When Jaime's friend/internmate, Lindsay, showed up we went into the formal dining room. This is where the late-night magic happens. It is very 70's and reminded me of the restaurant in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. The food is Polish - and not like the Polish food I get in Greenpoint. This is very heavy on the gravy. We ate like our lives depended on it.
There is also karaoke. An old lady plays the piano a la Billy Joel and sings along to every song. There is no television - instead you read the lyrics from a sheet of paper while sitting at the piano bar. It's pretty freaking great. We were too busy eating massive amounts of gravy to make it up to the bar. There is also a man (not shown) in the corner that I am positive must sit there every single night - he looks very pissed off most of the time, but he will mouth the words to every single song. The only performance we saw him applaud was of 2 girls singing "I Will Survive". Go fig.
This was a very enjoyable night and I demand that anyone visiting Minneapolis must go to Nye's Polonaise. Just don't order the spinach dip - my sister and I will eat just about anything - especially dips - and this thing was sick.