Saturday, November 16, 2013

Wedding Playlist

Because you've requested it, and because we want to relive our perfect day, here is the soundtrack to our wedding.

Explosions in the Sky - First Breath After Coma

Songs performed by Joe Matson and Anne Shelley during the ceremony:
Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

The Magnetic Fields - It's Only Time

The Flaming Lips - Do You Realize??

First Dance:
David Lynch/Angelo Badalamenti/Julee Cruise - Falling

Mother/Son, Mother/Daughter Dance:
Tom Petty - Wildflowers

Father/Daughter Dance:
Fleetwood Mac - Landslide

All Dance:
Survivor - Eye of the Tiger

Lady Gaga - Bad Romance

The Knife - Heartbeats

Depeche Mode - Just Can't Get Enough

The Beatles - Oh! Darling

Willie Nelson and Lukas Nelson - Just Breathe

The Zombies - This Will Be Our Year

Lipps, Inc. - Funkytown

Prince - Kiss
Well, Prince doesn't have the greatest love for YouTube, but I'm sure you're all very familiar with this song.

The Suburbs - Love Is the Law

The Replacements - I Will Dare

Men Without Hats - Safety Dance

Gary Numan - Cars

Michael Jackson - Billie Jean

INXS - Never Tear Us Apart

Elvis Presley - Can't Help Falling in Love

Otis Redding - These Arms of Mine

Digitata - Death and the Beach

New Order - Temptation

Hot Chip - Over and Over

The Faint - Glass Danse

Daft Punk - Da Funk

LCD Soundsystem - Daft Punk Is Playing at My House

Salt-N-Pepa - Push It

Devo - Whip It

Soft Cell - Tainted Love/Where Did Our Love Go

The Human League - Don't You Want Me

Blondie - Heart of Glass

Cyndi Lauper - Time After Time

The Postal Service - Such Great Heights

The Magnetic Fields - I Have the Moon

Mazzy Star - Fade into You

Cake - The Distance

Violent Femmes - Blister in the Sun

Beastie Boys - Brass Monkey

Us3 - Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)

Ace of Base - The Sign

Black Sheep - The Choice Is Yours (Revisited)

Deee-Lite - Groove Is in the Heart

Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc.

Blur - Song 2

Beck - Where It's At

Animal Collective - My Girls

Yeasayer - Ambling Alp

Free Energy - Bang Pop

Sleigh Bells - Rill Rill

Grimes - Oblivion

Beach House - Take Care

Future Bible Heroes - The World Is a Disco Ball

Semisonic - Closing Time

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

This Weekend in the Twin Cities

Our wedding is definitely the hottest event in the Twin Cities this weekend, but don't let that stop you from exploring the rest of our hometown during your free time. Let this be your guide.

Friday Night:

The Minnesota State Fair

Come gorge yourself while hanging out with the rest of the state’s population at the Great Minnesota Get-Together. Sure, on paper it appears that the Texas State Fair is larger, but theirs lasts twice as long as ours and ours has the greatest average per-day attendance in the country making it a must-see spectacle.
If you’re a fan of some of the most god-awful, obnoxious music to come out of the 90s, you’re in luck – Smash Mouth, Sugar Ray, and the Gin Blossoms will assault the State Fair Grandstand Friday night. For a less nauseating experience, you could check out local favorites Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles for free at 7:00 on the Heritage Square stage. If you’re patient enough to wait until Tuesday, Bat for Lashes and Depeche Mode will be playing the Grandstand. Better yet, spend Friday night out on the town exploring the Twin Cities scene (keep reading).

Northeast (Nordeast), Minneapolis

Come experience the Twin Cities’ drinking culture. Microbreweries, artist lofts, and hip dive bars populate this corner of Minneapolis. If the weather is nice, you’ll find half of Minneapolis on Psycho Suzi’s patio. If you’re hungry and the line at Anchor Fish & Chips is too long, there’s sure to be a food truck nearby. Get your polka fix at Nye’sPolonaise Room or Gasthof Zur Gemutlichkeit. There’s something interesting happening on every corner, so don’t be afraid to explore. Just make sure you make it to the 331 Club in time to see Dreamland Faces for the best musical saw playing since Bob Tinant (free!).

Uptown, Minneapolis

The two main stretches of Uptown are Hennepin Ave and Lyndale Ave, roughly between Franklin Ave (on the north) and Lake St (on the south). Uptown’s proximity to the Chain of Lakes and the Sculpture Garden make it an ideal starting point for any out-of-town visitor. Speaking of the Lakes, “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” will be playing at the Lake Harriet Bandshell at sundown.
There’s plenty to do on Hennepin, but it has recently seen quite a bit of commercialization. If you think you can hold your own with the young and hip, hop on your fixie and head to Lyndale (make sure to stop at the Bryant-Lake Bowl on the way). Sure, Lyndale might make you feel old and irrelevant, but it’s the best place to schmooze with local celebrities, and the bar hopping is slightly more manageable than in Nordeast. Sing karaoke at the VFW, don 3D glasses to read the menu at Galactic Pizza, or follow in the footsteps of The Replacements and loiter at the CC Club. If you order the Wondrous Punch at the Red Dragon, make sure to share it with a friend, otherwise you probably won’t make it to our wedding the next day.
Although it’s usually not considered part of Uptown, I should probably also mention Nicollet Ave (Eat Street). Just a few blocks east of Lyndale, Nicollet could be considered Lyndale’s slightly grittier cousin. Home to countless ethnic restaurants and some of my favorite hangouts (Spyhouse Coffee and Icehouse), Eat Street is also the place to be for some late-night snacks…particularly Little Tijuana (Little T’s) and Glam Doll Donuts.

The West Bank, Minneapolis

A.K.A. Cedar-Riverside, A.K.A. Little Mogadishu, the West Bank is known for its vibrant refugee communities, vegetarian-friendly dives, awesome concert venues, and the love-it-or-hate-it modern architecture of Ralph Rapson (you’ll know Riverside Plaza when you see it). I recommend checking out local buzz bands Night Moves and Tickle Torture at the Triple Rock Social Club.

Warehouse District, downtown Minneapolis

When suburbanites and frat boys say they’re going out on the town, they’re actually referring to the Warehouse District. 1st Ave (the street) is the heart of this club scene, but the Hennepin Avenue Theater District and the pedestrian-friendly Nicollet Mall are also nearby. Of course, the saving grace of the Warehouse District (other than Target Field and the Minnesota Lynx) is First Avenue (the club). Prince might have put First Avenue on the map, but the smaller stage known as the 7th Street Entry is where up-and-coming bands have historically cut their teeth (if you listen really closely to “Purple Rain,” you can hear Hüsker Dü playing next door in the Entry…not really, but it’s believable). If you find yourself downtown this Friday and you’re into hip-hop, you’d be a fool to miss Greg Grease at the 7th St Entry.

Midway, Saint Paul

Midway will be an absolute mess due to State Fair traffic, but if you’re not afraid of biking it or taking public transportation, your effort will be rewarded with a night of awesome female-fronted rock bands at the Turf Club – featuring indie rockers, Prissy Clerks, and teenage hotshots, Bomba De Luz. Added sightseeing bonus: Midway is where Jessica and I first lived together.

Lowertown, downtown Saint Paul

If you booked a hotel downtown Saint Paul and don’t feel like hopping in a car, bus, or bike, you would do well to walk to Lowertown. This artist-inhabited edge of downtown surrounding Mears Park is the place to be if you’re looking for a low-key, perhaps more mature (but still hip!) alternative to Uptown.

Saturday Morning/Afternoon:

Saint Paul:

Absolutely check out the Saint Paul Farmers Market in Lowertown. It runs from 6am to 1pm (and 8am to 1pm on Sunday). While you’re in the neighborhood, grab a drink at the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, play a game of Ping-Pong in the recently renovated Union Depot, and chill out next to the stream running through Mears Park.

For breakfast, you should probably visit downtown Saint Paul’s most recognizable landmark: Mickey’s Diner (look for the streetcar sitting on the corner of W 7th St and Saint Peter St). If you already ate elsewhere, don’t worry; Mickey’s is open 24 hours.

If you feel like venturing slightly out of downtown Saint Paul, take a drive down W 7th Street. Day By Day Cafe and Mojo Monkey Donuts are two of many favorites along West 7th.

If you’re feeling fancy, head up to Cathedral Hill (go up the hill that leads to the Cathedral…you’ll know it when you see it). There are some nice restaurants concentrated around Selby Ave and Western Ave, but if you’re just looking for coffee, Nina’s Coffee Café is the place to be. If you really want people to think you’re local, pronounce it “Nine-ahs.” Garrison Keillor’s bookstore (Common Good Books) used to be downstairs, but it recently moved to the corner of Snelling and Grand near the Macalester campus.

Grand Avenue, by the way, is also worth checking out. It’s kind of the Hennepin Avenue of Saint Paul. There’s a ton to do on Grand, but you better not miss Cafe Latté, their desserts are famous for a reason.

Usually I’d designate the free Como Zoo and Conservatory and Como Lake as Saint Paul must-sees, but you’d have to battle the State Fair crowds to get near Como Park this time of year. All the more reason to come back!

Finally, every wedding guest has a free pass to the Science Museum. Let the people at will call know that you’re with the Matson-Barnett wedding, and you’ll have access to some seriously cool exhibits. Dinosaurs!


It’s called the City of Lakes. That means that if you visit Minneapolis without visiting the Lakes, you haven’t really visited Minneapolis. All the lakes in Minneapolis have something to offer, but the best people watching occurs at Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet, and Lake of the Isles. The best beaches, however, are probably at Cedar Lake and Lake Nokomis.

We have museums, too! Most distinguished are the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in the Whittier neighborhood and the Walker Art Center wedged between downtown and Uptown. If you go to the M.I.A., you should probably check out the nearby Electric Fetus (BuzzFeed just placed it at #15 in its list of record stores around the world that you have to shop at before you die). If you go to the Walker, you should probably stop by the Sculpture Garden and take a picture of the Spoonbridge and Cherry to prove that you’ve been to Minneapolis.

What a great weekend to visit our neighborhood, Longfellow! The LoLa (League of Longfellow Artists) Art Crawl is happening this Saturday and Sunday (10am to 5pm both days). Businesses and homes become art galleries all throughout Longfellow. Start at the Riverview Cafe and Wine Bar (just two blocks from our house!) to grab a snack and an art crawl map, and then enjoy the best neighborhood in the Cities. Don’t forget to also admire Longfellow’s natural attractions: the Mississippi River and the iconic Minnehaha Falls. When you’re finished, you’ll want to head across the Lake Street bridge into Merriam Park, Saint Paul (our old neighborhood) for some Izzy’s Ice Cream.

I know some of you will want to check out the Mall of America, and there’s nothing I can say to change your mind. Just make it back to Rice Park by 4:00!


Most of what I mentioned for Saturday also applies to Sunday. Hopefully by the time Sunday rolls around, we’ll have had the opportunity to talk in person and make some customized recommendations. Both Jessica and I have strong opinions about where to go for the best Thai, Ethiopian, Indian, Mexican, veggie burgers, pizza, tater tots, coffee, beer, etc. We can also recommend bike routes. Did I mention that the Twin Cities are best experienced by bike?

Sunday, August 24, 2008


Kulusuk, Greenland
Originally uploaded by Lee Barnett

We made it! At the time of this post, we've already been home two full days. Already have enjoyed free water at two American restaurants. Already have seen Batman. And one of us has already made a Target run.

This was definitely a record breaking summer for both of us in many ways. Check out these stats:

Number of days spent traveling:
74 days (9 June to 21 August)

Number of countries visited:
33 countries (see previous blog post)

Number of continents visited:
3 continents (Europe, Africa, and North America)

Number of pictures taken:
4,056 photos (Jessica: 2169 photos. Lee: 1887 photos)

Number of steps taken (per person):
1,738,805 steps

Average number of steps per day (per person):
23,497 steps

Greatest number of steps in one day (per person):
47,039 steps (9 July: Tunis/Carthage/Sidi Bou Saïd)

Least number of steps in one day (per person):
3,670 steps (14 August: 25-hour-long train ride from Lisbon to Paris)

Farthest east:
Vilnius, Lithuania (Latitude: 54º41' N. Longitude: 25º18' E)

Farthest south:
Douz, Tunisia (Latutude: 33º25' N. Longitude: 9º1' E)

Farthest north and west (excluding Minnesota):
Kulusuk, Greenland (Latitude: 65º34' N. Longitude: 37º11' W)

Favorite part of the trip:
All of it.

Least favorite part of the trip:
None of it.

Can't wait till next summer!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Magic Number: 33

I can't believe it's almost over. It seemed like just yesterday we were in country #1. Today we're in #33. That's right, in just 71 days, we visited 33 different countries. And it's been fantastic! Mainly for my own amusement, I'd like to list all of them in chronological order for you:

  1. USA
  2. Norway
  3. Sweden
  4. Finland
  5. Estonia
  6. Latvia
  7. Lithuania
  8. Uzupis
  9. Poland
  10. Hungary
  11. Slovakia
  12. Austria
  13. Slovenia
  14. Croatia
  15. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  16. Montenegro
  17. Italy
  18. Tunisia
  19. Malta
  20. San Marino
  21. Switzerland
  22. Liechtenstein
  23. Germany
  24. France
  25. Czech Republic
  26. Spain
  27. Gibraltar (UK)
  28. Morocco
  29. Portugal
  30. Luxembourg
  31. Belgium
  32. Iceland
  33. Greenland (Denmark)
There they are! Currently, we're back in Reykjavik. Tomorrow, we'll have one more adventure: a whirlwind tour of geysers, waterfalls, lava, etc.

Thursday, we'll be back in Minnesota. We've decided that Kate Barnett will be in charge of our transportation from the airport (I don't know if she knows this yet). So, contact her if you would rather pick us up.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Catching up on photos

Well, we didn´t make it to our first choice bus to Portugal, which would have been last night at 20:45 from Algeciras, Spain. Our ferry didn´t deposit us in Algeciras until about 1:40. We stumbled to the nearest budget accomodation, eyeballing some travelers asleep on benches at the port as another option, but took full advantage of the noon check out time and secured transport on tonight´s overnight bus to Lisbon! Neither of us are too upset about the extra time we have now, because Algeciras doesn´t offer much we need to see, so we´re catching up on our internet use in a nice cafe. Pretty soon it will be time for lunch.

Our plan for the remaining ten (!) days of the trip is as follows: after all day Tuesday and part of Wednesday in Portugal, we´re going to catch a l-o-n-g haul train toward Brussels via Madrid and Paris. (Okay, we might stop in Paris for some crepes... I don´t feel bad skipping Paris because we´ve both been there a few times, though I´ve never been in the summer.)

We have had the opportunity to do so much more on this trip than we even planned for Plan A. (Also known as the overly ambitious plan.) Plan B provided a nice outline but we´ve expanded so much. We keep a running tally of countries we´ve seen; it´s likely we´ll break 30 by the end!

Here is a photo from Berlin, where we went with my brother Joe. It is a great city. This is the chilling Memorial to Murdered European Jews, noticeably not called Holocaust Memorial.

Look for more updates in the next ten days!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Rocking Kasbahs in Morocco

I know what you are thinking: Africa must be old hat by now. More like old HEAT. I swear, when we get home to our broken microwave (thanks, Kate) I will ignore it forever and use only the fridge. And the ice maker. Sweet, sweet American ice.

Our plan is to catch the bus from Fes to Tangier tomorrow, then the ferry from Tangier to Algeciras, Spain, then the overnight bus to Lisbon! This may not happen as transportation in both Spain and Morocco has been sketchy at best. A little tip for you: the 30 minute "fast" ferry actually takes maybe 5 hours, including lateness and waiting time. Never fear, we are self-entertaining.

This keyboard is really challenging شسيباتلنسيتبلسيب you know, and Lee is demanding couscous so we are braving the labyrinthine medina again to return to our amazing hotel, which is a riad built like a billion centuries ago.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Happy Wanderers

Happy Wanderers
Originally uploaded by Jess is a dinosaur
A lot of people have been emailing or commenting that they read the blog a lot, even though we don´t update it very often. Since we´ll be back in the US two weeks from tomorrow (what?!) I thought it would be a good time to amp up the posting.

My photo album is a bit behind because it takes a long time to upload photos. I solved this problem by dumping the lot on my brother´s laptop and slowly transferring them to flickr, meanwhile accumulating hundreds more on my camera. Well, my brother and his laptop left for Omaha via Frankfurt via Madrid this morning with several of my photos still saved to his hard drive. All photos will arrive in good time.

Here is one from Vaduz, Lichtenstein, where we spent a day. We are laughing really hard because we were trying to do the highly acclaimed "self-portrait" style, and had already taken about five. In the picture previous to this one I am holding the camera way too close to my face and my head dwarfs Lee´s head, making me into a giantess. I like this photo.

By the way, we are in Algeciras, Spain, a town Lonely Planet describes as "unattrative" (and that´s about as insulting as Lonely Planet ever gets). Tomorrow we're going to try to go to Gibraltor, see the wild monkeys, then catch a ferry to Tangiers in Morocco!