ok, not this kind of weiner. but aren't they cute? (i stole them off some other google blog.)
you guys were brilliant in your responses to the first annual three dog blog competition--absolutely brilliant.
some of you clearly pulled an all-nighter, diligently sitting down with a stack of encyclopedias, huge thick books about the history of the twin cities, and, oh yeah, Google, and methodically came up with all the right answers.
the Grand Prize No. 1 Super Duper winner: the over-achieving Ped Crossing!
but wait... there's more! more weiners, i mean.
first: the answers:
Image No. 1. this is not (as several as you hopefully suggested) the Bully Stix factory, the Kong Ball factory, a Swedish-cookie bakery, "dogs R us," or a lutefisk processing plant. and, despite the crown on top of the red sign, this is not the Princess Garden Chinese Restaurant, but, nice try, My Two Cents.
This is the Pearsons Candy Factory in St. Paul, manufacturers of Salted Nut Rolls, Nut Goodies, and Pearsons Chocolate Mint Patties. Aren't I lucky to live here? You get them free if you can prove you're a resident of Ramsey County. You just show up at the factory door, flash your ID card, and they load you up.
OK, not really. I have to go to Walgreens and buy them, just like you do. But still. I swell with civic pride whenever I pass the giant candy cane that marks the entrance to their driveway.
Image No. 2: This chilly guy is F. Scott Fitzgerald, famous native son of St. Paul, author of "The Great Gatsby" and "This Side of Paradise," frozen forever (even in summer) in Rice Park in beautiful downtown St. Paul, near the Ordway Theater. (Not, as Kevin thought, in front of the Fitzgerald Theater. That's several blocks away.) He used to live on Summit Avenue, just down the street from where M.J. had her wedding reception. (Note: M.J. got every question right. But, sadly, she got them right about three days after Ped Crossing got them right. So did Kevin--but it was more like five days too late.)
nor is he someone who needs to move to Tennessee to get warm! (but very generous of you, Cynthia.)
(but oh, how i wish he was!)
(additional note: this is also not, as Jim suggested, F. Scott, long-lost cousin to Assumpta Fitzgerald. And this answer will only make sense to those of us who have never let go of "Ballykissangel.")
which brings us to image no. 4.
Ah yes, image no. 4, this "reflector oven" of a building (as one of you put it) was the toughie. It's not the Guggenheim in Bilbao. (sorry, Rough Hands, though you had the right architect.) It's not the Tin Man's house. (Sorry, Lane.) Nor is it the aftermath of a San Francisco earthquake. (Nice try, Sandy.)
Most of you figured out that a building like this would never be built in staid and respectable St. Paul, and you were right.
This is the Frank Gehry-designed Weisman Art Museum on the campus of the University of Minnesota. I drive past it (wearing sunglasses, of course--oh, the glare) every morning on my way to work; it's right on the bank of the Mississippi River where I hop onto the Washington Avenue Bridge.
It also contains one of my favorite art installations--the Pedicord Apartments, an actual hallway taken from a seedy old Seattle apartment building. Walk down the hallway and listen at each door, and you can hear what's going on inside--people arguing, a baby crying, the ballgame on the radio, a family eating dinner. I love it. It's every apartment building I ever lived in up until about the age of 30.
OK, so that brings us to the winners:
First place for perfection: Ped Crossing.
Second place for humor and outrageousness: Lane.
Third place for humor and getting most of them right, and also being just minutes behind Ped Crossing's blistering time: Kaycie.
Fourth place for getting some of them right and keeping me amused with dog stories during the judging process, and also for taking my advice about buying her own dog a bed with sides: Babaloo.
If any of you four have nut allergies, you'd better let me know. Also, e-mail me your snail mail addresses.