Monday, July 22, 2013

F Scott Fitzgerald's St. Paul

I'm going to dub this -- and the rest of this week's posts -- laterblogs. These things happened months ago, when the pressure was high to spend time outside and ignore my computer. I thought they were worth remembering, and everyone knows things never actually happened unless you blog about. I believe it was Abraham Lincoln or someone else equally important who coined the phrase "PICS OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN."


How annoyed were you by the hype over The Great Gatsby? It's the summer of Gatsby! they kept saying. Baz Luhrmann is a genius!

No doubt you were invited to at least one Gatsby party. 

Maybe you had that one friend that listened to the soundtrack nonstop for a month straight, danced the Charleston to Will.I.Am while getting ready for work, finished a book about Zelda Fitzgerald the day the movie came out, and printed a pamphlet from the St. Paul library entitled "F. Scott Fitzgerald in St. Paul: Homes & Haunts."

Oh, hi, that friend was me.

The book about Zelda was terrific, by the way. We can talk more about that later. What I really want to tell you about is the twenty mile bike ride I made Y take with me so we could do the F. Scott Fitzgerald Homes & Haunts tour -- where Scott grew up (we're on drop-the-first-initial-basis), where he and Zelda had their baby Scottie, and where they had glamorous dinners and way too many drinks. 

Our route took us across the Mississippi, then north along its banks. Eventually we headed east along miles of mansions on Summit Avenue.  Eventually, we reached what I'm pretty sure was Europe. We walked our bikes down cobblestone streets and ogled Victorian houses with the prettiest details. (I did these things, I'm pretty sure Y rolled his eyes and checked his watch.) 

And then -- in the classy style of the Fitzgeralds, no doubt --we stopped for pizza on the way home.


  1. Not at all sure what I was doing with myself this summer, but ummmm...I still haven't even seen the movie. Or listened to the soundtrackIKNOW. Good grief. Is there still time for me??

    1. There's still hope, but I can't imagine the summer of 2013 without Emile Sande's version of Crazy in Love, so your life is probably really empty and you don't even know it.

  2. The one place you can't go is the bar at the Commodore. When I first came here for grad school in 1974, the bar at the Commodore on Western Avenue was pretty much untouched since Scotty was drinking there. ...and I became a pretty regular denizen. It was the coolest place in town.

    1. It's now my personal mission to get invited to an event there!

  3. Here's a picture I found online...with the blog entry:

  4. so actually it was George Washington who said "PICS OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN!"

    Abe Lincoln was the one who coined "OH MY GOD I HAVE TO BLOG THIS."