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Posts Tagged ‘Barnes & Noble’

Notes from a Saturday at MOA

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Spent the better part of Saturday at Mall of America, starting with a live broadcast of Shop Girls” at the Operation Glass Slipper Princess Event, including a visit to Sea Life Minnesota, and ending with a mad dash through DSW some nine hours later. Here’s what I learned:

People start lining up for Rainforest Cafe at 10:30 a.m. No wonder it’s so challenging to get in at dinner time.

Nordstrom is “going green,” offering to email customer receipts rather than printing it out. (They have long put a return sticker on every item at point of purchase, so the receipt isn’t really needed for returns anyway.

J. Crew has decided not to offer its swim collection at any of its Twin Cities stores this spring. Shortsighted – the cold makes Minnesotans all the more likely to take a beach vacation. And finding the perfect swimsuit is difficult enough without guessing online.

If you want to shop Nordstrom Rack on a busy Saturday, make it your first stop, while you have the patience to deal with the crowd, lines and assorted odors.

Pays to buy tickets in advance to the new Sea Life Minnesota – you save $5 each by ordering online, and you get to enter through an express lane. Now, whether or not admission is worth the $14.99 in advance ($19.99 at the door) is another question. The name isn’t all that’s changed: The mall aquarium, now run by Merlin Entertainment Group, just completed a major renovation that includes a new stingray exhibit, an enormous Poseidon figure in the shark tank, new sea creatures, and more educational elements. The good: The stingray tank at the new entryway (they flipped the entrance and exit) is cool – it’s at eye level for kids and includes a deck that allows you to walk over the stingrays. The jellyfish exhibit is striking, the sea horses are so cute, and the shark cove that lets you to experience sharks, stingrays and sawfish swimming overhead is still awesome (and seems longer somehow). The bad: The new “hands-on submarine play area” is ill-conceived. First of all, it’s aimed at a very narrow population of 2 to 5 year olds, which is an accident waiting to happen for bigger who still have the urge to climb. Second, the play structure is crammed in a corner near the exit with little space for strollers – something virtually every person stopping there is going to have. Ultimately, even with the added features, aquarium admission still seems pricey. It’s a great addition to a mall visit, but not a day’s outing, like going to some of the other museums in town. For an aquarium in the basement of a mall, it’s mighty impressive. But even with the slow moving crowd in front of us, we were done in around 90 minutes.

The Barnes & Noble Cafe is a wonderful respite from the chaos of the mall rotunda (and offers quiche and soft pretzels and other snacks beyond the usual Starbucks baked goods.

Entering the mall off of I-494 on Killebrew Drive is always faster than Lindau Lane. But parking near Nordstrom is entirely more civilized than the east side lots.

A Saturday with Rick Springfield

Sunday, October 17th, 2010

He didn’t serenade me with an acoustic version of Jessie’s Girl (“You have to pay for that”), but I’ll forgive my childhood crush Rick Springfield because he was so candid, so interesting and so game during our time together yesterday. And we did spend a good bit of time: First he came to the myTalk 107.1 studios to appear on Shop Girls. “Is this live?” he asked as his music began to roll. It was – and my co-host Alexis Walsko and I really got him talking, and even laughing – clearly not his comfort zone. Eat your heart out, Barbara Walters, Rick talked to the Shop Girls about his wife’s reaction to his book which details his many, many illicit trysts (she doesn’t want to read it and is on a spa retreat to escape the media glare), his future writing plans (novels, healthy living guide – sky’s the limit), his work out regimen at a “ladies gym” in Malibu – alongside Matthew McConaughey and Pierce Brosnan, and what he has in common with Paris Hilton. We also hit on the serious side of the memoir – Rick’s lifelong battle with depression.  Hear the full interview.
Then it was on to Mall of America where Rick signed copies of his new memoir “Late Late at Night.” I asked him what it’s like to have groupies show up in t-shirts emblazoned with his face. “I don’t think of them as groupies,” he said. “Groupies are girls who come backstage and want to have sex. They’re fans. And it’s nice.” Ok, then!
After two hours of autographs, Rick and I went shopping. For all the celebs that are “muchtoobusy” to give me 20 minutes, Rick was quite willing to spend more than that: he wanted to go “shop” for vintage cars (his fleet includes a ‘63 Corvette) or hit an animal shelter (no kidding- I spent three weeks back and forth with his publicity team trying to arrange this around his schedule, mine and the limited hours of far away car places). But he also wanted to get back to writing and get to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse for dinner, so we settled for book browsing at Barnes & Noble and talked about everything from Star Wars to sinking ships to Sci-Fi. A parent to two boys, just like me, he promised I would one day again have the time to read. You can read all about my shopping escapades with Rick Springfield in the Pioneer Press on Sunday, Oct. 24. | Mpls.St.Paul Magazine © 2008 MSP Communications, Inc. All rights reserved