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September 13, 2012

Living Here, Loving Minnesota with Chris Monroe

Filed under: Authors, Children — Alison Aten @ 1:43 pm

Living Here, Loving MinnesotaAn occasional series highlighting local authors and their favorite ways to spend a Minnesota weekend.

Painter and cartoonist Chris Monroe draws the weekly comic strip Violet Days and is the illustrator of the MHS Press book, Big Little Brother, written by Kevin Kling, and the author and illustrator of Monkey with a Tool Belt and Sneaky Sheep, among other books for children. Her exhibit, Chris Monroe: New Work, is showing at the George Morrison Gallery, Duluth Art Institute, through Sept. 30.

Chris Monroe at home in Duluth with her yogurt and her giant backyard rock.

1. What is a typical weekend for you?

I’m always happiest when it is the weekend, I am at home in Duluth, and I have no actual plans.

2. What are some of your favorite local Friday night activities?

Fridays, if I go out, I might go to the Zinema for a movie. They sell beer and wine there so I don’t have to smuggle beer into the theater in my purse like I typically do. I also might go to Bergey’s, a neighborhood pub with karaoke on Fridays. One guy sings “Coward of the County” every Friday. I think he’s figured out that I think it is funny, and I’m pretty sure he avoids looking at me when he’s done. I always clap, but I have a lot of questions about the plot of that song.

3. What/where do you eat on weekends? What’s a typical Sunday breakfast for you?

Saturdays are like a free day. Sometimes I go to estate sales or the farmers’ market with my mom. After that I get groceries, wine, and supplies to hang out and cook and drink. I talked to a friend one weekend at the co-op and she said she could not wait to get the food home so she could start drinking. I loved her for that. I sit out on my deck, weather permitting, and gaze blankly at the lake and sky, or read from my stack of library books.

I usually cook my own breakfast on the weekend. I like to have nitrate-free breakfast meat, but my friend Meghann says there is no such thing. That is sad. I need to research this. I also love plain Seven Stars Farm yogurt with some sort of berries or bananas. I eat that every day, but weekends get the full breakfast treatment. I like to involve some cheese, onions, and potatoes.

I like having breakfast at the Sun Shine Cafe in West Duluth. Sadly they are closed on Sundays, which is when I always want to go there. I also like the Duluth Grill. They have free-range eggs and a lot of sustainable or organic food items on the menu. For me though, it is just too busy on weekends and I can’t take the line of people by the door. It’s like they are sadly mooning about up there in line, staring at everyone in a booth and willing them to eat quickly and free up a table. Probably all in my mind, but I feel like a lout reading the free papers and eating slowly. I’m happy they are busy though. It’s a great restaurant.

Somebody could open another breakfast joint around here with organic food and really make a lot of money I bet.

4. What is your weekend reading like?

I just finished The Latehomecomer by Kao Kalia Yang. A sweet and beautiful book by a Minnesota author.

5. What is your top Minnesota getaway?

My top Minnesota getaway is probably the Twin Cities. I like going the reverse way of all the traffic on I-35 on the weekends. I love to go there and eat good food, go shopping, visit friends and family, hear some good music. But I feel sorry for everyone heading south on Sunday, having to go back to work in the city or suburbs. It is a good feeling to head north against the flow of nonstop city-bound traffic. I feel like I’ve done something right in life. I love the moment when you come over the hill and see Duluth and Lake Superior stretched out below. It feels so great to be home.

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  1. I want to hang out with Chris Monroe….we would be great friends, or at least rivals! Well done Chris…I enjoyed your p.o.v.

    Danny Klecko


    Comment by Klecko — September 14, 2012 @ 9:13 am

  2. I absolutely loved the comic that you did on Christmas Kleenex! For years, the Christmas Kleenex boxes arrived and just like in the comic, we children pored over its contents. It did have the Man-Size Kleenex! I saved the boxes for years, and now have loads of Christmas decorations in those boxes and faithfully get them off the shelves, every year as Christmas rolls around.

    Thanks for a great memory. A Kimberly-Clark petit madeline…


    Comment by Lisa Mayotte — December 21, 2012 @ 8:59 am

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