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Sunday, September 2, 2007

an afternoon in new ulm

Originally uploaded by gitsul
Yesterday we took a drive to New Ulm to get some baked goods. At $3.00 a gallon, some might scoff at driving 30 miles just for cinnamon rolls. For those of you who fit this description I say you've never had the Backereis' rolls. They're tasty and really cheap too. We got six cinnamon rolls, six dough nuts and a loaf of pumpernickel rye for just over five bucks.

We used to be able to get these rolls at the local market, but they recently stopped carrying the Backereis' products. Now we have to drive to get them. It probably cost us at least six bucks to drive there, but it is oh so worth it.

Since it wasn't raining, like it was two weeks ago when we first visited the Backereis' shop for rolls, we decided to walk a bit in downtown New Ulm. (For those of you familiar with New Ulm, the Backereis is at the opposite end of the downtown business district from the glockenspiel.)

Our first stop was a small shop called Earthen Art. Actually we never walked in the shop, because we found ourselves in a small quilt shop that also displayed and sold some of the Earthen Art's products. These shops are housed in an old house and they weren't very well marked. There is one sign that directs you down an ivy covered sidewalk. We entered the first door and found ourselves in the quilt shop. We asked about the pottery store and were told that it was behind the quilt shop, but they had some products in the front of the store. So, we looked there. After visiting this shop we walked along Minnesota Avenue through the downtown business section to the glockenspiel and then returned back to the bakery where we parked our car.

On the return route from the glockespiel, we walked through the Marketplatz Mall. It has been about five years since we've been there. It was empty, as in vacant. There are not any stores there. The only businesses in the mall were a Curves and a nail salon. The only store open that connects to the mall was a Herbergers which occupies an old building on Minnesota Street that has an entrance to the mall.

One gem we did find though was the Larkspur Market. It is a charming coffee shop. We took a rest from our less than long travel and shared a monster cookie. Actually Nick ate most of the cookie. C and I just sat in the oversized leather high-backed chairs by their fireplace. There wasn't a fire, but the AC was just right.

I have known people who traveled from Mpls/St. Paul to New Ulm for an afternoon just to visit the glockenspeil and have lunch. You can find great, authentic German cuisine at many local restaurants.

I've even been told a story about a man from Germany who visited New Ulm and commented that New Ulm is more like Germany than the German town he lived in. I don't know about that. But, what I do know is the downtown business section of New Ulm is becoming a ghost town. My guess is that the new Wal-mart, newer Target, and ancient K-mart have wicked away the shoppers from downtown leaving the small town businesses to scramble to stay afloat.

Even though the there isn't much downtown anymore, we had a good time. The Backereis' rolls are more than worth the trip, but then I only live thirty miles away.
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