From the category archives:

Fun Stuff

It’s amazing to look at the photo I took just last August and see how far stadium construction has come in such a short time. The photos were taken from the same spot. It’s also unbelievable how brave these constructions workers are, especially the ones who walk along the top beams. Gives me the shivers just thinking about it!

New Vikings Stadium under construction 2014

 August 2014

New Vikings Stadium 2015

 April 2015


Looking for something to do this holiday? Need a little bit of color pick-me-up? Visit the Como Conservatory for a great Holiday display going on until January 4, 2015. Makes for some great photos, too!


Driving north on Cedar a month ago I looked up at the property overlooking the river valley and noticed a huge For Sale sign in the back yard. My heart sank a little, wondering if this year would be the last year to witness the beautiful oak tree that sits in the front yard being lit up for all to see. It really is stunning to be driving up or down Cedar at night and see the huge tree shining like a beacon. Hopefully the new owners will love the tree as much as the current ones and keep the tradition alive. AND hopefully, a developer does not buy the property and tear it all down.

In an interview with WCCO, the owners said:

“The potential buyer will also inherit 39,000 Christmas lights wrapped around one tree, but the promise to keep it lit can’t be included in a purchase agreement.

Hopefully, I can talk them into it, even if I have to come and be their assistant or apprentice for the first year or so to get the lights going,” Bob said. “I hope they do it.”

So while the fate of the tree hasn’t come to light, for this year, at the very least, the oak will still illuminate the holiday season.

“I really believe in their heart that part of their decision for buying it would be what we’ve done all these years” .

Here’s a story from 2009 about the tree and the people who come to visit it.



Love the colors at the Kate Spade store in the Galleria. If you get a chance to do some high-end shopping,  visit the amazing shops in Edina.  Think luxury,  luxury, luxury!


4th of July in Minneapolis

A clever way to decorate for the 4th of July, this home is currently for sale in Minneapolis at


These are the homes we dream of owning, or at the least the homes our kids dream of playing in. I had a childhood friend who had an architect for a father. He built her a real house, sized down to fit us kids, and it was larger than the little mansion pictured above built by the Little Cottage Company. It was so much fun to play in, my favorite part being the grocery store with real cash registers. I will always remember that house, as it gave way to imagination and dreaming. Today, with the blessing of technology and easier building techniques, playhouses can be enjoyed by many more people/kids. Of course, building a playhouse mansion will set you back around $10,000-30,000, you can pick up less luxurious ones for$1000-2000. Boys don’t have to be left out for a playhouse – build them an awesome firehouse or old fashioned red school house.

Now, if you don’t have kids, don’t feel left out. Your pets can have their own puppy mansion too. Check out some of the custom built doghouses from La Petite Maison.


Lake Finder for Minnesota Lakes

Have you ever been driving around Minnesota and passed a lake who’s name you don’t know and wonder what it is? Well now the Minnesota DNR has created a phone application to help you out.

The LakeFinder contains data for more than 4,500 lakes and rivers throughout Minnesota and the application allows you to get the information on demand with an internet connection or save it to your device for off-line access. Have thousands of lake surveys, depth maps, and vegetation reports, plus water quality and clarity data literally in the palm of your hand. You can even save them as favorites.

Check it out on the DNR website, or visit your phone’s app store.


Minneapolis Sculpture Garden Conservatory Fish

"Standing Glass Fish", Frank Gehry, 1986

One of my favorite places to visit in Minneapolis is the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden located just off downtown by Loring Park. I always visit the big fish in the conservatory as he is just really cool to look at. For this image I used HRD photography to catch the full range of light.


A month ago I took the family out for a cold day of Minnesota ice hockey- the US Pond Hockey Championships 2011. They are held annually on Lake Nokomis. It was about 10 degrees that day, but us Minnesotans know that is the best conditions to play pond hockey, especially if the sun it out. I know what you are thinking…we must be crazy!


Minnesota Hockey US Pond Championships

You have to be careful when watching the games, as a puck can come flying at you any moment. A task even more difficult when looking through a camera lens!

Minnesota Pond Hockey Minneapolis


Some of you might be wondering where I have been the past month. While I hate to be away from the blog so much, it happens sometimes that other parts of the business take me away from writing. I have to say that the reason this time is a good one, as I have just done something I have been dreaming of doing ever since I entered real estate – opening my own real estate brokerage.

The company is small to start out with, but that’s the way I like it. Too many real estate brokerages spend tons of money of what I call “Go Big, Go Large”. Their money goes to expensive offices that no one visits, nor any agents actually work from. Overhead eats them up, and their agents suffer. The old way of running a real estate company is dying. I plan on being a part of the new way.

Kirby Fine Homes Luxury Real Estate Brokerage 

My boutique firm sells real estate in the Twin Cities, including Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Lake Minnetonka, and the surrounding Metro areas/counties. While we cater to all price ranges, special emphasis is given to luxury properties, historic homes, and waterfront/lakefront real estate. By keeping the firm small, we will be able to better serve our client’s needs with personal attention. Clients will not be lost in a shuffle of a big box firm where no one knows their name.  While our goal is to be the best, it is not to be the biggest. Think “Jerry McGuire” if you will.

Being as I have just opened Kirby Fine Homes, it will take time to get everything in place. This year a new website will be developed for the brokerage, and knowing me, an Internet presence will quickly be established. I am very excited about this new venture, and can’t wait to see what 2011 brings for the local real estate market!

“Kirby Fine Homes – Opening Doors to the Most Exceptional Homes in the Twin Cities”


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