I did end up going to National Camera Exchange, and the friendly and helpful clerk recommended a couple very good models. I liked the Canon but expressed my budget and she recommended the same model but refurbished. The one I looked at was tangerine but the refurbished model was silver, which was most fortuitous, and it's substantially cheaper. Further, I can bring in my old cameras for the potential of sale/trade and knock $10-20 more off the price. I feel very good about this.
I went out to Nicollet Ave to peruse the Farmers Market with my wife. I picked up a small package of roasted cinnamon almonds, fresh and hot. This is one of the small things that impart me with the real sense it's good to be alive and good to be in Minneapolis.
The buskers on Nicollet have been very good this season. In the past I enjoyed this gutterpunk combo, stopping in Mpls. while on a hitchhiking adventure. There was a woman on fiddle, a man on accordion, and a varying number of other musicians. They looked great and sounded fantastic, and I miss them a lot. This year I've spotted a trio with accordion and clarinet, and they play klezmer! Truly delightful! I've run across the street to give them money, even when I don't have time to stand and listen--they should definitely be reinforced.
It was awkward today, though, because I had to bend and lunge to drop off my dollar in their instrument case, and when I retracted I ended up face-to-face with a woman begging for change. She had a couple children with her and was feeding one; her crappy cardboard sign begged for help, mentioning she had four children to take care of. Our eyes locked for a second and I was intensely aware of not giving her any money, in direct contrast to dropping a dollar off for the musicians. Her expression was quite sad.
On another corner not far away was a three-piece outfit, The Wandering White River Trio. Fantastic musicians, and judging by their photo gallery, they're three lads out on a grand adventure. That's an aspect I won't experience in this lifetime: the traveling band. It sounds fun and interesting, but I don't think I'm suited for it. I couldn't keep my mood up for that long. I know I have a terrible attitude in the midst of these things. Then again, if I were with a small group of people that I was unreservedly into, who knows?