During our recent trip to Minneapolis, we met up with Rabbit (Rob Larson), one of Rob’s oldest friends, for dinner at a place called Betty Danger’s Country Club. On their website, they tout it as “the country club for the 99%.” It’s definitely not a country club with rolling hills and golf courses, but is smack in the middle of a neighborhood.
When Rob told me there was a Ferris wheel at the place, I envisioned some little Ferris wheel for kids. Well, surprise! This Ferris wheel was shipped in from Italy, is full scale, and is the centerpiece of the restaurant. Most of the outside tables are arranged around it. For six bucks, you get five revolutions on the wheel, can take your dinner and a drink with you, and the view at the top is fantastic.
When you’re at the top of this gigantic thing at sunset, the city in the distance looks like something out of a fairy tale and everything below looks utterly magical. We could see the Mississippi River, one of the unusual bridges that crosses it, and numerous neighborhoods partially shrouded by trees. Those five revolutions take at least 20 or 30 minutes because the wheel moves very slowly, with numerous stops. There was a breeze that evening, and during our stops at the top of the Ferris wheel, our gondola swayed.
We got a kick out of the sign posted in our gondola:
The woman who owns Betty Dangers also owns another restaurant/bar down the street called Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lodge. I suppose it’s a motor lodge for the 99%!
Betty Dangers reminded me of something that might be a place where the world of the living and the dead intersect. So I used it in my new novel, Water Dancers, as exactly that sort of place.