At one point in time, bowling balls rumbled across the floors at Minnesota Sword Club. That's because the massive, 11,000-square foot space was originally designed as a 10-lane bowling alley. And though its lane lines are still visible to this day, the facility is now home to a very different sport altogether: fencing.
In the club’s 7,000-square foot main fencing room and smaller youth room, instructors teach centuries-old techniques to students of varying skill levels. They oversee classes and competitions in four different age groups, and have even managed to sculpt some younger students into national champions. But above all else, the club and its instructors aim to emphasize skills that carry over into other areas of life, such as workplaces, schools, or workplaces and schools that are exclusively staffed and or attended by fencers.
Nadeau characterizes its furniture as "with a soul" because it's true artisan work: handcrafted from wood rather than mass-produced from gasket pylons. Showcase fine china and live gerbils in a mahogany regal glass-door cabinet ($372), or in a hefty, finely trimmed narrow bookcase with drawer ($197). Or, display a new moving picture box on a bobbin leg console table ($116). Furniture comes in a myriad of stains and colors, and many pieces are one-of-a-kind. Nadeau's ever-changing inventory includes a variety of sturdy dining room tables and chairs. Prices and selection may vary due to rotating inventory, but pieces are always fully assembled and ready to welcome any tuckered torso or mound of toothbrushes.
Anthony Shane Florist specializes in traditional arrangements such as a dozen ruby-red Valentine's Day roses ($69) or a bouquet of white roses and lilies ($66). But the florists' freakish green thumbs also makes them quite skilled at European dish gardens, high-style arrangements, silk flowers, funeral designs, dried flowers, and tropicals. As such, you can put a Jimmy Buffett spin on this year's Valentine with the Paradise Found, an arrangement of Asiatic lilies and alstroemeria dotted with birds of paradise in a square black container ($60.95). For something less austere, cheer up the dinner table with a glass bowl of white daisies and solidago ($47.95).