J. K. Rowling’s boy wizard is about to make one last literary appearance. The lines form here.


Copies in Scholastic’s first U.S. print run of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final book in the wildly successful series. That’s a publishing industry record, by all accounts. The 784-page book hits shelves at midnight on July 21. The sixth installment in the series, H.P. and the Half-Blood Prince, sold almost 7 million copies in the first 24 hours after its 2005 release. Talk about magic.


Copies of Deathly Hallows ordered for the 26 libraries in the Hennepin County system. Employees who handle the book before its official release must sign a contract promising not to distribute it early or leak plot details. C’mon: Who dies?


Number of readers, at press time, on Hennepin County Library’s reserve list for Hallows. Not much of a borrower? There’s another kind of queue for you.


Approximate number of Potter fans who lined up at the Barnes & Noble store in Roseville to buyHalf-Blood Prince on its release day in 2005. Some 4,000 muggles mixed it up at the store’s party for book 6. Expect this year’s pre-release bash, “A Wizard’s Ball,” to be even bigger, with a deejay, dancing, trivia contests, and a wall-size scroll for writing wishes to Rowling (um, any other blockbuster ideas in the cauldron, J.K.?). The Hogwarts-inspired hoopla starts at 9:30 p.m. on July 20. Bookstores all over the state are planning Potter parties.


Approximate number of pre-orders for Deathly Hallows taken by Amazon.com (as of press time). The site updates the pre-order count hourly and names the top 100 “Harry-est Towns in America.” Number of Minnesota cities on the list at last check: 0.


Number of Harry Potters listed in the Minneapolis and St. Paul white pages. An online search of public records in the state yielded three Harry Potters—plus assorted Harolds, Heralds, and Herolds who may or may not have a nickname. And who knows how many teensy Harry Potters are waving their wands in preschools across the state?

Contributing editor Sandra Hoyt digs grass-flavored jellybeans.

Things to do before your construct your milk-carton boat


Too bad Ratt is playing the county-fair circuit, or they’d be at the Bell Museum of Natural History in Minneapolis on July 14, rocking Rat Fest. Kicking off a summer of “Animals Behaving Badly” (watch for the screening of Attack of the Giant Leeches), it’s a day of learning to love, or at least admire, one of the animal kingdom’s most misunderstood critters. Scientists and enthusiasts from across the state will demonstrate why that long tail behind your washing machine indicates ecological friend, not foe.

2. On the first Saturday of each month, Marin’s Table makes Minneapolis feel like Marrakesh when the cozy bistro hosts its popular Moroccan Night. In lieu of the usual beef stroganoff and artichoke dip, owner Rafiq Antar acknowledges his roots with beef and chickpea soup, spiced couscous, and slow-cooked tagines. The warm pita wedges are served with a garlicky house-made hummus that’ll make you want to bare your belly and shake your hips. For more dining ideas, turn to page 83.

3. It may take a kind of Spanish Inquisition to track down tickets to Monty Python’s Spamalot, the Broadway hit coming to St. Paul July 24 to August 12 at Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, but the lucky seat holders get a pass to wackiness that was “lovingly ripped off” from the British series of the early ’70s. Who knew the classic Hormel staple was so beloved by King Arthur’s court? Visit www.ordway.org for more information. See more Arts Best Bets on page 44.

Art Revival

Disbelief, if not outright prejudice, dogged last year’s first-ever art crawl on the North Side of Minneapolis: Does graffiti count as art? Is it safe to stroll around? But believe it—plenty of artists call the area home and on July 28 the second annual Flow (named for a rapper’s lyrical delivery) will feature live outdoor hip-hop music and art in galleries, coffee shops, and other businesses along West Broadway. It’s all part of city councilman Don Samuels’s business-as-unusual approach to improving his ward: The Peace Foundation, which he began several years ago, organizes the event. Start at Juxtaposition Arts (2007 Emerson Ave. N., 612-588-1148), a hip-hop art gallery and classroom that last year offered hands-on art projects like the spray-painting of garbage cans (with city approval, mind you). And if you want to break dance, it’s BYOB (bring your own beats).

Nautical Know-How

The YWCA raises awareness for swimming education this month (such as the fact that drownings are twice as likely for people of color in Hennepin County) when a local group of 15 teens and adults swim the English Channel, including a double-crossing by their coach, a feat Minnesotans have yet to dive into. Learn about their training at www.ywcampls.org/channel/blog.asp.

Jeanne Arth: Unmatched

It’s unlikely that any Minnesotan will join Jeanne Arth on the Champions Roll of Honour at the Wimbledon tennis tournament this month. The St. Paulite and her partner, Darlene Hard, won the women’s doubles championship in 1959. “I went back in 1989, and to see my name up on the wall with all the other champions, where only the members and players can go, that’s pretty special,” says Arth. “Now when I watch Wimbledon, I think, ‘My gosh, I played on that court. And I won.’” Not many people can say that. At least, nobody else from Minnesota. Arth played an all-court game, serving and rushing to the net for volleys. “Today it’s all power and graphite racquets,’’ she says. “Probably the only woman who plays an all-court game is Justine Henin. The other girls all play the same: big serves, power. There’s not a lot of creativity.”The 72-year-old also doesn’t much care for some of the outfits worn in today’s tournaments. “They’re pretty provocative,’’ Arth says. “A lot of the girls are very large, tall and otherwise, and I don’t think anybody really needs to see a bare belly.” It’s been 48 years since Arth was a top player, but she is often reminded of her past. “People don’t forget,” Arth said. “It is amazing how many people say, ‘I remember that name,’ or ‘What did you do again? Were you a bowler?’”