Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
After our hearty meal, we headed out to Fort Snelling State Park to go snowshoeing on Pike Island. It is a woodland oasis nestled in the shadow and roar of MSP International Airport. The solitude and pristine snow conditions made this urban, outdoor adventure truly stellar. After today, I'll be more easily able to remind myself why winter in the Twin Cities is a wonderful thing.
images: Hotcakes at Hell's Kitchen, Jumbledpile on Flickr; Pike Island @ Ft Snelling State Park, Sharon Somero.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
I know I must be killing some of you readers who couldn't care less about cool maps and interesting type face, but for the rest of you geeks I thought I'd showcase these funky neighborhood maps today. Alas, Ork Designs has not launched a Minneapolis or Saint Paul version yet, but I'm hoping with enough gentle pressure we'll see one soon. Lots of other hip, progressive cities are featured (e.g. Portland, Seattle, S.F., NYC, etc) so I have to imagine that we'll make the cut soon. I bought the DC map yesterday to honor the place where my husband and I met, where my daughter was born, and where I spent 8 great years of my life--as well as to add some much needed art to our walls!
Monday, December 15, 2008
We're also lucky to have MinnPost too. Replete with top-notch writers, many of whom have worked for the area's major dailies, Minn Post offers some great analysis and investigative reporting.
I'm still a traditional, print version newspaper junkie, but I love having other quality journalism outlets too.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
All designs from Micah Kraus @ Campfire.
Well folks, winter officially arrived in the Twin Cities last month (as evidenced by snow sticking on the ground--that's my litmus test.) And while we're sitting here in a bizarre 38 degree rain storm that will obviously freeze since tomorrow's highs are in the single digits, folks up north are getting slammed.
Our friend Pam recently wrote an excellent blog post about Minnesotans' tendencies to put up Christmas lights a month early. Pam reckons that we do it because it gets dark, really dark, really early, and for a really long time up in these latitudes. The lights, while a celebration of the upcoming holiday, are also a way of reclaiming some brightness during a long, dark, and cold winter. So thank you to all who emulate Clark W. Griswold this holiday season for giving us a little artificial sunshine, in a rainbow of colors, after 4pm!
image: Eric Hylden, Associated Press.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I recently bought this map for work-related purposes and cannot speak highly enough about it! If you want a beautifully illustrated map that includes EVERY neighborhood in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, get to Big Stick Maps ASAP and order this stunning gem. You'll discover some of the smaller neighborhoods you may have never heard of before as well as get your bearings straight in different parts of the city. A great resource for the geographer, city-lover, or map-nut on your shopping list.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
image: 1000 Friends of MN.
1000 Friends of Minnesota and Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) are working together to create dozens of Legacy Letters — short videos about what people treasure most in Minnesota. These minute-long videos will air statewide on the Minnesota Channel numerous times over the course of the next year, with the potential for select Legacy Letters to air on TPT’s weekly public affairs show, Almanac. The videos will also be posted online on the 1000 Friends of Minnesota website.The goal of Legacy Letters is to have articulate Minnesotans express our collective values and the future they envision for the state.
Tell us what you treasure about Minnesota. Pitch your one-minute Legacy Letter by calling the TPT Comment Line at 651-229-1430 by September 5, 2008. Be sure to mention “Legacy Letters,” and tell us your name, phone number, your object, and the story you’d tell in your Legacy Letter. Winning applicants will be invited to join us for a screening.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Let's here it for the St. Paul Public Library sponsoring the Saint Paul*itics program right here in our backyard. As the website says:
The Saint Paul-itics series aims to increase awareness about local and national issues and encourage civic involvement.I think its wonderful that the library is building on the momentum here in MN and using its information-based, non-partisan platform to get people educated and excited about this election season. Here's a link to the national and regional speakers and events that are affiliated with the Saint Paul*itics program. Get out and learn, then get out and vote!
Saint Paul-itics will:
- Create an informed citizenry and provide a forum for Saint Paul residents to discuss the democratic process.
- Help Saint Paul residents find ways to connect to the national excitement and interest in the Twin Cities that hosting the RNC will create.
- Create opportunities for those interested in politics to connect to others with like interests and to expand their base of knowledge.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
One of my favorite parts of the Sunday edition of the New York Times is the "36 Hours in _____ city." Well this Sunday, Minneapolis and Saint Paul were the featured city (ies.) Not a bad list of highlights--I'm impressed that Saint Paul destinations were referenced (I admit this is a low bar, but given recent RNC coverage and the nation's failure to recognize that the convention is in St. Paul and not Minneapolis, I'll take what I can get!) and the author also listed some off-the-beaten- path bars (e.g. CC Club, Lee's Liquor Lounge, 331 Club) that probably weren't on visitors' radar screens.
image: Ben Garvin, New York Times.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Dear readers residing in the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul:
I was hoping that you could take a couple of minutes of your time and either shoot me an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or use the comment field to answer the following questions:
1) What do you like most about living in the city?
2) What do you like most about your particular neighborhood?
3) What neighborhood do you reside in?
4) How long have you lived there?
You may be wondering why I'm asking and what I plan on doing with this informal, unscientific survey. Well, I've recently begun working on an initiative to market and promote all of the neighborhoods in our two fair cities. I wanted to get a very informal baseline about what the folks that read this blog and live here value about the Twin Cities and their neighborhoods. So if you're reading this, please take a minute to share your opinion and if you will, pass a link to other folks you know too. Thanks in advance for the help!!
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Lovers of modern design mark your calendars. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Walker will be sponsoring the internationally-touring "Eero Saarinen: Shaping the Future" exhibit from Saturday, September 13, 2008—Sunday, January 4, 2009. The exhibit will be held in the MIA's U.S. Bank Gallery.
Read more about the exhibit here.
And get your engines revved by checking out Eero and son Eliel Saarinen's local masterpiece, Christ Lutheran Church at 3244 34th Avenue South in Minneapolis.
image: Christ Lutheran Church, by Pete Sieger. See all of his photos here.
Monday, August 11, 2008
HISTORIC WALKING TOUR
This self-guided walk is a great way to explore the fairgrounds. Tour brochures available at State Fair information booths, the Foundation booth in front of the J. V. Bailey House or at walking tour signs located throughout the fairgrounds.
Could be an interesting way to see new parts of the Fairgrounds while justifying your consumption of the newest infarction on-a-stick, "Big Fat Bacon" (1/3 lb slice of bacon fried and carmelized with maple syrup, served on a stick with dipping sauces). For more State Fair food info, check out this site.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
On August 17th from 1-3, the City of Minneapolis and Bike Walk Twin Cities, are launching a
Bike Walk Ambassadors Program. As the website notes:
"The Bike/Walk Twin Cities Ambassadors are here to help you out! The Ambassadors provide the information and support needed to help you start bicycling and walking more often. The Ambassadors are available to give presentations, lead safety/user clinics, and host events year-round. They'll help your group learn how to reach destinations by foot or bike with ease."There are several other good resources if you're looking to find the best routes to places.
Minneapolis Bike Love. Com has a route planning forum with lots of posted routes and a place where you can ask how to get from here to there.
Bikely.com, a national website, also has a list of bike routes and paths for the Twin Cities.
Bike Walk Twin Cities has links to a bunch of other map/route resources, too.
image: Cage Design. You can purchase a series of posters of favorite Minneapolis-St. Paul cycling locations here.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Slow Down for Art..another cool traffic calming project from the neighborhood that brought you "Paint the Pavement"
"Woodward said he chose images that are meant to convey — in a matter of seconds — the following information: People live here. These are people's homes. You should slow down...For example, a series of the signs is of a mother and child — an image he said should obviously evoke a sense of serenity and safety in drivers' minds. "You see a mother and child. What says protectiveness better than that?" he asked."Check out the signs on Hamline Avenue between Charles and Blair and on Thomas Avenue between Pascal and Griggs. And while you're at it, check out the Paint the Pavement projects in our neighborhood too.
Images Copyright © by Steven Woodward. Read more here.
During the past few weeks, I've been reading the articles about the "Red Carpet Campaign," St. Paul's retail recruitment strategy for filling storefront vacancies during the Republican National Convention. The city, working with the Chamber of Commerce and the local Building Owners and Managers Association chapter, is offering very short-term leases, in some cases for a couple of weeks, at significantly reduced rates, to encourage businesses to try out a downtown St. Paul location for a spell. The Chamber is administering the program--being a matchmaker between tenants and building owners/managers--which helps to eliminate the competition between owners as well as making it easier on them by delivering tenants to their door.
Arguably, the RNC will be creating an unrealistic volume of customers, but I think it will be interesting to see which of the businesses decide to stick around to see if they can thrive in the capital city. According to Dave Orrick's article in yesterday's Pioneer Press, one such businesswoman, Stacey Finnegan, owner of Il Vostro Boutique, is taking out a 6-month lease. Finnegan says in the article:
"I'm not really looking at the RNC as a litmus test, because it'll be a false negative or positive," she said. "We'd been considering secondary location options, and it was a perfect storm. There's some nice incentives in downtown St. Paul without the commitment for a five- to 10-year lease."I heartily applaud St. Paul for piloting this incredibly innovative and unique approach. As central business districts around the country struggle with attracting and retaining retail, a common strategy is to dish out lots of tax breaks and other higher cost incentives. The Red Carpet campaign relies on partnerships with building owners, it allows smaller businesses and those considering new locations to get their feet wet in St. Paul without a major cash commitment, and it is set up so that building owners, small businesses, and the city are all winners in the end.
image: Twin Cities Daily Photo
Monday, July 28, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Monday, July 7, 2008
I have loved Theresa Handy's work since I saw a couple of her paintings at last year's "SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder): Illuminating a Northern View of Darkness" exhibit at the Weisman. Then I saw a group show of hers at GalleryCo and fell even more in love. And the truth is, I keep loving it! So if you haven't seen her work, let me make the introduction and encourage you to check out the catalog of her work, here.
All images: Theresa Handy.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Dayton's Bluff Historic District:
Take a driving tour of the some of the neighborhood's most important sites of interest. -- PDF Map 370k
All images from: Joe Hoover at St. Paul Photo Tour
Saturday, June 28, 2008
- Temperatures in the mid-60s
- Minimal mosquitoes
Leine's Summer Shandy is a "limited edition" treat that somehow makes the mixture of beer and lemonade tasty. Mighty tasty.
Some grilled grass-fed bison steaks from the St. Paul Farmer's Market.
And Ladder Ball -- a game I had never seen until moving back here last summer. It's just the right speed for a summer's evening.
Top it all off with a cone from Izzy's. If I'm ever in luck, they'll make a batch of the salty caramel ice cream I've only ever read about!
Friday, June 27, 2008
So Saint Paul, hat's off! You've done some great work on your waterfront given all that you've had working against you. Kudos!
All images: Teresa Boardman.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Invite R.T. to be a Facebook friend of yours, here.
Friday, June 20, 2008
I love Etsy.com--the website where you can buy and sell any manner of homemade art and craft. I've been looking for some artwork for our daughter's and still-gestating son's bedrooms. I'm a big fan of printmaking and I was delighted to discover a Minnesotan whose work is colorful, inventive and sweet. Check out Studio Mela's Etsy page here. If you want to shop local on a global website, you can use Etsy's "Geolocator" tool that allows you to select a state and city and then pulls up all of the sellers based there. Nice touch.
Now if only I could make up my mind about which prints to buy...
Image: Shelli at Studio Mela.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
The combination of the breeze coming off of the Mississippi and the warmth of a cloudless eve-of-summer sky, made this morning's visit to Harriet Island resplendent. Add in the peerless view of the downtown St. Paul skyline and the occasional, enormous piece of floating driftwood and you've got a pretty perfect setting for me. Now, if you asked the toddler what was so great about the place this morning, she'd probably tell you:
1) The duck and egret on the water.
2) The train chugging down the tracks adjacent to downtown.
3) The horn on the sternwheelers.
4) The slides and swings on the playground, and
5) Last, but certainly not least, the tuba player who was part of today's free children's music ensemble in the gorgeous Clarence Wigington Pavilion. The series will be going on all summer, check out the schedule here.
Enjoy your parks Twin Citians--they are a true delight!
image: Clarence Wigington Pavilion, City of St. Paul.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
After years of sleeping in hostels, on friends' couches, and in cheap roadside inns, I've grown into adulthood appreciating the occasional indulgence of a luxury hotel. Around the same time, I also discovered that these lovely refuges also tended to have equally indulgent bars. It wasn't so long ago that the Twin Cities didn't have much to speak of in this department--with the exception of some of our lovely historic hotels. So I've been overjoyed by the presence of such glamorous accommodations as the Chambers, the Graves 601 (which I had the pleasure of staying in when it was Le Meridien, and it was a pleasure then too!), the new Westin, Hotel Ivy, and my personal favorite from other cities, the forthcoming W Hotel in the Foshay Tower. At this point in time, I'm most likely to pop in for the occasional cocktail and ogling of art and architecture (have you checked out the interior space of Bank, in the Westin?!?), but I hope that in the nearer future my husband and I can play tourists for a night, complete with wining, dining, and sleeping in some nouveau luxury!
Monday, June 16, 2008
Bringing together businesses, the U, neighborhood advocates, and the city of Minneapolis, the University District Partnership Alliance--comprised of the SE Como, Marcy-Holmes, SE Industrial Area, U of M, Cedar-Riverside, and Prospect Park neighborhoods--aims to "preserve and promote the district as a place to live, learn, and do business." With funding from the state legislature, the Partnership will be offering home ownership incentives in the area, creating neighborhood visions and plans, and telling the stories of residents who love living there. I love the idea and structure of this program--part marketing, part economic development, part residential stabilization, and part community building. I wish them the best of luck in their endeavors!
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Want to know the history of Elliot Park? How about the a glimpse into early 20th Century Jewish life on the Northside of Minneapolis? Well, you can learn more about these and other Minneapolis neighborhoods and historic sites by participating in any of the numerous free walking tours hosted by the city of Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Heritage Preservation Commission. The schedule is posted here.
image: from the City of Minneapolis, inside the Shubert Theater on the 2007 tour.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Nothing says summer like a trip to Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis--preferably via bike--and lunch at the Sea Salt Eatery, complete with a fried fish sandwich and a frosty pitcher of beer. For the uninitiated, Sea Salt is actually located within the park--its a concession of the park building right near the falls and parking lot. So enjoy your summer meal, stellar people watching, and the lovely setting of Minnehaha Park--not bad for an all-inclusive package!
image: Roman Espiritu
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Minnesota Public Radio has pulled together a really nice feature on University Avenue on their website. Rightly titled as "University Avenue: A work in progress" the site features historic photos, stories, information about the Central Corridor LRT, and a place for you to tell the world what your experiences on the Avenue have been.
Image: Minnesota Historical Society
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Even though we've lived here for almost 11 months now, I still troll the blogs of my former neighborhood and surroundings in Washington, DC. I found this awesome doorway photo on one such blog (the Prince of Petworth) and it totally speaks to the roaming nature and home-state pride of Minnesotans. There were many of us transplants in DC when I was there and even though we had voluntarily left our state, we all still thought of and talked about it fondly.