Thursday, May 29, 2008

University Avenue: A work in progress

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

Connecting Reviewers and Reviews

Do you want to know what your peers have to say about services, dining establishments, and shopping destinations? Then check out the Minneapolis edition of You can read or create your own reviews of all kinds of different places and create your own social network of reviewers.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Minnesota Pride in the Nation's Capital

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.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

The Ultimate Urban Scavenger Hunt- (with prizes!) on 5/31/08

For all of you savvy urban scavengers who know your way around Minneapolis, you may want to register for this free, prize-giving event being held on May 31st. The race is called the BlackBerry Curve Challenge (can you tell who the sponsors are?) and it is limited to 150, two-person teams. Participation is free and open to adults aged 18 and older.

Basically, teams are given a set of clues that incorporate the landmarks and layout of Minneapolis. At each of these destinations team members will have to use their Blackberry to take a photo of themselves completing some kind of challenge. The kicker is that to get from destination to destination, you can only run/walk or take public transit. The distance will be several miles and the course takes between 3 -4 hours to complete. And oh yeah, you can use your Blackberry as a "lifeline" to call/text friends for help answering some of the clues. So gather a posse up by a computer so they can get you answers to the clues you don't know.

Here are the deets:
WHERE: Guthrie Theater, 818 South 2nd Street--serves as the Start & Finish line
WHEN: SATURDAY, MAY 31, 8:30-9:30 a.m. Team Orientation, 10 a.m. Start
HOW: Advanced registration suggested. Register online at Day-of registrations accepted on-site if race slots are still available
PRIZES: The top 30 teams will receive one BlackBerry Curve 8330 smartphone for each participant. The winning Minneapolis Challenge team will compete in the Ultimate Challenge in San Francisco on June 14th . Both members of the team will receive an all expense paid, three-night stay in San Francisco for themselves and one guest. Members of the winning team of Destination Alcatraz, the final challenge in San Francisco, win an all expense paid trip for two to their choice destination of Maui, Paris, Rome or the Mayan Riviera.

Image: from last year's "running of the Elvises?!?!"--taken by "kayakbiker."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sidewalk Poetry and Defeat

Perhaps I shouldn't even admit it, but I did enter the Everyday Poems for City Sidewalk competition here in St. Paul. I even sent in 2 poems. Sadly, I will not be memorialized in concrete as they announced the 2o winners today (there were 2000 entries) and I was not among them. But I will be brash enough to share my poems with you, dear reader. Feel free to tell me that I should stick to blogging instead!

The City of Seven Hills

Seven hills

like beacons

proclaim our saintly city.

Wrought by water

these caves and cliffs--

limestone shapes our history.



Unknowing authors of

our destiny.

Sounds of Street and Sky

Roaring overhead

the airplane owns the sky, for a moment.

Soon the silence of the roving clouds


My footfalls

gentle on the sidewalk

echo the sound of freedom

and curiosity.

The skyline, quiet in the distance

wakes with the whir of traffic,

the clambering of buses.

The city streets and their cacophonous choir

call me home.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Drug Store Democracy

I haven't actually experienced the spectacle myself, but I've heard and read about Schneider Drug's (@ 3400 University Avenue, in Prospect Park in Minneapolis) legendary stature among hardcore DFLers. Drug store by day, town hall by night, Schneider's plays host to candidate nights and heady political discussions--full of debate. According to an NPR story last year, the drug store's pharmacist, Tom Sengupta, a native Indian, organizes and moderates the meetings. It is expected that if you are a DFL candidate running in MN, you'll make a stop at Schneider's and sit in the hot seat for hours being grilled by party activists, academicians, and other political heavy weights. So the next time you're heading east on University you can feel assured that democratic debate is alive and well in this small, nondescript drug store.