Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tell the world what you treasure about Minnesota

From the 1000 Friends of Minnesota website:

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.
image: 1000 Friends of MN.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

All Politics is Local

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.

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.
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!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

On Sale (online) Tomorrow: 2009 Saint Paul Almanac

I've profiled the eclectic Saint Paul Almanac several times on this blog already, but this is just a heads up that the 2009 edition goes on sale online tomorrow (full disclosure: I've got a piece in this edition about University Avenue (it's an expansion of an early blog post from this site)). You can order online here. You could also wait until Sept. 1 to buy it in bookstores. If you want to celebrate the release of the Almanac and help raise funds for the non-profit that puts it together, come to the Black Dog Cafe and Wine Bar on September 29th between 12 and 4PM. More details here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

MSP makes NYT

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

Survey Time: Tell me what you love about Minneapolis and St. Paul

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 ( 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

Save the Date: Saarinen coming to MIA

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

History on a Stick or Burning Off Some of Those Cheese Curds

Just caught this nugget in the MN State Fair insert included in Sunday's Star Tribune:

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

Making the Twin Cities Even More Bike Friendly

Back in July, there was a great article about a U of M Computer Science graduate student named Reid Priedhorsky who is starting up "geo-wiki" that allows cyclists to post bike routes to all sorts of destinations. The advantage of this set-up is that sometimes the most direct, or most traffic-free routes can take you off of streets and onto unofficial paths--things that aren't picked up by any map. While the Twin Cities Bike Map is certainly decent--there are lots of alternative ways to get from point A to point B that experienced cyclists are likely to point out. Cyclopath is still in testing mode, but you can sign up to be notified of its official release.

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., 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.