September 12, 2006Arts)
The intersection of Van Buren and Pascal in St. Paul has joined the intersection of Englewood and Syndicate in the Paint the Pavement project. The new addition was painted on Saturday, September 9.
September 6, 2006Arts)
It's called Paint the Pavement and it's thanks to local resident Andrea Erickson who developed the program after being inspired by a similiar project in Portland, Ore.
The intersection of Van Buren and Pascal is slated for painting on Saturday, September 9, and more intersections are in the plans.
August 16, 2006History)
Well known blogger Jason Kottke gives some major props to the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis. He's absolutely right. Check out the museum if you get a chance.
May 21, 2006History)
I've always thought the Head House grain elevator just west of downtown St. Paul is actually one of the cooler buildings along the Mississippi River. It's a narrow concrete building that rises six stories. It was originally a grain elevator built between 1927 and 1931. It isn't exactly an architectural treasure (it's ugly), but it's still cool.
Current plans are to restore the Head House grain elevator and attached Sack House and turn the Sack House into a restaurant and the grain elevator into an interpretive center. A design contest was held to come up with plans for reuse, but funding hasn't come together yet and the grain eleavtor still sits. The St. Paul Riverfront Corporation offers history on the Head House:
The Head House (elevator) and Sack House complex was built between 1927 and 1931 as part of the Equity Cooperative Exchange. The buildings, perched on piers over the river, are rare remnants of Saint Paulâ€™s early twentieth century port history. They are nationally significant as the remaining elements of the first successful grain terminal elevator owned and operated by a farm cooperative in America. At the height of operations, the facility boasted 90 grain silos, a small mill, the Head House for loading grain into barges and rail cars, and the Sack House for sacking milled flour.
The Action Squad offers an inside look at the grain elevator for anyone tempted to sneak in themselves but smart enough to avoid the danger. They also reprint a 2002 Pioneer Press article about saving the Head House.
May 15, 2006Business)
The St. Clair Broiler, a distinctive St. Paul restaurant on the corner of St. Clair and Snelling turns 50 this week.
February 6, 2006Politics)
It seems Senator Norm Coleman has had his staff edit his entry in Wikipedia to remove mentions to his liberal past and the fact that he votes with Bush 98% of the time. Coleman is just one of many senators and representatives to edit their Wikipedia entries, which just seems childish. Just wait for the blogger backlash.
January 16, 2006Culture)
Some Twin Cities churches were featured on Nightline last week, including Bluer and Spirit Garage, both located in Minneapolis. Bluer has the entire "Faith Matters" segment online for your viewing pleasure.
January 13, 2006News)
Nothing like a high speed police chase through your neighborhood to keep you up at night. Around 11:30 last night my wife and I were just getting to sleep when we heard police sirens, which isn't an out of the ordinary in our Hamline-Midway neighborhood, just across the street from Frogtown. But the sirens got closer and closer, then the flashing lights lit up the night and we could hear engines slow to make the turn off Lexington and onto our street, and then gun as they tore down our street. One. Two. Three. Four. Five cop cars in a row in hot pursuit down our residential street.
My wife looked out the window to see three cars continue the chase east and one car turn north and one car turn south. A bit surprised, we rolled over to go back to sleep, but the sirens didn't fade away. It sounded like they were circling back around. Another police car came back down our street, this time no lights or sirens. We could see glimpses of flashing lights here and there and the sirens faded for a minute or two, but then came back.
We saw another glimpse of flashing lights in the direction of the Griggs Rec Center and then we could see the police cars turn south. Then we saw it, a white car running with no lights, flying down the street less than a block from our house. Four cop cars followed in hot pursuit, lights flashing and sirens wailing.
Of course I have no idea what was going on. Apparently high speed chases through residential neighborhoods are a common enough occurrence that it's not really news.
December 2, 2005Business)
I'm still not sure why this is such big news, but the Roseville Barnes & Noble is closing. No, not the giant Har Mar store with the cafe, music section and one of only a handful of used sections in the country. It's the Rosedale Marketplace store located across the street from Rosedale Mall.
When it opened in 1990 it was the first Barnes & Noble "superstore" outside New York. But only five years later the Har Mar store opened, less than two miles away and three times the size (14,000 square feet vs. 44,000). It's a wonder the smaller store lasted as long as it did.
November 7, 2005Politics)
Now isn't that interesting? 58% of Mayor Randy Kelly's campaign contributions came from the suburbs of St. Paul, and only 26% from St. Paul proper. Rival Chris Coleman pulled in 30% from the suburbs, with 49% from St. Paul itself. We find the same math in the 2001 election when Kelly again pulled in the majority of his contributions from the suburbs, while rival Jay Benanav got the majority of his cash from St. Paul.
Maybe I know nothing about politics, but if you're running for mayor of St. Paul, shouldn't the majority of your support come from St. Paul? Isn't it a bit odd that Kelly seems to owe more to people who can't even vote for him?
September 6, 2005News)
The stretch of I-94 between Minneapolis and St. Paul is one of the most dangerous stretches of road in the Twin Cities. Thanks to traffic congestion, closely spaced on and off ramps and the Lowry Tunnel, that stretch of road had more accidents than any where else in the Cities in the past few years. (link via MNSpeak)
August 30, 2005History)
While flipping through the book at Barnes & Noble I saw what had to be my favorite pic: A 1930s era picture of Lexington Field on the corner of University & Lexington in St. Paul, where currently a White Castle sits.
August 26, 2005Business)
Now you can shop 'till you drop at the Mall of America, literally. You can pay 70 cents per minute to nap at the new MinneNAPolis store, which offers three themed rooms for napping.
Mall officials said the store would stick to a strict one person per room policy, so no bright ideas.
I'm not sure who would pay $42 to take a one-hour nap, but there it is. The Mall of America now has everything.
August 25, 2005Events)
What? The State Fair opened today?! Hard to believe, but the Great Minnesota Get Together is already here. Kind of snuck up on me since I haven't seen the usual week's worth of coverage in the paper leading up to opening day (or maybe I just missed it).
- The 2005 Minnesota State Fair commemorative poster, illustrated by Mary GrandPré, best known for her work on the Harry Potter books. Get a poster at the fair or order one online. It's not Napoleon Dynamite, but we do what we can.
- The world's largest boot, certified by Guinness and created by the Red Wing Shoe Company in celebration of their 100th anniversary.
- Fighting robots. Gotta love the fighting robots.
- New and frightening food creations this year? Spaghetti and meatballs on a stick, chocolate dipped potato chips, grilled chocolate sandwiches, chocolate covered sunflower seeds (do I sense a theme?), and mini cinnamon rolls with softserve ice cream. (The Pioneer Press has details on the new foods)
- On Tuesday, August 30 kids can try out musical instruments at the Minnesota Orchestra's Instrument Petting Zoo. (Can you say "saxa-ma-phone"?)
- August 27 & 28 you can catch a free Hopefuls show (formerly the Olympic Hopefuls) at the Teen Fair.
- Every day at 7:00 p.m. head to the Pet Center for the St. Paul Police K-9 Unit demonstration.
And for a bit of history, check out the Star Trib Yesterday's News blog for details about the 1901 State Fair, which featured then Vice President Theodore Roosevelt and his "speak softly and carry a big stick" speech.
August 24, 2005Parks & Sights)
I took pictures of the 7th Street Improvement Arches in St. Paul a few weeks back after noticing the cool spiral pattern. The arches were built in 1884 as part of a massive project to bridge 7th Street over the combined valley of Trout Brook and Phalen Creek, several railroad tracks and ultimately link the downtown district with Dayton's Bluff. It was one of the biggest public works projects attempted by St. Paul at the time.
The arches were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989 and are known for their helicoidal or spiral method, which is both rare and technically demanding. It's the only known example of such a bridge in Minnesota (read the in-depth details of its historic significance). The arches were also designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark in 2000.
Today the railroad tracks are long gone and have been replaced with the Bruce Vento Regional Trail. The trail starts at a parking lot at 7th Street and Payne and curves around to go under the 7th Street Improvement Arches and into Swede Hollow Park. There are plans to continue the trail under I-94 and across 4th Street to connect it with the new Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary. The trail will also continue up the bluff to connect to Indian Mounds Park, as well as follow 4th Street to Lowertown. Construction will begin next spring and should be finished by the fall of 2006.