Kim Eslinger
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Publisher
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Reporter/Photographer
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Julie Craven
Reporter/Photographer
julie@millcitymedia.org

Joan Bennett
Reporter/Columnist
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Doug Verdier
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Mill City Times is a not-for-profit community service.  We do not sell advertising on this site.

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Minneapolis Riverfront News

Covering life, work, and play in the Historic Mill District and Downtown Minneapolis Riverfront neighborhoods. Have an opinion, local news or events to share?  Contact us.

Monday
Jul252016

In the News - News from Downtown & the Riverfront Neighborhoods

TOP STORIES LAST WEEK

The Commons makes its official debut
A sweltering celebration featuring a ceremonial Frisbee toss, dancing and enthusiastic remarks from community leaders praising new green space for the city signaled the grand opening of The Commons park on Thursday.

Essential, illegal, misbegotten or misunderstood? Ready or not, downtown Minneapolis' 'Commons' is set to open
The Downtown East Commons park in downtown Minneapolis gets an official opening Thursday, which will include — of course — a ceremonial tossing of the first Frisbee.

Celebration marks opening of the Commons park near stadium
Meet downtown's new front yard.

Downtown East park opens to public
The Commons, a 4.2-acre public green space that even the Minnesota Vikings have called the “centerpiece” of Downtown East redevelopment, opened Thursday afternoon near U.S. Bank Stadium.

Ryan proposes new Downtown East office tower
The glass tower project at Park & 4th would feature approximately 414,000 square feet for office users and a skyway connection to the stadium and nearby towers, according to the plans. About 6,000 square feet of space on the street and skyway levels, in addition to a potential restaurant space on the top floor, is slated for retail tenants.

Ryan Cos. give more details on Minneapolis office tower
What’s big and tall and green all over? Apparently, the proposed 17-story Block One office tower that Ryan Cos. hopes to build near U.S. Bank Stadium.

New Minneapolis Wells Fargo towers showcase a sea of change and a splash of history
The company's two East Town towers are unveiled as part of a $300 million project helping to transform downtown.

Wells Fargo officially opens East Town towers
Executives and government officials praised the $300 million project at a ribbon-cutting ceremony July 20 for anchoring the transformation of Downtown East and Elliot Park, which are seeing U.S. Bank Stadium, the Commons park and other projects opening this summer.

ESPN Selects Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Host X Games in the U.S.
Minnesota Sports Facility Authority, U.S. Bank Stadium, Meet Minneapolis and ESPN to Collaborate on Summer Events for Two Years; 2017 & 2018 Event Dates Announced

Minneapolis is getting the X Games (twice!)
Welcome to that weird moment when a bunch of tattooed, pierced rebellious types are brought to town by a company owned by Disney, where they'll perform at a publicly funded sports stadium named after a bank. Such is life in America, circa 2016.

The Official X Games Site
For 2017 and 2018, X Games has a new home. Welcome to Minneapolis, Minnesota.

New Vikings stadium to host X Games in 2017, '18
ESPN's X Games will be held in Minneapolis in 2017 and 2018, with many of the events being held in the Minnesota Vikings' glittering new stadium, the network announced Wednesday.

ESPN’s X Games are coming to U.S. Bank Stadium
The new home of the Minnesota Vikings will see the competition the next two summers.

ESPN's X Games are coming to Minneapolis
U.S. Bank Stadium will host the ESPN extreme sports competition during the next two summers.

X Games Minneapolis: Five reasons to get excited about the event
Like the Red Bull Crashed Ice event in St. Paul or closing time after a grandstand show at the State Fair, the people watching figures to be fantastic at an event like this one.

Dignitaries, fans formally open U.S. Bank Stadium
A collection of Minnesota’s most powerful politicians and civic influencers converged on the field of U.S. Bank Stadium Friday for the formal opening of the $1.1 billion project.

U.S. Bank Stadium open house swamped with visitors, storms
"Adrian Peterson is the best," Isaac said matter-of-factly, standing in his Minnesota Vikings jersey amid throngs of visitors crowding the second level of the newly minted U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

U.S. Bank Stadium upgrades Minneapolis' aura
There might not be another place in the world with so many beautiful arenas located so closely together, not with the addition of U.S. Bank Stadium.

Broken window at U.S. Bank Stadium could take two months to fix
According to a source, someone was walking along the north side of the building, picked up a nearby rock and tossed it at the ground-level wall of glass.

New brewery, taproom coming to northeast Minneapolis
“We are very excited to bring classic, high-quality craft beers to the Beltrami neighborhood of northeast Minneapolis,” Neil Miller, head brewer and co-founder, said in a prepared statement. “The newly refurbished Miller Textile building will allow us to create a unique brewery/taproom experience for our customers.”

New brewery planned for Northeast’s Miller Textile Building
HeadFlyer Brewing is planning a nearly 9,500-square-foot taproom and brewery in the newly overhauled Miller Textile Building in Northeast Minneapolis.

Opus, Greco team on a North Loop apartment project
One of the final remaining industrial gaps in the heart of the North Loop neighborhood in Minneapolis is about to be filled with a striking white brick apartment building.

Ichiban on Nicollet Mall to close after 36 years
The Japanese restaurant, located on the southern end of Nicollet Mall, confirmed news of the closing on Facebook. Ichiban’s last day will be July 30. It did not specify why the restaurant is closing.

Gregarious Twin Cities bar owner Lokowich, 49, was a friend to all
"It's pretty evident that he loved people. People loved him. There's a lot of heartache on this one."

Monday
Jul252016

The Week Ahead in Mill City

Each week we provide an easy to reference list of events and activities for the week ahead in the Historic Mill District and Minneapolis Riverfront Neighborhoods.  Have an event to share?  Submit your events here...

Monday, July 25

Tuesday, July 26

Wednesday, July 27

Thursday, July 28

Friday, July 29

Saturday, July 30

Sunday, July 31 

Sunday
Jul242016

House-Sitter Available

Mature and reliable Mill District college student looking for house, pet, or plant sitting assignment for two weeks - exact date flexible between August 28 and September 13-14. All terms negotiable and excellent references available. If interested contact Joe Tamburino at joetamburino@comcast.net.

Sunday
Jul242016

Mill City Emanuel Singers to Sing at Target Field

The Mill City Emanuel Singers, sponsored by Friends of the Mill District, will be singing 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame' on August 11th at Target Field during the 7th inning of the game between the Minnesota Twins and the Houston Astros.  JD Steele is the director for the group, which has performed at Holidazzle and the MacPhail Music Matters Luncheon.

Begun in the fall of 2015, the singers have over 90 members on their roster. They rehearse on Saturday afternoons at the Guthrie, the American Academy of Neurology, and the First Covenant Church and are accompanied by Fred Steele. The choir was recently awarded an $8,000 grant from the Minnesota Regional Arts Council.

For more information about the Mill City Emanuel Singers, please contact Claudia Kittock at cjkittock@gmail.com. All are welcome to come and sing with us.

Sunday
Jul242016

Scenes from the July 23 Mill City Farmers Market

Mother Nature cut short the July 23 Market, but the early shoppers were rewarded with the best selection of the 2016 season so far.

Check out this impressive piece of edible art from Swede Lake Farms:

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

...and then this happened:

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

The Market has so much to offer - be sure to visit the vendors along the Chicago expansion area in front of American Academy of Neurology (AAN).  I ran into a neighbor this morning who wasn't aware there were fresh noodles available from Dumpling & Strand this year, and that they even have her favorite - soba!

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

In addition to bringing your grocery list to the Market, bring your gift list too. Every week there is a line up of quality items by talented local artists. Today, it was Adam Gruetzmacher, AprilierreWillfulHouse of Talents and Billboard Bags

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

In the case of House of Talents, founder Kate Herzog has a showroom in Suite 615 of the Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art building at 250 3rd Avenue.  The items she offers are from African artists, and the money they receive from House of Talents helps them obtain health care, education and other services. 

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

By 10am the vendors where taking down the tents in anticipation of a pending storm.  I was startled at how naked it looked.

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Milly the goat getting gussied up.

July 23, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Friday
Jul222016

A Bit of History and the Story of Banh Mi Bread: Lu's Sandwiches

Story and photos by Julie Craven

When the site that for nearly 60 years was home to Totino’s Italian Kitchen becomes home to Lu’s Sandwiches and their banh mi bread, it's a reminder of how ethnic food evolves. Foods go from exotic to mainstream, new ones take their place, the cycle continues.

I can remember a time when pizza was considered ethnic food. Really. The place to go was Mama Nick’s Circle Pizzeria in Waterloo, Iowa. Today, pizza is considered about as American as a grilled cheese sandwich, but I imagine that was not the case when Totino’s Italian Kitchen opened its doors on Central Avenue in the early 1950s. The Totino's Pizza production facility followed in Saint Louis Park, and entrepreneur Rose Totino grew her family business to become one of Minnesota’s iconic food brands.

The first retail establishment in the new Red 20 apartment building, Lu’s Sandwiches opened a few weeks ago, the second location for this Vietnamese fast-food, family affair. Known for banh mi sandwiches and egg rolls, Lu’s slogan, “Be greedy, have a fresh sandwich that tastes amazing!” is the perfect headline for this sassy sandwich shop.

Banh mi is a Vietnamese term for all kinds of breads. Bread, specifically this type of baguette, was introduced by the French during its colonial period in Vietnam and it is lighter with a thinner crust than traditional French baguettes. The sandwich filling options vary - ham, chicken, pork, meatballs, grilled beef, tofu and mock duck, all served on a banh mi roll.

It's the diverse “fixings” that made ordering fun and my ham sandwich so yummy - dressings like French pate, fish sauce and mayonnaise; veggies that include lettuce, carrots and daikon, cucumber, cilantro, jalapeno, peanuts and mint.

The Red 20 building makes the claim that it's just steps to “everything from Polka to Punk Rock, restaurants and boutique shopping” and the name, and exterior, is a nod to the famous red sauce at the Totino family’s restaurant. Totino’s memorabilia serves as decoration for the 130-unit apartment building, including a plaque on the building’s street level that tells the family's story.

Lee and Sandra from the Lu's Sandwich team were a delight and said customers have remarked that they are a welcome addition to the neighborhood. I commented how much I loved the logo on the back of their shirts. So much so, that they humored me, grabbed a colleague and posed for a group photo.

The sandwiches were delicious, the type you'd make a special stop for to take with you on a road trip. Having said that, I'll confess to being pretty darned excited about another retail establishment opening at Red 20 in the fall. Hello Glam Doll Donuts...!

Website:  lusandwiches.com

Location:  10 6th Street NE  Minneapolis, MN  55413 

Julie Craven can be reached at julie@millcitymedia.org.

Thursday
Jul212016

New Izzy's Flavor - Dessa’s Existential Crunch - Debuts at July 27 Event to Benefit The Bridge For Youth

Dark Brown Sugar and Creme Fraiche ice creams, flavored with Jameson Irish Whiskey and Disaronno Originale amaretto, mixed with praline pecan pieces and a crunchy cashew brittle.  

Mmmm-mmmm-mmmm, yes?

Want to be one of the first to sample this tasty new creation? Pick up a ticket for the July 27 Izzy's Rooftop Ice Cream Social with Dessa. Proceeds go to The Bridge for Youth, so you might want to pick up a few tickets and bring some friends, because that's a very worthy cause to spend your money on!

Thursday
Jul212016

City of Minneapolis Celebrates Grand Opening of The Commons with Community Today

Via a July 21 Press Release from the City of Minneapolis:

Thursday, July 21, 2016 (Minneapolis, MN) – Elected officials, partners, and community members gathered today to celebrate the grand opening of The Commons, a 4.2 acre, dynamic green space located in the heart of downtown that aims to engage all of Minneapolis’ diverse communities.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges; Council Member Jacob Frey; Pat Ryan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ryan Companies US, Inc.; Mark Wilf Owner/President of the Vikings, and Mary Margaret Jones, President of Hargreaves Associates kicked off the opening ceremony. Event attendees forwent a traditional ribbon cutting and tossed blue and green Frisbees into the air to officially commemorate the opening. The event featured food trucks, dance performances by Asian Dance Team, free yoga by CorePower Yoga, and a variety of lawn games in a program designed to exemplify the many activities that will take place in The Commons.

“The Commons is a vital new extension of the city’s footprint, a new space downtown to connect diverse communities from across the city,” said Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges. “As the anchor for the ongoing transformation of Downtown East, the Commons is a green space for all residents, visitors and communities. It will connect the city and its people together and provide new opportunities for healthy outdoor activities as Minneapolis continues to grow.”

“Every great city has a world class downtown park, and today we deliver the first block of our very own,” said Council Member Jacob Frey.  “The Commons is the kitchen table for our city – the place where everyone can gather and connect. Bring on the picnic blankets, soccer balls, and Frisbees because this downtown park is primed for action.”

The Commons is a key part of the broader, five-block Downtown East development project that has brought over $400 million of investment in new office towers for Wells Fargo, housing, retail, parking, and a hotel to an area that resisted development for decades. The East Block officially opened today and includes: a great lawn, promenades, areas for play, and plantings.  The West Block will open next month.

“The Commons is the “crown jewel” of the $2 billion Downtown East development,” said Pat Ryan, Ryan Companies US, Inc. CEO and co-chair of The Commons fundraising committee.  “This largely neglected area of Downtown East has been transformed by Wells Fargo, US Bank Stadium, Radisson Red, and the Edition Apartments.  The Commons is a gathering place for all of Minneapolis to celebrate this live-work-play city.  I am proud of the public-private partnership that has brought The Commons to life.  Great cities have great people who work together to create a great environment.  It is a privilege to lead the fundraising efforts with Mayor Betsy Hodges.”

In early 2015, the City hired a team lead by the internationally recognized landscape architecture firm, Hargreaves Associates, to design The Commons beyond a flat, grassy field as was originally negotiated.  After a year of intensive community engagement including four community meetings and feedback from over 2,500 survey responses, the design was finalized and construction began by Ryan Companies in the fall of 2015.

“Today is just the beginning!  We have been honored to guide the design process for this transformative, destination open space for the City of Minneapolis – a welcoming and inclusive public landscape, which we are eager to watch emerge and evolve over the coming years.  The participation of the public and stakeholders has been exceptional, resulting in a vision for The Commons that truly incorporates the needs of all users,” said Mary Margaret Jones, President of Hargreaves Associates.

The Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District (DID) will operate The Commons through 2016. Green Minneapolis, a nonprofit public-private conservancy is working with the City on an operating agreement for 2017 and beyond.  To date, Green Minneapolis has raised over 14 million in supporting the fundraising effort for The Commons. The City has a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) to transfer fee title of the property to MPRB and lease it back and be responsible for its operations.

“The City of Minneapolis, in partnership with many philanthropic businesses and individuals, has invested, designed, and built a first-of-its-kind green space for the City and the State—a tremendous accomplishment,” said David Wilson, Chairman of the Green Minneapolis Board. “Now comes the most important part— bringing the park’s potential to life for everyone in our community.  For this we will need continued support and investment to ensure the park is well maintained, programmed, and cared for.” 

Donors to the green space thus far include Wells Fargo, Ryan Companies, The Minnesota Vikings, Valspar, U.S. Bank, The Pohlad Family Foundation, Julia Dayton, Jay and Page Cowles, The Edward J. Phillips Family Foundation, Piper Jaffray, CenturyLink, The David Wilson and Michael Peterman Family, Target Corporation, Carlson and the Carlson Family Foundation, Land O’Lakes, Thrivent Financial, Veit USA and Xcel Energy.

For more information on upcoming events or to learn how to reserve The Commons for activities visit www.CommonsMpls.com.

Wednesday
Jul202016

Well done Minneapolis: 2017 & 2018 X Games to be held in the Mill City

It was just announced that Minneapolis will host the ESPN X Games 2 consecutive years. The event, which includes BMX, Moto X and skateboarding competitions, is especially popular with millennials.

Councilmember Jacob Frey thinks the games will add to the cool factor of Minneapolis: "The X Games brings nearly unparalleled media attention that could highlight our city. We're hip and we know it, but not everyone does. That's now gonna change" he said.

Sports Minneapolis, an arm of the city’s convention bureau, was instrumental in bringing the event to town.

READ MORE COVERAGE

ESPN Selects Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Host X Games in the U.S.
Minnesota Sports Facility Authority, U.S. Bank Stadium, Meet Minneapolis and ESPN to Collaborate on Summer Events for Two Years; 2017 & 2018 Event Dates Announced

Minneapolis is getting the X Games (twice!)
Welcome to that weird moment when a bunch of tattooed, pierced rebellious types are brought to town by a company owned by Disney, where they'll perform at a publicly funded sports stadium named after a bank. Such is life in America, circa 2016.

The Official X Games Site
For 2017 and 2018, X Games has a new home. Welcome to Minneapolis, Minnesota.

New Vikings stadium to host X Games in 2017, '18
ESPN's X Games will be held in Minneapolis in 2017 and 2018, with many of the events being held in the Minnesota Vikings' glittering new stadium, the network announced Wednesday.

ESPN’s X Games are coming to U.S. Bank Stadium
The new home of the Minnesota Vikings will see the competition the next two summers.

ESPN's X Games are coming to Minneapolis
U.S. Bank Stadium will host the ESPN extreme sports competition during the next two summers.

X Games Minneapolis: Five reasons to get excited about the event
Like the Red Bull Crashed Ice event in St. Paul or closing time after a grandstand show at the State Fair, the people watching figures to be fantastic at an event like this one.

Tuesday
Jul192016

Parkway Closures for July 20 Torchlight 5K

Via a July 19 Minneapolis Park and Rec Board e-newsletter: 

July 20 - Life Time Torchlight 5K - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
West River Parkway - From N 4th Ave to Portland Ave
Stone Arch Bridge
SE Main St - From SE 3rd St to 6th St SE

*Please note that the duration of the closures is subject to change based on the event's start and finish times.  A complete list of current and upcoming parkway closures is available online.

Additionally, Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis will be closed July 20 from 7 p.m. until approximately 10:30 p.m. for both the Torrchlight 5K and the CenterPoint Energy Torchlight Parade.

Hennepin Avenue will close from Dunwoody Boulevard to Third Street South. Traffic will be able to cross Hennepin Avenue at Fourth Street, Fifth Street, 10th Street, 11th Street, Maple Street/16th Street and southbound on Lyndale Avenue. Also Dunwoody Boulevard will close to traffic, along with the Interstate 394 exit onto Dunwoody Boulevard. These streets will reopen after the parade is finished at approximately 10:30 p.m.

Also - the following streets will be closed from 7 to 8:30 p.m.:

  • Third Street South, from First Avenue North to Second Avenue South.
  • First Street North, from Hennepin to Fourth Avenue North.
  • Fourth Avenue North, from First Street North to West River Parkway.
  • West River Parkway, from Fourth Avenue North to Portland Avenue.
  • Main Street, from Third Avenue SE. to Sixth Avenue SE.
Tuesday
Jul192016

Interactive Map Can Help People Stay Cool and Safe During this Week's Heat Wave

Via a July 18 Hennepin County e-newsletter:

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch which will be effective through the end of the week.

The heat index is expected to reach 105 to 110 degrees during afternoon hours.

Hennepin County Public Health has created an interactive map to help residents who don't have air conditioning at home or work to find public places to escape the summer heat. Young children, senior citizens and people who are sick or overweight are most vulnerable.

Maps are available for desktop and mobile devices.

The project is a collaboration between Hennepin County Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Hennepin County Public Health.

Find a way to keep cool

To assist in escaping the heat, a link to our mobile mapping application shows cool options throughout Hennepin County including locations to Salvation Army buildings, libraries, recreation centers, movie theaters, and shopping malls.

People can make the map close and personal by zooming in on a specific neighborhood; users then can click on individual cooling locations for an address, days and hours of operation, contact information and a website link, when possible.

Dig into mapping data

The application is only one part of a larger initiative to make public information more usable for Hennepin County residents. Other projects include park maps, public health information, construction, property values and taxation. Applications are scattered throughout the county website, but several additional maps can be found at www.hennepin.us/gis. Users familiar with GIS software can also download data directly.

Monday
Jul182016

Update from Friends of the Mill District

By Claudia Kittock

The Mill District’s Mill City Emanuel singers joined more than 1000 members of the community on Thursday, July 14th at Westminster Presbyterian Church. It was organized by Brian Newhouse, managing director of MPR Classical. Choirs from all over Minneapolis and St. Paul were invited to participate in an evening of song and reflection after recent violence in the Twin Cities, Dallas, Baton Rouge and other communities.

A similar group gathered in Dallas and with the help of a video and audio connection, the two communities were able to sing the first song together, "Bridge of Song". Via a streamed connection to Texas, assembled choirs in Dallas and the gathering in Minneapolis joined in a synchronized sing of Greg Gilpin's "Why We Sing" across the distance. The connection was seamless.

Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, Classical MPR manager of choral initiatives, and G. Phillip Shoultz III, associate conductor of VocalEssence, led local choirs in a program that featured spiritual and secular songs of peace and community. The choirs were joined by special guests Fred Steele and JD Steele, director and accompanist of the Mill City Emanuel Singers

Supplementing the music were reflections from various traditions. Imam Makram El-Amin, Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman and Pastor David Allen Keaton read passages from the Koran, the Jewish Prayer Book and from the New Testament, respectively. Dessa, in addition to her song performances, read poems by Gary Snyder and Pablo Neruda. Classical MPR's Brian Newhouse read passages from Swiss philosopher Henri-Fréderic Amiel.

Sunday
Jul172016

Scenes from the July 16 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16 was Mississippi River Day at the Market. Community booths included The University of Minnesota Raptor CenterMississippi Park ConnectionFriends of the MississippiGreat River Coalition, and Big River Magazine.

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Mill City Farmers Market Founder Brenda Langton wore eagle earrings in honor of the live eagle visiting with the Raptor Center. Thank you to the McKnight Foundation for sponsoring the Raptor Center booth.

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Stangler Works debuted with beautifully crafted wood skateboards, ping pong paddles, household items, jewelry and more.  Look for a separate post later this week on our Farmers Market blog.

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Freshly harvested garlic, snap peas and three colors of beans from Swede Lake Farms.

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Guitarist Ben Glaros provided background music for shoppers taking a break on the steps.

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

It's officially blueberry season - yay!

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Occasionally the Market staff conducts shopper surveys. If you see these boards set up, take a minute to participate.

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

This little guy is contemplating a honeycomb from Ames Farm.

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Baker's Field Flour & Bread, the newest addition to the FOOD BUILDING, joined The Lone Grazer and Red Table Meats at the Market.  Look for a future separate post about Baker's Field on our Farmers Market blog.

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

The okra and peppers are in - you can add gumbo to the menu now!

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Celina Kane of Hat Make had a lovely display of her summer hats at the July 14 Market.  (Look for a separate post later this week on our Farmers Market blog.)  Melanie Ebertz of ArtAndes is a Hat Make customer. Her new hat was a perfect match for the display of rugs.

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Milly the goat!

July 16, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market 

Sunday
Jul172016

In the News - News from Downtown & the Riverfront Neighborhoods

TOP STORIES LAST WEEK

9 crazy facts you never knew about the Minneapolis City Hall building
Monday marked the official 125th anniversary of Minneapolis’ City Hall building, which also serves as the Hennepin County Courthouse.

Neighbors worry dogs will leave their mark on Downtown East Commons park
As officials prepare to partially open the Downtown East Commons park in the next few weeks, neighborhood leaders are asking if the fresh, green grass will quickly become yellowed from dogs on walks.

CBRE report ranks Minneapolis highly as a lure of tech talent
Minneapolis is getting a few steps closer to becoming a true tech hub, according to a new report by commercial real estate company CBRE.

Boosters want to build buzz for the Commons
Chicago has Millennium Park. New York City has Central Park. In Houston, it’s Discovery Green, and in Detroit it’s Campus Martius Park. So what’s Minneapolis’ iconic urban green space, that place that’s both a must-see tourist draw and a daily refuge for locals? Someday, maybe, it could be Downtown East Commons.

'Sweeney Todd' collects powerful moments at Mill City Opera
REVIEW: A bit less restraint would have released a bit more evil.

On-street parking returning to curb on 1st Avenue in downtown Minneapolis
You may have noticed that city crews have started scraping off pavement markings on 1st Avenue in downtown Minneapolis. The reason is the street is being reconfigured to return on-street parking to the curb.

Ryan reveals images for new office tower next to Vikings stadium
The building is one of the final steps in Ryan's makeover of five blocks next to the stadium.

U.S. Bank Stadium officials plan three-year, $300,000 bird fatality study
Panel expected to approve proposal to work with the National Audubon Society and its Minnesota chapter.

An inside look at U.S. Bank Stadium (Photos)
At $1.1 billion, the downtown Minneapolis project showcases what could be a new trend in sports — instead of retractable roofs, the Minnesota Vikings stadium uses a transparent plastic material that makes people feel like they’re sitting outside.

Rojo Mexican Grill closes North Loop Minneapolis restaurant
The concept was a second swing by restaurateur Michael McDermott.

Community Keg House closes, looks for buyer
The beer community-focused taproom, which featured a rotating selection of craft beers from around the state, opened in January in the Grain Belt complex’s Keg House Arts Building off Broadway Street.

Now open: Lu’s Sandwiches in Red 20
Lu’s Sandwiches is the first of a wave of Whittier-based restaurants to open in a growing corner of Northeast Minneapolis.

PREVIOUS WEEK

Downtown Mpls. 'hostile to the arts,' says dance company founder
Zenon Dance fundraising letter cites crime, parking and construction as factors in tough times.

Baker’s Field gets baking in the Food Building
Baker’s Field will begin selling flour and bread at the Mill City Farmers Market, the Northeast Farmers Market and the Riverplace Market beginning Saturday, July 16.

Butcher Block opens expansion into Pacifier space
The Butcher Block is opening a new bar in the former Pacifier space. The Northeast Minneapolis Italian restaurant has added a bar and more seating thanks to an expansion into the into the former flagship space of the baby gift and clothing boutique.

Vikings traffic plan aims to ease gridiron gridlock
Getting 64,000 Vikings fans in and out of downtown on game days is no easy task. But Vikings officials have a plan. If fans listen.

Loose exterior panels plague U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis
Several black zinc panels on U.S. Bank Stadium came loose amid a severe evening storm and stadium officials were at a loss to explain the cause.

 

Friday
Jul152016

Gardens of Salonica: New Greek Cafe and Deli

Story and photos by Julie Craven

It's always a pleasure, and always informative, to catch Chef Heather Hartman’s cooking demos at the Mill City Farmer’s Market. After a recent demo we had a chance to visit and I asked about some of her favorite restaurants. “Have you been to see Anna at Gardens of Salonica?” she asked. Word of mouth truly is the best advertising!

Anna is Anna Christoforides. She and husband Lazaros are founders and owners of Gardens of Salonica located in the heart of the Northeast. Known for their traditional and modern Greek cuisine since opening in 1991, the emphasis is on local, all-natural and organic. The restaurant boasts a large appetizer section, a varied wine list and an easy going vibe.

We were on the early side and staff asked the next three groups who came in if they wanted their usual tables. A line started to form for takeout orders. Clearly lots of regulars, lots of familiar faces.

“All the entrees are amazing,” our server Brandon explained.  Tonight's special was lamb riblets on jasmine rice with a Greek yogurt dipping sauce. “Think lollipop lamb chops,”  Brandon advised. His other tip was on the other side of the menu, “it's popular for folks to order from the appetizer section and chose three items for the combination plate.”

According to Brandon, two of the most popular entrees are the Mousakas and the Pastitsio. Doug went with the Mousakas with meat sauce, layered with grilled eggplant and topped with bechamel. I had the Pastitsio, seasoned meat sauce on layers of imported pasta, also topped with bechamel and oven baked. Big hearty servings. Definitely shareable.

Chicken Angel Hair Pasta and Fava Bean soups were on the menu tonight - we both got the chicken soup, which is totally against our rule of not duplicating our orders when we try a new place! Yummy Greek-style chicken noodle soup, full of lemon flavor.

Greek sandwiches, including Gyros, Chicken Souvlaki, Pork Souvlaki and Soutzoukaki, are all wrapped in Greek pita with fresh tomatoes, onions, parsley, tzatziki and a side of hand-cut Greek fries. Gluten free wraps are also available.

Small and large platters that include a variety of the sandwich menu items are great options for family style dining.

Saganaki is a standard (the flambé show is always fun!) but Brandon claimed the Minnesota mushroom version of their saganaki, a frequent special menu addition, is even better. “I didn't even like mushrooms when I started working here, now it's my favorite.”

Dessert is all about the baklava. And in case that rich and flaky dessert isn’t enough, you can have it served with a scoop of ice cream on top. One of the Boughatsa desserts, hand-wrapped fillo pastries with lemon cream, chocolate hazelnut or apricot cream, are another sweet ending.

Anna is herself a noted Minneapolis food influencer. The table tent described an upcoming food tour of Greece she will lead and a recent post on her kitchen blog revealed the secret that beer and bread have in common (fermentation by yeast!)  The Symposia Dinners, held on the third Wednesday of the month, are four-course, chef driven, wine-paired dinners with a guest presenter. The topics change, everything from accordion masters to beekeepers to nutritionists.

I forgot one thing though. I have a jar of tahini in my pantry that I meant to ask them about. What am I supposed to do with it?!  Well, next time!

Location:  19 5th Street NE  Minneapolis, MN 55413

Website: gardensofsalonica.com 

Julie Craven can be reached at julie@millcitymedia.org.

Friday
Jul152016

Mississippi Park Connection and Mia Offer Masterpieces of Nature

Via a July 14 Press Release from Mississippi Park Connection:

19 museum-worthy views celebrate the Mississippi River’s only national park during the National Park Service Centennial year

SAINT PAUL, MN, July 14, 2016 – As part of the festivities surrounding the National Park Service Centennial year, Mississippi Park Connection and Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) are bringing art to the national park in the heart of the Twin Cities. The partnership is in conjunction with “Seeing Nature: Landscape Masterworks from the Paul G. Allen Family Collection,” a wide-ranging exhibition of 39 spectacular landscape paintings spanning five centuries, which will be on display at Mia through September 18, 2016

From July through September, museum-style frames in various sizes will appear at 19 scenic locations throughout the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area to highlight the stunning artistry that exists within these natural landscapes. Each location in the park connects visitors back to one of the thrilling vistas on display at Mia.

“We wanted to engage everyday park visitors in the National Park Service Centennial celebration. By creating visual frames for people to look through, we aim to reveal the grandeur of our river and nurture a greater appreciation for our national park," said Katie Nyberg, executive director, Mississippi Park Connection.

Park visitors are invited to take a picture and to share in social media with the tags #parkconnection and #seeingnature, and images will be available online alongside photos from other park enthusiasts at artsmia.org/seeing-nature/mia-national-park-service, where a map of all locations is available.

“The exhibition reveals the power of landscape to locate the viewer in time and place”, said Kim Huskinson, senior manager, marketing & insights at Mia. “We hope museum goers and park visitors will enjoy the opportunity to record, explore, and understand the natural and manmade world.”

ABOUT MISSISSIPPI PARK CONNECTION 
Mississippi Park Connection is the proud nonprofit partner of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, a national park in the Twin Cities. Its mission is to build and strengthen connections between people and the Mississippi River, and build community support for this national treasure. Through education, stewardship and community engagement, Mississippi Park Connection provides opportunities for people to have a national park experience right in the Twin Cities.

ABOUT MISSISSIPPI NATIONAL RIVER AND RECREATION AREA
The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area was established as a national park in 1988 to protect, preserve, and enhance the nationally significant resources of the Mississippi River. Starting in the Dayton-Ramsey area and ending just south of Hastings, the Mississippi River changes character more within this 72-mile park boundary than in its entire 2,350-mile course to the Gulf of Mexico.

ABOUT THE MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ART
Home to more than 89,000 works of art representing 5,000 years of world history, the Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) inspires wonder, spurs creativity, and nourishes the imagination. With extraordinary exhibitions and one of the finest wide-ranging art collections in the country – Rembrandt to Van Gogh, Monet to Matisse, Asian to African, Mia links the past to the present, enables global conversations, and offers an exceptional setting for inspiration.

General admission to Mia is always free. Some special exhibitions have a nominal admission fee. General admission for “Seeing Nature” is $20. 

Thursday
Jul142016

City of Minneapolis Invites Public to Attend the Grand Opening of The Commons on Thursday, July 21

On Thursday, July 21, the City of Minneapolis will host a grand opening of The Commons, 424 4th Street S  from 11:30am-1:00pm.

The event will take place on the East Block of the park and feature food trucks, a free yoga class by Core Power Yoga, dance performances by Asian Dance Team, and additional activities.  A brief program with comments provided by Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges; Council Member Jacob Frey; Pat Ryan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ryan Companies US, Inc.; and Mary Margaret Jones, Senior Principal of Hargreaves Associates will take place at 12:00pm.  Following the remarks all event attendees will be invited to participate in a commemorative Frisbee toss.

The Commons is a 4.2 acre, new public green space downtown bounded by Park Avenue and 4th and 5th Streets.  The Commons was designed as a place for respite, everyday activities, and events large and small for residents, workers, and visitors.

Everyone is invited to attend the grand opening celebration.  For more information on The Commons visit http://www.commonsmpls.com/.

Schedule of Grand Opening Events:

11:30am
Asian Dance Team
Food Trucks

12:00pm
Program with brief comments by Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, Council Member Jacob Frey, Pat Ryan and Mary Margaret Jones

12:20pm
Commemorative Frisbee Toss

12:20-1:00pm
Asian Dance Team
Food Trucks
Core Power Yoga free class
Free play activities

Thursday
Jul142016

July 19 is Pre-registration Deadline for Primary Election

Via a July14 Hennepin County e-newsletter:

Contact: Ginny Gelms, Hennepin County elections manager, 612-348-9289
Carolyn Marinan, Communications, 612-348-5969

July 19 is pre-registration deadline for primary election

Absentee vote today at Hennepin County Government Center

Hennepin County eligible voters have until Tuesday, July 19, to pre-register for the state primary, which will occur August 9. Save time on election day. Register to vote or check your voter registration status at www.mnvotes.org.

Voters who register to vote after July 19 will be included in the registered voters log for the general election on November 8.

Absentee voting

All eligible voters may now vote using an absentee ballot for the state primary, instead of voting in-person at the polling place on primary day.

All eligible voters in Hennepin County may cast their absentee ballot in person at the Hennepin County Government Center, 300 S. Sixth Street, Minneapolis. Hours are 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday with extra hours on Saturday, August 6, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Absentee in-person voting is also available at most city halls across Hennepin County and at the Early Vote Center in downtown Minneapolis at 217 S. Third Street. Each city location can accommodate voters who live in that particular city.

For information about voting and elections in Hennepin County, visit www.hennepin.us/elections.

Wednesday
Jul132016

Community Keg House is Closing

Via a July 12 e-newsletter from the Community Keg House:

 

Community Keg House is Closing

We wish to announce Community Keg House is closing as of today (Tuesday 7/12). We have loved building Community and all the people who have worked and occupied this space. It saddens us to close the Keg House greatly. We live and work in Northeast. We love Northeast. It meant a great deal to see so many support our efforts.

It is our goal to transfer ownership to another party who can carry on where we have left off. Pass along the message that Community Keg House is looking to sell to the right buyers. We are now actively looking to transfer this space to new ownership. We have a turnkey operation here and we feel confident another party could make this space awesome.

All for now. Thanks for your patronage and we hope to be open again soon!

Please direct all inquiries here: nate@communitykeghouse.com

- - -

Editor's Note:

Their location is 34 13 Avenue NE, in the Grain Belt building complex.

Tuesday
Jul122016

In the Works: People Serving People's Center of Excellence for Resilience (CoE)

People Serving People (PSP) recently announced an expansion. To complement their current shelter at 614 3rd Street S, they are developing a Center of Excellence for Resilience (CoE) at 2400 Park Avenue S. This program will combine early childhood education, school age support, and parental engagement direct services to homeless and at-risk children and their families with research, development, and training to improve the field of family resilience and trauma-informed education and service.

The new Center of Excellence for Resilience will not only advance PSP's work preventing homelessness in the community, it will strengthen their programming and operations at the current shelter.