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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.


First Covenant Church - a Hidden Gem in the Shadows of US Bank Stadium

Article by Claudia Kittock, photos by Rick Kittock

The construction of the US Bank Stadium has been a fact of life in our neighborhood for years. Many of us have gotten used to the daily changes. However, how many of you know about a hidden gem, virtually across the street from the stadium?

Reflection of US Bank Stadium in the Church vehicle window

First Covenant Church, literally in the shadow of the stadium, seeks to be a diverse, multi-generational, urban Christian community that is a place of learning and transformation for all kinds of people. What is perhaps even more fascinating is how the people of First Covenant live that mission. Pastor Dan Collison stresses that being an urban church comes with its own set of challenges, but the congregation of First Covenant has decided to face some of those challenges in a unique and innovative way.

Pastor Dan Collison 

Several years ago and as part of a “re-birthing” process, the decision was made to invite different groups to house themselves within the church building in the spirit of a non-profit incubator model. Striving to create a community that involves all aspects of life, the groups that are within First Covenant are fascinating, creative and diverse. There are eight different nonprofit groups that call the First Covenant building their home.  Each of them has a very different mission, but provide comprehensive services for all areas of life.

The Good Arts Collective is a non-religious, member-driven arts organization seeking to enrich the Twin Cities art scene through collaboration and coordination. As an example of the creativity within this group, they will be presenting Oliver Holiday & the Cinnamon Sabotage, a variety show for the whole family. There are funny characters, great music, and family friendly giggles along the way. The show runs Monday and Tuesday December 19 and 20 starting at 7:30pm at First Covenant Church Minneapolis. (Tickets are $10, children under 12 are free.) You can also find Good Arts Collective on Facebook.

Metro Kids Early Childhood Center is licensed for 76 children and operates a day care at the church. It is open Monday through Friday, from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Parents set the schedule that works for their family. The teacher-child ratio is very low, so children get the one-to-one attention and nurturing they need. For more information or a tour, please contact Executive Director Charice Deegan at or 612-332-5437.

First Covenant is also the site of a homeless adult emergency shelter from November 1 through the end of April, and is open 6 p.m. to 7 a.m., 7 nights a week. The winter shelter is funded by Hennepin County, and The Salvation Army provides the professional staff, assigns the guests, and shares the cost of operations. First Covenant provides the space and volunteer coordination of more than 60 individuals and community groups to provide and serve a hot meal nightly. There are two main ways to help:

  • Provide a meal - (3+) volunteers (most critical need)
    Time frame: Approximately 5:30-8:30 p.m.; dinner served at 6:30
    Responsibilities include purchasing ingredients, preparing a meal for 50 guests and cleaning the kitchen. If you would like ideas for a menu, contact the Volunteer Coordinator.
  • Assist in the shelter as an evening advocate - (1+) volunteer
    Time frame: 5:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. (a Salvation Army staff member will also be onsite).  Responsibilities include assisting staff with general duties such as monitoring restrooms, distributing linens and hygiene items, etc. The objective is to free up the Salvation Army staff to deal with housing issues, rosters, paperwork, information and referral, and advocacy.

The East Town Business Partnership is also housed in First Covenant.  It is a business and professional association which supports the activities of businesses, non-profit corporations and property owners in the Downtown East/Mill District and Elliot Park neighborhoods of Minneapolis. The Board of Directors holds an open board meeting on the second Thursday of every month, September through June. Contact for more information, or visit the website.

The Twin Cities Christian Legal Aid organization holds a free legal aid clinic at First Covenant every first and third Wednesday of the month from 1 – 3 pm. Walk-ins are welcome and no appointment is necessary.

First Covenant houses an HCMC program called Upstream Health Innovations. The vision for this group includes a future where health is managed proactively within the community rather than reactively within the healthcare system, and a future in which meaningful conversations about health are not confined to the clinic. This future would redefine primary care as that which happens upstream—in homes and communities. Upstream Health Innovations is taking steps towards creating a future where people realize their full potential because the barriers to health have been recognized and removed. Visit their website for more information.

First Covenant also shares their space with a Nigerian church, United International Christian Fellowship. They are a small fellowship of between 20-25 people but do connect with and sometimes promote their gathering in a larger religious affiliation called African Christian Fellowship-Twin Cities.

First Covenant has been working for a year and a half with Community Housing Development Corporation and Ryan Construction to build a six story affordable housing project with 169 units on the surface parking lot. The project continues to gain momentum. It will have 200 bike stalls for the 300 people expected to live there. Look for the ground-breaking announcement within the next few months.

It is clear that First Covenant is a gem in our neighborhood, and too often, a hidden gem. Please take some time to read about all of these enterprises, and help where and when you can. We are stronger together.

Claudia can be reached at


New Annual Winter Festival: The Great Northern, January 27 - February 5, 2017 

Via a December 1 Press Release:


The Great Northern Celebrates Winter in the North with 10 Days
of Events and Programming
(Friday, January 27 – Sunday, February 5, 2017)

Event leaders from the City of Lakes Loppet Ski Festival, the 130-year-old Saint Paul Winter Carnival, and the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships today announced The Great Northern, a collaborative winter festival. Led by Eric Dayton of Askov Finlayson and in partnership with Northern Spark and Andrew Zimmern’s Food Works Inc., the organizers have joined forces to celebrate winter together. The three foundational organizations represent a combined 152 years of history and tradition. This exciting partnership will further enhance Minnesota’s reputation as a national destination for winter activity at its best. Sponsored by Target, The Great Northern will run Friday, January 27 – Sunday, February 5, 2017 and will showcase signature events alongside new winter programming across Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

“We are Minnesotans and this is the North. Winter is not a season we should hide from or apologize for,” said Eric Dayton, founder of Askov Finlayson. “The Great Northern is a festival co-created by the leaders of our premier winter events and brought to life by Target, one of our most beloved hometown companies. Together we aim to bring a new, annual tradition to Minnesota that promotes year-round outdoor activity and provides fun and inclusive programming for locals and visitors of all ages. Winter is a defining element of our state, and it’s time we reposition it from a liability to one of our greatest assets.”

New festival programming will include an outdoor public art display in downtown Minneapolis supported by The Minneapolis Foundation in partnership with Northern Spark. This generous contribution was announced today as a keystone to building vibrant and accessible arts programming for The Great Northern in its first year.

The Great Northern is a nod to Minnesota’s history and its Great Northern Railway, which was built by local entrepreneur James J. Hill and connected Minneapolis and Saint Paul with the West Coast. The festival name also recognizes Minnesota’s distinct Northern geographic position in the U.S.

“We are thrilled to announce The Great Northern today, and the inspiration behind its name couldn’t be more fitting,” Dayton added. “The historic Great Northern Railway transported visitors from around the country to our state, so it is only appropriate that we share in its name as we work to attract visitors nationwide to the festival in years to come.”

“Whether it’s outdoor hockey or the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, the capital city – like the rest of Minnesota – embraces winter,” said Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. “There is no such thing as too cold. We take on winter like we take on the course at Red Bull Crashed Ice – boldly, daringly and, always, with an eye toward fun.”

“In Minneapolis, we don’t apologize for winter — we embrace it,” said Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges. “The Great Northern is a bold step forward in showcasing the great events and endless possibilities that both Minneapolis and Saint Paul have to offer our residents and visitors in winter, and a great way to define ourselves to the world as vibrant, year-round cities where we let nothing hold us back.”

The Great Northern will celebrate Minnesota’s winter season with a wide-range of programming, with the opportunity to layer on additional elements in the years to come. By leveraging existing events to start, the festival is anticipated to draw more than 350,000 attendees in its first year. 

In 2018, The Great Northern’s dates will align with Minnesota’s Super Bowl LII, providing thousands of national and international visitors and press with an exciting and authentic impression of Minnesota at its wintry best leading up to the game. “We’re thrilled to work with The Great Northern as it’s exactly the kind of experience that we want to deliver to our Super Bowl guests,” said Maureen Bausch, CEO of Minnesota’s Super Bowl Host Committee. “Our message to a global audience will be representing Minnesota as the Bold North, so the fit couldn’t be better.”

The Great Northern is sponsored by Target. Its leadership team and partnering organizations include:

Rosanne Bump – President and CEO, Saint Paul Winter Carnival
Eric Dayton – Principal, North Corp
Steve Dietz – Founder and President, Northern Spark
Carson Kipfer – Co-Commissioner, U.S. Pond Hockey Championships
John Munger – Executive Director, The Loppet Foundation
Andrew Zimmern – Founder, Food Works, Inc.

For more information about The Great Northern and its partnering organizations, and to sign up for updates, visit and connect with The Great Northern on Facebook and Twitter @GreatNorthern


Washington Avenue Reconstruction Update

Generic Save the Date AB bannerVia a December 3 e-newsletter from Hennepin County:

All lanes now open on Washington Avenue

Starting today at 10:30 a.m., westbound lanes on Washington Avenue reopened to traffic between 3rd and Portland avenues. All westbound and eastbound lanes are now open and major construction work is complete for the season on Washington Avenue.
Crews will continue to remove construction related signage through the weekend and will paint turn arrows at 5th Avenue and additional striping on 3rd Avenue Monday. This may require some short term lane closures. The lane reductions on 3rd Avenue near Washington related to City of Minneapolis work will remain until the middle of next week.
Thank you for your patience as we worked to reconstruct and improve this important route these last few months.
Winter travel considerations

As you navigate the reconstructed roadway over the winter months, please keep in mind:
- Some orange cones and barriers will remain in place this winter. This is to help traffic and plows safely navigate the partially reconstructed road.
- Sidewalks will remain open through the corridor and will be maintained by the City of Minneapolis.
Cycle track to remain closed

The new cycle track (off-street bike path) will remain closed over the winter until new traffic signals with bike-specific lights are installed early next year. This is to ensure the safety of bicyclists and other road users. If you are traveling by bike in the area, you may consider choosing an alternate route such as:
- 2nd Street for traveling east or west 
- 3rd Street for traveling east
- 4th Street for traveling west
- West River Parkway for traveling east or west
All these routes run parallel to Washington Avenue and have dedicated bicycle infrastructure.
Looking ahead to 2017 work

Reconstruction of eastbound lanes on Washington Avenue will begin in spring 2017. At that time, a new detour will begin for eastbound traffic following Hennepin Avenue, 4th Street South and Portland Avenue. 
Washington Avenue will remain open to westbound traffic throughout 2017, though some short-term lane reductions on that side of the road are possible. Westbound work yet to be completed includes:
- Installing permanent curb and pedestrian ramps at the northeast corner of 3rd and Washington avenues
- Completing new sidewalk and cycle track between 3rd and 4th avenues
- Greening and landscaping elements
Thank you for following our regular email updates about this project. They will be less frequent over the winter, but will pick back up again as project work begins in 2017.

If you have any questions in the meantime, don't hesitate to reach out using the contact information below.

Contact us

Project website:
Project email:
Project phone: 612-543-3722
Project engineer:
Stanley Lim, P.E
See active projects on our interactive road construction map.

Learn more about how transportation is connecting people to places.


C’est Chic Boutique Announces Rising Style Stars of Spring 2017

C’est Chic Boutique presents Rising Style Stars of Spring 2017

 Design contest and style show for students of apparel design hosted by C’est Chic Boutique

“A breath of Fresh French air.” — HERLIFE Magazine

“Pretend you’re strolling the Ile-Saint Louis while browsing.” — Minnesota Monthly

C’est Chic Boutique recently announced the launch of Rising Style Stars of Spring 2017, their first annual design contest and style show for apparel design students. Talented student designers throughout Minnesota submitted spring designs for casual, business and formal wear to be voted on by C’est Chic’s loyalty clients through November 10. The winning designs from each category will be made by C’est Chic’s local design team and available for pre-order at their spring style show at C’est Chic Boutique on Thursday, January 19 at 6:30pm. Pam Pappas Stanoch, owner of C’est Chic, explained her vision for the design contest:  

“As an independent boutique, that values unique styles, C’est Chic is honored to welcome the designs of these up and coming designers. In an effort to support local artists, we will be premiering the winning designs at an exclusive style show in January at C’est Chic Boutique, located in the North Loop. The items selected by our loyal customers, will be featured in our Spring 2017 collection under our private label.”

Winning styles include designs created by young designers Maria Dang and Kathleen Moua of St. Catherine University. These beautiful spring designs feature flattering silhouettes and imaginative design details that align with C’est Chic’s goal to inspire every woman to feel the best in what she wears.

C’est Chic Boutique is a European style women’s wear boutique located in the North Loop neighborhood, recently named one of Fodor’s top 25 worldwide shopping destinations. C’est Chic features the collections of designers who take great care to create designs truly made for the female body. Shop at C’est Chic to find apparel with silhouettes that accentuate female curves and design innovations that can only come from the creative mind of a true designer.

Kathleen Moua
Maria Dang

Thursday, January 19, 2017 at 6:30pm
C’est Chic Boutique
210 N Second Street, Suite 101, Minneapolis, MN 55401

Follow C’est Chic Boutique on their websiteFacebookInstagram and Twitter 


Nominations Sought for Annual "Third aWards"

Join Council Member Frey for his 3rd annual State of the Ward Address and Third aWards. Awards of the year will be given for Leader, Local Business, Neighborhood Project/Initiative, and Youth Leader.
“The Third aWards are a chance to acknowledge our amazing residents and small business owners that help make the Third Ward a dynamic place,” said Council Member Jacob Frey. 
Winners will be revealed the night of the event. All nominees will be recognized and presented with a certificate of nomination. Individuals interested in making a nomination should write a brief description of the accomplishments that deserve recognition.

Please submit Third aWards nominations via email, fax (612-673-3940) or mail to Council Member Jacob Frey, 350 South 5th Street, Room 307, Minneapolis, MN  55415 by Friday, January 27, 2017. 


Streets Near US Bank Stadium Closing for December 1 Vikings Game

Via a November 30 e-newsletter from the City of Minneapolis:

Streets near U.S. Bank Stadium closing for Thursday’s Vikings game

A few streets will close near U.S. Bank Stadium for Thursday’s Minnesota Vikings game, which starts at 7:25 p.m.

Beginning at noon today, Wednesday, Nov. 30, the following street will close:

• Chicago Avenue, from Fourth Street to Sixth Street.
Beginning at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, Dec. 1, the following streets will close:
• Fourth Street from Park Avenue to Interstate 35W.
• Norm McGrew Place from Third Street to Fourth Street.

These street closings are for traffic safety and security needs related to a large stadium event. All streets will reopen approximately one hour after the completion of the game.


The Story So Far: Mill City Running

Having just celebrated their 3rd Birthday, Mill City Running shares the story of how they came to be. Great videography:


Friends of the Mill District Singers Update

Article by Claudia Kittock

JD Steele

The Friends of the Mill District Singers are currently rehearsing on the 8th floor of the Guthrie on Saturday afternoons, from 2:00-3:30. We are practicing for a number of upcoming performances.

On December 10th, we will be caroling at the first Winterfest on Second Street.  We will meet in the Guthrie atrium at 11:00am for caroling, followed by a rehearsal at 2:00pm.  Please join us for both.  No previous experience is necessary, only a willingness to sing with your whole heart and laugh together.

On December 14th we will be caroling at the Skyway Senior Center from 11:30-1:00.  The Fair School Choir will be joining us and we will guarantee a great time.

On December 16th we will be singing in the atrium of the Guthrie before the performance of A Christmas Carol. The last rehearsal of this session will be held on December 17th!

Don’t miss a chance to sing with this dynamic group, under the direction of JD Steele, accompanied by Fred Steele. We are sponsored by the Friends of the Mill District, individual contributors, and a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.

Come . . . .sing!  Please direct your questions to Claudia at


In the News - Downtown & the Riverfront Neighborhoods

The downtown Minneapolis landscape is transforming
Downtown Minneapolis is developing a multiple personality disorder, and that’s an overwhelmingly good thing.

Growing pains: As Minneapolis pushes for greater housing density, more neighborhoods push back
Francesco Parisi moved the Minneapolis nine years ago to take a professorship at the University of Minnesota Law School. Six years later, he moved into the city’s North Loop neighborhood because it reminded him of cities in his native Italy.

Car2Go plans to suspend service in Twin Cities market
Minnesota’s “extremely high state car rental taxation rates” were a factor in the decision, according to a written statement shared by Car2Go spokesperson Blaire Kniffin. Minneapolis–St. Paul was one of nine U.S. markets where Car2Go offered its park-anywhere, pay-by-the-minute service, but taxes made it “one of the most expensive places in North America to operate our service,” Kniffin said.

Click to read more ...


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, November 28

Tuesday, November 29

Wednesday, November 30

Click to read more ...


Youth Farm: Cultivating Leadership Through Planting, Growing, Preparing and Selling the Food They Grow

Article by Claudia Kittock, photos by Rick Kittock

I grew up on a farm in southeastern Minnesota. We all had chores that we did in the mornings and chores in the afternoons. There were chores I liked and chores I hated. My favorite chores were out in the field, raking hay. The smell of fresh cut hay and the solitude of doing my work all by myself was spiritual and very special. All of the best parts of my personality were formed on the farm, learning the lessons nature taught me every single day.

How many of you grew up with a garden? How many of you like to work in a garden? How many of you enjoy Farmers Markets with all of the fresh produce? I recently learned about an exciting program whose mission is to help youth develop by teaching them to plant, grow, harvest, cook, and feed the community where they live, and it all takes place in communities in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Youth Farm is a nonprofit that provides year round programs for youth ages 9 to 24.  The mission of Youth Farm is to educate and train youth through gardens and greenhouses, hoping to cultivate leadership through planting, growing, preparing, and selling the food they grow.

Above, pictures from the site at Nellie Stone Johnson School in the Hawthorne neighborhood.

Youth Farm has 18 farm sites throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul and conducts four 8-week sessions of after school farming and food programs, as well as an 8-week summer program. Over 800 youth are served every year with 273 youth participating in at least one session of after school nutritional programming. 214 youth participated in the 8-week summer program, producing 3640 pounds of produce distributed to the participating families. There were over 7500 pounds of produce grown and distributed through meals prepared and served by the youth.  166 families received family shares.

The youth involved not only find that they
have changed their own eating habits, but have
grown in their ability to take on a leadership
role and in social and emotional skills.

How does the food distribution work?  Families of the youth involved can sign up for food shares and receive fresh produce.  There are cooking classes, and youth prepare and serve lunches to community members during the summer.  There are family and community farm work and harvest days as well as community dinners.

The results of this program are impressive.  60% of families surveyed reported a change in their eating habits.  Families reported an increased consumption of fresh food as well as an increased variety of vegetables eaten, and, of course, an increased willingness to try and prepare new foods. The youth involved not only find that they have changed their own eating habits, but have grown in their ability to take on a leadership role and in social and emotional skills.

There are farm sites in Lyndale, Powderhorn and Hawthorne neighborhoods in Minneapolis as well as Frogtown and the West Side neighborhoods of St. Paul. 150 community partnerships have been formed, with over 10,000 healthy meals served every year.

Youth Farm needs our help.  Please learn about YouthFarm at  Donations can be sent to

Claudia can be reached at


November 26 - Small Business Saturday

Please join us in supporting our neighborhood businesses!  :)


Injunction Filed Against Alatus Tower

Citizen’s Group Contends Zoning Overreach

Neighbors for East Bank Livability (NEBL), a group of Marcy-Holmes and Nicollet Island-East Bank neighborhood residents, has filed an injunction against Alatus LLC in their ongoing effort to stop development of a proposed mixed-use condominium tower at the corner of Central Avenue and 2nd St SE.

The site, most recently a funeral home, was originally home to the St. Anthony Falls Commercial Club and is in the St. Anthony Falls Historic District. The city approved a conditional use permit (CUP) to increase the height of the Project from 4 stories to 42 stories, and a variance to increase the maximum floor area ratio (FAR) by more than 600% from 2.04 to 14.42.

NEBL contends the approval is an extreme departure from the city’s own regulations, and would be a dangerous precedent placing historic and residential districts across Minneapolis at risk. According to NEBL, in approving the project, the city’s Planning Commission overruled its own Heritage Preservation Commission’s rejection of the zoning variance finding that the building height was not appropriate for the historic district.

Erich Wunderlich, of NEBL and a Marcy-Holmes neighborhood resident, objects to the project as “…representing extreme overreach. The city has abdicated its responsibility in the planning process. They’ve essentially handed zoning and planning over to the developer. How is this not a citywide issue? If this project is allowed to go forward in its current form, the city will have the ability to ignore guidelines with any future projects in any historic district and any neighborhood throughout the city.”

According to NEBL’s attorney William C. Griffith of the Larkin Hoffman law firm, “This is not a group intent at stopping reasonable development in their neighborhood.  Rather, this is a diverse group of thoughtful residents intent on persuading the City to follow its own rules to bring about reasonable and sustainable development that is respectful of the historic neighborhood in which it is proposed.”


Road Closures for November 24 and 26 Races

The following parkways will be temporarily closed November 24 and 26 for these events:

November 24 – Turkey Day 5K - 7:00am to 11:00am – West River Parkway - N 4th Ave to 11th Ave S.  (See the Turkey Day 5K website for additional race course info.)

November 26 – Moustache Run – 8:30am to 1:00pm - Main Street - 6th Ave SE to Plymouth Ave., West River Parkway - Plymouth Ave to E 38th St, Stone Arch Bridge (There are 4 races, see the Moustache Run website for additional race course info.)

Please note, 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.


Minneapolis Visitor Information on Nicollet announces new retail partnership: Love From Minneapolis

Via an e-newsletter from Meet Minneapolis:

Minneapolis Visitor Information on Nicollet announces new retail partnership: Love From Minneapolis
Celebrates Small Business Saturday with Minnesota artists, music and specials
Meet Minneapolis proudly announces a new retail partnership with Love From Companies at Minneapolis Visitor Information on Nicollet, the city’s visitor information center. Love From Minneapolis now provides all merchandise available at the store located at 505 Nicollet, Suite 100. In celebration of the new partnership, Love From Minneapolis and Minneapolis Visitor Information celebrate Small Business Saturday on Nov. 26, 2016, with special extended store hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and giveaways, light refreshments, live music and local artists:
• Artist Barbara Sculati featuring handmade Nordic Gnomes based on Scandinavian folklore (
• Artist Julie Steller featuring Sweater Mittens and Mini-Mitten ornament gift-with-purchase of $30 or more throughout the store while supplies last
• Artist Kim Gordon/Open Cupboard Design featuring Gnome Luminaries (
• Entertainment will be provided by Laurel Kaeferlein, who will be singing classic holiday songs from 10 a.m. to  1 p.m. (
• Drawings for gift certificates including Cooks of Crocus Hill ($50 gift card), Love From Minneapolis (two $50 gift cards) and iCandy Sugar Shoppe ($25 gift card) – sign up for a chance to win in the store during Saturday’s event!
More information on Minneapolis Visitor Information on Nicollet and Love From Minneapolis, as well as the event, can be found at Love from Minneapolis has a new Facebook page, as well:
Located directly across 5th Street from the Nicollet METRO light-rail train station, Meet Minneapolis partnered with CenterPoint Energy to occupy a 5,000 square-foot corner on the street level of the CenterPoint Energy building beginning in 2015.
Love From Minneapolis is owned and operated by Love From Companies and is part of a distinctive family of retail concepts that aim to provide our customers with a unique shopping experience. Whether you are visiting one of our stores or combing our website for the latest in delightful Minnesota Made merchandise, we hope your experience is fun and inspiring.
Founded in 1979, our first “store” was actually a kiosk located at the shops on St. Anthony Main in Minneapolis, Minn. 36 years later, our company has expanded beyond our dreams to include 21 stores in Minnesota and Chicago along with a wholesale division. Love From Companies has come a long way since our paper kiosk days: we currently sell everything from authentic Minnesota Made art, Made in Minnesota foods, candy, gifts and heritage goods.
It has always been our mission to provide our customers with an extraordinary shopping experience with gifts that capture lasting memories reflective of the culture and lifestyle of the areas in which we passionately operate.
Minneapolis Visitor Information includes three services in one convenient location – at 505 Nicollet, Suite 100:
Shop: Partnering with Love From Companies, Love From Minneapolis offers Minnesota-made artistic retail products, as well as unique souvenirs and gifts. 
Move: Move Minneapolis (formerly the Commuter Connection) provides services to commuters, carpool information, transit passes, schedules and maps, MnPass and bicycling commuting information and accessories. Visitors seeking help with transit options should make this their first stop downtown.
Find: Meet Minneapolis staff is available to answer questions, share visitor maps and provide suggestions about things to do in Minneapolis and the surrounding area. It is also a starting point for tours of the city. A social media command center located on-site will be activated during busy event and convention times, and to provide Minneapolis partner businesses a place to connect with visitors. The Visitor Information Center in the Minneapolis Convention Center remains open and available to provide similar information to visitors and convention attendees.
Plus, Minneapolis’ famous Mary Tyler Moore statue is located inside the building at 505 Nicollet, Suite 100. Stop by to take photos with Mary and use #MaryinMpls on social media!
Regular hours: Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday & Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. (except for Small Business Saturday on Nov. 16, 2016, the store will be open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
Meet Minneapolis is a private, not-for-profit, member-based association. It actively promotes and sells the Minneapolis area as a destination for conventions and meetings, works to maximize the visitor experience and markets the city as a desirable tourist destination to maximize the economic benefit of the greater Minneapolis area.
Meet Minneapolis is accredited by the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP) of the Destination Marketing Association International.
Online: and for deals & exclusive experiences:
On Facebook:
On Twitter:
On Instagram:
On Pinterest:
#askMPLS: Use this hashtag to get answers to all your Minneapolis questions from our team!


Sorting out our waste problem: Insights from Hennepin County’s waste sort study

Via a November 21 Hennepin County e-newsletter:

Sorting out our waste problem: Insights from Hennepin County’s waste sort study

Food, other organics were a quarter of the trash

Our best opportunities to increase recycling and reduce our trash are increasing organics recycling and preventing food waste, recycling more paper and cardboard, and increasing recycling of materials at drop-off locations. These are the recently released findings of a waste study conducted earlier this year.

Food is the most prevalent material in the trash by far. Steps you can take to reduce food waste include using up all of the food that you buy, practicing meal planning, understanding the date labels on food, and properly storing your food. As we enter the holiday season, residents can use holiday parties and dinners as an opportunity to learn about preventing the waste of food and other organics. Find resources at

Study identified opportunities to increase recycling

The waste study involved sorting residential trash from Minneapolis into new categories to get better, more specific information about what could be recycled now but is not, and to identify opportunities to increase recycling in the future.

The study identified some clear opportunities to increase recycling:

Recycle organic waste: Food and compostable paper made up about 25 percent of the trash in the study. Diverting these materials to recycling is the biggest opportunity to reduce our trash.
Recycle more paper and cardboard: Only 14 percent of the trash was materials that could have been recycled, but the study found that we could be recycling more paper and cardboard.
Use drop-off options: Materials that can be recycled – just not in curbside recycling programs – made  up about 7 percent of the trash. Clothing ‭can be brought to donation centers for reuse and ‭recycling, plastic bags and film can be recycled at many ‭grocery and retail stores, and there are drop-off options ‭to recycle electronics, mattresses and scrap metal. ‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬For information about what can be discarded where, visit

Focusing on waste prevention

The study also found that there’s still a lot of trash in the trash. Several materials in the top 10 list  of items in the trash don’t have good reuse or recycling markets. They include diapers, pet waste, non-recyclable plastic and paper, home improvement waste, and small items (those that are less than half an inch in size).
Reducing the amount of waste that residents generate in the first place is the most impactful waste management practice. From using reuseables to avoiding single-use, disposable items, to buying used items, there’s plenty we can to do create less waste.
Planning for progress

In 2015, 46 percent of waste generated in Hennepin County was diverted to recycling or organics recycling. Although recycling has increased steadily over the past five years, there’s still a lot more we can do to increase recycling and reduce waste.‬‬‬‬‬

In 2017, Hennepin County will develop a solid waste master plan ‭in response to the Minnesota ‭Pollution Control Agency’s Metropolitan Solid Waste Management ‭Master Policy Plan. ‭Together, these plans will provide statewide and county-‭specific strategies to meet 2020 goals and lay the foundation for ‭achieving a long-term vision. The data from this waste sort, along with an extensive public engagement process, will inform the development of the county’s master plan.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

Find a fact sheet, summary and full report at



Article by Claudia Kittock

I do the work I do because I believe in social justice and equality.  I believe that I am required to do this work. I was born lucky and I didn’t choose that luck.  I was born to parents who loved me, provided a home for me, and urged me to read and to learn.  Some people are not born with that luck through no choice of their own. I am required to give that luck back. What I have learned is that for every bit of effort and every bit of investment, it comes back to me 1000 times. 

   I work as a tutor in the GED program at YouthLink.  Every week, I bring freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Today I was at Seward Coop buying butter and chocolate chips.  I often get asked about what I’m doing with all that butter and all those chocolate chips. I tell them about my job as “Cookie Lady” and tutor.  As I was walking to my car in the parking lot, a stranger approached me and asked me if he heard my story correctly.  When I told him he had, he said, “I don’t have much money, but take this for the cookies.” and gave me $10.

At a DMNA meeting a few years ago, a group of us on the board brought several proposals forward.  Each of these proposals were about spending money on programs that offered assistance for people experiencing homelessness.  Several neighbors and friends were there in support.  Brett, a good friend and running partner, also someone who had experienced homelessness passed me a note as he left.  The note read, “The opposite of addiction is not sobriety.  The opposite of addiction is connectedness.” That note is now framed and hanging in our home.

What I have learned is
that for every bit of effort and every bit of investment,
it comes back to me 1000 times.

When the clothes closet at YouthLink gets low in clothes, an email is sent out.  I forward that email to people in my building, and bags of clothes appear at our doorstep. I have never asked for help without an overwhelming response.  At one point, the volunteer coordinator had to ask me to slow down bringing in the contributions as the clothes closet was full.

I take those bags of clothes to YouthLink every week. I have NEVER taken in these bags without 1-5 kids coming out to help me.  I always insist I can carry them myself, but I am never allowed to do that.  As one young man said to me, “M’am, I KNOW you CAN carry them, but you aren’t going to.  I’m carrying them for you.” Every . . . single . . . time . . . and always with a different group of youth.

The very first day I ran with residents of Higher Ground, I was met at the door by Jose. He explained where we would be running and said, “Don’t forget. I have your back.”  After our run, Jose reminded me that wherever I go in Minneapolis, he will always have my back.  All I need to do is to say, “I’m with Jose.” Jose lives at Higher Ground, has always had my back, and, I believe, always will and I walk my city with more confidence because I know Jose has my back.

Every Saturday afternoon, 40-50 neighbors, known as the Friends of the Mill District Singers, gather to rehearse under the direction of JD Steele, accompanied by his brother Fred Steele.  MacPhail, the Mill City Museum, the Guthrie, and the American Academy of Neurology give us a space to rehearse . . . because we ask.  JD and Fred lead us in raucous, joyful singing. The Singers are free and open to all, and we sing our hearts out.  We begin with hugs and greetings and leave the same way, knowing that there is hope and joy in our community, believing that things will be better.

If you listen to the news too often, you may be led to believe that there are many bad people in our city.  You may be led to believe our problems are insurmountable. That is simply untrue. Our city is filled with kind, caring people who go out of their way to do the right thing, to care for each other, and to extend kindness whenever they can. Our problems are being solved every day by people who insist that there are answers and those answers are workable. I am honored and so very thankful to be part of this community. We are stronger together!

Claudia can be reached at


Scenes from the November 19 Mill City Farmers Market

A treasure within a treasure - that's the Mill City Farmers Market within the Mill City Museum. A growing base of local shoppers has substantiated the expansion of indoor Market dates, and you have three to look forward to in December - the 3rd, 10th and 17th. These are all great opportunities to not only fill you grocery list, but your gift giving list as well. 

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

If you missed Jeff Nistler at the Nov 19 Market, you can order a fresh Christmas tree (to pick up at the December 3, 10 or 17 Market) by emailing or calling 612-816-3653.

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

If there's a dog owner on your gift list, you can't go wrong with a container of ox tails from Barkley's Bistro.

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market

Milly the goat!

November 19, 2016 Mill City Farmers Market


Alma Cafe and Hotel: WOW!

Earlier this month I got a sneak peak at the new Alma Cafe & Hotel. In a word - WOW - guests are in for quite a treat! There has been a lot of press on Alex's culinary accomplishments, but I'm going to focus on the hotel.

Alma Cafe & HotelOwners Alex and Margo Roberts

Alma Cafe & Hotel

Alma Cafe & Hotel

The architectural scale model from James Dayton Design was on display during our meandering tour through the building, and local artisans who worked on the project were on hand to provide insight.

Alma Cafe & Hotel

Alma Cafe & Hotel

Alma Cafe & HotelEamonn McLain from Marvin Freitas and Talin Spring worked on the furnishings and decor.

There are six rooms on the second floor, and one handicap accessible room on the main floor. All have modern appointments with hints of the past; minimalist, yet cozy, and each with its own special touches plus a hidden surprise or two.

Alma Cafe & Hotel

Alma Cafe & Hotel

Alma Cafe & Hotel

Alma Cafe & Hotel

The bathrooms have organic personal care products by Margo's company, Bespoke Body and Wellness. The soothing scents add to the relaxation and romance of each room. (I came home with samples, so I'm not just saying they're wonderful - they really are.)

Alma Cafe & Hotel

Alma Cafe & Hotel

Alma Cafe & Hotel

Alma Cafe & Hotel

In the bar and Cafe area, guests can watch their meal being prepared in the open kitchen. The Cafe serves an all-day, a la carte menu. The newly re-opened Restaurant (not pictured) features a 3-course fixed price menu (dinner only).

Alma Cafe & Hotel

Alma Cafe & Hotel

Alma Cafe & Hotel

Alma Cafe & Hotel

You can also reserve a private party area.

Alma Cafe & Hotel

Alma Cafe & HotelAlex and Councilman Jacob Frey

Alma Cafe and Hotel is located at 528 University Avenue SE.  Follow them on Facebook to keep up to date on their events, menu, etc. Phone: 612-379-4909


Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Seeks Developer for Scherer Bros Site

Via a Nov 17, 2016, e-newsletter from the Mpls Park and Recreation Board:

An artistic rendering envisioning the future Scherer site and rebuilt Hall’s Island

Request for Qualifications issued in search of qualified team to redevelop ‘Parcel D’

Developer submissions due December 15 at 4 pm

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) is seeking a creative and qualified real estate developer to participate in the revitalization of a former lumberyard on the Northeast Minneapolis riverfront. 
The Scherer Bros site contains 11.7 acres of land directly north of the Plymouth Avenue Bridge on the east bank of the Mississippi River. The site is part of the RiverFirst Initiative, which envisions private development of 3.55 acres spanning the northwest corner of the property (currently identified as ‘Parcel D’). Parcel D sits next to the recently opened Mississippi East Bank Trail as well as a future riverfront park leading to a rebuilt 4-acre Hall’s Island in the Mississippi River.
See the resources linked below for more details on the vision for the site:
Scherer Bros Site Concept Design
Scherer/Hall’s Island 3D Fly-Through Animation
Scherer Bros Site – Parcel D Development Project Page
Scherer Bros Site – Hall’s Island Project Page

Site History and Next Steps

The MPRB purchased the Scherer site for $7.7 million in 2010. Since then, the land underwent pollution remediation, hosted several popular concerts and had a section of a mile-long bike and pedestrian trail paved through it.
The selected development team will work with a 15-member Community Advisory Committee (CAC) and the MPRB to create a concept plan with an innovative design that helps activate the park. The CAC is comprised of stakeholders who will share insight and resources and serve to build and sustain relationships between the community, the development team and the MPRB.
Interested developers must submit a summary of their qualifications. The Request for Qualifications (RFQ) and accompanying information about the site and redevelopment goals may be found on the MPRB Project Bidding Page.
The deadline for submission is 4 pm on December 15, 2016.