Kim Eslinger
Editor
612-321-8040
kim@millcitymedia.org

David Tinjum
Publisher
612-321-8020
dave@millcitymedia.org

Ryan Ojard
Staff Photographer

Claudia Kittock
Columnist / Non-Profits
Email Claudia...

Merle Minda
Small Business Columnist
Email Merle...

Michael Rainville Jr.
History Columnist
Email Michael...

Meg Forney
Contributor

Doug Verdier
Contributor 

Mill City Times is a not-for-profit community service.  We do not sell advertising on this site.

Cultural Cornerstones
Search Mill City
Recent News
Front Page Archives

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.

Wednesday
Sep222010

Live Music Venues in our Neighborhood

When it comes to live music, there's something for everyone in our neighborhood. 

Some of the venues are season specific, such as the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's "Music in the Parks" concert series and Mill City Museum's "Mill City Live" series.  Others may be nightly, weekly, or special events you need to watch for. 

For example, the Guthrie offers single night engagements, such as Keri Noble on September 27 and Max Weinberg on October 25.

I was surprised to learn in a recent Star Trib article that the Aster Cafe at 125 SE Main Street in St. Anthony Main now offers live music Wednesday thru Saturday.

In addition to recitals, the MacPhail Center for Music hosts special engagements such as the Spotlight Series.  This series features MacPhail faculty with special guests, providing an intimate listening experience for lovers of classical, jazz and opera. 

The 501 Club has live entertainment at least 5 nights a week. As a general rule the 501 site has links to the performers' sites, allowing you to get a feel for their music if you're not familiar with the name/band.

During the summer, wxzy at the Aloft has live music on Wednesday nights in their courtyard.

The Southern Theater occasionally features music.  A winter treat to look forward to is Alisa Weilerstein & Gabriel Kahane on February 18 & 19, 2011.  More Info.

Sometimes Grumpy's has live music - call or check online.

We strive to list as many of these shows in the Events section as possible, but inevitably we might miss a few.  If you're aware of an upcoming show that is missing from the Events section, please let us know.

Tuesday
Sep212010

New Website Launched for Minneapolis Riverfront Design Competition

Ok, it's not much yet, but the design competition for the Minneapolis' upper riverfront (the area extending from the Stone Arch Bridge to Minneapolis' northern city limits, along both sides of the Mississippi River) has it's own website now.

Not much there except the key dates for the competition, a link to a project description document and a link to the RFQ.  I hope they publish the design entries and keep us up-to-date on the competition.

Pictured below is the area of focus (shaded yellow) for the competition.

Monday
Sep202010

Our Neighbors in the North Loop Need Help with this Special Project

We are fortunate to have so many beautiful parks just a stroll away.  But wouldn't it be nice for those of us with young children or grandchildren to have a fully equipped playground as well?   That dream is coming true where 4th Avenue North meets West River Parkway.    Earlier this month, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board released an update entitled "Preparations for construction of 4th Avenue playground underway".

 

The article mentions the location of this new playground as 4th Avenue North and James I. Rice Parkway (rather than West River Parkway).  I wasn't familiar with James I. Rice Parkway, but a quick Google search yielded a description on the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's web site:

"Part of the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, James I. Rice Parkway extends West River Parkway along the Mississippi River through downtown Minneapolis from Portland Ave. S to Plymouth Ave. N. Featuring paved walking and cycling paths, riverside hiking trails, picnic areas and beautiful scenery, the two-way parkway is as much a destination as it is a passage.

Heading north from Mill Ruins Park and the Stone Arch Bridge, James I. Rice Parkway passes under the 3rd Avenue Bridge, goes past the main Minneapolis Post Office and First Bridge Park, where it passes under the Hennepin Avenue Bridge. From there the parkway continues past the Federal Reserve Bank and under the NicolletIsland railroad bridge before intersecting with 4th Ave. N, which allows easy access the city’s Warehouse district and North Loop neighborhood. From 4thAve. the parkway winds along until reaching the Plymouth Avenue Bridge, at which point, James I. Rice Parkway reverts to West River Road.

The central riverfront parkland along James I. Rice Parkway presents a picturesque site for weddings, and offers ample recreational opportunities. Multiple tree-shaded picnic areas feature tables, grills, benches and horseshoe pits. Paved paths take park goers from the river’s edge at St. Anthony Falls, past interpretive and artistic installations and across pedestrian bridges near the sandstone culvert where Bassett’s Creek used to enter the Mississippi River. Other nearby recreation destinations include Orvin “Ole” Olson Park, Boom Island Park and Nicollet Island Park.

Opened in October, 1987, the parkway is named for James I. Rice, a longtime state legislator from northeast Minneapolis, who was an instrumental figure in funding the development of regional parks."

 

In addition to the donors listed in the article, there are other fund raising initiatives going on.  For example, a number of downtown restaurants are hosting fund raising dinners.  In our neighborhood, Spill the Wine is participating October 12.  For additional fund raising opportunities, visit the North Loop Neighborhood web site.

 

We'll be sure to take pictures and post progress updates whenever our strolls take us outside the Mill District.  

Friday
Sep172010

This Weekend in Mill City / September 17-19, 2010

It's another busy weekend in Mill City, my home town.  Events this weekend in and around the Historic Mill District of Minneapolis:

Friday, September 17

Tater Tot Hotdish at Mill City Market & Deli

Midwest Photo Safari "Minneapolis Nights" on the Heritage TrailGuthrie Backstage Tour

Guthrie Backstage Tour

Live Music at the 501 Club

Saturday, September 18

Mill City Farmers Market - Happy Birthday

Secondhand Hounds Walk on Washington

Childish Films - ROCK AND READ at the Central Library

Guthrie Backstage Tour

Midwest Photo Safari St. Anthony Falls Heritage Trail Tours

White vs. Whole Wheat: A Tale of Two Flours

Grown Near Home: Make A Salad

Ben Frost & Tim Hecker at the Southern Theater

Pop-up Building Books at Minnesota Center for Book Arts

Live Music at the 501 Club

Sunday, September 19

Minneapolis Riverfront Walking Tour

Minneapolis Bike Tour

Guthrie Backstage Tour

Twin Cities Heritage Ukrainian Festival

Vikings and Dolphins at the Dome

Weekend Brunch

Saturday

Brunch at Spoonriver

Reservations recommended

10:00am - 2:00pm

See the menu

Sunday

Brunch at Spill the Wine
1101 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55415
612-339-3388

brunch buffet 10am- 2pm Sunday
$12/person (kids 3 and under eat free, 4-12 years are 1/2 price!)

includes: eggs, bacon, french toast, hash browns, fresh salad and fruit, pastries, build your own omlette bar and more...

featuring absolut bloody bar for $5.

also offering fair trade coffee and full bar.

 

Thursday
Sep162010

Don't Miss this Exciting Music Event at the MacPhail Center for Music!

Mill City Commons invites our neighborhood to join them on Tuesday, September 28, for this special event:  No Auditions Necessary: Gospel Sing-Along with J.D. Steele! at MacPhail Center for Music.

If you're not familiar with J.D. and his siblings, check them out at http://www.thesteelesmusic.com and you'll quickly learn what all the fuss is about.

Please RSVP by Friday, September 24.  See our Events section for full details.

 

 

Wednesday
Sep152010

Ceresota - What's in a Name?

We recently enjoyed Mill City Museum's "Engineering the Falls: Walking Tour by History Player William de la Barre" (like all their tours, it was marvelous).  Of the many interesting facts and quips our guide provided, one was regarding the name "Ceresota".  He explained the name is a combination of "Ceres" (in ancient Roman religion, Ceres was a goddess of agriculture, grain crops, fertility and motherly relationships) and "sota" for the last two syllables of our state.

As part of our ongoing series, Signs of Mill City, we previously posted a picture of the prominent Ceresota mural.

Wednesday
Sep152010

Work Recently Started on the West River Parkway Plank Road Replacement Project

 

 

Tuesday
Sep142010

Park Vista Development Clears Another Hurdle

Updated on Tuesday, September 14, 2010 at 4:39PM by Registered CommenterDavid Tinjum

The Minneapolis City Planning Commission met last week and approved several items needed by Shamrock Development for the condo project to move forward.  Below are the items from the action report of the Minneapolis City Planning Commission Regular Meeting held on September 7, 2010:

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep132010

MCFM Fall Harvest Dinner is a Huge Success

My guest Roni and I were among the first arrivals to the Mill City Farmers Market Fall Harvest Dinner last night, which allowed us time to admire the beautiful Fall-themed decorations in the Mill City Museum train shed and courtyard.  The MCFM Fall Harvest Dinner is an important annual fund raising event for this non-profit organization.

Every dish had a wonderful flavor and texture.  Until attending this Dinner, I had no idea how delicious smoked trout and collard greens were.  Yum!

 

The organic, sustainable gods were smiling down on the event - assuring the entertainers could perform in the open air and further adding to an enjoyable evening.  

On a side note, the MCFM is currently seeking an Executive Director.  Please see this earlier article for details.

 

Monday
Sep132010

The American Red Cross is in our Neighborhood

Did you know the Twin Cities Area Chapter of the American Red Cross headquarters is in our neighborhood?  They are located at the corner of West River Parkway and 13th Avenue South, and there is a Blood Donor Center on site (open 4 days a week, call 1-800-RED-CROSS for availability).

In addition to the Blood Donor Center, a number of classes are also offered at this location.  Examples include CPR, First Aid and Babysitter Training.

Until taking the time to review their web site, I wasn't aware of all the services offered by this organization.  Check out the How We Help section - it's amazing.

 

 

Friday
Sep102010

This Weekend in Mill City / September 10-12, 2010

It's a busy weekend in Mill City, my home town.  Events this weekend in and around the Historic Mill District of Minneapolis:

Friday, September 10

Tater Tot Hotdish at Mill City Market & Deli

Riverfront Oktoberfest

Guthrie Backstage Tour

Wine Tasting at Sorella Wine & Spirits

Kramarczuk’s Kielbasa Festival – “Meat Us in Nordeast”

Live Music at the 501 Club

Saturday, September 11

Mill City Farmers Market

Riverfront Oktoberfest

Family Music Event at MacPhail

The Master Butchers Singing Club Opening Night at the Guthrie Theater

Guthrie Backstage Tour

Kramarczuk’s Kielbasa Festival – “Meat Us in Nordeast”

Kitchen Harvests: World War I Tips for Getting the Most from Your Food

Engineering the Falls: Walking Tour by History Player William de la Barre

18th Annual James Page Blubber Run

Live Music at the 501 Club

Sunday, September 12

Riverfront Oktoberfest

Mill City Farmers Market Fall Harvest Dinner

Guthrie Backstage Tour

Railroad History Tour

Weekend Brunch

Saturday

Brunch at Spoonriver

Reservations recommended

10:00am - 2:00pm

See the menu

Sunday

Brunch at Spill the Wine
1101 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55415
612-339-3388

brunch buffet 10am- 2pm Sunday
$12/person (kids 3 and under eat free, 4-12 years are 1/2 price!)

includes: eggs, bacon, french toast, hash browns, fresh salad and fruit, pastries, build your own omlette bar and more...

featuring absolut bloody bar for $5.

also offering fair trade coffee and full bar.

Friday
Sep102010

New 35W Bridge Memorial Design Unveiled - Memorial Garden to Feature Water Wall and 13 I-beams

The new design was shown at a small ceremony attended by survivors of the 35W bridge collapse and Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak across the street from Gold Medal Park.

From the Star Tribune -

The memorial will include a water wall in which the names of survivors will be etched, as well as 13 illuminated steel I-beams, each dedicated to one of the 13 people who died in the collapse.

From Kare11 -

Thirteen lighted columns with names of Interstate 35W bridge collapse casualties are the focal point of a planned memorial that city officials hope will be completed by next year's fourth anniversary.

and

A special wall will include the names of 145 people who survived the rush-hour collapse. An

overlook of the Mississippi River will offer views of the new bridge where traffic zooms by a few hundred feet away.

From Mill City Times - Below is a close-up shot taken through a chain link fence:

 

Design from oslund.and.associates -

   
 
 
  

Thursday
Sep092010

MacPhail Center CEO is Departing to the Minnesota Humanities Center

From the MacPhail website -

September 8, 2010 -- David O’Fallon, CEO of MacPhail Center for Music, has accepted the position of President of the Minnesota Humanities Center, beginning November 1. The visionary leader and advocate for music education joined MacPhail as CEO in 2002. During his tenure, MacPhail has become the premier center for music education in the Upper Midwest with a new signature building, more than 60 community partnerships, an innovative music therapy program serving nearly 1,000 people, and enrollment that tops 8,400 students.

According to board chair Andrea Kmetz-Sheehy, David’s greatest achievement at MacPhail is the strong organization that he leaves behind. “MacPhail's programs, its leadership team and faculty, its committed supporters, and its financial position have never been healthier. We are poised to extend our reach to an even broader base of people, thanks in large part to the foundation that David helped build over the last eight years.”

The Humanities Center will give O’Fallon a broad platform from which to continue to advocate for all forms of music and arts. “We are enthusiastic about this next phase of David’s career, and we know that he will continue to be a friend of MacPhail as well as a strong proponent of our mission” Kmetz-Sheehy said.

MacPhail’s directors are determining a succession plan and the process that will bring forward the organization’s next leader. O’Fallon will remain with MacPhail through the end of October.

Contact: Barb Plunkett, MacPhail Center for Music  612-767-5532. 

Thursday
Sep092010

Free Hip Hop Concert Tonight at the MacPhail Center for Music

7:00 PM Tonight - Hip-hop summer camp students from McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul and MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis are collaborating for a Hip Hop Concert on Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. featuring performances by both groups. The concert will be held in Antonello Hall at MacPhail. Admission is free.

The MacNally Smith Hip-Hop camp was held June 26 – July 1, with 36 students ages 13-21. At camp the students studied hip-hop production, hip-hop performance, and music business. Instructors at MacNally Smith included Sean’ Twinkie Jiggles’ McPherson, Brandon and Zach Bagaason, Toki Wright, Frank Sentwali, and Joseph Mabbott.

MacPhail’s Hip-Hop Camp was held Aug. 23-17 with 16 students ages 12-17. During the week students studied beat making, lyric writing, stage presence, mic technique and beat boxing, with a final performance at the historic Capri Theater. Instructors included Desdamona, TruthMaze, Tish Jones and Carnage.

For more information about the concert call MacPhail at 612-321-0100


View Larger Map

Thursday
Sep092010

City of Minneapolis Seeks Development Proposals for Parcel in Mill District

Note: This property is adjacent to the proposed Park Vista condo development we reported on.

From the Minneapolis Department of Community Planning & Economic Development:

The City of Minneapolis is seeking development proposals for a vacant lot it owns, located at 1100 2nd Street South, one of the last parcels available in the Mill District. The site has spectacular views of Gold Medal Park, Guthrie Theater, and the Mississippi riverfront. It offers great access to downtown, open space, trails, transit, Interstates 35W and 94, parking facilities, and other amenities. Since a range of commercial and/or residential uses are permitted on the site, the City seeks proposals that maximize the number of jobs and/or housing units created to support the overall contribution to the City tax base. Proposed uses should also contribute to the vibrancy of the Mill District area. The City will sell the property "as‐is."

More info and a link to the RFP

Wednesday
Sep082010

Park Vista Condos Looking Like a Go

The Department of Community Planning and Economic Development – Planning Division issued their recomendation yesterday to approve all aspects of the Park Vista Condo development, except for the zoning variance request to have more than maximum allowed number of parking spaces per unit.

This development by Shamrock Development will demolish 2 abandoned 1 story commerical buildings at 110 and 124 12th Avenue South and 1102 2nd Street South on the East end of the Mill District.

The Council met yesterday, we'll report on the results later this week.

Read the entire report here...

Wednesday
Sep082010

American Academy of Neurology and ArtSpace Projects Looking Like They'll Get the Green Light

The American Academy of Neurology and ArtSpace development projects proposed for the 800 block of Washington Avenue South, across from the Guthrie have been recommended by the Minneapolis City Planning Commission for approval.  This will be a great addition to the Mill City neighborhood.  The land sale by the city and the subdivision into 2 parcels has been recommended.  Read the full report here...

Tuesday
Sep072010

Interview with Brenda Langton, owner of Spoonriver

In case you missed Lisa Gulya's recent City Pages articles (under The Hot Dish section), here are the links to her 2-part interview with Brenda Langton, owner of Spoonriver and founder of the Mill City Farmers Market:

Spoonriver's Brenda Langton: Chef Chat, Part 1

Spoonriver's Brenda Langton: Chef Chat, Part 2

Monday
Sep062010

The Reports of Harry's Demise Are Greatly Exaggerated

Ever since the story in the Downtown Journal in July, people have been asking what's happening with Harry's Food & Cocktails.  Is it true they're closing?  When are they closing?  So Kim and I decided to stop by Harry's see how they're doing.

(on this trip last week there was a line outside the door waiting to get in)

Pretty well, I think.  Based on conversations with various sources over the last several weeks, they may be here for a long time to come:

They've weathered the loss of the Twins to the other side of downtown

They have an awesome staff who have all been there since before we moved to the neighborhood, a real team

Business is pretty good

They have 5 years left on their lease

They DO NOT plan to close the doors

The contrast from the Downtown Journal story is perplexing.  2 months ago the article stated "They will soon be shutting their business down" yet they're still here with no plans to close, and by all accounts doing well.

We love the staff (and the food!) at Harry's, so I want to know what's really going on.  At best, the way this has been publicly handled is just plain wrong.  At worst...I won't speculate here, but I will say that if this turns out to be a corporate power play to take over the business, Kim and I will never set foot in the door of the new establishment.  I bet we wouldn't be alone.

I think there's much more to this story than what's been published, stay tuned. 

Monday
Sep062010

Getting Around in our Neighborhood

I counted 13 ways to get around in our neighborhood:

  1) Walk
  2) Car - your own or hired
  3) Bus 
  4) Light Rail  
  5) Bicycle - your own or Nice Ride 
  6) Pedi Cab  
  7) Motorcycle/scooter
  8) Segway 
  9) Horse-drawn carriage
10) Pedal Pub
11) Skateboard
12) Rollerblades/Inline skates
13) Kayak/Canoe (Ok, probably not practical for getting to work, but it's still transportation!)

Did I miss anything? Let me know.

We recently used Twin Town Pedicabs for a ride to the a Twins game.  Our driver, Annie, was a hoot.  It was a very relaxing alternative to the busy pre-game Light Rail.