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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.


Taking Your Workout to New Levels

Prior to the Friday night RealRyder spin class as 501SP1N, Andrea and her client Kathy took a few minutes to talk about the pieces that comprise Kathy's weight loss and fitness regime.    

While Kathy cites a number of factors, two things really hit home for me:  Injuries are not a reason to stop working out; and strive to increase activity levels.  For instance - if you did 30 minutes of cardio today, try for 35 minutes the next session.  Below, Kathy does a lunge.

Email Andrea if you'd like to try a complimentary RealRyder spin class, or if you have a fitness or nutrition question. 


Dr. Jon Hallberg of Mill City Clinic on Strategies for Successful New Year's Resolutions

Dr. Hallberg appeared on Minnesota Public Radio this week with tips for keeping resolutions for the new year.  Listen below:

The Mill City Clinic is in the Mill District of Minneapolis.


Milkweed Editions Author Interview on MPR Midmorning

John Reimringer’s first novel, Vestments, was named the Milkweed Editions 2010 Editor’s Circle Selection.   John was recently interviewed by Marianne Combs on Minnesota Public Radio's "Midmorning" program.

Located at 1011 Washington Avenue South, Milkweed Editions is one of the nation's leading independent, nonprofit literary publishers, releasing fifteen to twenty new books each year in the genres of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children's literature.

Milkweed’s authors come from Minnesota and around the world.  According to their website, more than one million Milkweed books are in circulation today. Their books have received more than 190 awards and special designations, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Poetry, two American Book Awards, the Liberatur Prize for Fiction, seven New York Times Book Review Notable Books of the Year, and ten Minnesota Book Awards.


Last Call at 501 Club tomorrow, January 8

Dave and I plan to stop by 501 Club tonight for a farewell drink and to say goodbye to our favorite server, Laura.  Here's a link to Chris Riemenschneider's article in today's Star Tribune. 



DMNA Starts New Year with a Revamped Website

The Downtown Minneapolis Neighborhood Association recently launched an updated version of its website making it far more useful for its members.

They addressed 2 of the biggest usability issues of the old site - an impossible to find directory of past board meeting minutes, and a far from intuitive place to publish upcoming events.

They seem to have taken a pretty cost effective approach, skipping rebranding and many of the bells, whistles and social gadgets that are so prevalent.  Good move considering the recent budget woes facing NRP funded organizations.  Besides, I'm not looking for a new social network, just a place to keep track of my neighborhood association.  In fact, until tipped off by past Board Member Scott Parkin, I hadn't realized they had refreshed the site.  It maintains the general look and feel, but is much more polished.

Perhaps the best move they made was moving to Wordpress, by far the most popular Content Management system for small to medium sized organizations.  With the new platform they no longer need a programmer to add new content and make minor changes to the site.  The old site had become stale and not very useful due to this issue.

Above: Easy to find way to subscribe to DMNA emails.  A big improvement.

Christie Rock, DMNA Coordinator, led the the web effort.  The DMNA requested quotes from five different vendors, and chose Vivid Image based on cost, design and their experience with social media and blogging platforms.  Vivid Image's Web site is


Soothe Winter's Assault on Your Skin

There are two things keeping my skin tropical-soft this winter. 

First, a product I came across this Fall at the Mill City Farmers Market -- Olsen Naturals Organic Healing Body Butter.  It's especially great for the heels and soles, as well as extra protection for the hands.

Mill City Farmers Market 2010

Below, Denise Olsen describes the product line.  In addition to Body Butter, there's also lip balm, bath products, body spray, soap and more. 

Mill City Farmers Market 2010

If you can't make it to Local D'Lish during the winter Mill City Farmers Market dates, you can order Olsen Naturals online.

The second thing that's made a huge difference for my skin is the morning smoothie concoction created by Andrea Austin, personal trainer and RealRyder spin class instructor at 501SP1N.  I don't know if it's the sum of all the parts, or if it's specifically the ground flax seed, but my skin has been silky soft since early November when these smoothies became a part of my daily diet.  They consist of 3/4 cup each of ice, OJ and berries, plus a small banana, 1 heaping Tablespoon each of wheat germ and ground flax seeds, 2 Tablespoons of yogurt and a scoop of protein powder.  (That's a huge smoothie, but it's meant to be the largest meal of the day, early in the day.) 


Get Your Free Tickets for the Minneapolis Riverfront Design Competition Presentation

Four Visions of the Minneapolis Riverfront
Ken Smith Workshop (New York City), Stoss Landscape Urbanism (Boston), Tom Leader Studio (Berkeley), and Turenscape (Beijing)

Date: January 27, 2011
Time: 7:00 PM
Place: Walker Art Center
Cost: Free

Call the Walker at 612.375.7600 today - Based on the turn-out at previous events, we advise that you get your tickets soon.

Be among the first to see the final four teams’ design visions for Minneapolis’ upper riverfront, an area extending from the Stone Arch Bridge to the northernmost city limits, along both sides of the Mississippi River. Building on the Park Board’s award-winning 2000 master plan, this is the first demonstration project of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation’s Next Generation of Parks—a design-driven vision for a 21st-century park system.

The Minneapolis Riverfront Design Competition is copresented by the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board and the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, along with creative partners the University of Minnesota College of Design and the Walker Art Center.


The Loft Announces the Minnesota Emerging Writers' Grant

The Minnesota Writers Career Initiative Grant has a new name and a new focus. The Loft is pleased to announce the Minnesota Emerging Writers' Grant.  While the previous grant focused on writers with at least one book published, the new grant will focus on writers in the earlier stages of their careers.

The Minnesota Emerging Writers’ Grant provides writers financial support and professional assistance to develop and implement multifaceted plans to help them with their artistic endeavors.

Two to four winners will be selected to receive grants of up to $10,000 to underwrite projects of their own design.

The deadline is January 28, 2011.  Winners will be announced in May 2011. Download the 2011 Minnesota Emerging Writers' Grant Guidelines.

The 2011 Minnesota Emerging Writers' Grant Program Judges are Rob Spillman, Editor, Tin House, and Tony Valenzuela, executive director, Lambda Literary Foundation.  

This grant is made possible by funding from the Jerome Foundation.


Andrea's Tips for a Successful Start to a Healthy New Year

I asked Andrea to share some tips for a sensible approach to setting fitness goals in the New Year.  She had quite a few!

Andrea is a RealRyder spin instructor at 501SP1N.  She is also an award winning master personal trainer (we started working together in November, 2010), certified through The National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Personal Trainer and is a certified group fitness instructor teaching 3 master classes weekly.  She holds recognition as a top personal trainer, titles in the National Physique Committee Figure Competitions (NPC), and currently sits as a judge for the NPC Regional Bodybuilding, Fitness and Figure Competitions. Contact Andrea for a totally free no obligation in personal consult.


Mill District Loses Two Businesses

The other day someone mentioned that they recently saw a promotion for former Flex Appeal customers on the website of Knockout Bodies, a local workout studio for women.  One of our neighbors who was a Flex Appeal customer confirmed the news.  The person I spoke with at Knockout Bodies stated several Flex Appeal instructors will now be leading classes at Knockout.

Also, the 501 Club is scheduled to close on January 8, 2011.  According to a Star Tribune article (December 28 online, December 31 newspaper) the collapse of the Metrodome roof solidified the decision.


Job Opportunities at the Loft

The Loft Literary Center recently announced three open positions:

Online Education Coordinator
Development Associate
Constituent Services Associate

The Loft is the country’s leading nonprofit literary center, offering 400 creative writing classes a year for youth and adults in Open Book and community settings. In addition to classes, the Loft supports writers and readers through grants, mentorships, writing studios, regular readings and a spoken word series, and a wealth of resources on its website about craft and the writing life.

The award-winning Loft Literary Center is renowned for the quality of its programming and its service to the community. The Loft was awarded the 2009 American Psychological Association’s “Best Practices” Award which recognized the Loft’s “innovative workplace practice that fosters work-life balance.”


It's the Holidays in the Mill District!

This is the final picture of our "Holidays in the Mill District" series.  We hope you've enjoyed the scenes from our beautiful neighborhood.

Christmas Shots in the Mill District


Voices of Experience at MacPhail Center for Music

Voices of Experience, a choir for adults, ages 55 and older, is offering an ‘interim open’ session in January and February at NO COST to participating singers. Additionally, there will be no auditions to be a member for this interim session. The choir will work on a short program of love songs to be performed at one or two outreach mini concerts. Choir members do not need previous choral experience.

The interim session will have six rehearsals on Tuesdays, beginning January 11, 2011, from 10-11:30am at MacPhail Center for Music.

Voices of Experience was created last fall as a collaboration with The Minnesota Choraleand MacPhail Center for Music. Dr. Mary Kay Geston, an associate professor of music at Northwestern College in St. Paul, is the ensemble’s conductor.


To register or for more information, call MacPhail Center for Music at 612-321-0100, or Melissa Falb at 612-767-5438.


It's the Holidays in the Mill District!

From now thru December 31, we'll be posting random shots from around the neighborhood that capture the Holiday Season.  Enjoy!

Christmas Shots in the Mill District

From the Mill District of Minneapolis.


December 31 is a Great Day to Give Blood!

The Red Cross Blood Donor Center at 1201 West River Parkway is open from 6:45am to 1:15pm on Friday, December 31.  Click here to make an appointment.

What is the most common blood type? According to AABB's website, the approximate distribution of blood types in the U.S. blood donor population is as follows:

 O Rh-positive - 39 percent
 O Rh-negative -  9 percent
 A Rh-positive - 31 percent
 A Rh-negative -  6 percent
 B Rh-positive -  9 percent
 B Rh-negative -  2 percent
AB Rh-positive -  3 percent
AB Rh-negative -  1 percent

Note: Distribution may be different for specific racial and ethnic groups and in different parts of the country.

In an emergency, anyone can receive type O red blood cells, and type AB individuals can receive red blood cells of any ABO type. Therefore, people with type O blood are known as “universal donors,” and those with type AB blood are known as “universal recipients.” In addition, AB plasma donors can give to all blood types.

January, 2011, is National Blood Donor Month. 


China Wok added to the Order-In Dining Link

We recently received direct mail advertising from China Wok, and gave them a try.  The experience was positive on every count: the person taking the order was cheerful, they delivered in half the time estimated, the delivery person was friendly and the food was great.  I should also mention that we called 5 minutes past their posted delivery hours, yet they were happy to accommodate us.


It's the Holidays in the Mill District!

From now thru December 31, we'll be posting random shots from around the neighborhood that capture the Holiday Season.  Enjoy!

Christmas Shots in the Mill District

From the Mill District of Minneapolis.


Mill City Commons' 2010 Holiday Food Drive and Fundraiser is a Success

Linnea Tweed, Executive Director of Mill City Commons, shared successful results of this year's "TURKEY, DRESSINGS, and EXTRA HELPINGS" food drive and fundraising event:

"We were able to provide all the fixings for holiday dinners for 50 families in the Jordan Neighborhood, and we had enough money to add over $300 of food to their food shelf. Jeff Hamm, the Store Manager at Rainbow Foods, 3505 W Broadway, was an amazing help. This is the second year they've helped us. His staff was so friendly and helpful - they kept telling us how wonderful we were to do this. They looked for the best buys so we were able to spend about $38 per family for their holiday meals including a whole turkey or ham (we purchased 25 of each). Jeff had his bakery bake 50 pumpkin pies for us - he said it was cheaper than selling us the ingredients.  It truly was heart warming.

We loaded an SUV with sweaters, hats mittens, gloves, scarves, some winter shoes and jackets and delivered them to People Serving People.  We also delivered gifts to Exodus House for their annual Holiday Event and took a load of children's clothes and other small gift items to Mary's Place for their residents.  They have many (almost 200) homeless children in families living there."

Below, some of the 50 pies that Rainbow Foods Store Manager Jeff Hamm made sure his bakery prepared fresh the morning of the deliveries.

This initiative started 3 years ago when Mill City Commons members Delia and Tyrone Bujold were enjoying a glass of wine with friends.  They came up with the idea to do food baskets for families in need.  Their goal that first year was 25 dinner baskets - but within a few days of spreading the word, they had enough money to do 50.  Last year they decided to use Mill City Commons as the contact point so that donations could be tax-deductible.

Delia consulted Fr. Michael O'Connell for ideas on where to deliver these baskets the food.  Fr. O'Connell currently serves as Pastor of the Church of Ascension in North Minneapolis, and Delia has known him since he was Basilica Rector.   He recommended the Jordan New Life Community Church because of it's expansive outreach program. 

Many of us want to do something good at the holidays, but are strapped for time, don't know where to start, etc.  People like Delia and Tyrone, along with the volunteers from Mill City Commons, make it effortless for the rest of us to help.  Just write a check and you've given a less fortunate family a Christmas dinner, or helped stock a foodshelf - it's that simple. 

Dave and I look forward to being involved with this fundraiser next year. 


It's the Holidays in the Mill District!

From now thru December 31, we'll be posting random shots from around the neighborhood that capture the Holiday Season.  Enjoy!

Christmas Shots in the Mill District

From the Mill District of Minneapolis.


Winter Pet Care Tips - An Ongoing Series from Curtis L. Sanford, DVM

This is the sixth installment of Pet Tips from Curtis L. Sanford, DVM.

It is best to keep pets indoors during the winter months, but if this is not possible, outdoor pets must be provided with shelter. Their home should be elevated off the ground to prevent moisture accumulation and have a door of some kind to keep out winter winds, sleet, and snow. Shelters should be insulated or heated. Water sources may be heated to permit constant access to unfrozen water; thermal units designed specifically for this purpose are readily available. Outdoor pets require extra calories to keep warm. Feed your pet according to its needs when the temperature drops. In severely cold or inclement weather, no pet should be kept outside. Indoor pets should have sleeping quarters in a draft-free, warm area with their bed or mattress elevated slightly off the floor.

Roaming cats:
Roaming cats, as well as house pets and wildlife, may climb onto vehicle engines for warmth during cold weather. Be sure to check under the hood before starting your vehicle and honk the horn to startle any animals seeking shelter inside.

Frostbite and snow removal salt:
Snow and salt should be removed from your pets paws immediately. Frostbitten skin is red or gray and may slough. Apply warm, moist towels to thaw out frostbitten areas slowly until the skin appears flushed. Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible for further care. Frost bite usually occurs on the extremities; such as the ears, tail and toes but using fleece or other body coverings will decrease possible frost bite on other parts of the body. Snow removal products should be stored out of the reach of pets and small children as their toxicity varies considerably. We recommend to cover feet with rubber boots or other foot covers to keep off salt and snow while walking outdoors. If your pet will not tolerate foot covers, then vigorously washing off the snow and salt with tepid water will prevent irritation to the pads, hair and skin of the feet.

Dr. Sanford is a Veterinarian and Owner/Founder of Minneapolis Veterinary Hospital in the Mill District.   He can be contacted at 612-746-0300 or