Posts Tagged ‘MSP’

Free Advice on MSP Airport Signage Issue

Okay, I’m going to freak out. If you think people are slow and stupid parking their cars at the MSP Airport ramp or leaving bottles of water in their bags going through airport security, apparently those same mouth breathers are having trouble even finding the right airport.

From the Strib:

Faced with a growing number of complaints from travelers, the Metropolitan Airports Commission is considering a $1 million proposal for new signs on the freeways approaching Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport directing drivers to “Terminal 1” (Lindbergh) or “Terminal 2” (Humphrey). The new signs would also list which airlines fly out of each terminal.


Instead of blowing that much money, I have two options, and I’ll detail them:

  1. FREE: Leave the signs the way they are. When you purchase a ticket, it tells you which terminal your flight leaves from. When you check-in or look up your flight online, it tells you which terminal your flight leaves from. It’s called personal responsibility and accountability. I realize those attributes aren’t getting a lot of praise from civic and national leaders these days, but c’mon people.
  2. Couple Hundred Bucks: Either create a small (1) or (2) sign that is simply applied to the existing signs. Will this look a bit patchwork? Maybe. But I know for a fact nobody has an extra $1 million lying around to help clueless people find their terminals.

And here’s one more piece of brilliant brain food: No matter what, won’t the airline carriers have to update their tickets to say if you’re in Terminal 1 or Terminal 2? You’ll still have the same problem of people not knowing if they should follow 1 or 2.

p.s. I used a cool little Java applet called SignMaker to make the graphic.

Traveler Chic: MSP Hubwear

Spend a lot of time at MSP (like me)? Have a frequent route or preferred destination?

Check out these customized shirts from Hubwear. Your outbound flight is on the front and your return flight is on the back.

I imagine self-labeling yourself with flights can come in handy if 1) you’re in a deadly plane crash and rescuers want to know where you were headed, or 2) if you experience a long layover or weather delay, thus notifying your airport lounge waitress which flight you’re missing whilst slumped over your suitcase, passed out from your third Kentucky Kamikaze.

I’m not sure it’s worth $35, but if you don’t have the patience for CafePress customization or are looking for a Valentine’s Gift for that special traveler in your life, go for it.

(via Erica, whose route is MSP-DTW)

Larry Craig at MSP won’t die

Back in February I pointed out MSP has a permanent stigma thanks to Larry Craig and his foot-tapping antics. I also noted the Wikipedia entry didn’t yet list the incident. But thanks to yesterday’s AP story, it is now listed as a tourist destination. Key quote from that story:

One person had offered to buy the restroom stall for $5,000, Hogan said, but airport officials “don’t sell fixtures for novelty purposes.”

Despite what the article claims, my experience in and out of MSP at least once a month often has some soft of Larry Craig anecdote. Just last month, I heard some guys make a Larry Craig joke in the restroom AGAIN.

This video tour of the infamous stall just uploaded to YouTube yesterday:

It just won’t die.

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Seeking suggestions for MSP Airport Security Visuals

Back in May, I was awfully excited about the new “expert,” “casual traveler” and “family” lanes. Has it cut down on my aggravation at idiot travelers who still bring through bottled water, don’t take their belts off or leave their plane ticket in their carry-on before going through the metal detector? Sadly, no. Most of the airports I visit either don’t use this system or aren’t busy enough to have it operating when I’m there.

But I still think it has huge possibilities. I would even take it a step further…

What if TSA offered an “Airport Security Accreditation” program that required travelers to take a written AND real-world security test? If you can get your shoes off, liquids and laptop out and all your belongings into a tub in 30 seconds and not trigger any alarms on the X-Ray machine, you earn a special card that grants you access to a TSA Elite Line. Think how fast that line would move. Well, that may be a pipe dream, so for now I wish the current system was more widely implemented.

Maybe we just need to inject some local pride into the system to increase its use?

These are the visuals you see at most airports — including MSP.

But traveling to Louisville Intl-Standiford Field last week, I noticed they had customized signs showcasing Louisville’s Kentucky Derby heritage:
Louisville Intl-Standiford Field Security Sign

This got me thinking, shouldn’t MSP have customized signs? And if so, what would they be?

I have a few ideas I’ll wait a day to share. Would love to hear your suggestions and/or see your illustrated mock-ups…

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MSP gets new flight status screens

Flight Status Screens at MSP
I fly for work a couple times a month, but haven’t for a few weeks and today was met with a welcome surprise in the main concourse — giant, unmissable, flight status screens!

MSP new flight status screens

No longer do you need to walk down to the hidden screens between security checkpoint 1 and 2 to find out if your flight was delayed — now you can see it in 4-color glory in the main concourse whilst perusing the Beanie Babies and Sharper Image shopping selections!

Yes! All of our worries have disappeared. The world is a better place.

Alexis Bailly’s Ratafia

‘Tis the season, eh?

I love the holiday season. From right about now through January 2, I am in my element. I’m one of those people that loves good Christmas music, drives around looking at decorations, and every single year I make a list of people to send Christmas cards to (one of these years, I’ll actually send them).

I love all of the things that just feel like winter – hot chocolate, fireplaces, pumpkin pies, and red wine.

Bold, cozy, and rich, red wines were made for winter.  Kicking it up a notch, it’s also the perfect time for Port wines or, if they’re not “authentic” and actually from Portugal, wines in the style of port. (Port is essentially red wine fortified with brandy.)


(Photo Credit: Doniree)

A port-style wine worth noting here in the Cities, is Alexis Bailly’s Ratafia. Alexis Bailly vineyard ( sits on the south edge of Hastings, 35 miles south of St. Paul. The Ratafia is produced there and, as their website describes, is a fortified red wine with the addition of oranges and other herbs and spices.

If you’ve ever had one of those chocolate oranges that you have to smash against a table or a wall first to break it apart, you’ll get the hint of orange that I’m talking about with this beautiful apretif/dessert wine.

I’ve already gone through a bottle and will probably keep it stocked through at least New Year’s. It goes amazingly well with rich, dark chocolate, and I’ve also meant to use a cooking ingredient by poaching fruit with it.  The Alexis Bailly website includes a recipe for Ratafia Poached Peaches which I’ll likely serve up at a Christmas party next month. Other drink and food recipes are also suggested on the page.

If you like dessert wines, port-style wines, brandy or all of the above, check out the vineyard’s website website to see who carries it locally. (I do know that it’s carried at 1st Grand Ave Liquors at Grand Ave. and Milton St. in St. Paul.)

Alexis Bailly also offers tours and tastings (been there, done that, awesome!) throughout the year.  The next one coming up is their 2nd Annual Chocolate and Wine Tasting this Saturday, November 22 from 11am-5:30pm.  More details can be found here.

The Best of Both Worlds

Greetings, Twin Citians and Happy Monday!

I’m Doniree, your newest friend here.

*hand shake*  Nice to meet you!

A quick introduction, and then I’ll just dive right in and get to the good stuff.

By day, I’m a 20-something media buyer here in the Twin Cities. I’m a St. Paul resident for the next two weeks, and will then be moving to the SW Minneapolis side of town.
By night, I’m a shameless local tourist with a love of (ok, obsession for) all things pop-cult, local, edible, imbibe-able, and musical.

A quick snapshot of my favorite local goodies:
DJ – Mary Lucia (89.3 The Current)
BarThe Herkimer
Sports Team – The Twins
Band – more recent favorite is tied between Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles and White Light Riot; my all-time favorite local band is The Replacements
Drink The Herkimer‘s Vienna, The Local‘s Big Ginger, or The Red Dragon‘s Wondrous Punch
Burger – The Juicy Lucy (and since they all claim to have the best, or the original, I’m on the hunt to determine who’s right!)

Ok, you get the idea.  So you wanna be friends?  Great!  Because I need your advice.

Like I said, I’m moving from St. Paul to Minneapolis and I need to start making a list of places to check out once I get settled in the new place, which sits on the north side of Highway 62 between Penn and Xerxes.

For the last 1+ years, I’ve been right on the border of the Merriam-Park and Lexington-Hamline neighborhoods in St. Paul, about a block south of the Pizza Luce on Selby just west of Lexington. I have LOVED living in this area for the last year. Why? Because of how much greatness is within walking, biking or a quick driving distance in the neighborhood.

Just last weekend, I walked to the Uptowner Cafe at Grand and Lexington. For under $15, my friend and I had a giant breakfast and got to sit up at the bar and watch the cook in action. This is a cozy, wait-in-line-and-snag-a-table-when-you-see-one kind of place, and I love it.  (Breakfast/brunch is also my favorite meal, so I’m a bit partial to a good diner.)

I’m also a short drive down to the Groveland Tap on St. Clair. The service is neighborhood-friendly, and the apps were deep fried perfection.

Sweeney’s, The Muddy Pig, and both taverns (Tavern on Grand and Tav on the Ave) are other local brewpubs of awesomeness, and are all places I will miss being within two miles of.

However, moving across town to SW Minneapolis will be a new adventure and I’m looking forward to scoping out places over there. The problem is, I’m not as familiar with Minneapolis as I am with St. Paul and need help figuring out where to go and what to try.

This is what’s on my list so far, but comments and suggestions are welcome!

Here’s the short version of to-do list:

  • 50th and France – in general, I plan to just take over that area and hit every coffee shop and wine bar there. Topping my list are: Beajos and Breadsmith (reviews are welcome!)
  • I’ve heard rave reviews about Cafe Maude, and am dying to check it out!

What else shouldn’t I miss? Where should I shop? Where’s the best coffee?

Overheard at the RNC

In the great tradition of Overheard in Minneapolis and the rest of the Overheards

Overheard at the RNC, which now has one post:

Woman #1: So, I was watching the Democratic National Convention last night…
Woman #2: Oh, is that here?

Saint Paul, Women’s restroom just a few block from where the RNC will be next week…
Overheard by Amazed and saddened.

Definitely add it to your RSS feeds for the next couple weeks.

Looking back on the 35W Bridge Collapse

If you are online to read this and haven’t found out yet, you’re… well, I don’t even know.

The 35W bridge over the Mississippi collapsed today. I found out via Twitter. It happened at approximately 6:00 pm. There are cars in the river. There was a school bus full of kids on the bridge, but the bus didn’t actually fall in the water. A whole section of bridge dropped straight down and is sitting just above the water. CNN’s running photos that folks downtown have taken from their apartment.

There’s been construction work going on on various parts of 35W near downtown for a long time, but I wasn’t aware that they were actually working on this bridge.

Phone service is spotty.

Today’s the anniversary of the 35W Bridge Collapse, so I thought I’d revisit some of the liveblogging we did of the post-collapse events. Above is from Erica’s post at 6:57 p.m. on August 1. Heavy stuff when you think back to it all.

Significant MB posts covering the collapse:


Lazy Lightning and commentors discuss replacing vs renovating the currently-condemned Meadow Lake Bridge which carried bikers across the Minnesota River between Bloomington and Burnsville.

Cam Gordon (Mpls 2nd Ward city council member) has the deets on this year’s National Night Out.

TC Biz Journal‘s 2008 Women In Business Honorees.

TC Biz Journal reports what downtown MNspeakers have known for weeks and that is that a SoupMan (of Seinfeld fame) is now open in the Minneapolis Skyway.

The great people of the Tale of Two Cities LiveJournal community discuss Minnesota’s representation in that CNNmoney list of Best Small Cities to Live. “[Y]ou’ll see most of what got Plymouth into the #1 spot isn’t even located in Plymouth.” MNspeakers discuss as well.

Mary Lahammer on Jesse’s non-announcement on Larry King Live. He did, in fact, talk to someone in the local media. Sort of.

MinnPost runs a University of Minnesota eNews report on a study confirming what people who use Facebook and Myspace already know, which is that kids learn technology skills and share/collaborate on creative efforts through social media. New news: the digital divide is perhaps not as big as we think it is. “The students participating in the University of Minnesota study were from families whose incomes were at or below the county median income (at or below $25,000) and were taking part in an after-school program, Admission Possible, aimed at improving college access for low-income youth.”

MnIndy: “Local immigration attorneys and advocates say Postville raid reflected ‘a complete lack of due process'”

NRP is sending a delegation to the 2008 Bank of the West Neighborhood Summit in Omaha. (Bank of the West is an actual bank.) “The Summit will be an opportunity to learn from residents of Des Moines, Omaha, Wichita and Kansas City what they are doing around key issues, share ideas, network, tour Omaha, and have fun!” 31 Minneapolitans attended last year. Apply to attend by August 1.

saintpaulitan visits the friendly neighborhood geodesic dome house.‘s guide to all the drag shows in Minneapolis and St Paul. That’s not very many, but then, how many drag shows do you need? Feel free to edit the list.

TC Biz Journal says, in the wake of the dented nose cone issue, MSP is some new runway status lights at some yet to be determined time between now and 2011. The $400 million tab is to be picked up by the FAA.

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