Archive for March, 2005

Good Government, bad government

The smoking ban went into effect at midnight and my lungs & laundry couldn’t be happier. Unfortunately I’ll never be able to pull out a Zippo and light a beautiful woman’s cigarette like James Bond. Oh well, small price to pay. Of course I just found out that Billy’s on Grand asked for an exemption, so I guess I’ll have to go elsewhere to watch the Final Four.
What I found funny to see in the Strib this morning was the fact that the state is raising the tax on canned meat! That’s right–SPAM is now being taxed in Minnesota. Isn’t the tax having to eat (and pass) that crap? One more reason I’m glad I’m a vegetarian.

Fine Line once more before the ban

I’m going to the Fine Line Music Cafe tonight to see Swedish band Soundtrack of Our Lives, just a few days before the smoking ban goes into effect in Minneapolis. Will people be making up for future lost time?

Oh So Fine…

I have lived in this city my entire life and I am ashamed to say I have never been to the Fine Line. I can now change the have to a had, though. I have been there twice in the past week. I have to say I was pretty impressed. It is a great place to hang and watch music. They are a big supporter of local music and it isn’t quite as loud as First Ave. can be. I went to go see a ton of local talent. I saw Debra G.’s CD release party. You may have heard of me talk of her before. Also performing was a great band called Enchanted Ape. These guys played with Debra for a few songs and then rocked their own set. If you have a chance to see these people, go see them. They really rock.

I hope to see more shows at the Fine Line. Often you can just go to the website and print off a free ticket to get in. How cool is that? I am hoping I will have enough money to see Zap Mama on Thursday…

Transporting Crime

There is an article in the Strib today about how the year-long closure of the Lowry Bridge may have reduced crime in the Northeast Minneapolis area by cutting it off from North Minneapolis proper.

To quote from the article:
Between May, shortly after the bridge closed for repairs, and December, the Marshall Terrace neighborhood reported a 41 percent drop in major crime compared with the same period in 2003, including fewer auto thefts, half the larcenies and a slight drop in aggravated assaults. During the same period, serious crime also fell 5.5 percent in Bottineau, the other northeast Minneapolis neighborhood closest to the bridge.

It was the lowest figure for major crime in either neighborhood in four years and came as overall major crime in the police precinct serving northeast Minneapolis actually rose a tenth of a percent in 2004.

While the article readily admits there isn’t a conclusive relationship, it’s an interesting concept to consider. During the recent MTC bus strike, there were reports of decreased crime activity, presumably due to perpetrators being unable to get from hither to yon to commit their crimes.

It makes me think about the links among issues of public transportation, infrastructure that support many different modes of transportation, community building, crime and poverty.

Happy Freakin’ Easter….

Ok, This is my first entry on the Metroblog (Thanks Jay & Nate) and I hate to start it out complaining, but I have to. Yesterday was Easter Sunday. Not Christmas, not even Thanksgiving. On the great list of holidays, Easter barely registers on my calendar above President’s Day. (Seven years of Catholic school–sue me.) So imagine my surprise when I found 90% of the businesses in this city CLOSED! I can see shortened hours for most places, but supermarkets? Gas stations? Best Buy? I could have gotten more done on Christmas than I could yesterday.
Seriously, I’ll write better stuff soon. Bear with me.

Sooo close…

If you haven’t driven by the new Guthrie or Walker Art Center, you should do so. Both of these projects are coming along swimmingly. The Walker looks really spiffy. I just heard from a reliable source that Wolfgang Puck’s restraunt is going to be catering food on premise. That means you can get some killer eats while looking at killer modern art. Although I mock them a lot, I really do hope the old standards are still there when it reopens. I will sorely miss the big sculpture of french fries if it doesn’t return. Now if we could just get rid of the frickin’ cherry and spoon…

Rewarding those who do good by the community

The Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal has an article in its 18 March 2005 issue about the upcoming episode of Postcards from Buster, the controversy surrounding it and how Twin Cities Public Television’s decision to air it has engendered support from the GLBT community. The article doesn’t appear to be available online (at least, I can’t find it), but it lists two fundraisers for TPT on 23 March 2005, at Boom and Oddfellows from 6:30 – 8:30 and the same night from 6 to 8 pm at the Riverview Theater, where there will be a screening of the Buster episode causing all the controversy.

The Martha G. Ripley Maternity Hospital

I’ve been taking a different route to work the past couple of weeks and I pass by an old, boarded-up (read: slightly-creepy) building in North Mpls on Glenwood Avenue. Today I noticed a name carved above the main entrance as I flew by on the bus. It read, “Ripley Memorial Hospital.”

ripOLD04.jpgSufficiently intrigued to ask the Internet what it knew about this
neat old building when I got home, the first match to my search took me to the website of the Action Squad: Minneapolis Urban Adventurers. I vaguely recall visting a much earlier version of the site years ago. (They’ve been around since ’96.)

What’s the Action Squad? In their words, “In a nutshell, Action Squad explores. This generally occurs late at night, to aid in avoiding other people, particularly those with badges and funny blue uniforms. We climb buildings, sneak into factories, crawl through all kinds of tunnels, spelunk old brewery caves, poke around abandoned buildings, and run across the rooftops.” In other words, they’ve been inside the building that piqued my curiosity and provide some history, photos of the inside, and some neat historical photos via the MN State Historical Society. I digress.

As it turns out, the hospital was founded in 1886 by Dr. Martha G. Ripley, a physician and early activist for women’s civil rights. It was built to care for unwed mothers and their “out-of-wedlock” children. It’s currently boarded up, but it’s on the National Registry of Historic Places and due to be refurbed as multi-use space. Good. I find old buildings like these with odd histories terribly fascinating and it disappoints me how quick Minneapolis has been to rip down the old stuff without a second thought. I do feel like there’s a little more effort to preserve more historically significant things in the city lately and it makes me very happy to see one like this stick around.

I’m Baaaaack…

I have just returned from sunny Florida to the cold and I hate it. I really don’t mind the cold, but once I get used to the warmth, I have a hard time going back.

I hope to write a nice entry on the Orlando Metroblog. Keep an eye out for it.

I went to see the sneak preview of The Ring Two and was pretty disapointed. The theater was packed and most people seemed pretty bored with the whole experience. On the flip side, I was reassured that the AMC theater at Southdale is one of my favorite theaters in the city to see a current film. Great sound, comfortable seats, good picture. Nice…


The Twin Cities Auto Show is at the Minneapolis Convention Center from March 12-20.

According to the Auto Show’s website, they have close to a thousand new cars, trucks, vans, etc. on display over 500,000 sq. ft. of space in the Convention Center.

They have all the new 2005 (and some 2006) models on display, as well as a drawing each day of the show for $5000 toward a new car.

I myself enjoy this sneak-peak at the new models available, even though I’m rarely in the market for a new car. I love to collect the glossy brochures and other swag used to entice buyer into stimulating the economy with a durable goods purchase.

I’ll be heading there tonight; hopefully I can grab some good photos to post.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.