Archive for April, 2005

Randy Shaver loses credibility.

I was pressing the presets on my radio desperately looking for something worth listening to and I heard the sports report on 93X (yeah, I know..) Anyway, Randy Shaver was doing the sports and he mentions Vince Carter’s game-tying shot last night and praises him for being a good player now that he can team up with Jason Kidd and the supporting cast of the Nets. WHAT? How could he not mention the fact that he completely quit on the Toronto Raptors? Almost every credible media outlet regarding sports (ESPN, FSN, Sporting News, heck–even USA Today) has called Vince Carter’s “resurgence” the most shameless case of “dogging it” ever perpetrated on sports fans. Hmm…I expected better.

Independant Bookstores: A Dying Species

In today’s Strib there is an article about Bound to Be Read going out of business.

Even the backing of Hubbard Broadcasting (Bound to Be Read‘s president is Stan Hubbard‘s daughter) couldn’t save the local independant bookseller in St. Paul stay afloat in the midst of the glut of book-buying options for consumers.

About a year ago, a wonderful store, Ruminator Books, went out of business because the competition of Wal*Mart-style discount booksellers and online giants like was too much for them to combat.

In order for the Twin Cities to maintain the terrific book stores we have, we need to all make an effort to visit them. Here’s a quick list of some of the independant booksellers in the Twin Cities ready to sate your book-buying urges:

Amazon Feminist Bookstore
Biermaier’s Fine Used Books
The Book House
Cumming’s Used Books
DreamHaven Books and Comics
Magers & Quinn
Magus Books
Micawber’s (owned by ex-Hungry Mind/Ruminator folks)
Once Upon A Crime
Query Booksellers
Red Balloon (children’s books)
Sixth Chamber
Uncle Edgar’s Mystery Bookstore
Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore
Wild Rumpus Room (children’s books)

You take the high road, I’ll take the low road…

Last weekend, or maybe it was the one before, I biked along the Midtown Greenway for the first time this season, out beyond the point where it had still been under construction. Last year, I did bike through that area with a friend, while it was still a big muddy ditch, but now, it’s paved all the way to Hiawatha, and biking along it is wonderful.

It’s such a great bike and pedestrian thoroughfare, from Hiawatha, all the way past the Lakes in Uptown, with only one problem right now. The few blocks right by Chicago Avenue are closed right now for the construction on the old Sears Building right there, so you have to leave the Greenway and go on surface streets for a few blocks. Not too bad, but still a pain. Since the greenway is below surface level, having to climb up out of it does add a nice bit of intensity right there, but I’d still rather it be open. You don’t have to worry about traffic down there; in fact it’s kind of a different world, and you leave the city behind a bit. The only traffic to worry about are the few pedestrians that don’t seem to understand the difference between the bike and walking lanes. Those are few and far between, unlike on the bike lanes around Loring Park, where I’m always having to weave my way through walkers on the bikepath (usually, I go on the grass to get around them). But like I said, not a huge issue on the greenway.

Between Nicollet and Lyndale on the Greenway, there are a few garden areas where you can stop and meander for awhile. Vera’s Garden is right by Lyndale, and if you’re walking, you can go “up the garden path” and exit on Lyndale, just in time to get a cup of coffee and Vera’s Cafe, a block south.

What I’d really like to see down there is for one of the buildings that has access on the greenway, like the one just west of Lyndale or Bryant, to open a little patio cafe at that level.

The Midtown Greenway Coalition has updates and articles of interest to users of the Greenway.

KSTP (Cont’d.)

While I’m sure that Kristin Stinar will be OK, it brings up the question: if it is Cancer that she is fighting, does it really do much of a service to show her struggle? Cancer has affected almost 100% of the population either directly or indirectly. Does anyone NOT know someone who has had to fight this disease? It’s terrible, but unfortunately it’s not unique. While the network of survivors is extremely valuable for someone who is suffering, I think for many people it will just bring up terrible memories.
While we’re discussing local TV News (UGH!), I must say that Karen Leigh from WCCO is quite the hottie. I’m surprised that City Pages didn’t have that as a category in their ‘Best Of The Twin Cities’ Issue.

Almost famous…

I heard today that MTV might come to our local ComedySportz establishment and make a show. Not a show about ComedySportz, but a show feturing it. We might be fetured on MTV’s Made which is a show in which they take someone and turn them into something they aspire to do. Anyway, they are coming to ComedySportz tomorrow and chatting with the owner. It is a long ways off from being a sure thing, but I still think it’s kind of cool. It would be a great advertisment to have ComedySportz fetured on MTV. I might even be on the show. How weird would that be…

Where the sidewalk ends…

The sidewalk is ripped up in front of the building where I work, the Plymouth Building, in downtown Minneapolis. I’m not sure what work is being done, but a bunch of brickwork has been exposed; I could see it from the skyway overlooking 6th St. It looks like regular brick walls, just under the ground, almost like the building was started at a lower level and then the current building was built on top of it. I’ve heard there are tunnels, really cool tunnels underneath Minneapolis, but have never gone exploring in them. I think a movie is coming out next year, made locally, all about subterranean urban exploration.

Anyone have urban tunnel stories to share?

Well, Hello There

Just wanted to introduce myself, as I’m new to this here Metroblog. My name’s Erica. I usually blog over at swirlspice. I will not bore you with further biographical details because they’re all listed in the handy dandy bio located to your left.

I’ve been saving up posts and links for weeks in anticipation of this. Which means there’s quantity. Quality is yet to be determined.

Anyway, I’m excited to be here. And I’m having deja vu right now. Weird.


Does anyone think that KSTP is using the illness of one of their own reporters for ratings? In the veiled promos for their story, they refer to a terrible illness (cancer?) that their reporter is fighting. Is this shameless exploitation or a valuable news item?

Garbage at 1st Ave. Friday

I’m so excited to see Garbage play at First Avenue on Friday. If you haven’t seen them play live you must! IT should be an awesome show! What I’m wondering is: Where should I go afterwards? I spend my wekend evenings in St. Paul usually.

We got stars on ours…

It has been officially announced that the new library downtown will indead have a planetarium. It was unclear as to where it will reside. It might be on the roof it might on street level off of Nicolette. I am just excited for it. I have very fond memories of seeing different events at the old planetarium. I hope they bring back the laser shows. Especially now that I am old enough to drink.

I wonder how many other people remember the old planetarium. I was always in awe of it. I REALLY wanted to have one of my own. A machine that would acurately project crisp, clean stars on my ceiling. I guess when I become famous…

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