Archive for August, 2006

Substantial Fare

The Minnesota State Fair. What an occasion. Ranking right up there with the Twins home opener and the fishing opener, Minnesotans will take days off of work, hit numerous ATMs and drool in anticipation on the way to the feast. Exactly a year ago, a security guard at my office shipped in on assignment from St. Louis asked me about the Great Minnesota Get-Together. I was almost disgusted to tell him where to find the gates that house the stench of dung, spilled beer and never-hardening cheese. But as a portly man with a southern drawl, I knew he’d probably enjoy some aspects that don the fairgrounds every year. I advised him to stay away from any barbecue joints if he doens’t already know to refrain. Afterall, most southernfolk know not to touch any brisket cooked north of the Mason Dixon line. And to be honest, I advised him to stay away all together, and I’m glad I did. I didn’t want to be acquitted for being an accomplice to the man’s death after 2 cheese curds, fried everything on a stick, a jug of grease pop, and numerous other heart-stopping foods.

Ode to Cecil’s

Each time I return to Highland Park, I try to finagle my way over to Cecil’s Deli. This is the deli I grew up on, the deli that is a fixture in my family, the deli that brings back a lifetime of memories…and delectable sandwiches.

My mom’s family has lived in Highland Park for many years and started our adoration for Cecil’s. My parents would occasionally arrange to stop by the deli and bring home some dinner fixins. Here was our typical order: 12 egg bagels, 2 small tubs of Philly cream cheese, 1 pound extra-lean corned beef and a quart of Cecil’s special cole slaw. This was always a big deal to us because it was the one meal selection we could all agree on, kids and parents alike. When my sister became pregnant with her daughter many years later, her pregnancy cravings were intensely related to Cecil’s. Rumor has it she dropped by there every day for lunch during a 10 week period. A few years later after my grandma was diagnosed with Cancer, she wouldn’t eat a thing. On one cold March night, I dropped by her place with a sandwich from Cecil’s – she ate the WHOLE thing. My aunt, a nurse, couldn’t believe it. It was a small victory during a very sad time.

Free Wi-Fi Coming to Caribou

Sweet! Our very own home-grown anti-Starbucks is rolling out the free wi-fi access. Which is a leg up on Starbucks, and maybe a blow to the independent coffee shop (I wonder what kind of impact there was when Dunn Bros rolled out their free wi-fi). I’ll support my favorite local coffee shops, but sometimes Caribou is just more convenient.

The service, offered through Wandering WiFi, is expected to be up and running by next month. Wireless Internet access will run at no charge for up to an hour of use. After an hour, Wi-Fi users will be required to make a store purchase of at least $1.50 per additional hour.

Seems reasonable to me. If I want to hang out that long, I’ll probably be ready for another beverage anyway.

P.S. “Lip Stuff”. Heh!

Take a voyage to your local library

I did a little tour of a few metro libraries yesterday, on a search for some graphic novels. I could’ve done an inter-library loan to the Minneapolis library to get them downtown, but it would’ve taken a few weeks, whereas I was just able to drive to a few Hennepin County suburbs and pick up the items I was looking for.

The Happiest Hour at Sally’s

Penny pints! At Sally’s. Next Tuesday. From my inbox:

The ONION and Summit present: The Happiest Hour–Pints of Summit for a Penny! You have been invited to THE HAPPIEST HOUR on Tuesday, September 5 at Sally’s by your friends at The ONION & Summit! Yes, that’s right! Starting at 7pm you can come down to this popular university watering hole, and gulp down pints of yummy Summit beer for merely a penny each! Do the math: If you have a dollar, you can drink 100 beers; just make sure you tip your server properly. To attend this VIP event, send an email to with “RSVP HAPPIEST HOUR” in the subject field, and you’ll be added to our very special guest list. No e-mail, no penny pints. Got it? Good. See you there. By the way, it’s B.Y.O.P.: “Bring Your Own Pennies.” Sally’s Saloon and Eatery 712 Washington Ave. SE Minneapolis (612) 331-323

I can’t say Sally’s is one of my favorite places. Because, you know, I’m not 21 anymore. And school will be in session. But how can you say no to penny pints? Penny pints, people! Send that email today.

New stadium’s getting closer!

The Hennepin County Board voted to approve the 0.15 sales tax increase for the new Twins stadium today by a 4-3 vote. Barring any setbacks from here, the new stadium construction should begin next year.

At the vote, the boys said yes (Commissioners Mike Opat, Mark Stenglein, Peter McLaughlin and Randy Johnson); the girls (Commissioners Gail Dorfman, Linda Koblick and Penny Steele) said no. Interesting. Dorfman’s been against a new stadium of any kind of quite some time now, so it’s no surprise her vote, along with everyone else’s, didn’t change from previous votes. If it were taxes to make a new shopping mall downtown, do you think the voting would have been reversed?

The PiPress gives an interesting fact: “According to county forecasts, a married couple with two children and a $75,000 annual income would pay an estimated $30 per year in sales taxes for the stadium.” If that’s the case, I’ll gladly give one of the many opponents of the tax increase $30/year to shut the hell up so I can have a decent stadium to watch some baseball.

Tag your Minneapolis Pics: Flickr enables geotagging maps

Flickr added a geotagging maps option today. Doesn’t look like there’s many Minneapolis area pictures geotagged yet. This is going to be a fun way to check out pictures from around town once there’s more tagged. Check it out.

So far, I see some state fair photos, and the sculpture gardens. I tagged a bunch of mine at my usual haunts. Tag some more!

Everybody’s State Fair Photos

In the Minnesota State Fair flickr pool.

And this will be all I have to say, as I’m trying to stay as far away from the State Fair as possible.

Movies under the stars

Even in my infinite wisdom, I was unaware that there were other places to go see movies outdoors besides Loring Park. With last week’s 2006 finale with music by Low and the Philiadelphia Story on the big screen, I thought I would have to go another 300 or so days until another movie outdoors. But as is usually the case, St. Paul comes to the rescue! (the city, not the saint. link is just for informational purposes).

Comcast Music and Movies on Raspberry Island will offer much of what Loring’s Music and Movies in the park offers, but with a twist–the movies are newer than Paris Hilton’s latest boyfriend-accesory! Tomorrow night’s offering? Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Quite fitting that the movie will be shown on a giant floating screen. The program is sponsored by Comcast, which is taking over TimeWarner. I assume this is why they are able to get the latest awesome new movies, instead of timless (but black and white) classics. Now I love Cary Grant and Steve McQueen as much as the next Loring Park regular, well, maybe not that much, but I’m ready to see some newer material outside!

While this is the last movie on Rasperry Island this year, there is another St. Paul movies-in-the-park program that rotates to different parks and goes through October 19.

Yay for Team Boobylicious!

I don’t want to steal her thunder, but here’s Wendy‘s account of the Twin Cities Breast Cancer 3-Day. She walked herself silly and already signed up for next year.

Congratulations, Wendy!

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