Archive for September, 2006

4th and 20 – Vikings first 2006 loss

I can quit being so angry. It turns out Troy Williamson wasn’t the only guy Brad Johnson was looking for when he dumped an overthrown pass to the double-covered receiver with less than a minute left in the fouth quarter on Sunday. In an interview on KQRS this morning, after joking that he thought it was 4th and 20 (instead of 4th and 2), Johnson described his reciever progression. He said he looked at three shorter route-running recievers before looking at Williamson, getting pressured, and then throwing.

First Avenue gets facelift, sparks debate

first_avenue.jpgIf you remember the debate that surrounded the giant guitar-adorned Hard Rock Café when it was built in downtown Minneapolis, you can be sure the messing with the facade of the legendary First Avenue nightclub is sure to get people talking.

From the Pioneer Press:

First Avenue is about to get a facelift.

The renowned downtown Minneapolis nightclub won approval Friday from the Minneapolis City Council to add up to 6,000 square feet of billboard space to its exterior.

The artist’s rendering of the proposed changes shown above features three large billboards perched above the First Avenue marquee, as well as smaller advertisements further down either side of the main entrance. A news ticker-style LED display that would run above the front doors is another notable change…

“It is a little early to guesstimate, but billboards are good business,” [The club’s general manager Jack Meyers] said. “It won’t make payroll or anything like that, but the revenue will help us out during the slow months.”

Full rendering here (pdf)

While I don’t like the idea of our beloved club selling it’s goods on the corner like a $100 whore, I agree it’s WAY better than the club facing bankruptcy again and fans having to drive to Maplewood to catch a good show. Further discussion here and here.

This coming Sunday night, First Avenue plays host to the 26th Annual Minnesota Music Awards with a stellar lineup. The “Best New Artist Showcase” in the 7th St. Entry is highly recommended (White Light Riot, The Alarmists, God Damn Doo Wop Band, Stook!, Chris Koza). Check it out!

Arsenic Fields Expand

There is a reason that I don’t grow vegetables in the garden. Portions of Midtown Phillips, East Phillips, and Corcoran neighborhoods sit on what was once a pesticide plant, and much of the soil in the area is laced with arsenic. The ‘arsenic field’ is the worst near the intersection of 28th and Hiawatha, where the CMC Heartland Lite plant once operated. The field extends from Franklin Avenue to the north down to 33rd Street, east along Hiawatha Avenue and west to 11th Avenue. The Environmental Protection Agency is working to clean up the mess with the use of Superfund.

Recent studies have suggested that the Superfund cleanup might need to move into Seward, Powderhorn, and Longfellow neighborhoods as well. Superfund cleans up the sites by removing all contaminated soil from properties, all at the expense of the federal government.

What is disturbing is that many families in my neighborhood, Phillips, are new immigrants and use their yards for growing fruits and vegetables. It’s likely many folks in the neighborhood have no idea there is poison in the soil they grow their food in.

Kansas City Wants to be Minneapolis

One-hundred ten Kansas City leaders visitied the Twin Cities last week to see what makes our region prosper. From transportation, civic involvement by our 20 plus Fortune 500 corporations to our clean streets and thoughtful planning, the Twin Cities has a lot to offer other mid to large sized metro areas. A few observations:

“Many parts of Kansas City and its suburbs look downright filthy when stacked up against the Twin Cities area. The difference is striking. Twin Cities residents have enough pride in their communities to keep trash off the streets…

Still, it’s abundantly clear that — by having almost 20 Fortune 500 companies in their midst — Twin Cities residents have benefited for decades from an outpouring of business funds for local projects, such as arts and cultural amenities….

Kansas City taxpayers wind up paying for the bulk of a subpar transit system. Meanwhile, Minneapolis has a new light-rail line, with the state’s help.”

We may have our share of problems, but we know we’re doing something right when other cities look to us for inspiration.


Heiruspecs in-studio on Flickr
photo courtesy of Chuck Olsen

I keep seeing Heiruspecs stickers up in various spots on the Greenway and had been meaning to google it. And then I came across this photo.

This is Muad’Dib. Catch him in action at Minnesota Stories.

That answers that question.

[Heiruspecs on myspace]

Midtown Global Market – or – drooooool….

So… the Midtown Market (see Erica’s Post). Not sure if it’ll be as cool as Pike Street… but maybe… we do have a lot of great restaurants here.

Well I’ve gone there a couple times since it’s opened and I really like it. They basically took a lot of my favorite restaurants and dumped them into one building. Thus far I’ve gone to Holy Land (yeah they even have a grocery store there) and Salsa a La Salsa. I’d like to catch everything else if I can too. I’ll keep people posted.

Oh… if you get the Southwest Journal there is a $2.00/off buffet or entree at Holy Land. Check it!

Everest on Grand

Everest on Grand is a tasty Nepali restaurant in mythical St. Paul. Everything served there seemed pretty good, especially the appetizers. I also noticed a similar restaurant, Everest Cafe, in the Midtown Market… my google-sense tells me it’s a food court version of Everest on Grand. I’ll try that out in due time.

I’m in ur Web page

Mark Kennedy is so freaked out about the leak of an unreleased campaign video to Amy Klobuchar that he has taken down his Web site. Except he hasn’t — instead, there’s just some quick and dirty code redirecting people to a nervous message from campaign manager Pat Shotridge, whose blog, strangely, can still be accessed, as can Kennedy’s donations page, which is, apparently, safe from evil hackerz and their mad crackorzing skillz. So is this an act of genuine concern on Kennedy’s part, but enacted with a startling lack of computing skills, or just so much smoke-blowing in order to make more hay out of a video leak that Minnesota Stories Chuck Olsen promises to demonstrate was also caused by faulty programming.

Julie Nelson

Am I just smoking crack, or did she used to be on KSTP? I see she’s on KARE11 now.

I don’t watch the local news much. Don’t mind me.

Buckets and Tap Shoes

Buckets and Tap ShoesSo, I get home after a long day at work and a long slow drive home (because god forbid anyone should actually move their vehicles in the rain). I walk in the door, and I’m relieved to be home. Except that I have no food (that I want to eat), and I have an hour before Thursday night tv starts. I have coupons, so despite the cold drizzle, I decide to walk to Arby’s.

I’m on Emerson, heading south. I cross Lagoon, and I hear… drumming. Out of the corner of my eye I see blue t-shirts and a tent. I moseyed on over to the guys in the blue shirts and inquired as to what they were doing sitting outside in the cold and the wet and how the hell did they come to have a tent.

They’re Buckets and Tap Shoes. Playing at… the corner of Lake and Emerson. I was all, “I’ve heard of you!” I had just missed a tap number, apparently, as the three of them were changing out of their tap shoes.

Their tent was set up right outside the leasing office for Track 29 Lofts, where a launch party was being held. Some sort of open house type of thing. For Yet Another Condo Development that I can’t afford. Oh, wait, sorry, they’re townhouses, er, townhomes.

So, yeah, that whole thing was kind of strange. I suppose it would have seemed less weird if the weather were nicer. Anybody catch the band? Buy a townhouse?

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