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Posts Tagged ‘St. Paul’

Fall Show – Young Potters in St. Paul

Posted by deborahmclaren on November 12, 2011

Driving home from the Northland Pioneers conference this afternoon I spotted a “Pottery Sale” sign on the side of the road. Not one to miss a local pottery sale I followed the signs to a little clapboard house on Palace Street in Saint Paul, MN.

To my delight it was a fall sale organized by four or five young potters from the area. And their work and designs were very diverse. Not the usual pottery show stuff! For example, the painting/sculptures made by Kelly Cox and her husband Eric Mullis.

Potters William Cook and Phillip Schmidt + fan

Tiny ant sculpture by Eric Mullis

Deer painting/plate by Kelly Cox

Beautiful Handmade Bowl

I am excited to see young artists in the neighborhood! The functional pottery and sculpture is affordable and they are a fun, welcoming group. It’s a beautiful weekend. If you stop by they are also serving up some fall goodies and hot cider.

2011 Fall Pottery Show and Sale, Sat Nov 12 – Sun Nov 13, 1792 Palace Avenue, St. Paul MN 55104
email williamcookpottery@gmail.com

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Posted in art, Buy-local, entreprenuers, microenterprise, Minnesota, Saint Paul | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Update on Twin Cities Bike-Sharing Program

Posted by deborahmclaren on March 1, 2011

Minneapolis bike-sharing program prepares to expand into St. Paul
By Frederick Melo
fmelo@pioneerpress.com
Updated: 03/01/2011 09:32:01 AM CST

Minneapolis resident Claire Bootsma sat on a ‘Nice Ride’ bike as it was parked at the rack on Nicollet Ave. at Grant Street in Minneapolis July 1, 2010. (Pioneer Press, file)

The Nice Ride Minnesota bicycle-sharing program has moved a step closer to expanding from Minneapolis into St. Paul. Although specific rental locations haven’t been identified, nearly $2 million in new federal funding and foundation support will allow the program to grow from 65 sites to more than 100 this spring.

“I think in total we’ll probably add 50 more stations this year,” said Bill Dossett, executive director of the Minneapolis-based nonprofit. “You will see stations in St. Paul, but I don’t know how many yet, and I don’t know where.”

He said an official decision is about two weeks away. Eight of the stations will be in North Minneapolis.

As for the potential location of the St. Paul sites, here’s a clue: A chunk of the new funding has come from Macalester College and the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative, a coalition of foundations that aims to protect the University Avenue neighborhoods around the future light-rail route being built from downtown St. Paul to downtown Minneapolis.

A series of public meetings hosted by Nice Ride Minnesota last fall generated more than 800 suggested sites.

Nice Ride, which is based out of the Midtown Bike Center along the Midtown Greenway in South Minneapolis, currently maintains 65 bicycle stations where commuters can rent bikes for short trips, mostly.

Organizers say surveys show 20 percent of the 100,000 trips taken between the program’s launch last June and November would otherwise have been taken by car.”We’re excited to see the success of the first year,” said Hilary Reeves, a spokeswoman for Transit for Livable Communities.

On Monday, Transit for Livable Communities, a St. Paul-based nonprofit organization, announced Nice Ride will receive $1 million from the Federal Highway Administration to fund the program’s expansion. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota will add $500,000 as part of a challenge pledge, and the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative will put in $250,000.

Macalester College is contributing $30,000 through its High Winds Fund, which aims to improve aesthetics and security on its campus.

In total, Transit for Livable Communities announced it will award federal highway funding of $1.17 million to three capital projects. The city of Fridley will receive $110,000 to add sidewalks and bike lanes from the Northstar commuter rail station and communities to the south.

The city of Minneapolis will receive $62,000 to improve pedestrian safety on Franklin Avenue in the Seward neighborhood.

Frederick Melo can be reached at 651-228-2172.

ONLINE

More information about Nice Ride Minnesota is available at its website: NiceRideMN.org.

Posted in alternative transportation, climate solutions, green travel, Minnesota, Saint Paul, sustainable travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Halloween Weekend in the Twin Cities

Posted by deborahmclaren on October 29, 2010

Looking for something chillin’ this weekend?

I’m heading to Bare Bones Theater’s all ages Halloween performance at Hidden Falls Park, along the Mississippi River in Saint Paul, MN. This year its Carnetheria, a puppet spectacle that plumbs the deep and darkest depths of a dreamlike Carnival. It’s going to be cold so we’re wearing lots of warm things and taking hot chocolate. First, we walk through the woods meeting amazing creatures and people. We find an open air theater in the middle of the woods and have a seat on hay bales. Then a spectacular puppet performance will take place in the dark woods; mysterious music provided by a live orchestra. My son, Anil, and I missed the 2009 performance so we’re looking forward to going again. Here’s
The Amazing Fire Battle!

Click here for a clip from the 2009 performance of Devoured — Spirit Puppet –Created by Soozin Hirschmugl.

As they say on their website, “Using larger-than-life puppets, shadow puppets, bike puppets, costumes, masks, song, dance, stilting, aerialism, fire artistry, and original music by a live orchestra, the BareBones Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza promises an unforgettable nighttime spectacular through the best traditions of community theater, public pageantry, and seasonal celebration.” An amazing amount of time, artistry, passion goes into the preparation, theater and music, and clean-up of the outdoor performances which are held for two weekends – the weekend before Halloween and the weekend of Halloween itself. This is a tiny peek into the magic that takes place to create these shows:

Too cold to be outdoors? Try Bomp: Bedlam Theater’s recurring dance party/caberet that will move to Nick and Eddie on Loring Park for a Halloween edition with the Moongoons (who provide ritualistic energy exchanges that concentrate the powers needed for spellcasting & party rockin. Srsly), Shannon Blowtorch, Wzz Wnshp (burlesque) and Plain Ole Bill. (10 p.m.-3 a.m. Fri. $5-$7. 18-plus.

Rainy Day Caberet

Rainy Day Cabaret (a “cryptic” cabaret) will present “Wake the Dead” the Old Arizona Theater in Minneapolis on November 4, 5, and 6th. RDC was conceived in 2007 by Joanie Mix, as a part of the 2007 Minnesota Fringe Festival, with her production of Making Dolls. RDC is a group of emerging artists who hope to provide a new and continuing form of entertainment for any level of art enthusiast. Through the use of choreography, music, video and costume design, a dark world is generated where you are invited to come and fill your open mind.

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow will be presented by the Reader’s Theatre at Oliver H. Kelley Farm, Elk River MN (directions) on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010 at 6:30 and 8 p.m. Fee: $10; Reservations: required, call 763-441-6896 , Step inside the rustic barn at the Kelley Farm for a performance of Washington Irving’s horror classic “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Performances last approximately 1 hour. Not recommended for children under 10.

Join Anil and I on Friday at Matthews Park, 2318 28th Ave. S. Minneapolis for the annual Halloween Party and Parade (4-5:30 p.m) This Seward neighborhood parade is a beloved event for the ghouls in the community as well as spirits that float in from various parts of the Twin Cities. A party with games and treats follows in the recreation center. It’s free, no registration necessary – just dress up and show up! For more information, call 612-370-4950.

The Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul

If you’re really daring visit any of the real haunted places in the area: The Fitzgerald Theater, Forepaugh’s Restaurant, The Caves, and the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul or The Seventh Street Eatery and City Hall in Minneapolis. Twin Cities Nightclubs has a list of Halloween parties for adults.

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

Posted in art, family travel, quite unusual | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Commodore Hotel writers and gangsters

Posted by deborahmclaren on September 8, 2010

Opened in 1920, the hotel and its elegant art deco bar attracted literary figures F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald , and Sinclair Lewis as well as gangsters Al Capone and Fred Barker. The hotel was renovated in the 1970s but still looks much like it did when Ma Barker met her son Fred’s girlfriend here.

1st Mondays at the Commodore, 79 Western Ave, 4-8pm. Cash bar, music, and conversation in the historic Art Deco Bar with unique, exotic treasures from world travelers, artists, designers, collectors and antique aficionados.

Fore more information: The Commodore Hotel, part of the University Club of Saint Paul
http://www.universityclubofstpaul.com/

See you there!

Posted in food and wine, Minnesota, Saint Paul, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Magic Bus Cafe

Posted by deborahmclaren on August 20, 2010

Mobile food is more popular this summer in the Twin Cities. The Magic Bus Cafe is awesome!

The Magic Bus Cafe bringing music and good food to St. Paul

magic chili dog wisconsin cojack cheese, bean chili, chopped onion 5.00
grateful dog psychedelic curry relish 5.00
soulshine dog sauerkraut, local bacon, brown mustard 5.00
mexicali dog spicy relish, sliced jalapeno, wisconsin cojack cheese 5.00
give beets a chance dog garlic beet sauerkraut 5.00
pig pen dog pulled bbq pork with psychedelic or spicy relish 6.00
plain hot dog choose either all beef hot dog or vegan 4.00

Magic Bus Cafe dogs

C

Shiny Happy People

Follow the Magic Bus on twitter!

If you look close you can spot Chris flippin some dogs in the background here on the Magic Bus – Who would have known?

Posted in Buy-local, entreprenuers, quite unusual, Saint Paul, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Biking through the Twin Cities…

Posted by deborahmclaren on July 6, 2010

Alternative, human-powered transportation is fun, healthy, helps Minnesotans reduce our carbon footprint, and provides a totally different way to experience our cities

Minneapolis is the bike-friendliest city in the country!

The April ’10 issue of Bicycling magazine ranks Minneapolis ahead of 49 other large and medium-size cities in accessibility to bicyclists. Portland has long ranked first, both in the magazine’s rankings and other surveys. “Despite the cold wintertime climate, Minneapolis has a thriving bike community. It has 120 miles of on- and off-street bicycle facilities, plus indoor bike parking and other cycling-friendly facilities.”

It’s pretty good when you live in this climate but can still bike to work and play six months out of the year. The Twin Cities have excellent bike lanes, plenty of bike racks, great trails, a bicycle “Midtown Greenway,” and some new free and fair priced rental bike programs. Check out the Minneapolis bike website for maps, trails, detours, and cool things like the new bike sharing program.

What could be cooler than this happy rider?

Bike sharing allows individuals to check out bicycles for short trips. The local non-profit Nice Ride Minnesota operates Minneapolis’ bike sharing system. Individuals must purchase subscriptions to check out bicycles – these are offered at daily, monthly, and yearly rates. Approximately 700 bicycles are located at 65 kiosks in Downtown Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota, and nearby commercial areas. View the real-time map to see bicycle availability. I’ve noticed that they are not just available along riding paths – you can easily find them in front of Minnesota’s beloved food co-ops, restaurants, museums and even City Hall. There are over 60 kiosks to choose from.

The “other” Twin (of the Twin Cities) is St. Paul – the most livable city in the US and my town!

Sibley Bike Depot
is a not-for-profit community bike shop and volunteer run organization. It grew out of the Yellow bike Coalition (YBC) and The Minnesota Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance (MNBPA). The Depot has Free Open Shop hours every week, even during the winter! This means that anyone can come in during their open hours, work on their bike, use the Depot’s tools, and talk to mechanics free of charge. The Earn a Bike program is an innovative program to provide bikes to people who could not normally afford them. By working in the shop, people can earn-a-bike. The Depot organizes group rides that focus on teaching safe riding techniques and the skills needed to utilize bicycles as a form of transportation. The Sibley Bike Depot is a collective that relies on volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering, Email Volunteer Coordinator Jason@sibleybikedepot.org

Sibley Bike Depot's motto

Saint Paul’s Smart-Trips helps visitors and locals find alternative travel and commuter options. Their website provides info about
· Bike locker information & locations
· Metro Transit’s Bike and Ride program
* Biking and walking maps
· Midway Biking and Walking Maps
· Downtown Bike Parking & Lockers Map
Online Bicycle Route Finder:
· cyclopath.org

Luckily the bike-friendly cities are easy for families to bike on. We started out with our little one in a Burly. By the time he was 5 he graduated to a half-bike and now that he’s 9 he rides his own bike. I’ve blogged about Twin Cities bike-a-thons, festivals, and other events in the past. Let me give a shout out for the Saint Paul Classic Bike Tour coming up on Sunday, Sept 12, 2010.
Sign up as an individual, family or group for traffic-free glee, five options from 15 to 54 miles long, music at every stop, and beautiful tree-lined streets and bridges over the Mississippi River.

I love my city!

Posted in alternative transportation, Minnesota, Saint Paul, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Little Farm Store in St. Paul – Egg | Plant!

Posted by deborahmclaren on May 31, 2010

I knew the little store had opened about 4 blocks from my house this spring… I even joined Egg|Plant Urban Farm Supply on Face Book. Despite numerous drive-bys I had not actually stopped in until Friday. Their FB announcement that “chicks are in” was too tempting. My son, Anil, has never seen baby chicks. Weird since I lived on farms growing up and even injected dyes into eggs so that Easter chicks were born blue, pink and orange. As a child, there’s nothing more wonderful than cuddling a soft baby chick in your hands.

Keepin cozy at Egg/Plant Farm Supply

We stopped in and fell in love with the place. The chicks were toooooo cute!!!!! It felt like walking into a 1850s farm store, except they have indoor plumin.

Their focus is on edible seeds and plants (vegetables, herbs, berries, fruits) but they also carry general purpose garden tools, soils, fertilizers, and supplies, with a primarily organic focus. Although we can’t raise chickens (although lots of people in St Paul are doing it – we just have a LARGE DOG problem), we found lots of other cool things. We bought eco-mulch which is organic hardwood chips compressed together so that one bale is equal to about three times what it looks like. There were some Chef Jeff’s organic seedlings – we stocked up on hot peppers – “super chili” and “Poblano” as well as an EGGPLANT and a watermelon. I wonder how the watermelon will evolve in our square foot garden. I wanted to buy some grow rings – terra cotta pots without a bottom. They are for protecting seedlings and plants from snails and other ugly buglies. They are a little on the steep side (although made by a St. Paul potter). We’ll save up for a couple next year.

Egg|Plant stocks Seed Savers heirloom seeds.

Egg|Plant’s owners are all about organic gardening so their small shop has a bevy of organic organic potting mixes, compost and composted manure, vermiculite, peat moss, and coir, and composting supplies including the Worm Factory worm composter.

Egg/|Plant has organic and conventional chicken feeds, and other supplies for raising chicks and urban chicken-keeping. As an addition to supplies for growing your own food, they carry canning and preserving supplies as well as D.I.Y fresh cheese kits and sprouters.

They are looking for local products, recycled and sustainably produced products in all areas. If you are a crafts person or artisan with pieces that fit into their product mix, please contact Egg|Plant Farm Supply to discuss sales of your products in their store.

If you are an urban farmer, you might want to check out City Back Yard Farming. It’s an urban CSA and U-Pick farm on Victoria Street in St. Paul.

I love my town! St. Paul Rocks and Gardens!

Posted in microenterprise, Saint Paul | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Go Local: St. Paul, MN Grand Avenue

Posted by deborahmclaren on May 13, 2010

Grumpy Boy

Local travel takes you outside of the bubble that you can often find yourself in as a traveler. Instead of traveling from place to place and only really scratching the surface, local travel helps you to gain more of an understanding of a place, it’s culture, it’s environment, it’s economy and it’s people. When I travel I like seeking out locally-owned businesses – getting away from the ever-present corporate chains that you can barely avoid these days.  I’m going to start blogging more about my home town cause it rocks!

I love my town!  Saint Paul, Minneota is noted for its neighborhoods. The city has been called “seventeen small towns with one mayor, “ owing to the neighborhood-based life of much of the city. It’s fairly diverse, with lots of  Southeast Asian (Hmong, Cambodian, Vietnamese, Filippino), Indian, Somalian, Eritrean and Ethopian new immigrants – mixed in with lots of Scandinavian, German, and Mexican immigrants that have been here for a hundred years or so. And of course – this is the original homeland of the Dakota Medwaketon (Sioux/Lakota).

Grand Avenue, St. Paul

This afternoon my son, Anil and I stopped on Grand Avenue  just east of Snelling to visit Shish Meditteranean Restaurant for a treat.  He was in a very fussy, grumpy mood and needed food immediately!  It was our first time to visit Shish. We ordered a chicken gyro plate that included to-die-for-hummus (garlicky and smooth, with lots of paprika), fresh pita bread and a generous salad. Shish uses local foods whenever possible. They also make delightful treats – your basic baklava but lots of tempting chocolate desserts and M&M cookies.

Yummies at Shish

I noticed at least a dozen salads on the menu – great to know about here in the Northland where salads have tended to be very limited (except summer time) until recently where winter greenhouses and tunnel gardening are making headway). Shish was voted Best Restaurant by readers of the City Pages (the Twin Cities free weekly entertainment news).

Sam at Shish!

The staff person, Sam, tried to tempt Anil out of his mood with offers of cookies but he wouldn’t budge. He was enjoying his little gloomy spell to the fullest.  However, he finally couldn’t resist and had to try the chicken. It’s not-hot, but “grill” spicy and so tender it falls off your fork! And half the plate was piled with it.

It was an emergency stop but made us feel so much better that we decided to walk around and peek into some of the nearby stores. This part of town, near Macalester College, is full of little locally-owned stores and cafes. There’s an army surplus type shop, Cat-Man-Do restaurant, Tea Garden, the very eclectic Coffee News Cafe, Khyber Pass (my husband’s favorite), the Italian Pie Shoppe & Winery, Pad Thai Grand Cafe, Dunn Brothers Coffee, a couple of spas (I like New Beginnings), gift shops, a cooperatively owned Ace hardware store and Wet Paint – an independently owned art supply store (since the early 1970s I’ve heard). About two blocks away is Coastal Seafood, the Twin Cities best fish market.  We always enjoy popping into the hardware store to browse through the seasonal stuff.  It’s May so we scoped out the latest model bar-b-q grills, wooden Adirondack chairs, gardening supplies and seeds. Our visit reminded me to take my torn window screens in for repair before the bugs arrive in full force.

Since this area is surrounded by small colleges most of the cafes provide wifi, won’t rush you, and have excellent food and fair prices. The area is a mix of college students, local residents, and adventurous diners.

I love my town! If you’re from the surrounding area, visiting, or just driving through, Grand Avenue is not far from I-94 (south at Snelling exit) and is a nice place to visit. It’s accessible by bus routes and is easy to bike to.  It’s an excellent place to get over the grumpies.

Posted in Buy-local, food and wine, Minnesota, Saint Paul, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Snow… Trippin on Snow!

Posted by deborahmclaren on February 11, 2010

Been a bit snowed under lately. Cold winter. The crows are still here. Just saw an eagle on Friday. A giant eagle just a a few blocks from my house… on a busy street. Up about 10 blocks from the Mississippi River. S/he was flying around the neighborhood for about five hours. Are they migrating up the Mississippi this early this year? Can’t get any more local to see the sites!

Posted in wildlife | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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