St Paul events on our radar- July 23-27

Last week’s River Revue voyage. More sailings on August 1 and 15.



Tonight’s big ticket is for Fringe-For-All #2– an exposure to dozens of Fringe shows for 3 minutes each. Head down to Harriet Island and board the Centennial Showboat –  2012 Fringe Festival for $4 gets you in the door.

Monday is typically the quietest evening of the week in St. Paul, which may be why there are several Trivia events in the bars around town.  Amsterdam Bar and Hall hosts a weeklyMonday night Trivia with Martin and Tom at 6:00. Head down the hill to Lowertown and Barrio’s version of Trivia with Tiffany.  Expect bar specials and other enticements. Not in a downtown mood? Head up the hill to Grand Avenue and Green Mill for a Trivia Mafia with Shogan, a weekly showdown at 9:00.

Tuesday- Visit the Governor’s residence today – and several other days throughout the summer in celebration of the 100th of the house. Reservations required.  Next opportunity August 7.

Tuesday sends us to the History center for both day and evening events.  Check out “The Way We Were: A GCA Flower Show” today and tomorrow for gawking at what the experts can accomplish with flowers.   Hang around for a what has become one of the most popular St Paul evening summer events – 9 Nights of Music. This week should be great whether you want to practice or show off your swing dance skills, or just bring a picnic and watch the action from one of the great vistas of the city.

If you’ve been meaning to go to Landmark Center’s music in the cafe series, this Wednesday’s performance by Martin Devaney is your last chance! At noon.

Wednesday evening is your opportunity to explore the new bookstore – SubText – a Bookstore,  that is occupying the space below Nina’s on Western and Selby Avenues.  One of Minnesota’s greatest contemporary authors, Charles Baxter, will be reading from his fiction at 7:00. Confession: the patio at Moscow on the Hill has become a favorite hangout.  While you are in neighborhood, check out this wonderful secluded space with a daily summertime chilled beet soup special and some lethal home infused vodka cocktails.

Stay tuned for more special St. Paul event notes as the week evolves.


Winter at the Barrio Tequila Bar

I adore this part of winter; the Beginning. The contrast of green to white with the first snow, temps cold but not yet bone-shatteringly so, storefronts festooned in swags, wreaths, globes and garland, luring you with their candy coated promises. In this moment even the mundane of my closet becomes appealing. Last year’s winter clothes a novelty now hang from my still-summer body in good-humored accommodation. This very early winter time begs that I leave the confines of my home to find my friends and follow enticement. “Eat, Drink & be Merry” has never had more meaning than in December. Find a place for me to sit beside an expansive window and watch the world from inside.

Recently I spent an evening at Barrio Tequila Bar whose street side facade vaunts a wall of glass overlooking Mears Park in lowertown St Paul. Such decadence taken for granted, to be surrounded by this energy-infused warmth with nothing more than a simple pane of glass shielding me from the algidity. It’s here friends and I sip bar concoctions with meaningless names; “The Trinity”, “Macho Camacho” and “Enter The Dragon”, each softening the edges of our day with their velvety smoothness. My attention vacillates between the alcohol steeped chatter at my table and the winter life outdoors. Pulsing gusts of snow race across the street heedless of cars, men and women walk past, strides confident in their Sorrel-clad feet. Food arrives at our table, mini-Mexican works of art; Mahi Mahi Taco, Red Snapper Ceveche, Amish Chicken Quesadilla and a Trio of Salsas. Nestled at the center of the Trio lies the Habanero salsa, co-dependent lover of my tequila, task master to my taste buds; nothing brings me to present like my incendiary compadre, daring me, swearing no harm while bringing tears to my eyes.

And so the evening proceeds, friends wrapped together in the raucousness of the Barrio, a crazy confluence of tequila and capsaicin sharpening the contrast of what awaits outdoors. I know the freshness of December will pass, eventually my clothes will conspire to strangulate me and I will curse each and every snowflake that falls from the sky. But for now I will sit toasty warm indoors and enjoy the newness of my winter relationship.