StPaulSpot presents a weekend round-up of events for all ages and interests. For more information on any of these featured events, make sure to click on the provided links.
On Friday, get outdoors with “I Can Fish – Fishing Friday’s”from 3 to 5 p.m. at Snelling Lake’s fishing pier. Minnesota residents don’t need a fishing license, and equipment, bait and instruction will be provided. Afterwards enjoy “Live Jazz at the Lex” from 6:30 to 10:30 at the Lexington. This week features Maurice Jaycox, who can be previewed here. Additional live music is taking place at the Artists’ Quarter starting at 9 p.m., where the talented Brandon Wozniak, Adam Linz and Eric Kamau Gravatt will be performing.
Also Friday night, one of the newest art galleries in town, located on Vandalia street just north of University Avenue , aptly called The Bindery, after the bindery housed on the main floor for decades, is hosting an opening reception. Nyeema Morgan’s – The Dubious Sum of Vaguely Discernable Parts,begins at 7p.m. and promises to be a great place to converse about the art and arts. An artist talk will be at 2:00pm on Saturday.
On Saturday, get in some early afternoon exercise and Mississippi River sight-seeing with “Bike with a Ranger” taking place from 10 to 1 p.m. National Park Service Rangers will lead the 9 mile bike ride that starts and ends at Harriet Island. Make sure to sign up in advance, and if you don’t have your own bike (or helmet) there are loaners available. If you’d like to keep exploring St. Paul, check out the “Twin Town Tacky Tour”($24) beginning at 2:30 p.m. at the Wabasha Street Caves. Join the Gunderson’s, Gloria, Gordy, Glen or Gladys on a journey to the tackiest places in St. Paul and Minneapolis. This two-hour motor coach tour takes you to sites that no other tour of the Twin Cities would dare to venture, including the spot where shopping bags with handles were invented! Recharge from the busy day with the “St. George Greek Festival” taking place from 11 to 8 p.m., featuring a wide array of ethnic pastries and dishes, The Greek Dancers of Minnesota, Vocalist Dino Adamidis and children’s activities including face painting, games and an inflatable bouncy moon walk.
On Sunday, enjoy some local history with the World War II Walking Tour from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Fort Snelling State Park. Each tour will take a two-mile loop to the Upper Post, where many World War II-era buildings still stand. It will begin outside the historic site’s Visitor Center. Led by members of the Friends of the Upper Post preservation organization, tour groups will walk to the Upper Post to see the old barracks, headquarters and other structures that were a part of the largest military base in Minnesota.
NOTE: The writer,a guest blogger for St. Paul SPOT is Harry Kent , currently a senior at Macalester College, and a student employee at Macalester’s Civic Engagement Center. Prior to that time, he was a community outreach coordinator and eventually, serving a brief stint as Office Manager of the University Avenue Business Association.
This week’s Macalester Lunch on the Avenue installment offered more than just an opportunity to sample some of the finest Chinese cuisine in the Twin Cities. Much like owner Patrick Chen’s intricate presentation, this lunch was about the passion expressed in the voices of the Avenue our group heard.
Macalester’s Civic Engagement Center invited top staff members from the Asian Economic Development Association (AEDA), director of community engagement Nancy Pomplun and executive-director Va-Megn Thoj, to offer some insight on the problems from LRT construction affecting the businesses along the avenue. While their descriptions centered on the experiences of Asian businesses, the difficulties could certainly be attributed to the rest of the University Avenue businesses that have endured the brunt of the construction in front of their buildings.
Va-Megn and Nancy discussed many issues, whether the vibrations affecting electrical equipment, including medical screening machines costing thousands of dollars in lost appointments to confusion with business signage for those who do not read English well.
However, while AEDA is a small organization, they have worked hard to meet the needs of these businesses during tough times using all the ingenuity and resources they can muster. Part of this includes their holistic approach to account for the difficulties businesses have faced. AEDA has collected not just quantitative data in terms of the financial setbacks the construction has caused businesses, but qualitative as well.
Interns have visited businesses and recorded owners’ testimonies of the personal toll from the stress related to LRT construction. One business owner has been afflicted with heart complications caused by the strain of trying to keep their business going. Other businesses have had to sell off personal goods to ensure their business survives construction in hopes of thriving once the Green Line begins running.
AEDA is collecting all of this information to petition the Federal Transit Authority to include these personal stories as evidence to include spiritual aspects of human impact in their environmental impact assessments. Our group was captivated by the level of detail and effort AEDA is willing to make to capture the full picture of this transitional phase, and how the impact on businesses is much deeper than just lost customers and dollars. I never would’ve claimed that lives are on the line during the construction of the light rail, but, livelihoods certainly are.
That is why the words of manager Patrick Chen’s interpretation of Szechuan cuisine rang with even more clarity and understanding. Chen described his philosophy on the specific use of spice and spiciness for his dishes to our group. For example, the chilies he includes in the Chung King Chili Shrimp don’t overwhelm the palette as much as delicately cover the tongue with a comfortable heat, the flavor standing over the intensity. Chen elaborated on the difference between eastern and western views of spiciness, with the west more likely to overpower, and, Szechuan flavors specifically tasting with more subtlety.
Chen’s vision echoed the ideal image of the east end of University Avenue, recently branded Little Mekong by AEDA. The area pays tribute to the merchants who would come to the river to create a vibrant community through the selling of their goods. The work and passion of Patrick Chen honors that same spirit and it shows in the food he expertly crafts, and, the people who work hard to protect the dreams of these craftsmen.
For more information on AEDA and the Little Mekong initiative, visit littlemekong.com or aeda-mn.org
First Wednesday of the month. If you live in St.Paul, or within driving distance, remember that date.
That’s the night of Sample Night Live. If you don’t know the drill, Sample Night Live, held in the History Theater in downtown St.Paul, is a varied assembly of acts from around the Twin Cities who are given about 10 minutes on stage to try to persuade you to come out to see them again, sign up for their e-mail lists, and tell your friends about them. Last night’s performers were incredibly persuasive. The acts included eclectic sets of music, ranging from country to Beatles to jazz and indie Rock, and comedy acts ranging from improv, to classic stand up to…..well, not such classic stand up, and on a serious note, a national award-winning slam poetry duo.
An MC introduces the events, hands out prizes, and keeps the audience entertained during brief set changes. And a house band, The Smarts, maintain a festive continuity from the time you scramble around for a seat to after the house lights are turned back on and you just don’t want to walk away from the magic.
Not persuaded yet to make it out to Sample Night Live? Here’s another incentive. If you’re a St. Paul Public Library card holder, it’s free.
Every month the audience votes on favorites, who will convene for a show in December. Last night, there was a tie between the music act Calamity and the Owl, (playing at Wild Tymes in downtown St Paul on August 19) and comedian Linda Aarons( who will be at the Joke Joint from August 18th – 20th ).
Here’s our own little sample of Sample Night Live, captured on Youtube.
Francisco, Pedro and Cesar are 13-year old friends who met in St Paul. (Pedro and Cesar are cousins) They were aboard the Anson Northrup during the Great River Passage Unveiling last Thursday. They are from Mexico; they attend middle school at Washington and Battle Creek, and have access to the internet at Francisco’s. They like to bicycle! Photos include a Google map showing approximately where the boat turned around, a rare river’s view of the industry (scrap metal recycling, gravel, and coal) which uses the 17 mile Great River Passage to transport goods and services, the train trestle that chatty Captain Bob navigated the long, large Northrup skillfully around, the sun setting on the gorgeous bluff above Pig’s Eye Lake and other St Paulites who enjoyed the free 90-minute tour.
Last place she played in St Paul: I’d like to say I went to Grand Old Days.
I do go to Mississippi Market. The strawberries are good there right now.
I’ve been waiting (and waiting) for spring to make an appearance, to try out one of the hikes that a friend told me about 50 degrees and 3 1/2 feet of snow ago. Walk on the Wild Side Thursday Night Hikers, refers to itself as “an aggregation of hiking enthusiasts from the Minnesota Rovers, the North Star Ski Touring Club, the Sierra Club, and others” They convene for “hiking, conversation and conviviality.” The hikes take place throughout the Twin Cities greater metro area. But their website offers a comprehensive list of St. Paul hikes under the category of “Architectural Hikes, House Information and Histories.”
Armed, as always, with a copy and paste screen shot of the hike I intended to take, “West Side St. Paul Architectural Hike” on my iPhone, I traveled a short distance to the upper West Side bluffs, where the hike started at the intersection of Prospect and Hall Street. I had every intention of photographing every house along the tour. But within a block, a query from a homeowner wondering why I was camera stalking his property, and the social wrong headedness of carrying on a conversation about an elderly parent in hospice care while fiddling with camera settings – I abandoned my ambition and gave in to the pleasure of a friend’s company, the surreal green of spring, boulevard plantings, and eclectic architecture.
Hope you enjoy the photographic ramble, then check out the dozens of other suggested architectural hikes, find a hiking partner or a moment of solitude and have a chance to revel in the relief of spring.
Looking at the hundreds of events in St. Paul this week, I combed through the many offerings to highlight some
And don’t forget….Save a tree – Reduce clutter -download St. Paul Spot (iTunes & Android)
READING:Nina Revoyr Wingshooters
Date: Monday, April 04
Time: 07:00 PM – 08:00 PM
Location: Micawbers books
Address: 2238 Carter Ave,
Revoyr will read from her novel, set in 1970’s Wisconsin, that is getting rave reviews from readers and book sellers alike.
Before or after the reading at Micawbers, last chance to experience a wine supper at Highland Grill. Here’s the information:
EVENT: Monday Night Wine Suppers
Date: Monday, April 04
Time: 05:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Location: Highland Grill
Address: 771 Cleveland Avenue south,
St.Paul, MN – 55116
Only one left! For only $15.95 per person, you get a two course meal with two carefully paired wines from yours truly and food from the amazing Joan Ida. We started this as an experiment, and I think it has been a tremendous success. If you have enjoyed the Monday Supper and want it to continue please email David Burley, President of the Blue Plate Restaurant Company, and ask that they continue!
Monday April 4th
Creamy cauliflower soup with bacon
(everything is better with bacon)
Paired with Naia Rueda from Spain
I can’t wait to try this pairing
Slow roasted lemon-garlic chicken with
mushrooms and yukon gold potatoes
Paired with Elsa Bonarda from Argentina
Never heard of Bonarda? Come taste something new!
First come first served, no reservations
*Menu and wine pairings subject to change based on availability and other factors beyond our control, though I don’t forsee any issues. Just gotta say it in case, as I’m sure you understand.
MUSIC: Beasley\’s Big Band
Date: Tuesday, April 05
Time: 08:00 PM
Location: O’Gara’s Bar & Grill
Address: 164 Snelling Ave. North,
St. Paul, MN – 55104
MUSIC : The Rose Ensemble Noon concert
Date: Wednesday, April 06
Time: 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM
Location: St Paul Public Library
Address: 90 West 4th Street,
St. Paul, Minnesota – 55102
The Rose Ensemble Noon Concert
Wednesday, April 6, Noon
Central Library, Magazine Room,
90 West Fourth Street, Saint Paul
The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library presents the annual noon concert with The Rose Ensemble, the Twin Cities’ premier early music vocal group. The Rose Ensemble reawakens the ancient through imaginative performances of vocal music, connecting each individual to past worlds with stories of spirituality and humanity. Don’t miss this annual event which provides the opportunity to hear an award-winning music ensemble in the beautiful setting of the historic Central Library.
This program is free and open to the public. Seating is limited. For more information, please call The Friends at 651-222-3242. For more information on The Rose Ensemble, please visit http://www.roseensemble.org
Premier of Smart House, Livable Community: The Movie
Date: Thursday, April 07
Time: 06:00 PM – 08:00 PM
Location: Goldstein Museum of Design
Address: 1985 Buford Avenue,
St Paul, Minnesota – 55108
Premier of Smart House, Livable Community: The Movie
April 7, 6-8 PM, 33 McNeal
Join us for the premier screening of “Smart House, Livable Community” a tpt production based on our current exhibition, Smart House, Livable Community, Your Future.
There will be a question and answer conversation and a reception following the screening. The exhibition will be open and visitors will be able to try out the materials profiled in the program. Q&A panelists include:
Helen Q. Kivnick, professor of social work, founding executive director, CitySongs
Jodi Riha, exhibition co-curator, masters student in Housing Studies, College of Design
Hlee Lee, program producer, tpt
Facilitator: Brad Hokanson, associate dean for research and outreach, College of Design
Smart House Workshop
Date: Friday, April 08
Time: 08:00 PM
Location: The Palace Stage at Wild Tymes
Address: 33 West 7th Place,
St Paul, MN – 55102
JAPANESE SPACE PROGRAM
LEX DEUX MAGOTS
THE OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE FIELD OF EXCELLENCE
AARON & THE SEA
Citywide Spring Clean- up
Date: Saturday, April 09
Time: 08:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Citywide Spring Cleanup
Date: Saturday, April 9, 2011
Time: 8:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Kickoff locations: Como Park Lakeside Pavilion, Phalen Park Pavilion
Volunteers needed: 1,000+
Description: The Citywide Spring Cleanup is a large-scale, annual litter cleanup held throughout the City of Saint Paul. The event is part of a year-round City of Saint Paul program called Come Clean, that works in cooperation with local District Councils and engaged community members to help keep Saint Paul clean. Each spring, approximately 1,000 community volunteers unite to remove tons of trash from Saint Paul’s parks, natural areas, recreation centers, and neighborhoods. This important event helps ensure the beauty, safety and environmental health of our City. Volunteers pick up their supplies at one of two Kickoff Celebrations or at one of several satellite locations across the city, then go to the park, natural area, or neighborhood of their choice to pick up trash. For more information about the new Come Clean program, click here.
Registration: Click here to register now
Saturday : Later in the day
PRE-SHOW SEMINAR: Mean Girls
Date: Saturday, April 09
Time: 03:00 PM – 05:30 PM
Location: Lowry Lab Theatre
Address: 350 St. Peter St.,
St Paul, Minnesota – 55101
A seminar featuring: �Judi Nelson-Hall, an advocate from The Sojourner Project, a safe shelter for women and children providing advocacy and education for those victimized by domestic violence, presents “The Legal Issues of Battered Women Defendants in Homicide Cases.”
Sylvia Galvan-Kupke, Twin Cities psychologist and Co-Founder of Su Familia Multicultural Counseling, presents “Crimes Girls Commit: why they are on the rise.”
Lori Stee, Program Director for Rebuild Resources, a non-profit social enterprise helping recovering men and women rebuild their lives, speaks on “Women and Violence in Movies and Television.”
Composer Anne Lorentzen from Oslo, Norway, speaks on “Women and Violence in Art and Performance,” and performs selections from her musical play, Alias Belle Gunness � a serial killer from Selbu. For more information about her play, visit http://www.bellegunness.no/engelsk.html
Stay for a picnic supper in the atrium accompanied by live jazz entertainment duo Connie & Herb. Close the evening with a performance of Murderess by Anne Bertram.
3:00-5:30pm: Mean Girls & Dangerous Women
5:30-7:00pm: Picnic Supper
Seminar & Supper: $25
Seminar & Supper + Murderess: $35