Sample Night Live

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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.

Linda Aarons

 

Calmity & the Owl

 

 


Patio Nights – past, present, and future

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The Minnesota Museum of American Art has brought back their popular musical event, Patio Nights for three nights this summer.  If you are a music lover, history nerd, St. Paul enthusiast, foodie, community explorer, want to support the MMAA make their comeback or are just looking for an excuse to get out of the house next Friday night, then make sure you are there!

You can expect beyond amazing meals from the truck of Café 128.  I had the ginger-soy sirloin skewers washed down with handmade ginger basil lemonade, both were perfection and were a great way to start the night.

When I walked into the City House space , a former municipal grain elevator, I confess I had a history nerd moment and proceeded to read almost every sign in the place.  I literally jumped up and down at the sight of a Humphrey Man Lift.  The patio offers sights of this working river (I talked to the crew of the “Betty Sue” who were maneuvering a loaded barge) and the cool breeze that rolls right across the seating area is so refreshing.  Thanks to the city of St. Paul for renovating this spot and making a great place for the community to come together in.

The music hosted by the MMAA was top notch, Communists Daughter played the first night and offered up their classic indie music.  Everyone was tapping their toes and grooving to their all pleasing style.  Matthew Inkala & the Hostages  had a host of people up and dancing. Their folk style is upbeat and great for all ages.  Up next Friday is Mr. Rowles and Band  who state they like to rock, but not in your face.  They have a bit of funk and jazz mixed in their tunes and are sure to please all in family.

Lastly when the night and sun are winding down you can wander down the path to Upper Landing Park to visit Jim Campbell’s light sculpture, Scattered Light.  The MMAA helped bring this work to St. Paul for the Northern Spark festival and it is truly a treat to be let inside and experience the 1,600 LED light bulbs moving about.  Don’t forget to stand and view it from afar so you can experience figures walking across the pixilated “screen.”  If you take some unique pictures with the sculpture, make sure to share them on the MMAA’s Facebook page!

If you live in the neighborhood, walk on down or if you drove to the city you can find Patio Nights at City House just off Shepard Road and Chestnut Street, on the path behind the Caribou Coffee. Check out the map for more details.  If a short walk along the river suits you, there’s parking underneath the High Bridge, accessed via Randolph Avenue off Shepherd Blvd.


St Paul Peeps

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.


St Paul peeps

Name:  Nicole

In St. Paul:   I live in Minneapolis, but I’ve worked at the Nook for five years.  First I worked at Shamrock’s

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.


Got Drugs? The national day that didn’t happen here.

Today is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.

Ever heard of it?

Unfortunately, the closest place to the 55101  zipcode   participating in the effort is in Brooklyn Center.  If you didn’t bother to follow the hyper link, the Take Back event is an effort to dispose of expired, unused and unwanted medications that may be lingering in your medicine cabinet.

From the press release  – ” Last September  Americans turned in 242,000 pounds,  of prescription drugs at 4,100 sites” This year, at the latest count, 5,200 centers are participating.

Maybe you are familiar with the research  of the Environmental Working Group.     The most shocking NPR interview I ever heard (well…almost) was a talk  with their founder,  who presented  research about 232 chemical substances found in fetal blood samples.  Albuterol, Tylenol, and a host of other pharmaceuticals were among the list of toxins found.

It’s difficult to responsibly dispose of the accumulated “stuff” around the house.  Flushing it down the toilet, and throwing it in the trash, isn’t the best option.

Next time a Take Back event happens, we hope to report a participating location  in St. Paul.


Dining Out For Life – access St. Paul on your mobile phone

On  Thursday, April 28, dozens of St Paul  restaurants  are participating in the Dine Out for Life event.  On that day, a portion of the proceeds of your lunch or dinner bill is donated to The Aliveness Project, a local nonprofit organization that provides on-site meals, food shelf & other supportive services for individuals living with HIV/AIDS and their families.

We’re listing the restaurants here so our St Paul Spot app users can have an easy link to them on their smart phones next Thursday when they are out and about, and want to do a little something extra to make their meal special.

St. Paul / All Cuisines / Any Meal

B = Breakfast – L = Lunch – D = Dinner – All = B,L,D

128 CAFE (Platinum Level – 35%)
View Details
Tel: 651-645-4128 D
Donation: 35%
………………
CHRISTOS UNION DEPOT PLACE (Platinum Level – 35%)
View Details
Tel: 651-224-6000 D
Donation: 35%
………………
HIGHLAND CAFE & BAKERY (Platinum Level – 35%)
View Details
Tel: 651-698-3400 D
Donation: 35%
………………
KHYBER PASS CAFE (Platinum Level – 35%)
View Details
Tel: 651-690-0505 L,D
Donation: 35%
………………
NGON VIETNAMESE BISTRO (Platinum Level – 35%)
View Details
Tel: 651-222-3301 D
Donation: 35%
………………
PIZZA LUCE – ST. PAUL Dine-In Only (Platinum Level – 35%)
View Details
Tel: 651-288-0186 L,D
Donation: 35%
………………
SAWATDEE ST. PAUL (Platinum Level – 35%)
View Details
Tel: 651-528-7106 D
Donation: 35%
………………
SEÑOR WONG (Platinum Level – 35%)
View Details
Tel: 651-224-2019
Reserve Online Now
D
Donation: 35%
………………
SUPATRA’S THAI CUISINE (Platinum Level – 35%)
View Details
Tel: 651-222-5859 D
Donation: 35%
………………
Carmelo’s Ristorante (Gold Level – 30%)
View Details
Tel: 651-699-2448 L,D
Donation: 30%
………………
Everest on Grand (Gold Level – 25%)
View Details
Tel: 651-696-1666 L
Donation: 25%
………………
Great Waters Brewing Company (Gold Level – 25%)
View Details
Tel: 651-224-2739 L,D
Donation: 25%
………………
St. Clair Broiler (Gold Level – 25%)
View Details
Tel: 651-698-7055 L,D
Donation: 25%
………………
Boca Chica Restaurant (Silver Level – 20%)
View Details
Tel: 651-222-8499
Reserve Online Now
L,D
Donation: 20%
………………
FACES Mears Park (Silver Level – 20%)
View Details
Tel: 651-209-7776
Reserve Online Now
L,D
Donation: 20%
………………
Glockenspiel (Silver Level – 20%)
View Details
Tel: 651-292-9421 L,D
Donation: 20%
………………
Trattoria da Vinci (Silver Level – 20%)
View Details
Tel: 651-222-4050
Reserve Online Now
D
Donation: 20%
………………
Black Dog Cafe (Bronze Level – 15%)
View Details
Tel: 651-228-9274 B,L,D
Donation: 15%
………………
Bulldog Lowertown (Bronze Level – 15%)
View Details
Tel: 651-221-0750 D
Donation: 15%
………………
Chris & Rob’s Chicago Taste Authority (Bronze Level – 15%)
View Details
Tel: 651-228-9347 D
Donation: 15%
………………
Muffuletta Cafe (Bronze Level 15%)
View Details
Tel: 651-644-9116
Reserve Online Now
L,D
Donation: 15%
………………
Tanpopo Noodle Shop (Bronze Level – 17%)
View Details
Tel: 651-209-6527 D
Donation: 17%
………………
W.A. Frost (Bronze Level – 15%)
View Details
Tel: 651-224-5715
Reserve Online Now
L
Donation: 15%
………………

Some St Paul Spots to check out this week

Monday, April 18 08:00pm MUSIC: McNALLY SMITH COLLEGE OF MUSIC SHOW!!!!   @  Minnesota Music Cafe 
Tuesday, April 19 All Day Event Public Eco-Art   @  Macalester College 
07:00pm Azar Nafisi – The Republic of the Imagination   @  St Catherine University 
Wednesday, April 20 07:00pm – 09:30pm At the Movies with Colin Covert   @  Macalester College 
07:00pm – 08:30pm LECTURE;Chris Hedges   @  Macalester College 
Thursday, April 21 07:30pm THEATRE: I Wish You Love   @  Penumbra Theater 
07:30pm Emerging Artists –   @  McNally Smith Auditorium 
Friday, April 22 07:30pm – 11:59pm MUSIC: DEMO weekly showcase   @  St. Paul Eagles Club 
08:00pm MUSIC: The AMAZING LEGENDARY WILLIE MURPHY BAND   @  Minnesota Music Cafe 
Saturday, April 23 07:00pm TC Terrors vs. Race City Rebels (Indianapolis, IN)   @  St Paul Armory 
08:00pm Paranormal Pajama Party   @  The Historic Mounds Theatre 
Sunday, April 24 08:00pm – 11:00pm MUSIC: Second Harvest Zydeco Benefit   @  Half Time Rec

Kickstarter – projects looking for a little help in St. Paul

Do you know about Kickstarter?  It’s a creative micro-finance  program for all kinds of projects.

I came across  this yesterday while snooping around for fun things to do in Santa Fe, New Mexico. With the  St. Paul Sidewalk Poetry contest coming to a conclusion on April 17, poetry has been on my mind, and this concept for a road side attraction twitched my imagination.  Can you see it at the top of Ramsey Hill? While revving in neutral at a 30 degree incline  while in line at the stop sign?

Kickstarter offers people a place to make a plea for financing their projects, and encourages very creative attempts at persuading funders.   Videos are recommended.  Premiums for donating are offered for  most pledges – the magnitude of reward in geometric proportions to the size of the pledge.   Here are some examples.

You get the drift. The website makes for an interesting hour or more of reading, and is a great editorial on the creative juices flowing in this country.

An interesting “kicker” is that if the project does not reach its full funding needs,  your pledge to the project is never realized. So you can give a project a moral boost, while waiting for it to reach  its goal. When it reaches the funding goal, the funds you have committed are withdrawn.

Here are the projects vying for funding in St. Paul this week.   After reading the descriptions and watching the videos, I will definitely be making a pledge to help out.  It provides a more immediate  pleasure to help out a struggling artist with a face and a personal message, or even an established artist making a creative plea,  than to be one of thousands of donors to a large institution.   $50 just seems to stretch a lot further with Kickstarter.


St. Paul this week: some things you might have overlooked

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)

Monday:

READING:Nina Revoyr Wingshooters

Date: Monday, April 04

Time: 07:00 PM – 08:00 PM

Location: Micawbers books

Address: 2238 Carter Ave,

St Paul, Minnesota

Phone: 651.646.5506

Event Description:

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

Phone: 651-690-1173

Website: http://www.highlandgrill.com

Event Description:

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.

Tuesday:

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

Phone: 651-644-3333

Website: http://www.ogaras.com



Wednesday:

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

Phone: 651-266-7000

Website: http://www.stpaul.lib.mn.us/

Event Description:

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

Thursday:

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

Phone: 612-624-7801

Website: goldstein.design.umn.edu/exhibitions/

Event Description:

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

Lois Cutler, PhD, research associate, Division of Health Policy & Management, School of Public Health, and director of Graduate Studies, gerontology minor

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

Friday:

MUSIC:

Date: Friday, April 08

Time: 08:00 PM

Location: The Palace Stage at Wild Tymes

Address: 33 West 7th Place,

St Paul, MN – 55102

Phone: 651-224-8181

Website: http://www.wildtymes.com

Event Description:

VIRTUAL CH

JAPANESE SPACE PROGRAM

LEX DEUX MAGOTS

THE GOONDAS

THE OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE FIELD OF EXCELLENCE

AARON & THE SEA

Saturday:

Daytime:

Citywide Spring Clean- up

Date: Saturday, April 09

Time: 08:30 AM – 11:00 AM

Location:

Address:

Event Description:

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

Phone: 651-330-2404

Website: http://www.gonzotheatre.org

Event Description:

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.

Schedule:

3:00-5:30pm: Mean Girls & Dangerous Women

5:30-7:00pm: Picnic Supper

7:30pm: Murderess

Cost:

Seminar & Supper: $25

Seminar & Supper + Murderess: $35




The Mobile app for city Sidewalks

I learned from reading the NOAA website, that February is typically a dry period in Minnesota.  The snowstorm from last weekend appears to be the largest snowfall ever recorded in February.   March,  on the other hand, is typically the snowiest  month.  So despite the fact that daylight savings time is only  a couple weeks away, don’t trade your snow shovels in for gardening tools just yet.

Last year, a friend of mine was running up the steps to the St. Paul Public library, and suddenly found herself lying on her back and forgetting where she was.  The concussion that followed her sidewalk spill also robbed her of her sense of smell. Another friend lost her footing when she was out walking her dog. Nine months later, the broken bones in her foot are finally healing.

Snow shoveling is a civic duty.  30 + years ago, as a struggling poet living in an upstairs duplex in the Lexington -Hamline neighborhood, I used to run a 3 mile circuit down Summit Avenue during all four seasons.  I remember my indignation at the Summit Avenue homeowners who refused to shovel their sidewalks, and finally firing off a letter to the St. Paul paper, which they published, admonishing these wealthy (relatively!) homeowners for shirking their responsibilities.

Walking, I should saying trudging, or slipping, through the snow, when not dangerous, just generally detracts from the quality of  urban life.   Being involved in the mobile app business,  I would  love to create an app that chronicles the state of city sidewalks.  It could be crowd sourced; just enter the state of the sidewalks on your street into a database.  It would help the city find and tag the shoveling shirkers and help walkers plan their daily routes.

This video, found on Twin Cities Streets for the People,  of a citizen who started a small brigade for clearing her neighborhood streets,   makes me believe that with   community (and a smart phone) anything is possible.