Off the Beaten Path
Kate Iverson: you, too, can succeed in looking like a local. Get a glimpse into Saint Paul neighborhood restaurants and stores, hidden gems, and local music. Take the Saint Paul brunch/pizza/insert-your-vice-here tour or follow your favorite local band on [local] tour.
Holiday Lights in the Park
Cruisin’ Lake Phalen in the summer might be memorable, but each holiday season the East Side hot spot transforms into a glorious winter wonderland with all the trimmings. The best part? You don’t even have to get out of your warm car to experience the festive cheer! This driving tour takes you around the lake through over 50 colorful twinkling sets, light sculptures, and animated displays.
5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Nightly (including holidays). $10 per vehicle. Runs through January 1st.
Phalen Park, 1615 Phalen Drive, St. Paul
More info: www.lightsinthepark.org
Rice Park Winter Wonderland
We (sort of) wrote about this a couple weeks ago, but Rice Park’s classic lights display is something everyone must experience at least once. The pretty plaza in the heart of Downtown St. Paul is always charming in and of itself, flanked by beautiful buildings like the St. Paul Hotel, Landmark Center, and Ordway. Each winter it’s decked out with about a bazillion white, twinkling lights and what we expect is the capital city’s biggest Christmas tree. To make matters more festive, Wells Fargo’s Winterskate is adjacent as well.
24 hours a day/7 days a week. Free. Runs through January 1st.
Rice Park, W. 5th St & Market St., Downtown St. Paul
More info: www.riceparkwinterwonderland.com
Holiday Lights on Summit Avenue
Architecture buffs will definitely enjoy a driving (or walking) escapade down St. Paul’s most decadent and historic street. Cruise down Summit and take in various light displays that decorate private residences as well as storied manses like the James J. Hill House and other recognizable landmarks. There’s no rhyme or reason to this “tour” so take your time. Our suggestion? Start as high up as Snelling & Summit and work your way down to the more impressive homes past Dale and into Cathedral Hill. Afterward, stop somewhere cute like Nina’s Cafe over on Selby for a cup of hot chocolate!
After Dark/7 Days a Week + Holidays. Free. Through the Holidays.
Summit Avenue (various locations), St. Paul
More info on Summit Ave HERE.
Although we’ve lucked out with the weather thus far, there’s no denying the holiday season is official upon us! This past Saturday St. Paul rolled out a charming annual tradition with Wells Fargo WinterSkate, a free, outdoor ice rink in the heart of downtown.
With the gorgeous backdrop of the historic Landmark Center, not to mention the twinkling winter wonderland of Rice Park just a hop, skip, and a jump away, WinterSkate is a seasonal tradition that you ought not miss. WinterSkate is a perfect day trip for the family, a delightful date night for that special lady or gent, or perhaps even a solo mission (those fancy ice skatin’ moves need an audience, are we right?). The best part? It’s free (skate rentals are a mere $2 or free when you present your Wells Fargo card), so you can save your moola for more important things, like a nightcap at Pazzaluna, or an appetizer at the St. Paul Hotel’s Bar. Make it a St. Paul experience!
The 2011/2012 rink season is November 26, 2011 through February 5, 2012.
Skate rental is $2 per person. Receive free skate rental for you and your immediate family by showing your Wells Fargo check card or credit card. (Other Wells Fargo accounts, documentation, or correspondence are not accepted for free skate rental.) Figure skates and hockey skates are available from little tyke one-size-fits-all up to adults’ size 13.
*NOTE: Monday – Thursday youth hockey and corporate broomball take place at 5pm. All skaters will be asked to clear the rink at 4:50pm.
2011-2012 WinterSkate Calendar
Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Friday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m
Saturday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
For more info visit www.wellsfargowinterskate.com
St. Paul isn’t normally known to be a haven of vivid acid-trips, but this Saturday local artists give audiences a taste of hue-matic lucid visuals. Peep new work by three emerging artists, Garrett Perry, Jon Reischl and Jeremy Szopinski. From avant-garde, visual oddities from Perry to prismatic mixed-media print work from Reischl to colorful impasto paintings suggesting violence, religious ecstasy, belief and doubt from Szopinski. Welcome to a new St. Paul.
Click HERE for the Facebook event
Saturday Oct 22 / 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. / Open Studio, 558 Vandalia St, St. Paul
Content shared with l’etoile magazine
Real Haunted Tours at the Mounds
Theatrical freak outs are the name of the game at the Mounds Theater this month, where you can explore the nooks and crannies of the 1920s historic property. Noted as one of St. Paul’s most haunted spots by various paranormal experts, The Mounds is rumored to house three resident ghosts, who we’re quite sure will be in prime form just in time for you to tour the spooky space.
Daily through October 30 / $20
Mounds Theater, 1029 Hudson Rd., St. Paul
Shadows and Spirits at the Capitol
As if politics weren’t scary enough, the state capitol opens its doors for an eerie after-dark tour that will not only entertain, but will school you in historical tales of years past. Hear spectral re-tellings from old-timey figures such as a civil war vet, a night watchman, and more. To make things appropriately scare-worthy, the capital will be dimmed to turn of the century lighting conditions. Tours last one hour and tours leave every 30 minutes.
Daily, October 20-29th / $7-$10
Minnesota State Capital, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd, St. Paul
1968 Scary Movie Night
In conjunction with the Minnesota History Center’s new exhibit, 1968, clips from a fleet of era-appropriate scary flicks will be screened, along with colorful commentary from Twin Cities arty smarty, Andy Sturdevant. Play-act along to select scenes from films such as Rosemary’s Baby, George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and more. Prizes, trivia, popcorn, candy, and a cash bar will round things out. Awards for the best Mia Farrow “Rosemary” haircut will be given out as well.
Monday, October 31st / $12 ($10 for MHS members)
Minnesota History Center, 345 W Kellogg Blvd, St. Paul
Victorian Ghost Stories
Get a fancy scare at the James J. Hill House this month, as the historic mansion opens up its decadent parlor for a series of dramatic readings by costumed actors Craig Johnson, Laura Salveson and Ann Daly. Hear classic tales from the likes of Edgar Allen Poe, Edith Wharton, and the Brother’s Grimm, and more, plus a few “true” ghost stories that will likely send a chill up your spine. After the presentation, take a tour of the beautifully maintained Hill House and enjoy a cup of hot apple cider while you’re at it. Not recommended for children under the age of 8.
Oct 16th, 23rd, & 30th / $10 ($8 for MHS members)
James J. Hill House, 240 Summit Ave, St. Paul
There’s a new bike shop in town…Lowertown, that is. Two-wheel it down to the Lowertown Bike shop this Saturday, September 17th from 2pm-9pm for a rockin’ grand opening celebration featuring a slew of great local bands, treats galore, and cycle-tastic savings on new and used biking gear.
About Lowertown Bike Shop:
Lowertown Bike Shop specializes in bringing new life to used bikes. We supply a wide range of quality bicycles and parts to meet any need. LBS carries road, touring, mountain, comfort, cross, cruisers, BMX, and much more. The staff of LBS is dedicated to finding and fitting each bicycle to meet your individual needs.
Located at: 253 East 4th Street, Suite 76 / The Jax Building / Saint Paul / 651-222-0775
Opera in the park? Count us in! The clever cats at Mixed Precipitation have whipped up a “rowdy” reimagining of George Frideric Handel’s 1735 opera, Alcina. Originally based on the epic poem by Ludovico Ariosto, Orlando furioso, which was revamped by Handel into a magical tale of knights and sorcery, Alcina’s Island: A Picnic Operetta takes it ones step further by adapting it to modern American culture.
In Mixed Precipitation’s adaptation, Alcina’s mystical island garden transforms into a truck stop on the American highway. And instead of fickle sorceresses, sisters Alcina and Morgana morph into sassy truck stop waitresses, who use their charms to enchant on-the-road truckers into their web. The score dynamically mixes Handel’s early baroque sounds with outlaw Americana and classic old-time music.
To make matters more tasty, Chef Nick Schneider will be offering a five course sampling menu of locally sourced delectables at each performance.
August 20th – October 1st
All performances at 4pm unless noted; Rain sites are selected in the neighborhood of each site
Voluntary Donations Appreciated at the conclusion of the performance
No one turned away for lack of funds
$10 – $20
St. Paul Dates (click HERE for Minneapolis dates)
SATURDAY August 27th:
Eleanor Graham Community Garden, 1335 Ashland Avenue,
Union Park East, St. Paul
SUNDAY Sept. 4th:
Greater Community Development Corporation Community Garden
533 North Dale Street, Frogtown, St. Paul
FRIDAY Sept. 9th
7:00pm at Dodge Nature Center,
365 Marie Avenue West, West St. Paul
SATURDAY Sept. 10th
Skidmore Community Garden, 1085 4th Street East,
East St. Paul
SATURDAY Sept 17th
Swede Hollow Park, East Beaumont Street and Payne Avenue,
East St. Paul
SUNDAY Sept 25th
CornerCopia Student Organic Farm
West Dudley Avenue and Lindig Street, U of M St. Paul Campus
For more information visit www.mixedprecipitation.org
Okay, granted, we only have one official Fringe Festival venue in our beautiful capital city, but that certainly doesn’t stop it from packing a punch. The Gremlin Theater on University promises blood, sweat, tears, laughs, oddities, and even some, uh, underpants.
At large, the annual Fringe Festival is a fantastical grass roots melee of independent theater types, from consummate professionals to experimental nut jobs and everything in between. While you may not know what you’re in for when choosing your poision (over 160 plays will happen between Minneapolis and St. Paul over the next 10 days!) odds are, it will be memorable. Check out just a few of our favorite picks for Fringe shows at the Gremlin below and visit the Fringe site to find more information.
Change Your Underwear, Change Your Life
Self-help or self-hell? After decades of reading self-help books, Mary Hirsch discovers she’s from Pluto with the wrong color parachute and no cheese for anyone to move. Guaranteed to curdle your chicken soul soup. Mary has years, and years, and years, and years — well you get the picture — of experience in the world of self-help or, as she refers to it, analyterature. In this show she will reveal what she has, and hasn’t, learned along the way as well as her own words of wisdom (using the word “wisdom” very loosely in a way that is NOT legally binding).
Saturday, 8/6 7:00 p.m.; Monday, 8/8 5:30 p.m.; Thursday, 8/11 5:30 p.m. (This performance is ASL interpreted); Saturday, 8/13 8:30 p.m.
A new musical written and composed by Nathan M. Schilz, this World Premiere performance of “Nightmare Man” is directed by film and stage veteran Paul von Stoetzel. “Nightmare Man” is a tale of guilt and heartache as Thomas (Derek Meyer) struggles to come to terms with his past. He meets Jade (Madelyne Riley) in a dream, who tries to help him alleviate his suffering. Featuring Martin Ruben, appearing courtesy of Actor’s Equity Union, this intense musical is based on the original short story by bizarro fiction writer Jeremy C. Shipp.
Friday, 8/5 5:30 p.m.; Monday, 8/8 8:30 p.m.; Friday, 8/12 4:00 p.m.; Saturday, 8/13 7:00 p.m.; Sunday, 8/14 2:30 p.m.
YARRRH! The Lusty, Busty Pirate Musical
Swordfights! Buried treasure! Cleavage! Bawdy songs! Climb aboard the Golden Rack as three actresses play 10 characters. This world premiere is a saucy, R-rated, gender-bending twist on classic pirate movies. It’s a fast-paced blend of Hollywood kisses, wandering hands, quick changes, low necklines and lower puns. It’s the female Irma Vep; it’s the lost Marx brothers pirate movie; it’s grand, outrageous, pansexual fun–but leave the kids at home!
Sunday, 8/7 1:00 p.m.; Tuesday, 8/9 5:30 p.m.; Thursday, 8/11 8:30 p.m. (This performance is ASL interpreted); Saturday, 8/13 10:00 p.m.; Sunday, 8/14 1:00 p.m.
For more info and to purchase tickets visit the Fringe Festival site at www.fringefestival.org.
The Black Dog Cafe tends to act as a creative anchor for the Lowertown Art District, and we can’t get enough of it! From readings to musical and dance performances to monthly art exhibits, the Black Dog is inspired by its environment and, in turn, inspires. Not only do they offer up great arts and entertainment, but we can’t help but rave about the food and drink. Pop a cork on a bottle of wine on the patio with some friends, score an iced latte to go, or even enjoy a cute date night with a gourmet pizza and a craft beer in the cafe’s intimate confines. During the day? Stop in for free wi-fi and an iced tea–it’s a cozy n’ quiet place to get some work done.
Check out the upcoming schedule below and stop in!
Monthly Art Exhibit
Featuring paintings by Carolyn Anderson and Jim Denomie. Photographic works by Mike Hazard and Jen Hanlon will also be featured.
Runs daily through July
Join local literati in celebrating the written word in this roundtable reading jam. Monday, July 11th, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday evening discussions on art and science. ”Evolution & the Tree of Life: Endless Forms Most Beautiful.” Free and open to the public.
Tuesday, July 12th, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Every friday Nathan Hanson and Brian Roessler (members of Fantastic Merlins) present a weekly musical showcase highlighting the width and depth of talent in the local and international performing community. This Friday, July 15: Todd Harper (piano), Nathan Hanson (saxophone), Brian Roessler (bass), Peter Hennig (drums/banjo).
Every Friday / Music starts 8 p.m.
Sendero Flamenco host the monthly “Gathering of the Gypsies” at the Black Dog.
Music, performance, open stage, Spanish wines!
Saturday, July 16th: 8:00pm-11:00pm
A Vinyl Voyage with KFAI DeeJay Larry Englund. Jazz, Soul, R&B, and World Grooves and more. FREE! Monday Madness Pizza/Wine Special in effect.
Monday, July 18th, 6:00pm
Balkan party music and more. Dancing welcome and encouraged! No cover charge, but tips much appreciated.
Thursday, July 21st, 7:00pm
Americana/Alt-Country musical performance.
Saturday, July 23rd, 7:00pm
Rumored to be bigger and better than ever, the beer snob extravaganza will feature unlimited samplings from over 65 craft and micro breweries alongside a plethora of tasty food from select vendors. Learn everything you need to know to label yourself a bonafied beer connoisseur from the clever dabbler team, play games, and generally enjoy the cold gloriousness of some of the best beers in the world.
New this year: Rock the Cause (who, by the way, are celebrating the 4th anniversary) will fill 2 whole stages with live music throughout the fest, featuring the epic stylings of The 4onthefloor, Maudlin, Pictures of Then, Niki and The RueMates and bands from McNally Smith School of Music.
In an effort to cut down on lines, doors will open at 12:30pm (30 minutes before beer is served) so all fest-goers can get in and get situated before the main event begins.
Advanced Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online at www.thebeerdabbler.com or at the following retail locations:
Wine Thief & Ale Jail 1787 Saint Clair Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55105-1941 (651) 698-9463 winethief.net
The Four Firkins 8009 Minnetonka Blvd, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55426 (952) 938-2847 thefourfirkins.com
Thomas Liquors 1941 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105-1433 (651) 699-1860 thomasliquor.com
Pairings Food & Wine Market 6001 Shady Oak Road South, Minnetonka, MN 55343-8912 (952) 426-0522 pairingsfoodandwine.com
Highland Fest runs July 15th-17th in Highland Park along Ford Parkway. For more information click HERE.
St. Paul’s going green this summer! Today marked the kickoff of Visit St. Paul’s summer tourism promotion: Code Green. Focused on the concept of green living, sustainability, and culture in our capital city, Code Green will merge the eco-friendly with the high-tech (and toss in a bevy of super cool prizes along the way).
Here’s how it works:
Beginning June 18th, the Code Green website will feature a map with participating locations around the city. Users can go to each of said locations (once per day) and scan the displayed QR code with their smartphone. Upon scanning, they will be presented with a micro-website that gives the user a branded experience based on the specific location, including eco-friendly facts, initiatives, and touristy tips. The user is also presented with a chance to win the various “green” prizes that are being given away. The grand prize? None other than a Chevrolet Volt!
Code Green runs from Saturday, June 18 through October 1, so take some time this summer to explore and celebrate the city, learn a little about living green, and maybe even snag a prize. It’s a win-win-win!
Participating CODE GREEN Locations
District Energy St. Paul
Lupient Chevrolet of Bloomington
Minnesota Children’s Museum
McNally Smith College of Music
Park Square Theatre
Saint Paul Public Library
Saint Paul RiverCentre
Saint Paul Riverfront Corporation
Science Museum of Minnesota
Whole Foods – Grand Avenue
2011 Chevy Volt courtesy of Lupient Chevrolet of Bloomington
Bryant Energy Efficient furnace donated by Uptown Heating and Cooling
Energy Star rated Washer and Dryer donated by All Inc.
Globe Bicycle donated by One on One Bicycle and Go Coffee
Black and Decker Electric Mower donated by Lowe’s and Black and Decker
For more info visit www.saintpaulcodegreen.com