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Rooster_Ties

Minneapolis/St. Paul suggestions for upcoming trip...

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Me and the Mrs. are headed up to Minneapolis/St. Paul around Memorial Day for about 5 to 7 days, and would love to hear some suggestions of stuff to do in the area (particularly in the city (or cities, rather) - since we're really urbanites at heart when we're on vacation).

We've only been up there once before (about 10 years ago, barely a month after we first met!! :wub: ), and that was just for a 3-day weekend.

I'm really hoping to catch somebody worthwhile at The Dakota, but their on-line jazz calendars only go out through the end of March (full calendar), and the end of April (national acts).

I recently asked a friend originally from that area to recommend some stuff. And knowing my interests (regional history, architecture, museums and such), she replied with this e-mail below. I'll post it here in full, just to get the ball rolling...

Hi Tom.

I took some time today to get caught up on emails and correspondence and wanted to get this information off to you so you could spend some time on these websites to do a little research before your visit:

Minnesota Historical Society website: http://www.mnhs.org/places/index.htm.

This site also features information on the James Hill mansion/museum - James Hill of the Hill railroad - I have heard the house is really impressive and very well done - it is located in St. Paul.

Another place you may want to visit in St. Paul is the Como Conservatory - the conservatory was constructed in 1915 - and the building and flowers are just incredible.. http://www.comozooconservatory.org/

The original mill which led to the founding of General Mills in Minneapolis has been restored into a beautiful museum: Mill City Museum Web Site http://www.millcitymuseum.org/

The City is also putting together a series of parks in connection with the restoration of the Mill - you can check that out: http://www.minneapolisparks.org/default.asp?PageID=704

Other websites:

Hennepin History Museum

http://www.hhmuseum.org/

James Lileks Webpage on Minneapolis Architectural History ( !!!!! - me really likey historical architecture!!! - Rooster )

http://www.lileks.com/mpls/index.html

Another favorite is the Walker Art Center (http://garden.walkerart.org/index.wac). My son lives just behind the Walker and even if you don't have time to see the Walker inside, the sculpture garden is free and well worth the time. The churches in that area (across the street from the Walker) are St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral across from Lowry Park (English gothic); Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church and the Basilica of St. Mary (the first Basilica in America http://www.mary.org/ourparish/history/basilica/index.html) all are lovely and within walking distance of the Walker. Also the very best coffee and homemade ice-cream to be found is at Sebastian Joe's (see article: http://www.mspmag.com/Feature.asp?featureid=1200) again, within walking distance of the Walker.

Minneapolis and St. Paul are very interested in culture and history (although I must say here in Kansas city, we have more individual art galleries!) but at least this gives you a place to start.

Enjoy!

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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If it has reopened, the Walker Arts Center is terrific.

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Some good info here:

http://www.organissimo.org/forum/index.php...&hl=minneapolis

I believe that Let it Be has since closed. Sad. I think they still do auctions.

Your friend gives good advice.

I like being in downtown Minneapolis. Fine hotels. And, especially in Spring thru Autumn, many (city-sponsored) events. Including a nice jazz festival - though I don't know dates this year. Really not much reason, IMO, to visit suburbs. And a half day was all I needed in St. Paul.

And then there's Mall of America, where America gets mauled.

Edited by BeBop

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The jazz festival usually starts in late June.

I would call the Dakota because they usually book and announce shows at the club far in advance of when they are actually posted on the website. The A.Q. is cheaper and the crowd is livelier than the Dakota, but they do not book many national acts.

out

The Walker is open now and is pretty impressive. Also, check out their events calendar for concerts.

Minneapolis, for the most part is a new city because most of the building's are pretty new (we have a long history of tearing down important buildings), where St. Paul on the other hand has much more historic architecture.

If you are staying in downtown Minneapolis, Loring Park, the Basilica, and Walker Art Center are all within walking distance. The M.I.A, which has more traditional art in comparison to the W.A.C., is only a short bus ride away.

You can hop on the Light Rail and see Minnehaha Park, which is a historic park in the city that contains a water fall that runs into the Mississippi River. I love the park because within minutes of exploring the park you can forget that you are still in the city.

If your a Dylan fan, try and make a trip over to Dinkytown on the U of M campus. Dylan used to live and perform in the area.

The Electric Fetus is a great CD store in Minneapolis. If your into LPs check out Hymie's on East Lake Street.

A tool to see about music in the area is the pollstar site.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask, I have spent my whole life living in the area.

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Just some heads up about the thread:

Let It Be, Hazen's, and Oarfolkjokeopus (same location, just renamed) have all since closed.

Last I heard, the Record Collectors Co-op was in the basement of Hymie's, but it has been years since I went to Hymie's, so I could be wrong.

I have always prefered the Electric Fetus to Cheapo (too much garbage to sort through), Let It Be (employee's were way too snotty), and the other CD stores. They don't have an amazing used collection, but it is hard to find stores that do since the invention of ebay. What I love about the Fetus is that you can go there and find all sorts of CDs you didn't even know you needed! Kind of like the Jazz Record Mart, but they handle more than one genre of music.

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Hi Rooster,

What HolyStitt said -- if you go CD shopping here, definitely go The Electric Fetus in Minneapolis.

Electric Fetus

2000 4th Ave S.

Minneapolis, MN 55404

(612) 870-9300

Great selection, lots of jazz titles. The Walker is also highly recommended.

Edited by 47 West 63rd N.Y.C.

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The Electric Fetus is quite nice. Crazy selection of cut-outs that are mostly OOP.

I would recommend the Minneapolis Institute of Art over the Walker all day long. While not as on the cutting edge as the Walker, you are going to get a much more rich experience at the MIA. Their permanent Asian art galleries are on par with the Smithsonian's collections.

St.Paul's Como Conservatory recommendation will get another vote from me. I go every year. They have recently expanded.

For dining, I would recommend the 112 Eatery in the Warehouse District in Minneapolis. http://www.112eatery.com/ It has made the top of everyone's list as the best thing, and at a reasonable price!

For lunch you can stuff yourself for about $7 at the New Delhi lunch buffet. Top notch Indian food set up buffet style. http://www.newdelhimn.com/

If you dig sushi, Nami is the place to go. Great space, great food. http://www.namisushi.com/

By that time the Minneapolis Farmer's Market will be in session; it is good people watching and they have vendors with prepared foods ready-to-eat. Plus, you can buy that special someone some flowers there. :tuphttp://www.mplsfarmersmarket.com/

I can recommend more things, food, entertainment, whatever. I will leave you with a hidden gem right in downtown Minneapolis -- Khazana. http://www.khazana.com/ This little shop specializes in antique Indian jewelry, tapestries, folk art, paintings, instruments etc. If you ask the nice gentleman that works there, he will take you into the basement -- it is the warehouse for their striking online Indian music store. You can browse while he makes recommendations. It is a small place, but quite unexpected. The lady that does the jewelry will tell you all of the stories behind the pieces, as she travels to the Subcontinent each year to buy all sorts of things.

There is plenty to keep ya busy!

Edited by WD45

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The Uptown neighborhood, south of the Walker Art Center on either Lyndale or Hennepin, provides a lot of interesting little shops and eateries as well - always good for a walk or something. I don't know how the weather is right now, but by the time you're there in May it should have cleared up. Take a walk around the Lake of the Isles (in the Uptown area), it's the prettiest of the South Minneapolis lake parks.

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is nice too, though I think they're undergoing major renovations right now.

If you like Thai food, try King and I Thai, which is downtown off Loring Park. A little spendy, but worth it, and their Manhattans will knock you down. Their beef massaman curry absolutely kills!

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The Uptown neighborhood, south of the Walker Art Center on either Lyndale or Hennepin, provides a lot of interesting little shops and eateries as well - always good for a walk or something. I don't know how the weather is right now, but by the time you're there in May it should have cleared up. Take a walk around the Lake of the Isles (in the Uptown area), it's the prettiest of the South Minneapolis lake parks.

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is nice too, though I think they're undergoing major renovations right now.

If you like Thai food, try King and I Thai, which is downtown off Loring Park. A little spendy, but worth it, and their Manhattans will knock you down. Their beef massaman curry absolutely kills!

Never had the food, but King and I Thai has a mighty nice bar! :g

Seriously, the Minneapolis/St. Paul area has many great parks. In the Summer time, it's a wonderful place to go for a walk and/or eat dinner outside.

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Just bumping this up because we just made our lodging reservations (5 nights) at the following B&B:

Evelo's Bed & Breakfast

Located here (look for blue/turquoise dot in the middle):

209940.gif

This trip will be just about the 10-year anniversary of when my wife and I first met (in late April, 1996). Only slightly more than a month after we first met, I happened to be taking a business trip to Minneapolis, and she met me up there for 2 day whirlwind weekend (probably the first or second weekend in June, 1996) -- which was our very first trip together, ever.

We didn't really plan this trip late next month to coincide with our anniversary (nor did we pick Minneapolis for that reason either) -- but it sure is turning out to be a lovely "half-coincidence". :wub:

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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Yeah, my dad stayed there right before helping me move down to Texas. It's kind of a weird little place - like a preserved 1930s potpourri farm - but it's nice. The owners are a bit eccentric, like they don't want you to touch any of the vases or wallpaper, but just steer a little to the right and you'll be fine...

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Hi. I might be in Minneapolis in June. I'm not sure how long I'll have free, but if I have an hour or two I'd definitely like to go vinyl shopping. Are Electric Fetus and Hymie's still the better places to go for used jazz vinyl?

Edited by Rabshakeh

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There was a great place in St. Paul.  It was in what looked like an old house, and I think it was upstairs.  Huge inventory, and just about every genre.  Anyone know the place that I'm talking about, or if it is still there?

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