Minneapolis RiverCurrent December 2, 2015


*****Support Our Riverfront Businesses and Organizations!*****

As we head into our busy winter holiday season and end-of-the-year charitable decisions, please remember that your decisions can help support the riverfront organizations and businesses that you love and that make it such a special place. There are so many wonderful stores where you can find special gifts (and gift certificates for riverfront dining and activities are always a great idea, too), plus there are so many wonderful nonprofits within (and supporting) our riverfront that would truly appreciate your support.

*****Events and Activities*****

15th Annual JA Holiday Variety Show

Friday, December 4, 9 – 11 pm

Aster Café, 125 Main Street SE

Jeff Arundel will host his annual holiday variety show, featuring Ann Klein, Doug Macleod, Steele Arundel, the Willmar Women’s Ensemble, and Jeff Arundel and the Mammsmen. Pleasure guaranteed, holiday spirit promised and kaleidoscope of experiences possible! $10, Reservations recommended; call 612-379-3138.

The American Craft Council and RSP Architects present:

Holiday Craft Hop

Saturday, December 5, 12 noon – 5 pm

Grain Belt Brewhouse, 1224 Marshall Street NE

Find the best in handmade holiday gifts at the Holiday Craft Hop. The fine folks at Ship and Shape, Minnesota Jewelry Arts Guild and Gather Art Registry have joined the American Craft Council to co-curate a holiday market with more than 50 Minnesota artists and artisans – See more at: http://craftcouncil.org/event/holiday-craft-hop#sthash.JrAqE0kk.dpuf.

A SIP OF SCIENCE – If We Found Rock Evidence for Life on Mars, What Might It Look Like? Microbialites from Ancient Lakes

Wednesday, December 9, 5:30 pm

Aster Café, 125 Main Street SE

A SIP OF SCIENCE bridges the gap between science and culture in a setting that bridges the gap between brain and belly. Food, beer and learning are on the menu in a happy hour forum that puts science in context through storytelling. The Mars orbiter has used remote sensing techniques to demonstrate the presence of active groundwater seeps on our planetary neighbor. The Curiosity Rover has sent back stunning images of deposits that indicate flowing water and, from Gale Crater, what look like lake deposits. If standing water had been present on Mars, it is more likely to have been in the form of lakes, not widespread oceans. If life inhabited these lakes, it would be more likely to be microbial in origin. Geologists have studied marine microbialites (rocks that formed under the influence of microbes), mainly stromatolites, for many decades. However, these marine microbialites differ in important and significant ways from those formed in modern and ancient lakes. We should expect to find lacustrine (lake-influenced) microbialites on Mars if life had established itself there. Ancient lacustrine microbialites here on Earth, mainly from the Cenozoic, provide excellent examples of what to expect if we encounter them on Mars. In this talk, University of St. Thomas geology professor Tom Hickson will cover the basics of microbialite formation, the macro- and microscopic textures of lacustrine microbialites and some basic microbialite chemistry. We will then focus on ancient and historical lakes from southern Nevada, with examples from other units in the Western U.S. The talk takes place during happy hour at the Aster Café. No cover; food and drink will be available for purchase. Thomas Hickson is professor of geology and environmental science at the University of St. Thomas. He graduated from Stanford University in 1999 and completed a post-doc at the St. Anthony Falls Lab immediately before coming on board the St. Thomas faculty in 2000. He is engaged in active collaborative scholarship with undergraduate students to understand the tectonics, paleoclimate and landscape evolution of the Lake Mead region (Nevada) during the Miocene. A SIP OF SCIENCE is a science happy hour sponsored by the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics (NCED). It is a chance to hear about new and exciting research over beer, in a cool bar. Come talk with the experts about their efforts to address some of the Earth’s most pressing problems. NCED’s A SIP OF SCIENCE brings the wonder of science to happy hour. Please RSVP!

Mill City Farmers Market

Saturday, December 12, 10 am – 1 pm AND

Saturday, December 19, 10 am – 1 pm

Mill City Museum, 704 Second Street South

The Mill City Farmers Market has moved inside the Mill City Museum every second Saturday (and more). Visitors can stroll inside the cozy and lively marketplace and choose from an abundance of fresh, local fruits and vegetables, freshly baked bread, pastured meats and cheeses, meatless meat, expertly crafted ceramics, kitchenware, jewelry and much more. Stop by the Info Booth for free, seasonal recipes to inspire your winter meal planning. Each Winter Market brings a unique celebration of seasonal offerings. At the December 12 and 19 markets, they will have tables full of produce for your holiday meals in addition to an expansive selection of unique holiday gifts and décor, including sustainable Christmas trees! Free gift-wrapping will be available at both December markets. Winter markets are a great opportunity to stock up on storage crops like squash, potatoes, garlic, onions and apples and nonperishable goods like wild rice, maple syrup, pickles and preserves to help you eat locally all winter long. Make sure to check out the Recipe Archive for seasonal meal ideas. For information:http://millcityfarmersmarket.org.

Kroening Interpretive Center Programs (Three Rivers Park District)

North Mississippi Regional Park, 4900 Mississippi Court

For information: 763-694-7693; for map and driving instructions: https://www.minneapolisparks.org/parks__destinations/parks_and_lakes/north_mississippi_regional_park/. For programs that require reservations, call 763-559-6700 or register on-line:https://threeriversparks.org.

My Preschooler and Me: Puppet Escapades – Winter at Kroening

Thursday, December 17, 10 – 11 am

Animal puppets introduce your child to nature’s wonders. After the show, enjoy a short hike, craft or other themed activity. This session’s theme is “River Puppets and the Perfect Gift.” Restricted to participants age 2 and older. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Reservations required. $4. 20% discount for groups of four or more. Ages: 2-6; both adult and child pay. For information and to register: https://threeriversparks.org/events/M/my-preschooler—me–puppet-escapades—winter-at-kroening–.aspx.

Winter Solstice Celebration

Saturday, December 19, 2 – 4:30 pm

Celebrate the shortest day of the year with light, music and cheer! Explore holiday traditions from around the world. Hike or snowshoe to “tie down” the sun in the prairie. Enjoy warm refreshments by a bonfire, and create crafts to take home. Children 17 years and younger must be accompanied by a registered adult. Reservations required by December 16. $5. 20% discount for groups of four or more. For information and to register: https://threeriversparks.org/events/W/winter-solstice-celebration–.aspx.

Free Family Fun Day: Paws and Claws

Sunday, December 20, 1 – 3 pm, ongoing

Drop in anytime! Explore a different topic each week through hands-on activities that everyone can enjoy at their own pace.This program is free and open to all ages, but children younger than 17 must be accompanied by an adult.

Mississippi River Forum: “Maximizing the Efficiency of Seneca’s Wastewater Effluent”

Friday, December 18, 8 — 9:30 am

Minneapolis: McKnight Foundation, 710 Second Street South, Suite 400

You are invited to join the National Park Service for the Mississippi River Forum–your opportunity to learn about issues impacting the Mississippi River and to make sure other decision makers understand your perspective. We water our lawns and wash our cars with water that is cleaner than many people in the world have access to for drinking, and the sustainability of our water supply is a growing concern. That’s one reason Minnesota communities are increasingly looking for ways to use their water resources more efficiently and wisely. The City of Eagan is partnering with Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) and Barr Engineering to study the feasibility of using reclaimed water from MCES’ Seneca Wastewater Treatment Plant. The idea is to shift non-potable demands (like irrigation, firefighting and vehicle washing) from the City’s treated, potable water supply to reclaimed wastewater. In addition to reducing demand on the groundwater aquifer the city uses for potable water supply, this could reduce treatment and water supply costs for users, improve regional source water sustainability and may even provide a recharge source for groundwater. Come learn how projects like this get off the ground and could help us all build more sustainable water use systems! The presenters will be Steve Klein and Michelle Stockness (engineers with Barr Engineering Company) and Jon Eaton (Utilities Superintendent for the City of Eagan). Light breakfast provided. Free. RSVP to lark_weller@nps.gov.

Mississippi Park Connection presents:

Winter Hike/Snowshoe

Saturday, December 19, 10 am – 12 noon

Coldwater Spring

Winter snowshoe/hike at Coldwater Spring! National Park Service park rangers will have snowshoes available for people to borrow, weather permitting, at Coldwater Spring. No experience or registration required. This is a guided geocaching tour of Coldwater Spring. Free. For information: http://parkconnection.org/event/winter-snowshoe-hike-2/.

Sample of Performances at MacPhail Center for Music

501 Second Street South

For more information about events (including student performances) and classes: http://www.macphail.org or 612-321-0100.

Giving Voice Chorus Final Performance

Saturday, December 19, 2 pm and 4 pm2015

Antonello Hall

Come enjoy an uplifting and heart-warming performance by the Giving Voice Chorus! General admission: $10. For information:http://givingvoicechorus.org.

Samples of Classes and Activities at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts

1011 Washington Avenue South, 612-215-2520, http://www.mnbookarts.org.

Hours: Monday 10 am — 5 pm, Tuesday 10 am — 9 pm, Wednesday-Saturday 10 am — 5 pm, Sunday 12 noon – 4 pm

Class details, instructor biographies, registration details and online registration are all available at above web site. You may also register by calling 612-215-2520. Note: This is only a sampling of classes, focusing on those that are less expensive and that don’t require experience.

Family Class: Sunday Wee Book Series

Sunday, December 20, 1 – 3 pm

Love miniature books? In this new series of playful, hands-on classes, learn how to make a bunch of them in no time at all! Great for families with kids, or for kids-at-heart! Four classes will be offered, each of which will focus on different binding styles. This class will include the following styles: Mini Hardcover Sketchbook with Pockets and Mini Pop-Out Book. For grades 1 and up. Adult/child pair: $32 ($29 members) + $6 supply fee; additional participant (adult or child): $16 ($14.50 members) + $3 supply fee. Individual adult participant: $20 ($18 members) + $3 supply fee. To register: http://www.mnbookarts.org/event-registration/?ee=824.

*****Input, Participation and Stewardship Opportunities*****

Downtown Survey Input Sought

Your time is important and so are your opinions. That is why the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District (DID) wants to know what you think about downtown Minneapolis. Survey responses about safety, cleanliness and other issues will help make downtown Minneapolis a better place to live, work and visit. The survey will take 15-20 minutes to complete, and your responses are confidential. After completing the survey, you can enter to win a $50 gift card to a downtown business. Visitwww.minneapolisdid.com to learn more about DID.

*****Reminder of Ongoing Activities*****

Classes at Surdyk’s

Mondays and Tuesdays

Surdyk’s Liquor and Cheese Shop, 303 East Hennepin Avenue

Surdyk’s offers an extensive and fun choice of classes to help you learn about wine, beer and cheese (both in general and specific types). Check out their calendar at http://surdyks.com/calendar/.

National Park Service “Ranger on Call” Virtual Tour of the Mississippi River

Explore the river with a National Park Service ranger, any time you like, just by using your cell phone. Ranger on Call is an audio tour that explores the Mississippi River’s exceptional places. Three tours are geared for bicyclists, with tour stops at Nice Ride stations by the Stone Arch Bridge/Saint Anthony Falls area, downtown St. Paul riverfront and Fort Snelling/Minnehaha Falls. Three additional Ranger on Call walking tours are at Coldwater Spring, Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary and Hastings’ Jaycee Park. For more information, visit: http://www.rangeroncall.com/

Horse and Carriage Tours

Enjoy a tour of the riverfront via a horse-drawn carriage ride. Regular tours are available from both the Nicollet Island Inn and VIC’s Restaurant on Main Street. For information: http://www.thehitchingcompany.com.

Live Music at Day Block Brewing

Various days/times during the week

Day Block Brewing, 1103 Washington Avenue South

Day Block Brewing offers a variety of live music a few days each week. For a full calendar: https://www.dayblockbrewing.com/events#calendar.

Acme Comedy Club

Tuesdays through Thursday, 8 pm; Fridays and Saturdays, 8 and 10:30 pm

708 North First Street

Enjoy stand-up comedy at one of the top five comedy clubs in the country. For more information:http://www.acmecomedycompany.com.

Murder Mystery Dinner

Old Spaghetti Factory, 233 Park Avenue

The Murder Mystery Company offers a murder mystery performance to accompany your dinner at the Old Spaghetti Factory.

Snag your seat with The Murder Mystery Company by clicking or calling (888)643-2583 (CLUE) today. For information and tickets: http://www.grimprov.com/Murder-Mystery-Dinner-Minnesota/.

Classes Available at the Lundstrum Center

Lundstrum Center for the Performing Arts, 1617 North Second Street

Dream of performing on Broadway? Preparing for your college audition? Looking to get back into class? Let the Broadway veteran faculty at the Lundstrum Center help develop your gifts. Fall session registration is now open. Children and adults, all levels welcome. Programs include:

  • Children: After school programs; age 3 and up
  • Preteen/Young Adults: Broadway Musical Theatre — Serious training in dance, voice and theater
  • Adults: Ballet, tap, jazz, Pilates, voice
  • Special Needs Children: “Dance Mania”-ages 6 to 12

The center offers state of the art, spacious, sun lit studios, with free parking and #14 Metro Transit bus-accessible. Class cards available! For a class schedule please check out the center’s website http://www.lundstrumcenter.org or call 612-521-2600 to be put on their mailing list.

Keegan’s Pub Entertainment

Keegan’s Irish Pub, 16 University Avenue NE

Keegan’s Pub offers a full schedule of live music, Irish lessons, pub quizzes and other activities each month. For more information and a full event calendar, visit http://www.keeganspub.com.

Food Building Tours

Food Building, 1401 Marshall Street NE

Mondays, 10 am12 noon

The Food Building in Northeast started as a conversation about pigs. Kieran Folliard and Mike Phillips were discussing the absurdity of shipping Minnesota pigs to California for processing and then shipping the salumi back to Minnesota to sell. What if salumi made from Minnesota pigs was made in Minnesota? So they found a building on a desirable corner in the working heart of Northeast Minneapolis, along the Mississippi. The building had more space than Mike needed to make delicious salumi, so Kieran decided to create a space where several expert makers could craft their food. Enter cheesemaker Rueben Nilsson. Rueben is fired up about making cheese using milk from Minnesota grass-fed cows. So with Kieran’s help, Mike created Red Table Meat Co. and Rueben created the Lone Grazer Creamery. These brands are connected by a “Taste of Place.” Simply put, Minnesota’s distinct seasons and savory characters combine to make one-of-a-kind foods. Their motto is “Framer Near, Made Here.” Everyone is invited to come see the process – “it’s like a brewery tour, only with food. Open tours are now offered on Mondays, with expanded hours planned for spring 2016. For private tours and events, emailinfo@foodbuilding.com. For information: http://www.foodbuilding.com.

*****Informational Resources*****

Minneapolis Historical Mobile Tour Smartphone App Now Available

The Minneapolis Historical Mobile Tour app is now available–for free!–for iPhones and Androids. There are two tours so far: The Old Highland tour (created in partnership with the Old Highland Neighborhood Association) and the Marcy-Holmes tour (created with the Marcy-Holmes Neighborhood Association). The app offers users an on-the-go look into Minneapolis’s past, from the well-known headlines to the forgotten tales and people. Learn more and download it now atwww.minneapolishistorical.org. The Marcy-Holmes tour tells stories of the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood—what was once the town of Saint Anthony Falls—from 1849 through the early twentieth century, using images, text and recorded commentary from 27 neighbors and friends. Created using material drawn from Penny Petersen’s book, Hiding in Plain Sight: Minneapolis’ First Neighborhood, the tour focuses on 24 historical sights depicted in the bronze sculptures on the Sixth Avenue Stroll, an outdoor gallery created by artist Aldo Moroni in 2004 that extends from University Ave SE to Main Street. Each stop on the tour consists of a present day image of the site, the corresponding bronze sculpture, an historic image (when available), brief text and two audio recordings by an individual somehow related to the site.

Park Board Event Calendar

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB)’s website features a multi-month event calendar. The current event calendar is now available at https://www.minneapolisparks.org/events/ and is a quick guide to MPRB-sponsored and co-sponsored events as well as outside organizers’ permitted events in the parks. Check it out, mark your calendars and enjoy the many events occurring in Minneapolis parks!

Mill City Times


This web site covers “life, work and play in the Historic Mill District” and offers videos of many important presentations and meetings related to riverfront topics. It also includes an event listing that is more expansive than the Mill District and that would be a useful resource for you in between issues of the RiverCurrent (or if, as sometimes happens, you accidentally deleted it).

River Hub Event Site

The folks at Mill City Times also offer this extensive listing of events related to the Minneapolis riverfront. The goal with River Hub is to serve the large community of people passionate about our riverfront by helping you stay up-to-date on events impacting the river AND to serve event planners by helping to avoid scheduling conflicts with other river-related events to the extent possible. River Hub is a very simple site – just an activities list and a page for readers to submit events. To check it out:http://www.riverhub.org/

Mississippi River Trail

The Mississippi River Trail bikeway (MRT) follows the course of the mighty Mississippi from its headwaters to the Gulf. Find information for the Minnesota segment on the MRT website http://www.dot.state.mn.us/bike/mrt/, complete with an interactive Google Earth based map, and a complete series of maps printable at 8 1/2” by 11”.

1 Mississippi Campaign


This site includes information on the entire Mississippi River and how you can help protect and enhance it.

*****Riverfront News Articles*****

Nye’s Site Redevelopment Proposal


FujiYa Demolition


Eastside Restaurant Reviews




University of Minnesota’s Old Main Heating Plant


Riverfront Business Duffy’s Ignite Program


MWMO Stormwater Park and Education Center


Misfit Coffee and Izzy’s


Bohemian Flats