Ruby Red Letters: Re-Starting the Beating Heart of St. Paul’s West End?

May 19

Ruby Red Letters: Re-Starting the Beating Heart of St. Paul’s West End?

    The developers of the old Schmidt Brewery site in St. Paul — being turned into lofts and apartments after years of disastrous and misguided attempts to make the brewery into a headache-inducing ethanol plant — are thinking about restoring the old S-C-H-M-I-D-T sign. I’m all for it — IF the sign truly looks like the iconic sign...

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Pearl Harbor, 1941: St Paul Sailors Fire the First Shot

Dec 07

Pearl Harbor, 1941: St Paul Sailors Fire the First Shot

  (This post originally was published on 12-7-11) If you grow up in St. Paul, you will hear the story of the Naval Reservists from the city — kids, mostly, ranging in age from 17 to 21 or 22 — who fired America’s first shot of WWII on the morning of Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941. I know what I’m talking about: My old man, a Navy veteran, told me...

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Still Working

Mar 14

Still Working

I was enjoying a nice dark roast on the bench behind Cafe Bene in St Paul when I noticed that the guy loading large boxes of coffee onto a two-wheeled dolly and rolling them into the coffee shop was older than most delivery guys you see. Way older. His name was John Dotray, a “retired” machinist who used to make airplane parts and now delivers coffee...

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The Turf Club gets Duded Up

Oct 15

The Turf Club gets Duded Up

  St Paul’s venerable Turf Club celebrated Monday the installation of a massive and awesome glass-mosaic mural enshrining the club’s long, honored history as a venue for western, country and rock-a-billy (along with all other kinds of music, as well). The mural, which covers the University Avenue establishment’s east side exterior, was...

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Slice of the City: The Turkeys of St Paul

Apr 04

Slice of the City: The Turkeys of St Paul

No, these turkeys are not in the Legislature. They were on Iglehart Avenue near Fairview in Merriam Park, strolling west at a leisurely pace, about 5:15 pm...

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Slice of the City: Mohamed Gets His Man, and His Coffee

Mar 18

Slice of the City: Mohamed Gets His Man, and His Coffee

I was buying a book at the Highland Park Barnes & Noble in St Paul Wednesday, just after 6 p.m., when shouts and a loud commotion erupted in the adjacent Starbucks coffee shop, which opens into the bookstore. There were loud noises as first one figure, then another, rapidly went through the Starbucks door to the outside sidewalk.  I thought they were on...

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Here We Go Again

Nov 13

Here We Go Again

First Snow, Saturday Nov. 13, St. Paul Kids Been Up, “Sliding,” Since 7 a.m…. Hockey practice starts at...

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The Big Red One

Aug 30

The Big Red One

If you are a kid from St Paul, or have raised a kid in St Paul, chances are very good that you know “The Big Red One.” There used to be an observation platform on top of the First National Bank Building in downtown St. Paul, 402 or 403 feet (accounts disagree) above Minnesota and Fourth Streets, high above the Mississippi River with spectacular views of...

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