Monthly Archives: June 2012

Penfield update

This may or may not of appeared in media reports so far, but just literally got an email from my owners’ association minutes ago with these Penfield updates and became excited to share:

Construction has begun this week. Project designs are meant to achieve LEED Silver certification and will incorporate the historic front facade of the old Public Safety Building. The building will house 254 market rate apartments and a Lund’s Grocery store all with off-street parking.

Fencing and barriers are going up over the next couple of weeks as well as removal of the defunct skyway over 10th Street.

In late July temporary steel bracing will be installed to save the old facade before interior demolition begins.


Flaming Lips in St. Paul

Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips says he loves playing in the Twin Cities, one of the “greatest musical places” around, he said to the crowd at River’s Edge Music Fest in St. Paul this weekend.

Coyne used his microphone as a vessel for smokebombs.

He referenced The Replacements, recalled his first time driving up to play First Avenue from his hometown of Oklahoma City, and even played the first verse of “Black Diamond.”

“That’s the first time we played that,” guitarist Steven Drozd smiled after Coyne cut the song short.

The impressive secondary stage at River’s Edge Music Festival in St. Paul. Coyne said he hopes St. Paul “has him back every year.”

Anyone familiar with the Flaming Lips live show knows there’s a lot of balloons, confetti and smoke machine. Even in the 85 degree heat, Coyne suited up in his trademark inflatable plastic bubble and ran over the crowd. I was shooting a video of the bubble’s inflation when he started right at me. It was chaos at its most fun.

River’s Edge goers dancing to the sound of local critical darlings Polica.

Unfortunately, the early set time (5:30) didn’t do justice to the lights, lasers and rainbow video screen backdrop the Lips’ live show offers. Yet many of the stage gimmicks worked. Coyne does this fun trick where a stage hand throws a giant balloon filled with confetti and he jabs it with the end of his guitar, spilling the fluttering contents onto the stage and into the wind.

Entrance. I rode a Nice Ride, which has a station conveniently located on Water Street by Harriet Island.

Thanks to my brother in law Erik aka Ham King for the wristband. He had a two day pass and donated the second day to me after getting bruised up in the mosh pit during Tool’s set Saturday night. The cloth wristbands aren’t supposed to be cut, but Erik did a bang-up sew job.

The main stage before Dave Matthews Band played. “Let’s defeat this amendment so gay people can marry!” shouted a promoter. Yeah, something like that…

Penfield happening

Hey guys, so I want to give a shout out to Jane, my Rossmor neighbor who I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, but nevertheless said she had seen this blog. Thanks for retweets all and everyone.

She was actually on her way home from downtown Minneapolis on a Nice Ride bike. We made a rendezvous at the 10th and Robert St. dock. Glad to know there are others taking Nice Rides for extended trips.

Speaking of Nice Ride, helmet giveaways are popping up all over town. The other week I got a shiny and new free helmet at the Nature Valley bike race downtown near Rice Park. Shouts to Sean and Kali for inviting me down.

Ran on other side of river today, across from the River’s Edge stage for this weekend. Tool, Dave Matthews Band and Flaming Lips in town. Not going but the stage looked gigantic and like a lot of fun.

Demolition is finally starting on the old public safety building at Robert and 10th, otherwise known as the future Penfield project. Got a letter from our association, the other day, open and read it… wait what? Oh the letter warned it was going to get a bit noisy next week, so it sounds like the imposing skyline of St. Paul will soon be altered.

Just because something gets destroyed doesn’t mean anything will happen for a while. The Pedro Luggage building was torn down last fall and the site is still a fenced in parking lot with weeds, although it’s slated to be a park. The Penfield is supposed to contain a Lunds downstairs, a la northeast Minneapolis and now downtown near MCTC. It took seven years for the latter to open.

Here are some pictures from the Nature’s Valley race the other week:

Mayor Chris Coleman readies racers June 13 in downtown St. Paul.

These guys are from South America, Europe, everywhere.

One day, I’ll go downtown on the Green Line

Here’s what the Central Corridor light rail signs look like at Robert Street Station near the Capitol building.

The Met Council is serious about color-coded lines.

Here’s what the under-construction station looked like the other week.

Robert Street Station, June 2012.

LoTo pro tips

Hey guys,

LoTo pro-tips. I’ll start with 7th Street Place, which isn’t technically LoTo, but it’s close. This summer look for more street performances outside of the Artist’s Quarter, next to Great Waters Brewery. You can take in some smooth jazz horn while on the outdoor patios. Yesterday, a dance troupe was performing with ribbons and white costumes, stopping passersby and gaining the attention of restaurant goers at Wild Tyme and Great Waters. Let’s hope for more of that.

Cedar Street was rendered as desert from lightrail construction the other week.

More tips: Don’t order shots of Jameson whiskey at the Liffey. They are $7.50 a piece. Compare that with the same booze at Liquor Lyle’s in Uptown for $2. You know why they can charge that much for a shot of cheap whiskey (Jameson runs about $18 per bottle)? Because ignorant hammerheads like me come into the bar and say, “Give me a shot of Jame-O with that beer.” Don’t be like me.

Final tip: St. Paul Nice Ride bikes are now in downtown St. Paul. Ride them, enjoy them, but remember the 30-minute ride limit, less you want to pay fees. Get that bike in a dock before 30 minutes! Also, when docking, don’t try to bring the bike in even the slightest bit sideways. I got a yellow light and a ringing last week and I think it glitched my subsequent proper dock because it didn’t register and I was charged a 41 minute trip. I called to complain, was told it was my fault before they finally gave me a refund. Moral of story, don’t get that yellow light. Try to dock correctly the first time, every time.