MPLSzine - The Downtown Issue

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“In my opinion, few things universally embody the idea of ‘downtown’ than the dumpster. Although it is mistaken as a bit player, the dumpster’s role is integral. Each day, it acts as a unit of measure for commerce, time, emotion and experience. The dumpster stoically mans an out of the way post, and patiently accepts whatever it is offered. It consorts with whoever is near, and will stand witness with quiet indifference to altercations, arguments, laughter, or lust. It collects all these things and then waits. In the morning, it deposits the last night’s indulgences and debaucheries, and shores itself up for what will come later that day.” -Josh Wilichowski Cover Artist

Downtown Issue - June 12, 2013












CONTRIBUTORS Publication Director Chris Cloud Editorial Director Colleen Powers Layout Director Bethany Hall Visual Director Andrew Casey Illustration Director Kyle Coughlin Social Outreach Director Matthew Jacobs Editorial Intern ZoĂŤ Pizarro Layout Intern Amanda Reeder

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Dan Anderson is a full-time executive recruiter and part-time freelance location and event photographer living in St. Paul. A sample of his images can be seen at

He has worked with MPLS.TV and for a couple of years ran his own pedicab company called Peterson’s Pedicabs. See his blog at http://petersonspedicabs.blogspot. com and follow him on Twitter @PetersonPedicab.

Born at the crossroads of the nation, Aaron Hays now resides in Minneapolis and works as a freelance photographer, among other things. See his website at, his Tumblr at and his Twitter @aaron_hays

Zoë Pizarro is a native Minneapolitan. She is still uncomfortable calling herself an artist or writer, but she’s working on it. She lives for the future’s undisclosed adventures.

Armand Hayes recently moved to the Twin Cities from Nebraska as a transfer to MCAD. Photography is his passion, and he loves going out to photograph the beautiful downtown area. See his website at armandinc.webs. com, follow him on Tumblr at and like him on Facebook at Andrew Casey, Visual Director at MPLSzine, is a photographer residing in Minneapolis. He migrates towards shooting stationary objects and street scenes. He has had a long-held passion and appreciation for street art and graffiti, which led to a history of documenting the artwork under the alias Urban Camper. Kyle Coughlin, Illustration Director at MPLSzine, is a designer and illustrator living in Minneapolis. He enjoys drawing, screen printing, and being awesome. See his work at Catherine Jensen is a thinker to the danger of thinking too much. She loves symbolism and is a collector of things: books, poetry, art, music, and, especially, dance moves. After a year spent in China, she searches for a job related to her B.A. in English and history. Read about China and more current activity on her blog: Aaron King moved to Minneapolis almost two years ago after living life in various small towns. Things still generally baffle him. See his portfolio at http:// and his other online stuff at @aaronmfking and Lauren Matysik is a preschool teacher by day and graduate student by night. She enjoys watching the Food Network while drinking wine from the bottle, attempting to run Lake of the Isles, and daydreaming about past lives. Matthias Michlitsch shares his photos at http:// Brian Moe: b. 1979 in Owatonna, currently living in Santa Fe. Nolan Peterson has worked at restaurants since moving to Minneapolis, where he studied history at the U of M.

Olivia Ridge is an amateur street photographer based in Minnesota, dedicated to portraying people with honesty and integrity. She shoots exclusively film. Follow her on Tumblr at Jake Ryan was born to a working class mother and father, never quite assimilating to the posh lifestyle the television demanded he live. He uses his legs for walkin’, his mind for wanderin’ and his time for ponderin’. Michale Sevy is a Minneapolis-based photographer with a penchant for architecture, travel and lifestyle photography. Rarely, if ever, would he be found without a camera. In few words he is: photographer, filmmaker, actor, project manager, developer, producer, world traveler, catch me if you can. See his portfolio at and follow him: com/michales and @squeevey on Twitter and Instagram. Light The Underground started taking photos of graffiti which opened his eyes to the fascinating world of urban exploring. Amidst his exploring he light paints using long exposures and lights to create photographic images. You can find more of his work at Cassidy Wilson graduated from Lawrence University with an English major in June 2012 and moved to Minneapolis in September. She works as a manuscript reader for Coffee House Press, where she completed an internship at the end of last year. She makes money by bagging groceries at the Seward Co-op. She has an informal personal web presence at and Joshua Wilichowski is a visual artist, amateur carpenter, and part-time tinkerer fascinated in objects and how they act as totems for the normal occurrences in our everyday lives. He is also an active member of the collaborative art groups PaintallicA ( and The Fantastic Thinkers. Joshua currently resides in St Paul with his wife and children, a mere 12 miles from Wisconsin. His personal work can be seen at Seth Young comes from Grand Forks, North Dakota and has been living in Minneapolis for the past four years. See his work at, syillustration. and HUMOR // MPLSzine


LETTER FROM THE EDITORIAL DIRECTOR The first big assignment for a photojournalism class I had in college was to take a camera out on Nicollet Mall and take photos of people: panhandlers, businesspeople, shoppers, bikers, people posing with the Mary Tyler Moore statue. Tossing around ideas for MPLSzine’s Downtown issue, one favorite suggestion that came up was for someone to take photos of the same street corner at different times--at noon and again at midnight, say, or just before a Twins game versus on a day they play out of town. Of course, you could take a camera anywhere in the city and capture people going about their business, working, playing, romancing, celebrating, raising their kids, doing their errands. But Downtown feels like the most regular intersection of all of the groups and types of people who make up Minneapolis. It’s one of the places where you’re most likely to see a variety of people in a short time, to cross paths with someone very unlike you. Ideally, MPLSzine will be that in “print”/online form: a hub where voices from throughout the city will rub shoulders with one another. Where people of all ages, races, classes and so on can come--not all for the same reasons, but to share their own experiences and perspectives and creations, and to see those of their neighbors. We’re not there yet, but we’re working on it. Help us out: Sincerely, Colleen

Be part of MPLSzine! Our theme for the next issue is SOCIAL Submissions due June 23 Publishing July 24 If you can’t contribute right away but want to learn more, email us anyway. We’d love to have you join us.





DIGGING FOR FIRE Words & Artwork by Aaron King

On a mild day at the timid end of summer, I crossed the Hennepin Avenue bridge out of Downtown with my friend Craig. Having recently been evicted from a room he was renting by the landlord, a stiff Armenian grandmother with (Craig alleged) fascist leanings, he had been staying with me, sleeping in a rickety loft above the stairs in the Uptown house I rented with a varying number of other 20-somethings. As we started across the bridge, having walked the however-many blocks from our house to have one last fling with the fading warmth, Craig spoke through lips clenched around an unlit cigarette. “I think--” he said. “No, maybe it was that one downriver.’ We had no destination in mind. I asked him what he meant. “Oh, shit,” he said, taking the cigarette from his lips and placing it behind his ear. “I haven’t told you yet? I guess I haven’t seen you for a while.” We kept near-opposite schedules due to work, and Craig often slept in or near the places he drank at (including, one time, in a bush) rather than coming home. “So I was just sitting around down here,” he continued, “when I saw at least four cop cars go by, lights on and everything.” Craig isn’t prone to hyperbole since his life already includes accomplishments as varied as playing acoustic sets on buses, being on probation after being found wassailing around a pyre of burning furniture on mushrooms, and the aforementioned sleeping in bushes. At left is a picture I drew of Craig, referenced from a photograph. If he says “at least four cop cars,” there’s a good chance there were six. “So I started walking after them to see what was up.” “Where’d they go?” I asked. “Oh, I don’t know. They kept driving. But this guy stopped me and asked me if I smoke. I was like, ‘Sorry, don’t have any on me,’ but he said, no, when those cops were coming through, he buried his weed and a pipe, but he was from out of town and couldn’t remember where he buried them. He said he’d smoke me up if I could help him find it.” In my head, I finish the story based on my knowledge of Craig’s life: they get high, the

stranger buys him a fancy dinner, they decide to go to a concert, and Craig ends up having sex in the bathroom of the 7th Street Entry. “So where was the pot?” I ask. “That’s what I asked him,” Craig said, stopping to look out onto the Mississippi. “He said, ‘Under the bridge,’ and I said, ‘Which one?’ and he goes, ‘There’s more than one?’” “So you followed a stranger under a bridge,” I said. The story revised itself: Craig escapes attempted assault, tells some visiting Texas women’s sport team about it over beers, finds an off-the-hook hotel party, and gets an awkward blowjob behind a folded up Murphy bed. “I followed him under, like, all the bridges. Do you know how many bridges there are down here?” “How many?” “I don’t know, man. A lot.” Craig started walking again. “Like, it started to get dark. We were using our cell phones for light, digging all these holes. After like, two hours, we finally found it.” Here came the real story, the one that would top anything I could think up. “So I guess this guy just, like, works 60 hours a week until he has enough money to travel and do whatever he wants. We hung out and smoked under the bridge, and then he told me he’d buy me a ticket to go to Brazil with him, and I wanted to, but I don’t have a passport.” “So then what happened?” I asked. The sun was starting to sink, and the shadowy side of the street was chilly. “I don’t know,” Craig said, stopping to light his cigarette. “He had to catch a cab to the airport. Had to fly to Brazil.” “That’s it?” “I guess. I don’t know what you were expecting.” Craig took a long drag. “I did learn something, though.” “Get a passport?” “Uh-uh.” “Um, jobs and things don’t matter unless you also have freedom?” Craig shook his head while he exhaled smoke. “No, man. I’m gonna start burying things all over down here.” “What?” “Like, supplies and stuff. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you saw me, like, all hot and sweaty, and then I just dig up a bottle of water from one of those traffic islands with the trees? Then I could just drink it and get refreshed while the cars go by.”



Illustration by: Jake Ryan

There are moments when you are downtown, especially from where I would sit on 9th street, where the reflection of the sun can be nauseatingly bright. It is how I imagine people near death or having epileptic seizures might describe the light, but this was a reflection from the glass sides of the tall buildings. The AT&T building that looks like a steampunk version of a steakhouse’s blooming onion, metal and glass angled out at the top perhaps in a signal of birthing commerce and technology. We lonely valets outside Solera would sit in this sun chewing up the daily fatty topics, forced to wear sunglasses with our light blue shirts as we watched the sun slide down off the buildings and sink behind to our left under the exodus of the interstate.

This perch downtown outside let us see these streets in a peculiar way. Our semi-swank restaurant was often rented out at the party level by the handful of corporations who can spend thousands of dollars entertaining employees and potential business partners. Yet just down the road was the Greyhound bus station, and around the bend from that was Salvation Army’s Harbor Lights shelter, with its own flop room. It felt like a 21st century version of Twain’s “The Prince and the Pauper,” except at the valet stand it was The BMW and The Bum. Parking an eighty-thousand-dollar car only to return to the sidewalk and have a man try and hit you up for “fitty cents” in the entry of the parking garage on the way back with the fob in your hand (expensive cars didn’t even need keys anymore by 2007).Things got more surreal when the Chambers hotel opened up, the ice bar flaming in the winter, pouring twenty dollar drinks, and roaming on the corners was hard times Minneapolitans searching ashtrays for nicotine treasure. Downtown is where society mingles, where people go to be entertained, to get wined and dined, to be a sports fanatic, to get drunk, to dance, to see that band you’ll never forget. People still flock despite the inflated prices, the headache of traffic, and the never-ending confusion of parking. On the corner of 9th and Hennepin, we saw our fair amount of fender benders, saw a man pull a knife, and once my co-worker gave chase to a guy who snagged a wallet off a patio table. Once on a windy day, a twenty-dollar bill flew up to us from the street; it danced like a dragonfly around in the air, so we cackled and whooped as we ran after it trying to snare it in our claws or stomp it underfoot. Eventually Andrew Jackson’s face ended up under a running shoe sole. I started referring to that denomination at the valet stand as an “Indian Killer” after learning in a history class about the Trail of Tears. Nothing like this is mentioned in Tom Waits song with the same intersection as its title. There was an hourly hotel called the Amsterdam in the building across from us, and I showed my naivete when I had to ask, “Why would anyone ever want to rent a room by the hour?” But growing up outside St. Cloud in Bachmann country, there was a lot I didn’t know anything about. When the tips of the towers light up late at night I would sometimes glance up and think back to when anything around the metro area was referred to as “The Cities,” and here downtown shows both the opulence and the depravity. Every weekend women would be out on their bachelorette party, managing in heels to saunter into the Saloon to dance drunkenly, and every so often some poor soul would stop on their way out of a bar and mid-stride lose their stomach in the middle of the crosswalk or into a corner trash. I suppose you had to find humor in it, just like the men on the street side of the Saloon who would catcall at you when you had to shovel out the valet lane. Sometimes it was funny, and always it was ridiculous. Downtown is absurd. There once was a shooting near Shinders when it was still around, and that’s when I learned that Minneapolis Police Department downtown has CCTV in an area it calls a “Safe Zone.” The valet stand wasn’t any zone, but it felt like our own personal movie theater. We were street-level gargoyles trying to make money but being thoroughly entertained every night downtown.




FOXFIRE Lazerbeak remembers Downtown’s all-ages venue. Interview by Kyle Coughlin Downtown remains one of the best places to see live music in Minneapolis, with First Ave and the 7th Street Entry and the Fine Line drawing crowds for major touring and local performers. From 19982000, one Downtown club fostered a generation of young musicians and fans by being the only venue open to all ages. The Foxfire Coffee Lounge, at 319 N. First Avenue, gave local bands like The Plastic Constellations (also known as TPC!) their first big chances to play shows and get experience with the music business. TPC’s Aaron Mader, now best known as Lazerbeak of Doomtree, offered his thoughts on what made the Foxfire special and what it meant to his band. Q: What was the Foxfire Coffee Lounge? Lazerbeak The Foxfire was a coffee/sandwich shop in downtown Minneapolis (First Ave and 3rd St. -- basically across from the Fine Line) that also had an all-ages live music venue in the back. At the time it was pretty much the only all-ages venue in the Twin Cities, and they brought in a ton of national acts, as well as breaking ground for a million young local bands. It only lasted about a year (seems like so much longer than that, looking back on it), but it was super influential in starting a bunch of bands’ careers here. It is certainly almost 100% responsible for allowing me to get my foot in the door of the Twin Cities music community. 12 MPLSzine // DOWNTOWN



Q: How old were you when you first went to a show at The Foxfire Coffee Lounge? I had just turned 16 that July, the same month that it opened up in ’98. Q: Do you remember the first show you saw at Foxfire? If so, what was it? Yeah, pretty sure we went to the opening show. It was some Jawbox-sounding band from the East Coast called Flu Thirteen, and Dwindle opened up if I remember right (shout out to mastering engineer extraordinaire Bruce Templeton!). I definitely remember not knowing any of the bands and still buying everybody’s CD. Q: What are some of your favorite memories from the Foxfire? SO MANY SHOWS. Seeing pretty much every single Lifter Puller and Dillinger 4 show that ever came through. L7, Calvin Krime, Atmosphere, Dismemberment Plan, Selby Tigers, getting to open up for our favorite bands ever, playing our first sold-out headlining shows ever, meeting so many people and making tons of new friends, sleeping over occasionally on the couches in the show space and having after-hours dance parties next to the jukebox, getting to put on a rock opera for TPC’s first CD release party, doing our first interviews with local weeklies and zines. Sorry, I’ll stop now while I’m ahead. Q: How did you book your first gig there? What was that like? We didn’t want to come across too pushy as a super young band asking for shows, so I remember just going to almost every single show those first couple months, trying to take as much of it in as possible and establish a presence of some sort. At the end of the summer 14 MPLSzine // DOWNTOWN

I wrote a two-page letter and mailed it to the Foxfire, explaining how much fun I’d had there and how much the place meant to me. A couple weeks later, I went in with TPC’s first 7-inch and finally introduced myself to Tom, the booker. I was super nervous. I geeked out pretty hard about the place and attempted to explain that I played in a band and we’d love to get a shot at playing sometime. He put two and two together that I had written the note--it was hanging on their refrigerator by that point--and set up a show for us that fall. We had started a high school “record label” called Pretentious Records (TPC!, The Killer Bees, Intentional Mishap), so he offered us a label showcase night one Sunday. We brought out a ton of friends from Hopkins and convinced a couple older friends in “the scene” (Craig Finn from Lifter Puller, Chris from OarFolk) to come check it out. Once Tom saw we could actually draw a little and there were a few notable people in our corner, he started throwing us on the opening slot for local shows and we worked our way up from there. We had our first sold-out headlining show there with a lineup that consisted strictly of our friends’ bands. That night means just as much to me as the first time we sold out First Ave.

Q: What part do you think the Foxfire played in the local music scene at the time? It’s so hard to say objectively. To us it was the greatest thing that could’ve ever happened. All the indie rock shows were going to the 400 Bar, Turf Club and the Entry, so this was our first time ever getting to see so many bands. I think it really did infuse some new young local bands into the city (Decembers Architects, Grotto, Valet, Building Better Bombs, Heiruspecs...). Q: Do you think all-ages clubs still play a role in today’s music scene? I’m unfortunately pretty far removed from the all-ages scene these days. It’s the same thing that usually happens: The second I turned 21 I stopped thinking about it as much. Doomtree still tries to offer AA nights for all of our big shows, but I doubt I could even name you one strictly all-ages venue in the city at this point. Q: Was it weird having being at an all ages venue in Downtown surrounded by bars? It didn’t seem that weird at the time because none of us had really spent any time downtown, besides going to like a T-Wolves game or someDOWNTOWN // MPLSzine


thing. I do remember our older friends rushing out between every band to slam a couple beers across the street at Pizza Luce. Now that I’m older I definitely think it would be super weird to have something like the Foxfire situated right there on that block next to crazy nightclubs and bars.

enced people looking out for us back then.

Q: How did that venue affect you as a young musician?

It was pretty much the only venue we played around that time. We had done New Band Night at the Entry awhile before that and Sonia [Grover, the booker] was able to get us on some opening bills over there, which was sweet. Other than that, though, we were still playing high school events and birthday parties before the Foxfire came around. That and the 1021 House over in Dinkytown were our strongholds.

Growing up my whole life in Hopkins, it was a pretty incredible feeling to pile into a friend’s car and head into the city. It felt super important, like we were getting snuck into a whole new world or something--cheesy as that all sounds. I still remember the point on 394 East where you first see the city and how amped we would get about that. And the post-show ritual of getting Taco Bell on the way home from every show. So much Taco Bell. The Foxfire became our jumpstart and launching point into the city’s music community, so it affected me more than I could probably ever put down in words. It gave us a chance to be heard. Q: Did you learn anything in particular there about performing, working with club management, etc.? It was basically boot camp as far as that type of stuff was concerned. We studied everything: how bands moved around on stage, how many songs started to make a set feel too long, what made good stage banter, how to react when shit breaks on stage, how to book a show, how to make a solid lineup, how to settle shows, how to say “good job” to a band you liked, blah, blah, blah. It was also a crash course in networking that I could never have learned in school. I remember when it came time to finally record our first EP, Craig Finn set up a meeting with us and Dave Gardner at the Foxfire and basically put the whole thing together. They walked us through day rates and what it would all entail. We were lucky to have a ton of great, much more experi16 MPLSzine // DOWNTOWN

Q: What made the Foxfire different from other venues you played around the same time or since then?

Q: How did you react when you found out it was closing? Oh man, we were completely devastated. It all happened so fast that no one really had any time to react to it. We just knew they had put a call out for anyone that wanted to come by and play that night before it was all over. I think we got there as early as we could and just walked around it a bunch. Q: What effect did its closing have on your band and/or on the music scene? We pretty much stalled out after that. The Foxfire and the 1021 House closed around the same time and we just didn’t even know what to do. We were also all just graduating high school and each doing our own thing, so things like travel and school and girls added to that as well. I remember playing a lot at this coffee shop in Falcon Heights called the Fireball, I think? The Dinkytowner opened up and we’d play there sometimes. The Triple Rock was always good to us. Definitely remember our crowds getting way smaller at shows.

The Foxfire was sort of this melting pot for kids from all over the city and a million suburbs, and when it closed I think a lot of them just didn’t know how to find shows anymore. It took a few years before we got our shit back together and recorded “Mazatlan,” but by the time that came out we were all 21 or older. Q: Do you think there will ever be another all ages venue like this in Downtown? I can’t really see it happening. Now that I’m older I don’t even know how they were able

to pull it off as long as they did without a liquor license. Rent for that space had to have been like $7,000 or $8,000 a month even at that point in time. I remember trying to do the math back when they closed and it seemed like they would’ve had to sell out every show every month to be able to cover it. I’m sure that math was totally wrong, but it just doesn’t seem like there is enough coffee in the world that you could sell to cover monthly expenses like that. Photos courtesy of Aaron Mader. DOWNTOWN // MPLSzine



Words By Lauren Matysik & Photo By Andrew Casey

I woke up to the sound of my first crush, Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl” blasting, on my walkman –yep, that’s right, with a thickness of about 5-6 stacked iPhones, yet the mere capacity of one cassette tape. I looked out the window with delight at the downtown skyline, singing along to that sweet, sweet Piano Man, while my parents chuckled in the front seat for the first time in what seemed like forever. At 10 years old, I was itching to get home to my life as usual and that Minneapolis skyline provided a comfort nothing else could. Taking 94 to New Berlin, WI and back at least twice a year will teach you to anticipate your father saying “we’re not stopping” when you are on the verge of soiling your pants, tolerate the smell of prairie manure and skunk, and endure the seemingly endless path just to see that beautiful beast of blue steel on the horizon.


That skyline was the light at the end of a dark tunnel on a trip back in 1995. I couldn’t have been happier to leave behind a weeklong purging of collective tears. The death of my oldest sister was impeccably timed for holiday plans to be spent with extended family, but three days before Christmas turned me sour to the gentile display of cheer, even more than leaving blue steel for cow dung. The bitterness I extended to my immediate family, especially my mother –a saint for still loving me, feeding me, and ensuring my safety (despite the ensuing years of being blind-sighted by pubescent angst and never knowing what the hell was going on in her own daughter’s head). I pulled away from people I loved; the ability to regulate my emotions was my greatest regression. I continued to stare out the window, city lights flooding the vision of my sister’s Corolla mangled in a ditch.

That downtown skyline is my mecca. nity, and a shit-to-fan period in college, I arrived at the MSP airport on August 16th, Two years later, on a similar trip associ2012. I was met with open arms, warm emated with a similar scent and sentiment, we braces, and the epinephrine rush of locking brought my older, surviving sister home after lips as I jumped out of my skin at the thought she graduated from Madison with a degree of being home after 5 weeks of unknown, in Drum Circles, and a minor in PBR conuncharted, unbelievable foreign travel. sumption (justkiddingshewasonthedeanslistformolecularbiologyandshit). This time on Despite my omnipresent desire to travel 94, the skyline was a beacon of hope. Hope forever, I always yearn for that skyline. Defor a closer relationship with my sister, and spite enduring my high school hell never to finally all live in such a wonderful city, the wanting to set foot on Midwest soil again; same city, as opposed to being scattered despite driving my credit card debt to new across the Midwest (otherwise known as 5-6 and extreme heights for the sake of dropping hours of travel with 5-10-minute intervals of myself face-down, ass-up in Anytown, The poo and skunk). World; despite my consistent stubborn-mule, piss-poor, cynical attitude and my tendency That skyline is my beacon. to pull away and turn from who/what/where I really love‌ Fast-forwarding through the awkward middle school years, the torrential high school eterThat fucking skyline is home.



iMPULSE Robb McNeill: Chalk Skyline I moved to downtown Minneapolis in May of 2012. My roommate Ryan and I felt the need to do something drastic with our apartment. We live on the 19th floor and have a great view of 35 W, south Minneapolis and uptown; however, the decor of the apartment itself was rather drab. One of us stumbled upon a recipe for making your own chalkboard paint, and decided we would paint an accent wall in the apartment using this method. To create you own chalkboard paint, you add one tablespoon on non-sanded grout for every cup of paint. You can literally choose any color paint, and it will work. We decided on this color which was called “plum raisin.” The color selection was inspired by the leather binding of a book called the “The Ultimate Bar Book.” For our first legitimate attempt at a mural, we really wanted to pay tribute to the city we now call home. Ryan is a Wisconsin native, and I grew up in Massachusetts and New Jersey. I don’t know if I’ll be here forever, but I love the Twin Cities. It’s the people, the music and art scene, budding fashion industry, mixology, craft beer and foodie scene that has kept me here since graduating from Bethel University in 2008. Not a whole lot of planning went into the project. It came together very quickly and organically. I found an image on Google that I wanted to use, did a quick sketch copying the image and drew a simple grid on top. We then drew a grid on the wall, to help us get the framework down initially. A rough outline of the skyline was drawn, and from then on we free handed everything using the image of the skyline pulled up on our iPhones for reference. The entire process was really fun. As an artist, I always love the challenge of working with a new medium. Working with chalk provided just that as I had never really worked with chalk on a large scale. Once we had the basic shapes down, it came together very quickly. Ryan and I finished the skyline and lower roots section within a couple hours. A few weeks later a good friend of mine, Nathan, came over and we originally planned on erasing the mural to make way for a new one. However we had the idea to add to the mural, and then film a timelapse of us erasing it. ( Nathan and I filled in the sky behind the skyline, added the moon/clouds and finished of the roots portion. iMPuLSe was a concept that we had been discussing for a while. Our vision for iMPuLSe Creative is to regularly release murals, street art, paintings etc. and share them with friends and family via the Facebook page ( and Instagram handle (IMPULSE_CREATIVE.) Robb McNeill works for General Mills in Social Media, and also co-owns a small business with a few friends. Ryan works for Gov Delivery in St. Paul and Nathan works for Russel Williams Home Services, and will be attending MCAD in the Fall. My company Twiddle & Bard specializes in custom letterpress stationary and design. We do everything from wedding invitations to beer labels to business cards. We have a few prints for sale at MPLS based barber shop and vintage clothier Midnorth Mercantile (, select items are available on our etsy page (, however most of our work is done on a custom basis. Other work can be found on our website ( and our Instagram handle (Twiddle_and_bard).






A Guide Away From Conspicuous Consumption By Catherine Jensen Photo by Andrew Casey


“A beacon of light,”

as Wilbur Burton Foshay called Foshay Tower in his New Year’s Eve radio speech on WCCO shortly after the tower’s opening. The first skyscraper of the midwest and the tallest building in Minneapolis, until IDS Center surpassed it in 1972, Foshay tower fights to stay a civic symbol of Minneapolis. It drowns in the modernity that surrounds it. From different angles Foshay Tower peaks out of our downtown skyline, the obelisk shape, the bold black letters, FOSHAY, that turn to sparkles at night. If you don’t catch it you might miss it--it’s facade is fleeting like the decade it was built to celebrate. I admit, I did not know how historic it was, how detailed, how many stories went into it. It was not until the Summer of 2012, on an afternoon adventure with a special someone, that I discovered Foshay Tower to be my favorite building in Minneapolis.

A beacon of dreams, Foshay tower was built because a teenager named W.B. Foshay dared to declare he would, one day, build his own skyscrapper. After a trip to D.C. with his father, Foshay vowed to someday construct a replica of the Washington Monument. For whatever reason that monument stuck as a symbol in his mind. to celebrate America’s first president. His dream came true on August 30th 1929 wtith the completion of Foshay Tower--the first skyscraper west of the Mississippi. He spent $3,750,000 to build it and $116,449 to celebrate it. Foshay Tower was a forward thinking building for the Midwest, as it was the first building assembled completely by union labor. It housed sculptures by Hiriam Powers, three busts of George Washington-one still located in the museum on the 30th floor, and Harriet Frishmuth’s bronze sculpture, “Scherzo.” It encompassed the 1920s and it’s opulence we know it for. A time of change ended when the ‘30s came and survival mode set in. W.B. Foshay lost his money, his tower and went to jail for “shady” business (fraud). However the tower endured as it endures, to this day, the ever changing downtown that surrounds it. The glass doors open and history becomes tangible. Although muted by the modern stylings of the W Hotel, the original art deco designs become more and more present as you drink in the lobby with your eyes. Black, evergreen, and gold, such rich colors, battle the neon fuchsia lights-- the “opulence” of today. Ride elevator number 4 up to floor 30 and the heavy burdened doors will present you to a small, almost attic like room of history and stories seldom heard. The starch white walls offer little opposition to the protected artifacts that tell the forgotten stories of a once revered building--a symbol of a city. Now, climb that last flight of stairs to the solitary door that opens to the observation deck. Your eyes will reach for miles and point out places that make up parts of your life. Standing on rooftops is only for big cities, metropolises, this type of endless view is only for Chicago or New York. Now, after drinking the possibilities, it becomes prevalent Minneapolis is a big contender. It fights for it’s future. However, we are responsible for it’s past--to not forget. Modernity can be a monster, so can change. If we are not careful, change may swallow Foshay Tower’s history and it’s lessons whole. The past is best celebrated through acknowledgement in the present, “A beacon of light,” to guide towards a substantial future. DOWNTOWN // MPLSzine


The Foshay Tower

Is my favorite place in Minnesota. The Foshay Tower was the first skyscraper in Minnesota, completed months before the stock market crash of 1929. Mr. Foshay, the business man that build it was later imprisoned for “defrauding investors”. At the time the public was set on blaming individuals for their companies sudden failure, rather than the national stock crisis. Anyway, he had to be pardoned by TWO presidents. I think the Foshay Tower represents really romantic ideals of a time when big business wasn’t synonymous with corruption and greed. When business men were the creative people, thinking and innovating.


I happened to be there on 4/20 and the observation deck had a remnant odor of weed. These strategic stoners clearly got together and said, “what’s the most epic place we can smoke to commemorate this day?” And they picked the Foshay, so actually that’s all I really needed to say about it. My Grandma worked at 808 Foshay Tower at the height of it’s glory and, believe it or not, she never went to the top. I hope to take her soon. Words & Photos by: Olivia Ridge



Street Photography


Photos & Captions by: Olivia Ridge

Father of Waters: My Grandma immediately recognized this statue as “Father of Waters�. My Grandpa was the city engineer and worked in this building (Minneapolis City Hall) for years. DOWNTOWN // MPLSzine


Street Performer: We made eye contact as I took a photo of him on the crosswalk. He kept playing, but turned right toward me and played to me as I walked down the street, the sound growing louder as I walked away. This picture is of that moment. His music made me feel like that statue of Mary Tyler Moore in front of Macy’s.


Marquette Avenue: Passing on the crosswalk, he started laughing when he realized I was taking a picture of him. Really strong, hearty laugh.




Landmark Center: This is inside Minneapolis City Hall. Can hardly believe my Grandpa climbed those beautiful staircases every day. DOWNTOWN // MPLSzine






PhotoDOWNTOWN By Light the Underground // MPLSzine


“I must say, it felt pretty creepy walking in some sections where everything was closed and I was the Armand Hayes

only person there. I fully expected a zombie to jump out from nowhere.� -Armand Hayes, Photographer

Aaron Hays Behind the Veil




Photo by: Matthias Michlitsch

Food Truck Firsts Words by Cassidy Wilson & Photos by Jake Ryan




When I first heard tell of the food trucks in downtown Minneapolis, I thought maybe I’d find two or three as I walked along a few blocks...maybe four or five on a crazy day. What I was absolutely not expecting was what I found: Marquette Avenue, between 5th street and 8th street, was completely packed with boxy, brightlycolored restaurants on wheels. The city street had completely transformed into a pop-up gourmet food court. As I weaved my way between hordes of tourists, day-trippers and business folk eager to snag something tasty on their lunch breaks, one delicious smell after another wafted seductively through the air. I kept thinking the same thing: “I can’t believe I’ve never done this before!” To be fair, I haven’t had many chances. For most of my life, I’ve lived in a small Chicago suburb called Grayslake, right on the border of Gurnee, a town well-known for Six Flags: Great America, a kitschy waterpark called KeyLime Cove (where I spent the most depressing working summer of my young adulthood) and an unremarkable shopping mall called Gurnee Mills. If you can name big restaurant chain, chances are there was a location nearby. Unfortunately, that meant that independent local food was scarce.


Add to that the utter lack of sidewalks or public transportation of any kind, and it’s no wonder that I never heard of anything called a “food truck” while I was growing up. In 2008, I moved to Appleton, Wisconsin to attend Lawrence University. Late in my college career, I heard of a food truck for the first time: Kangaroostaurant was a popular neighborhood institution, but to my knowledge it was the only business of its kind in the city. I heard good things constantly, but I never found a chance to try it. After graduating last year, my boyfriend and I moved to Minneapolis in September in hopes of plunging ourselves into a new situation and building a life for ourselves from square one. We’ve been discovering lots of new things here, but watching the city’s gradual migration out-of-doors as the winter subsides has been the most fun. Like most of my fellow residents, I’ve been desperate for some sunshine and outdoor activities after being stuck inside for so many months. So when asked if I’d like to accompany a few MPLSzine staffers downtown to check out the food truck scene, I jumped on the opportunity.

When I met Bethany Hall and Zoe Pizarro, MPLSzine’s layout director and intern and my personal guides through this food truck experience, we walked up and down the line of food trucks, taking a long hard look at each of the options. There was the famous World Street Kitchen, the questionably-named Rusty Taco, and Cupcake, with its delectable-sounding menu of cupcakes and ice cream sundaes, which I promised myself I’d come back to for dessert. Ultimately I was sold first by the sleek design of Hola Arepa’s paleblue truck and bold white logo. We ordered the Slow-Roasted Pork Arepa with a Ginger Lemonade to wash it down and were handed a playing card. When our suit and number were called, I couldn’t have been happier with my choice; the flavorful spiced pork was a perfect complement to the crispy cornmeal arepa, and the mix of salsas I squirted from a couple of plastic ketchup bottles tied the whole thing together marvelously. I’d never tasted anything quite like it. Determined to try something else, we continued up the opposite side of the street, passing Mr. Mustachios, whose truck actually had a mustache, and Potter’s Pasties and Pies, where the smell of fresh dough and gravy gave me fierce nostalgia for London. Ulti-

mately, we stopped at House of Hunger, whose menu of cheesedrenched sandwiches and deep-fried hot dogs demanded further inspection. When I saw “cheesy bacon dog” on the list of fried hot dog options, I decided I had no choice but to go for it. There was a bit of the wait, but the charismatic order-taker kept us happy with jokes and a warm smile. I’m only slightly ashamed to admit that, once my cheesy bacon dog appeared, I could only finish about half of it. The smoky frank itself, plus the generous portion of real bacon chunks on top, plus a hunk of cheddar cheese and a slathering of hot cheese sauce conquered me within a couple bites, and I was even so thoroughly defeated as to lose my ability to go back for the Cupcake dessert I had coveted so recently. All I can say is this: the cheesy bacon dog, while delicious, is NOT for the faint of heart. I still feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface of the city’s food truck scene, but my first visit was a great success. I can’t wait to make it back...and next time, I think I’d better do dessert first.



Photos By: Dan Anderson


Photo by: Dan Anderson




Photo by: Dan Anderson



Photo By Mike Scott


Photo By Mike Scott



Photo By Mike Scott


Photo By Mike Scott



Meet Dan.


Meet Randy.

Photos by: Andrew Casey DOWNTOWN // MPLSzine


Meet Joseph.

Photos by: Andrew Casey







Photo by: Andrew Casey




Photo by: Andrew Casey

Brian Moe

Aaron Hays Behind the Veil

Seth Young

One thing that I’ve loved since moving to Minneapolis has been exposure to the music I like, namely punk/metal/hardcore. Downtown Minneapolis venues have furnished me with many such shows, and many fun memories are set there.

MPLSzine summer social Save The Date: July 11th, 2013