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April 2010 Volume 16 Number 4

Your Community News & Information Source

Sample St. Paul Event Guide Page 4

River stewards say you’d be surprised at what turns up along the riverbank Page 8 Conny’s Creamy Cone by Claudia Stack-Kremer

Nick Germano illustration

Crawl times & dates: 6-10 p.m., Fri., April 23; noon-8 p.m., Sat., April 24; noon-5 p.m., Sun., April 25.

Mary Deiedrick Hansen Staff Writer


hat happens when the first warm breezes of spring arrive? We throw open our windows and doors and start spring cleaning. (Well,

some of us do the latter.) For art lovers, it’s time to take a good look at what’s hanging on the wall over the sofa and what’s gathering dust on the fireplace mantel. Maybe it’s time to ditch that framed print you’ve hung onto since college, and get rid of the “sculpture” you made in high school, which the custodian nearly tossed into the trash by mis-

take. Art seekers ready for a change are in luck because it’s time for the Lowertown Spring Art Crawl. A bit of everything beckons: etching, sculpture, painting, fiber art, collage, pottery, digital art, furniture, photography. The list is nearly endless. Take a free self-guided tour to the studios of more than 200 downtown artists for a close, personal look at what they do and where they do it. A free shuttle service (disability accessible) is available to transport visitors to nearly 40 venues throughout the downtown area. If you are after a particular type of art, pick up a free brochure at the shuttle stops to zero-in on specific artists, venues and mediums.

Artist: Claudia StackKremer, poster contest winner Artwork: Conny’s Creamy Cone Born in Superior, Wisc., Stack-Kremer gained an appreciation for painting by watching her mother, a self-taught artist. “She let me fool around on her canvas when I was 5 or 6 years old,” she said. “I painted a portrait that I titled, ‘Jacqueline Kennedy’! You inherit an appreciation for art and learn to observe and see the world around you. I was kind of a quiet child. I liked to step back from things and watch. You can see this in my highly detailed art.” Stack-Kremer attended Art Crawl / Page 6

St. Paul artist leads off with his art at new Twins stadium Page 10

F uller Files

by Roger Fuller

Zeitgeist concert

Your community news and information source

Zeitgeist will present a concert of electronic music in both classical and modern traditions at 8 p.m., April 1-3, at Studio Z, 275 E. Fourth St. Compositions by Scott Miller, Arthur Kreiger and Alvin Lucier will be performed.

go, 10:30 a.m., Fri., April 30; coupon clippers, 1 p.m., Mondays; yarn crafts, 2 p.m., Tuesdays. Movies at 1 p.m. Thursdays include “Along Came a Spider,” April 1; “Cape Fear,” April 8; “Adaptation,” April 15; “Ulee’s Gold,” April 22; and “Capote,” April 29.

City Passport

Plug Into St. Paul

City Passport senior citizen center will host a Collectors Road Show at 2 p.m., Fri., April 23, on the mezzanine level of the Alliance Bank Center, 55 E. Fifth St. Mike Kranz, of Midtown Antiques in Stillwater, and Dick Richter, an antiques dealer for 35 years, will appraise furniture and other items. Other events at City Passport include: ice cream floats, 2:30 p.m., Fri., April 9; current events, 11 a.m., Fri., April 16; book club, 1 p.m., Tues., April 20; ladies’ tea, 2:30, Mon., April 26; candy bar bin-

Plug Into St. Paul will meet 5:30-7:30 p.m., April 15, at the St. Paul Hotel in downtown. The group, which meets the third Thursday of every other month, is intended to introduce newcomers to downtown. CapitolRiver Council/District 17, which sponsors the event, invites representatives of downtown businesses to attend.

Black Dog art show

The Black Dog Café, 308 Prince St., will hold an exhibit during April featuring found or recycled items that have been turned into works of art.

Airport flood prevention

The floodwall at St. Paul’s downtown airport can handle spring flooding even if it reaches a flood stage of 27 feet because of improvements completed within the past year. Pat Hogan, of the Metropolitan Airports Commission, said a permanent floodwall has been put in place and a portable wall can be assembled within a week. The airport last flooded in April 1965, when the flood stage reached 26 feet.

Sidewalk dining task force

Andrew Schlack has been named chair of a task force that will study the realignment of Sixth Street between Wacouta and Sibley to allow tables to be placed on the sidewalk for the use of patrons of the Bulldog restaurant, Barrio Tequila and the Bin Wine Bar. Neighbors’ concerns

have focused on a loss of parking spaces on Sixth Street, noise from the patrons, the possible removal of a bus shelter or bus stop, and misbehavior of bar patrons in Mears Park across the street. Other task force members are Ben Johnson, Patrick Garay-Heeelan, Patricia Wirth, Katy Lindblad, John Manillo, Damien Goebel, and Larry and Barbara McMullen.

Lowry Theater Lab

Theatre Unbound will present a version of “Medea” that draws on both the classical Greek and Japanese No theatrical traditions. It will be performed April 10-25 at the Lowry Theater Lab, 16 W. Fifth St. Table Salt Productions will present “Love After Hours,” a musical comedy beginning April 30. The company will conclude its run of “Spring of Freedom: Summer of Fear,” about the Iranian revolution of 1979, on April 3.

McNally Smith concerts

McNally Smith College of Music will hold a Sing Out choir concert at 7 p.m., Mon., April 26, at the Fitzgerald Theater, 10 E. Exchange St. Several small vocal ensembles will perform classical and contemporary pieces. A Live at Five concert will be held 5-6 p.m., April 20, at the school auditorium, 19 E. Exchange St. Cliff Wittstruck will perform jazz guitar.

Minnesota Sinfonia

Cellist Soo Bae will perform three pieces with the Minnesota Sinfonia at a free concert, 7 p.m., Fri., April 9, at First Covenant Church, 1280 Arcade St. The selections include “Elegy” by Gabriel Fauré, “Hungarian Rhapsody” by David Popper and “Salut d’Amour” by Sir Edward Elgar.

New optical store in Town Square

Specs on the Beach optical shop has opened on the Town Square skyway next to D. Brian’s restaurant, a location previously occupied by a coffee shop and an electronics store. Owner Jim Johnson also operates MetroOptics in the US Bank Center. The Town Square shop will help draw attention to the main store and provide an outlet for prescription sunglasses, he said, adding that as the ozone layer grows thinner, the potential damage of the sun’s ray to the eyes is increasing, creating more consumer demand for sunglasses.

Cathedral fundraiser

The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is holding a fund drive to raise about $30 million. About $32 million was spent several years ago to replace the Cathedral’s copper dome and make other improvements.



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Page 2 - Downtown St. Paul Voice - April 2010

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F uller Files

by Roger Fuller

About $13 million of debt remains. The cost for repairing the water damage caused by the old leaky roof amounts to $12.7 million. Another $2.5 million is sought for renovation of two pipe organs at the Cathedral.

Union Depot project receives funding

The St. Paul Union Depot renewal project has received $35 million in federal stimulus aid. It is part of the Transportation Department’s $1.5 billion portion of the overall $787 billion stimulus package. The plan is to improve the concourse area that served long distance passenger trains until 1971. M.A. Mortenson Co. has been selected to develop a design for the building and provide cost estimates. When completed, the Union Depot will serve Amtrak, high-speed passenger trains to Chicago, Jefferson and Greyhound bus service, the Central

Corridor light rail transit line and Metro Transit buses.

Corps’ move nearly complete

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ headquarters is expected to complete its move from Sibley Square, 336 Sibley, to 180 E. Fifth St. (formerly US Trust Center) in May. Shannon Bauer of the Corps explained that the move was necessary because the government has become more strict on locations of federal buildings since 9/11. The underground parking at Sibley was a major issue, she said. St. Paul’s Corps’ office serves parts of five

Your community news and information source states and is responsible for the river basins of the Mississippi and Red Rivers.

Indoor Farmers’ Market moves in late April

Golden’s Deli, located on the first floor of the historic Northwestern Building, 275 E. Fourth St. in Lowertown, will be back to normal on Saturdays beginning in May. The indoor Farmers’ Market held at Golden’s in late fall and winter will once again return to the great outdoors at its spring and summer home across the street. After plans fell through for a 5-story building with an

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Thursday, April 22, 2010 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Paul and Sheila Wellstone Center, 179 Robie Street East, St. Paul

For further information, call Kent Barnard Cost: Minnesota Department of Transportation, 651-234-7504



Vines and Steins liquor store is scheduled to open in April at 266 E. Seventh St., according

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to owner and St. Paul native Matt Lokowich, who lives in Lowertown. Also the owner of the Bulldog restaurant at Sixth and Wacouta, Lokowich plans to stock about 1,000 brands of beer in his 3,700-square-foot store. He also plans to prepare sandwiches at the Bulldog and deliver them a block-and-a-half away for sale to customers at his new liquor store.

St. Paul Voice This is your opportunity to get details about the Highway 52 Lafayette Bridge Publication: La Voz Latina replacement project. This project marks a significant change for the area, Downtown and all residents and business owners are encouraged to attend. For more South St. Paul information or to sign up for e-mail updates, please visit Deadline:

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indoor market on the ground floor, Jim Golden recruited some growers a couple of years ago to set up booths in his deli. This year things expanded when the Farmers’ Market became officially involved. Golden had about 20 growers inside, with another 8 on the sidewalk. He’s passionate about the indoor market, considering it an essential year-round link




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S ample St. Paul

Your community news and information source

History Theatre “Queens of Burlesque” is presented April 24-May 23. This performance is a funny, poignant and revealing look at the lives of burlesque performers, both on and off stage, during the Twin Cities’ burlesque theater scene of the 1950s. As the era came to an end, these performers found themselves caught between economics of the time and the talents that they’d spent their lives honing. Tickets are $28$32 for adults, $25-$30 for seniors and $15 for students. For more information, call the box office at 651-292-4323.

Children’s Museum “Dinosaurs: Land of Fire and Ice” is presented through May 31 at the Minnesota Children’s Museum, 10 W. Seventh St., St. Paul. This exhibit will transport families back to the Cretaceous Period (145 - 65 million years ago) to explore

Frank” is presented through May 7. In this extraordinary account of eight Jews hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, Anne Frank emerges from history as a lyrical and intensely gifted young woman. Be inspired by this timeless account of a girl whose imagination and hope would not be stifled by adversity. Tickets are $36-$40 for adults, $31-$35 for seniors and $15 for age 30 and under. For more information, call 651-2917005.

“Queens of Burlesque,” presented April 24-May 23 at the History Theatre, is a funny, poignant and revealing look at the lives of burlesque performers, both on and off stage, during the Twin Cities’ burlesque theater scene of the 1950s.

Photo by Margaret Andrews

dinosaur habitats and understand how these mysterious animals lived. “Children of Hangzhou: Connecting with China” is presented through May 16. This exhibit is designed to engage children and families in learning about one of the oldest civilizations – and now among the most modern in the world – through some of

its young people. Tickets are $8.95. For more details, call 651-225-6000.

Xcel Energy Center

Bon Jovi will perform at 7:30 p.m., April 7 and 8. Tickets are $29.50$131.50. Grammy, American Music Award and fivetime Dove Award-winning “Group of the Year” Casting Crowns, with

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special guests Tenth Avenue North and CALEB, will present its “Until the Whole World Hears” tour at 7 p.m., Sun., April 11. Tickets are $25-$77. The Xcel Center is located at 199 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. For more information, visit www.

Park Square Theatre “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” is presented April

9-May 2, at Park Square Theatre, 20 W. 7th Place, St. Paul. All Jean wants to do is stop the ringing cell phone of the man sitting (quietly) next to her. Boldly choosing to answer it may end up being the best thing that happens to her. In this quirky modern adventure, Jean re-connects to her own spirit and learns — from a dead man — that life is for the living. “The Diary of Anne

Science Museum “Dead Sea Scrolls: Words That Changed the World” – This exhibit, featured through Oct. 24, offers a rare opportunity to witness one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century — The Dead Sea Scrolls, which include the earliest known Biblical writings. The 2,000 year-old, authentic text fragments are steeped in scientific, religious and cultural significance.

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“Inver Hills is #1 in Adult Education” Inver Hills is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system, and an equal opportunity educator and employer.

S ample St. Paul Complementing the exhibit is “Arabia,” showing in the Omnitheater. This new film offers a look at Arabia’s culture, history and religion. Tickets are $28 for adults and $22 for children ages 4-12 and seniors age 60 and older, or $34 and $28 respectively with admission to the Omnitheater. Amantes de la Ciencia (Lovers of Science) is presented 1-4 p.m., Sat., April 24. This exhibit introduces visitors to science and education professionals from the Twin Cities’ Latino communities. The Science Museum is located at 120 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul For more information, visit, or call 651-221-9444.

History Center “Benjamin Franklin: In Search of a Better World” is presented through July 4, at the Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. You know about Benjamin Frank-

lin’s famous experiment with a kite, a key and some lightning, but did you also know about his rebellious youth? That he pioneered wind surfing and invented swim fins? That he helped found the nation’s first hospital, was an environmentalist and charted the Gulf Stream to assist in ocean travel? In many ways Benjamin Franklin is the founding father nobody knows – misunderstood because of the sheer breadth and diversity of his accomplishments. Discover the many ways Franklin has affected our world today in the new exhibit. “Minnesota’s Greatest Generation: The Depression, The War, The Boom” - This exhibit features more than 6,000-square-feet of artifacts, interactive displays and innovative multimedia experiences that reveal the lives and stories of the men and women who came of age during the Depression and World War II, and who

Your community news and information source went on to create the phenomenal postwar boom. The exhibition features first-person narratives in recorded interviews, images, film and audio. “MN 150” - Meet 150 people, places, events and things that have sparked significant change within Minnesota and beyond. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and college students, and $5 for children ages 6-17. The center offers free admission on Tuesdays from 5-8 p.m. For more information, call 651259-3000 or visit www.

Lowry Theatre “Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad!” is presented through April 26 at the Lowry Theatre, 16 W. 5th St., St. Paul. Comedy and drama collide in this romantic comedy about two lonely, single par-

ents who meet and fall in love while watching their kids play hockey. Tickets are $14.50-$27.50 and can be ordered by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800982-2787. For more information, call the box office at 651-227-2464.

Cherokee West

Art Fest April 17-May 22 Come celebrate the creativity of our neighborhoods!

Art Events Opening Reception

Saturday, April 17 • 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. Includes a poetry reading at 5:30 p.m. and light refreshments.

Closing Cabaret

Saturday, May 22,beginning at 7 p.m. Includes live vocal and instrumental performances and light refreshments.

The “God Is Still Speaking” church Sundays at 10:15 a.m.

The Artists’ Quarter, located in the Historic Hamm Building at 7th Place and St. Peter in downtown St. Paul, offers live entertainment

St. Paul City Ballet is offering a free ballet program at noon, Tues., April 13, at the Landmark Center. The event will feature St. Paul City Ballet’s Company of dancers, who will perform and educate attendees on various aspects of ballet and preview upcoming performances. For more information, call 651292-3276, or visit www.


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PCL encourages all MBE/WBE subcontractors Cost: and suppliers to submit bids for this project. The Minnesota Reading Corps is committed to the Published: inclusion of all individuals regardless of disability, gender, We also recommend all bidding subcontractors race, religion and sexual orientation. Reasonable expend every good faith effort to achieve accommodations provided upon request. maximum participation by MBE/WBE’s. Ok as is (please X ) Plans are available for download for $10 at Change and send, eBidDoc #: 1098832. revised proof Client Signature

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Scopes: relocation of underground utilities, Fax: 651-457-1077 demolition of roadway paving and equipment, This material is developed by and is property the St. Reliable Mail, Parcel and Office AofNew environmental remediation, public Paulunderground Publishing Company and may not be reproduced, Supply Center in Downtown St. Paul copied, published, exhibited or otherwise used without utilities, drainage, street lighting, light rail track, written consent of the St. Paul Publishing Company. © bridge and retaining wall structures, light rail St. Paul Publishing Co. 2007. stations, adjustments to areaways, underWestern Union Terms: Prepayment by credit card required for firstground communications, signal and traction time advertisers. When billed, payment is due in full Money Transfers power ducts, pull boxes, above and belowin ten days of run date on invoice. Invoices over 30 dayscatenary past due willpole be assessed grade traffic signal facilities, foun-a $3 rebilling charge. If payment is not received in 30 days St. Paul Publishing dations, sidewalks and roadway Company pavements. will put the charge on the credit card on file.


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throughout the month, including jazz bands, poetry nights and the popular B-3 organ night. For more details, call 651292-1359 or visit www.

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Downtown St. Paul Voice - April 2010 - Page 5

A rts & Culture Art Crawl from page 1

the University of Wisconsin – Superior, where she earned a degree in studio arts and teaching. She tried different mediums during her studies but chose oil because, “The pigments have a rich beauty. It’s like squeezing jewels onto the palette,” she explained. She moved to Burnsville, Minn., after marrying, and it was there that she met a group of women artists who had formed the Burnsville Society for the Arts. They told her about an afterschool teaching position that was open at the Minnesota Museum of Art in downtown St. Paul. She got the job and taught K-6 students for several years. Her curricula tied into whatever was exhibiting at the museum. Then it was time to concentrate on being a mother and remodeling

a bungalow she and her husband purchased in South Minneapolis. She assisted with art projects at her daughter’s schools, from elementary through high school. She began painting scenes of the city’s character-filled neighborhood landmarks, some of which were disappearing. She discovered Conny’s, an enterprise at 1197 Dale St. N. in St. Paul, while bicycling with her husband. She photographed it, and it has become a popular piece in her Cityscape series, the purpose of which is, she said, is “capturing good memories and a moment in time before it slips away.” “I search for ordinary places that are unique and full of character, places that make a community or neighborhood special and remind me of times gone by,” said Stack-Kremer. “Some-

Your community news and information source times I’m lucky and find existing places while on road trips. Other times I search for subjects in the Minnesota History Center archives.” In her basement studio, she starts with a pencil line drawing and goes over it with a ground color of burnt sienna mixed with odorless turpentine. By doing this, if she needs to start over, the outline of the burnt sienna still remains. She has begun transforming her oil paintings into note cards and small prints that are matted for 11”x14” or 16”x20” frames. For these she uses archival ink on watercolor paper. Her work is sold at The Artist Mercantile in downtown St. Paul. During the Crawl, check out her exhibit in the Lowertown Commons Atrium, 300 E. 4th St. For more information, visit www.

Artist: Susan Kalis Artwork: “Gathering Basket” “Gathering Basket is very much inspired by teapots,” said Kalis, who has been taking pottery classes from renowned artist Foo Chung at the

Northern Clay Center in Minneapolis. One of Chung’s specialties is creating tiny intricate tea pots with rattan handles. “I thought it would be interesting to try the handle on something a little larger,” said Kalis.

Gathering Basket is 13 inches tall. Kalis comes from an artistic family. Her mother was a painter, her father a photographer. She has always loved and appreciated art and got her chance to delve into it and learn from the masters when, after high school, she started working in Special Education. One of the instructors was the wife of respected local potter Richard Abnet, from Stillwater. She found the classes to be a great way to relieve stress. She studied with him for 18 years, and developed her specialty of making a variety of utilitarian pieces like teapots and large bowls — anything that will fit into her 36”x18” antique electric kiln, set up in a small shed in her backyard. Find Kalis’s work in the Cosmopolitan Building, 250 E. 6th St., or at pollypipes50@yahoo. com.

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A rts & Culture Artist: Rhea Pappas Artwork: “Release” Pappas found her footing in photography by the time she was a senior in high school. She was attending the Perpich Center for Arts Education as a vocalist but became extremely interested in photography. When she couldn’t get into the school’s photo department, she decided to take a junior level photography class at the Minnesota College of Art and Design (MCAD), and found she loved it. They loved her, as well, and awarded her the college’s 2005 Scholastic Photographic Portfolio Award Scholarship. Her senior thesis, a series of black and white photos called, “Sister,” earned her the Advertising Photographers of America Award: Best of Student Award and a gallery show in New York when she was just 23. It was there that her love of Artist: Alexandria Ganzel Artwork: “City Cuff ” Ganzel combines her love of photography and metal work to create this unique piece of silver jewelry, which features the skyline of St. Paul. “It was done during the sesquicentennial (150 th anniversary) of Minnesota,” said Ganzel. She took a photograph of the skyline from Cherokee Park, located across the river on St. Paul’s West Side. She used Adobe Photoshop to change the photo’s tone quality so the dark features would stand out. The image was etched onto a brass plate and run through a mill onto silver to make an impression. “It takes quite a lot of skill to work toward end product,” said Ganzel. “I got into jewelry because it has to do with rocks. I was collecting fossils and rocks as a tiny mite down near the Mississippi River, and cutting stones 30 years ago in college.” She has a degree in geology from the University of St. Thomas and uses her knowledge to

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underwater photography was born. “The inspiration for the underwater work came from my previous project, “Sister.” People were telling me, ‘You need to photograph more in water.’ Aquatica Underwater Housing (a manufacturer of underwater photo equipment) said they would sponsor me and sold their cameras to me at cost,” explained Pappas. Being in the water is as natural to Pappas as breathing. She is a SCUBA diver, sailor and

create stunning, artistic jewelry. She believes the more knowledge you have about the material, the more you can experiment with it. “I do a lot of customdesigned business,” she said. “You are not getting a cookie-cutter piece. I translate my knowledge into wearable art that is meaningful to my customers. I create different things that are acting on my world. In such a fastpaced world I am privileged to be able to make these things.” See her work in the Cosmopolitan Building,

sculler and practically grew up on a sailboat. Her underwater photo shoots take place at a pool at an apartment complex where her grandmother lives. She uses a D700 Nikon full-frame camera but no snorkel; she just rises up and down with her models, and takes about 400 shots per shoot. The photos are not touched up except to remove pool drains if they are visible. She uses natural lighting from the windows that surround the indoor pool. Are her models good

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swimmers? “One didn’t know how to swim at all,” said Pappas. “We taught her right before she went in. That’s when you get something so original, and are able to bend the boundaries. Each photo shoot lasts about two hours.” TPT-TV recently filmed Pappas at work for its “Minnesota Originals” series, which is expected to air starting April 15. When not holding her breath for the right shot, Pappas teaches three classes a semester at Independent Film Project. She also started a Photography Boot Camp in the Twin Cities called Rhe Pops Photo Ed. Her goal is to inspire students to learn and be creative with photography. Pappas is also vice president of the St. Paul Art Collective, which organizes the Art Crawl. View her work at the Northern Warehouse, Studio 411.

Artist: Chad Hambright Artwork: “Bunny” “Bunny,” is one of ten in a series of 9x11-inch pen and ink drawings that Hambright calls “woodland critters.” Others include a duck, raccoon, fox, crow, frog and squirrels. From a distance, the animal is clearly seen but up close, the components of the body come to life. Hambright said he drew items that the animals may have collected over their lifetime. For example, the written words on “Bunny” might represent a scrap of newspaper that the animal may have come across. George Orwell is also one of the components, a nod to his novel, “Animal Farm.” Hambright said there is no political agenda behind his drawings. “I’ve dabbled in it all — oil, water, graphic design, video and film,” said Hambright, who has a degree in inter-media art from the University of Iowa. His tendency was to use pen and ink sketches when working on bigger projects. He liked the look and decided to do something smaller and more intricate. He starts by sketching the animal, then reworks it in pen and ink. Each drawing takes about 10 hours. Hambright said that when he was growing up, there was no question in his mind that he would be an artist. “From the age of three I was drawing when other kids were doing other things,” he said. “I had a good supportive family that encouraged me.” He works as a bartender and barista at a local coffee shop when not designing in his studio. See his work at Studio 517 in the Northern Warehouse Artists Cooperative, 308 Prince St. A Central Connection! Saint Paul Central Library and District Energy St. Paul

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R iver Connections

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Antiques, artifacts and more found along the Mississippi River stewards say you’d be surprised at what turns up along the riverbank Tim Spitzack Editor


ast year Julie Millerbernd of West St. Paul was volunteering at a Mississippi River clean-

up event in South St. Paul when she stumbled upon something very unusual. Lying in the weeds was a macabre black and yellow mask resembling the face of an aged Indian warrier. Since they were near the site of the former Kaposia Indian village, Millerbernd and other volunteers were sure they’d found a rare Native American artifact — a death mask used in funerary rites.

This “Death Mask” was found near South St. Paul last year during a river cleanup.

They had it examined by Chad Roberts, director of the Dakota County Historical Society, and Leonard Wabasha, director of cultural resources for the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux community, and were disappointed to learn that it was most likely a very elaborate art project rather than a rare artifact. It made for an interesting story, nonetheless. During a river cleanup in St. Paul, a volunteer saw something sparkle in the muddy riverbank. He bent down and unearthed a mint condition 1878 silver dollar coin. These are among the many treasures that can be found during a river cleanup, according to Paul Nordell, program coordinator of the Adopt a River program for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Admittedly, most volunteers who attend a river cleanup are not there to find treasure but rather to help make the river a cleaner, safer place. In reality, these events are often dirty, messy affairs in which volunteers collect discarded pop cans, automobile tires (usually found in pairs, according

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The 19th annual Mississippi Riverboat Clean-up will take place June 16 at Harriet Island aboard the Jonathon Padelford riverboat. to Nordell), and other forms of trash and debris. Since the program began in 1989, over 80,000 volunteers have cleaned up over 10,000 miles of shoreline along Minnesota’s rivers, lakes and watersheds, removing nearly 6 million pounds of trash. There are over 250 active groups participating in the program, which enlists individuals, families, service groups, businesses and conservation organizations to adopt a waterway section for two years. The program is similar to the Adopt a Highway program that uses volunteers to clean trash alongside roadways. Participants receive a free cleanup kit, bags and gloves, and other support, including help with organizing a cleanup and learning how to identify dangerous plants. The program is an offshoot of environmental efforts that began in the mid-1980s when thenMinnesota Governor Rudy Perpich mobilized state agencies for the Mississippi River Revival. The goal of this initiative was to clean up the canoe and boat landings along the Mississippi river, which had sustained considerable abuse from illegal dumping. By 1988, a task force was created to develop a volunteer-based program that would continue these efforts. One of the

most celebrated cleanups was on June 29, 1988, when volunteers removed over 80 tons of debris from Lilydale Regional Park, located along the Mississippi river in St. Paul. “There has been a dramatic shift over the years,” said Nordell of the decrease in the amount of trash along the river. “We are now in a maintenance mode.” Today, he said the biggest concern is from storm water runoff, which carries chemicals from automobiles, lawn fertilizers and other pollutants to the river. Humboldt Secondary School on the West Side is in its second year participating in the program. It adopts a stretch of riverbank on the West Side from the Smith Avenue High Bridge to the 35E Bridge. Students in grades 7-12 take part in cleanup efforts twice a year, and also frequent the site for field trips that tie in with the school’s new environmental curriculum. “It’s been very positive,” said Matt Osborne, co-environmental program manager and social studies teacher at Humboldt. “At first they were hesitant to get dirty but then got excited when they found things like a water heater and 200lb. tires. They were like, ‘wow, you’ve got to be kidding.’”

Cleanup events

• The city of South St. Paul, which has long taken part in environmental efforts along the Mississippi, is also in the process of adopting a section of the river through the program. It will host the South St. Paul River Cleanup at 9:30 a.m., Sat., April 24. Volunteer coordinator Deb Griffith said 80-100 people typically attend this annual event to help clean the riverbank and area parks. She said all supplies are provided but encourages volunteers to wear good shoes or boots. The event will be rescheduled in case of flooding. For more information, contact Griffith at 651-5543230. • St. Paul-based Friends of the Mississippi River is hosting a cleanup 9:30 a.m.-noon, Sat., April 17, in the Mississippi River Gorge. Volunteers will meet at two sites: East 36th Street and West River Parkway, and E. 44th St. and West River Parkway. For more information, e-mail srich@, or call 651-2222193. • The DNR sponsored event — the 19th annual Mississippi Riverboat Cleanup — will take place June 16 at Harriet Island aboard the Jonathon Padelford riverboat. For more information on this event and the Adopt a River program, call Norbert at 651-2595630.

B usiness

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Local merchant capitalizes on art community year-round Mary Diedrick Hansen Staff Writer


o where do you go to find fabulous art once the Art Crawl ends? The Artist Mercantile in downtown St. Paul is a good place to start. Featuring the works of more than 70 Midwest artists, it’s a one-stop shop for finding that special, oneof-a-kind, “labor of love” creation by a local artist. Art of all kinds is available under one roof, including jewelry, pottery, woodworking, clothing design, painting, sculpture and more. Artists gain exposure and experience selling their work on consignment at the Artist Mercantile, and owner Jennifer Bisch is happy to support them. She took over four years ago from founder Anthony Adler, who was reluctantly looking to close the shop in order to devote more time to his clothing enterprise, Heimie’s Haberdashery.

St. Paul Public Library events

April events at the downtown St. Paul Public Library include the following: • Central Library Book Club will discuss “Hills at Home” by Nancy Clark at 10:30 a.m., April 8. The History Book Club will feature “American Passage: The History of Ellis Island” by Vincent Cannaot at noon, April 22. • The Minnesota Book Awards will be held at 8 p.m., Sat., April 17, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 11 E. Kellogg Blvd. Tickets are $40 but discounts are available. • Poetry & Flute: Two in the Afternoon, 2-3 p.m., Sun., April 11, in honor of Poetry Month, featuring Walt Blue reciting poetry, and Linda Chatterton on flute. Blue, professor emeritus of Hamline University, taught French, Italian, Medieval and Renaissance literature, and African culture and literature. He will recite from Dante, Dick-

Bisch, who is also an artist, as well as friends of Adler’s, decided on the spur of the moment to buy the store from him. Now their treasure trove of local artistic creations is flourishing. Bisch believes the store has become better known through her efforts at reaching out to the community through networking events. At Christmastime she joined downtown Sophist-A-Gift and the Landmark Center Gift Shop in its “Holiday Gift Stroll” promotion, which provided patrons who visited the three stores with discounts, prizes and gifts. Local artists are invited into the store to “audition” their work. Recently, jewelry designer Gloria Acker of Glory Beads was available to demonstrate how to use a variety of materials to make creative and eclectic jewelry. In February, in honor of Valentine’s Day, The Artist Mercantile hosted

“The Art of Romance Soirée.” Scents from locally made candles and bath products floated through the air. Visitors were treated to Live romantic poetry, music, wine and chocolate samples. Patrons were invited to bring or mail in their favorite quote about love, which were then displayed. “Word of mouth is huge,” said Bisch. “We are very focused on the customer. The best part is when one of them stops by to tell me, ‘thanks for helping me pick out that gift; it was perfect.’ I try to keep the merchandise fresh and rotate it quite often to get new artists in. Artists who have been with me from ‘day one’ keep producing new items, and that keeps customers coming back. Shopping becomes more of a destination and experience in itself with all the new array of items on display.” Bisch said her customer base comes primarily

inson, Keats, Baudelaire, Mallarmé and Lorca. Chatterton, who received two McKnight Artist Fellowships for Performing Musicians, has toured throughout the United States, as well as Germany and the United Kingdom, and has performed at Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York. She has been heard on Minnesota and National Public Radio, and has released four CDs. • Shakespearian Renaissance Afternoon, 1:30 - 4 p.m., Sun,, April 25, featuring demonstrations of life in Tudor England: music, spinning, fencing (à la Romeo and Juliet), Western martial arts, and Shakespeare readings (in honor of his birthday), presented by the Society for Creative Anachronism. The Society is a not-for-profit educational organization devoted to the study of the European Middle Ages and Renaissance (600 to 1600 C.E.). Nordskogen is the Twin Cities chapter. The

event is free. Visit www. nordskogen.northshield. org for more information about the organization. • Free One-On-One Job Search Assistance, provided by a job search representative from Goodwill-Easter Seals, 2-4 p.m., every Wednesday in April. Information will include writing resumes and cover letters, and filling out job applications. No appointment is required. • Free Microsoft Word computer classes - Learn Microsoft Word, a wordprocessing software program that allows users to create documents and compose letters. The two-part class (Microsoft Word I and Microsoft Word II) will be offered twice in April. Registration is required. All classes are 10 a.m.-noon, Tuesdays. April 6, Microsoft Word I; April 13, Microsoft Word II; April 20, Microsoft Word I; April 27, Microsoft Word II. The library is located

Artist Mercantile owner Jennifer Bisch. from people who work downtown. Since she is located next door to Park Square Theatre, during evening performances she extends store hours to allow patrons to wander in before and after shows. “I had no idea what I was getting myself into,” she said about taking over the business so suddenly. “I am still learning, but when I started I was learning new things daily. There’s a lot of trial and error. I keep notes on

what worked and what didn’t.” The slogan for the store? “Experience the Art Crawl without all the crawling!” Some upcoming events include: • April 15: Meet jeweler Barbara Lager, who uses a sandblasting technique on aluminum to create colorful, whimsical animals and jewelry items. • April 22: Glass artist Vicki Olson will be in the store along with her jew-

elry, clocks, small serving trays and mini glass cutouts of the State of Minnesota. • May 8: Meet woodworker Tom Koontz, who specializes in flat wood wall hangings, comical wooden bottle stoppers and games for children and adults. The Artist Mercantile is located at 24 West 7th Place. For more information, call 651-222-0053.

at 90 W. Fourth St., downtown St. Paul. Contact 651-266-7000, ext. 5, or for information on any of these events. For more information call the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library, 651-222-3242.

Reggie Harris, Tish Jones and Ibé. The poets will also discuss the work they do in schools, prisons and other communities. The Almanac has hosted monthly Jams since October, and they will continue at the Black Dog through July. Each Jam is produced and hosted by a well-known writer

or spoken word artist. St. Paul “performance drawing” artist Lara Hanson interprets the readings using Japanese ink brushes. Free hors d’oeuvres are served, and the Black Dog Café will offer dining and beverage specials. All Reading Jams are American Sign Language (ASL) interpreted.

Lowertown Reading Jam

The Saint Paul Almanac continues its yearround literary celebration of the capital city with inspiring spoken word performances at a Reading Jam, 7-8:30 p.m., Mon., April 5, at the Black Dog Café, 308 Prince Street in Lowertown. An international cadre of award-winning writers and artists will perform and invite the audience to discuss the use of poetry and the spoken word for community activism. Curated by internationally acclaimed artist, Desdamona, the Jam will feature performances by

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A rts & Culture

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St. Paul artist leads off with his art at new Twins stadium Bill Knight Contributor


fter a nationwide search last fall, West Side sculptor Craig David was one of two artists selected to design and install public artwork at the new Twins baseball park in downtown Minneapolis. Some 600 artists were asked to submit ideas for public art at the stadium. Just over 80 responded and only three were selected to submit a mockup of their proposals. The Minnesota Ballpark Authority (MBA) asked David to create murals at the park, according to Dan Kenny, director of the MBA. Created by the 2006 Legislature to oversee the construction and operation of Target Field, the MBA authorized the public art at the stadium and on a nearby plaza. About $350,000 was

spent on the two projects, with some $200,000 earmarked for David’s art, according to Kenny. A committee chose three themes for the artwork — baseball, transportation and the environment — so David created three murals for the 5 th Street side of the ballpark, near the light rail transit station. His art is mosaic murals done in stone. Each panel is about 10 feet tall. Together the three panels stretch nearly 85 feet wide. “I truly believe the idea of the history of Minnesota baseball helped to cinch the job for me,” said David via email while vacationing in Mexico. “All of the murals are figurative and were developed, as is all my public art, with the people in mind. These works are the peoples’ art.”

Helping hands

David started on the first panel last fall, cutting and laying out each piece at his shop. He numbered the pieces and then brought them to the stadium site. “The task was daunting,” he said. “Usually I would create and install work like this myself, but our timeline was too short. I needed help.” Mary Aguilar, his spouse, saved the day. “She spent tons of time cutting pieces for the project,” said David. “Robert Sutherland and David Cubus installed number one and two murals.” The project is already getting great reviews. “The murals are a tribute to the many parts of Minnesota history, such as town baseball that still thrives in many smaller towns throughout the state, and to our Native American heritage,” said

On Your Doorstep. Online.

This mural pays tribute to town baseball, which still thrives in many communities throughout the state.

Chris Iles, director of own stories about them,” corporate communica- he said. “Viewers oftention for the Twins. times tell me what my The artwork was added work is about, sometimes to the ballpark largely years after they have been over the winter months created. My hope is that so one of the construc- these works will continue tion companies working to grow, to live, as time on the park built David goes by.” an ice fishing-type house David grew up on the to shelter him and his art West Side near Cherofrom the elements. kee Park and attended “When the shelter school at St. Matthew’s came down, the murals and Henry Sibley High were done,” Iles said with School. He graduated a laugh. from the University of And what does the art- Minnesota and continist want baseball fans to ued his education at the see in his art? University of Oregon, “Just that Minnesota where he earned a masbaseball history is a great ter of fine arts degree in story, many wonderful 1985. folks, a roots-type nar“I’ve been active in the rative,” said David. “The community since then, mural was not nearly especially as a public artlarge enough to tell it ist,” said David. “I’ve got all.” 13 public works of art loDavid also wants peo- cated on the West Side.” ple to find their own stories in his art. Art and baseball “My hope is that the ... In addition to the three people viewing the (muAd for SSP Voice:Ad for SSP Voice 10/30/09murals, 2:24 PM Target Page 1 Plaza is rals) will develop their

home to the largest piece of public art in the state. It’s located near First Avenue and Sixth Street. “It’s called the kinetic wind sculpture and it’s thousands of baseball card-size pieces of stainless steel that are loosely attached so they blow in the wind,” Iles said. Several other kinds of public art are also on the plaza. “Every time people come to the park they will see a huge expanse of public art,” Kenney said. “There will be sculptures of Hall of Fame Twins players and an over-sized bronze glove, kind of an old-school glove, that is large enough for kids to sit in and get their picture taken.” Even if the team is on the road, the “park is a magnet for all people. It’s a public park and will be active all year around,” he added.

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N ews Briefs Simek named to St. Paul Chamber Board

Stuart Simek, president and owner of St. Paul-based Meridian Management, Inc., a real estate firm, was recently named to the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors for the 2010 term. “I’m honored to be part of an organization that has been assisting Twin Cities businesses for more than 150 years,” said Simek. “As a local business owner, I value the support provided by the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, and I intend to use my expertise to promote commercial real estate and development throughout the Twin Cities.”

Jazz festival returns to Lowertown

Lowertown will host the 12th annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival June 17-19.

Back in Time from page 12

game shutout, batted in two runs and helped the Twins beat the Yankees and Whitey Ford 6-0. Yankee Stadium didn’t have a roof either and the rest of the New York series was rained out. The Twins moved on to Baltimore and thrilled their long distance Minnesota fans by taking three of four games against the Orioles. News of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becoming the first human to orbit the earth was drowned out by a really important development: Harmon Killebrew’s leg injury, which would put him on the bench for three weeks. The Twins went on to Boston, won one game there (more rain), and came back in first place for their home opener. On the morning of April 20, amid news of the Cuban invaders being crushed by Castro’s forces, the Twins arrived at what was then called Wold-Chamberlain field. A huge crowd greeted the team’s chartered DC-6 after the four-plus hour flight from Boston. The team was in for a full day,

Your community news and information source Featured at this year’s event are Grammy-winning saxophonist Joe Lovano, guitarist John Scofield, trumpeter Sean Jones, saxophonist John Ellis and drummer Jason Marsalis. The festival kicks off on Thursday with the Jazz Night Out club crawl, featuring live music in over a dozen downtown St. Paul clubs. Jazz vocalist Pippi Ardennia will perform 6-9 p.m. Thursday on the Mears Park Main Stage. Sean Jones and Joe Lovano with Us Five headline Friday night’s main stage performance, and John Ellis & DoubleWide and John Scofield and the Piety Street Band will perform Saturday. All of the concerts in Mears Park are free. Visual Jazz, a juried exhibit showcasing and celebrating art inspired by Jazz, will be on view during the festival. The host gallery has yet to be


even if they weren’t going to play until the next. The Twins were to play in the Twin Cities, and that meant twin receptions. From the airport, it was on to St. Paul for a brunch at the St. Paul Hotel and meetings with fans, politicians, etc. Then it was on to a motorcade to Minneapolis and another meal, meetings, etc. The players finally got to go home around 7 p.m. to rest up for the big day. Finally, the day of the home opener for the new team had arrived: April 21, 1961. The group of former Washington Senators would play – the Washington Senators. The people who run baseball, as organized then as now, had awarded Washington an expansion franchise the minute the original team left. The game attracted the Commissioner of Major League Baseball, the league president, the governor, the mayors of St. Paul and Minneapolis, numerous local big shots and about 25,000 fans. All tickets were sold, but chilly temps and the threat of rain kept some weather wimps at home. Alas for the high hopes.

The team that had humbled the Yankees just a few days before lost that day to the expansion team, 5-3. And, the flag got stuck at half mast. But no one was too upset; the big league season was underway in Minnesota. The Twins would finish that first season with a record of 70-90-1 to finish seventh in the American League. The Yankees shook off some early sloppy play to win the league pennant and easily beat Cincinnati in a five game World Series. It was the season of Maris and Mantle and the race for the home run record, and local fans were thrilled to watch. Four years later, the Twins would bring the World Series to Minnesota for the first time. Despite some setbacks in the last 49 seasons, local fans still love the Twins. Target Field will have that original SaintsMillers logo hanging in the outfield. And although the new park is in Minneapolis, that’s no reason for St. Paul fans not to make the trip across the river this summer for some outdoor baseball. Bring an umbrella.

Sholom Alliance receives award

Sholom Community Alliance recently received a Living Our Mission Award at the 2010 Aging Services of Minnesota Institute for its commitment to honoring the hopes, dreams and wishes of its founders for over 100 years. “Over the past 100 years, we have changed in name and size but we have never strayed from our mission,” said spokesman Michael Klein. “Our mission and vision is rooted in the Bible and is our bedrock. It helped us care for our seniors in 1908 and will be our guiding principle into the foreseeable future.” Sholom Community Alliance is a not-for-profit organization providing residential, social service and health care services primarily for older adults.

Kaposia, Inc. ‘Celebrating Determination’

Kaposia, Inc., a St. Paul-based private, nonprofit organization founded in 1963, will hold its fourth annual benefit, 4:30-9 p.m., Sat., April 17. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Determination,” featuring local, internationally acclaimed guitarist Billy McLaughlin, who relearned how to play the guitar after a medical disability left one of his hands paralyzed. The event is a fundraiser for Kaposia, which helps people with developmental disabilities and other challenges find employment and become active community citizens. Kaposia currently serves approximately 300 adults at more than 200 businesses and community organizations throughout the Twin Cities. The event includes a silent auction, regional beer tasting, gourmet cooking demonstration, a gourmet meal and featured entertainer,

Billy McLaughlin. Individuals, businesses and families who have been touched by Kaposia, Inc. will have an opportunity to share their experiences. The cost for the event is $75. For more information or to register, contact www.kaposia. com or Gary J. Benedict, or 651-789-2820.

National Lemonade Day comes to the Twin Cities

On May 2, area youth will join tens of thousands of budding entrepreneurs across the United States in setting up lemonade stands as part of National Lemonade Day. This program was designed to teach children how to start, own and operate a business. The Houston-based organization behind it is expanding to 13 states this year, and has joined with the Minneapolisbased Liemandt Foundation to launch the Twin Cities effort. The goal for the metro: 4,000 lemon-

ade stands. Kids of all ages can register online now at www., Participants will receive a backpack of information on how to set goals, create budgets, secure investors, select a site, purchase supplies and more, with an emphasis on the importance of serving customers, repaying investors and giving back to the community. For more information, visit www.


The Little Sisters of the Poor, 330 Exchange St. S., St. Paul, is having a Rock-A-Thon fundraiser 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Sat. April 24. Along with the people bringing in their pledges and rocking in rocking chairs, the event features a spaghetti dinner, games, raffles, a bake sale, music, local celebrity rockers and more. Cost is $9 for adults and $6 for children. For more information, call 651227-0336.

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Downtown St. Paul Voice - April 2010 - Page 11

B ack in Time April 1961 – The Opening Opening Day

Your community news and information source

Don Morgan Contributor


he Minnesota Twins are scheduled to open their new ballpark on April 12. Target Field will have all the amenities fans have come to expect of a modern baseball stadium, except for a roof, that is. That topic will probably be debated heavily following the first rained-out game. The building of this park was accompanied by the usual arguments over financing and direct referendums, and the usual accusations of greed, insensitivity to social issues, lack of public spirit, etc. However, now that it’s built, many people are hoping it will be a big success. It was on a day in April, 49 years ago that the Twins had their true opening day. At that time, many folks in St. Paul were paying close

attention to baseball, which allowed them a pleasant diversion from worrying about whether the Cold War was about to get very hot. World events in 1961 were ominous. That month’s headlines were full of news about Soviet involvement in the Americas, civil wars in Laos and Algeria, the first American troops sent to Vietnam and the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, which took place April 17. Fortunately, Major League Baseball had come to the Twin Cities to provide some relief. Despite the short season caused by its northern latitude, Minnesota had plenty of baseball fans. It had two minor league teams, the Millers of Minneapolis and the Saints of St. Paul, which kept up a spirited local rivalry for over 60 years. The trouble with the minor leagues is that they

The new team logo showed two players in Saints and Millers uniforms shaking hands over the Mississippi river. are minor. Cities will do much to get a major league team. In the case of the Twin Cities, that meant cooperation between St. Paul and Minneapolis. The late ’50s had seen the first movement of major league franchises in many years. The moves mostly involved clubs that shared cities with other teams — cities with a fan base that would no longer support both. Two teams left New York, and one each had left St. Louis, Boston and Phila-

delphia. In addition, the major leagues planned expansion, with each league adding two teams. Conditions were good for Twin Cities’ boosters to get a new team or to pick one of the weaker clubs and convince it to move here. The Washington Senators (also known sometimes over the years as the Nationals) were an American League charter franchise that began play in 1901. There had been a few bright spots along the way, including

a World Series title in 1924, but mostly there had been losing seasons. Years and years of them. The team had become the subject of the 1955 Broadway musical Damn Yankees, in which a middle-aged Senators fan sells his soul to the devil in exchange for another shot at glory for the team. In real life, the devil must not have been in a buying mood. The team’s owners agreed to move to Minnesota following the 1960 season. A team needs a place to play, and fortunately the Twin Cities already had a stadium on Cedar Avenue in Bloomington, where the Mall of America is today. Built by the city of Minneapolis as a home for its minor league Millers, Metropolitan Stadium had opened five years earlier and had recently been expanded to hold a little over 30,000 fans. Although no major

league team today would even consider a park that small, for the time it was mainstream and a definite upgrade for the Senators. The new team logo showed two players in Saints and Millers uniforms shaking hands over the Mississippi river. Interest was very high. Then, as now, the people who make up the baseball schedule didn’t trust the Minnesota climate enough to let the team open at home. They would play their first game as the Minnesota Twins against the Yankees in their big ballpark in the Bronx on April 11, 1961. Twins’ fans watched the game on local TV. Perhaps one of them did make a deal with the dark side, or maybe it was just a good day for underdogs, because the Twins’ Pete Ramos pitched a complete

Back in Time / Page 11



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Page 12 - Downtown St. Paul Voice - April 2010

Downtown St. Paul Voice  

April 2010 issue

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