Hack and Sack

About a year ago, we recall reading several pieces on “war chalking,” a trend in San Francisco, L.A., and New York, where electronic freedom fighters were developing a system for letting each other know where to find wireless interent access out on the street. They developed graffiti symbols akin to the mythical code of hobos […]

Tree Porn

A few months ago, the local papers reported the kind of story I love to read– a delightful item about the Minneapolis street widely regarded as the finest example of an old-fashioned Twin Cities avenue. The salient distinguishing feature was the street’s towering American elm trees which had somehow survived numerous plagues of Dutch elm […]

That Time of the Year

As you know by now, Time magazine has, with the usual fanfare, announced their “Persons of the Year.” They’ve selected three “whistleblowers” from the past twelve months of corporate malfeasance and government ineptitude. This is troublesome stuff. Not because people shouldn’t stand up for what they believe is right, but because when they do, and […]

Celebrating Sid

There have been a lot of great journalists to come out of this town, starting with Eric Sevareid and going right on through to three guys writing for the New York Times right now: Tommy Friedman, David Carr, and Ira Berkow. But for my money, I think the best of them all is the Midwest’s […]

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Genius Lessons

THE RAKE: What is the scoop you’re most proud of? Sid Hartman: The two biggest ones were about Ara Parseghian and Bud Grant. In 1975 I got the scoop that Parseghian was leaving as football coach of Notre Dame and that he would be replaced by Dan Devine. And in 1983 I reported first that […]

Uncle Franky’s

Close readers of this magazine know how we are obsessed with the Chicago-style hot dog. We’re pleased to report that The Wienery and Joey D’s have been joined by a serious contender in this life-sustaining work—and in the heart of sausage country, Nordeast! Uncle Franky’s is the real deal, working from the foundation of an […]

New Year’s Eve: Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board

Here’s a kid-friendly (not too late into the night) way to celebrate the New Year on the actual holiday, on the west side of the Mississippi. Well, actually right in the Mississippi. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is pitching their tent on Nicollet Island. Skating, skiing, sledding, hayrides, and more are the order of […]

New Year’s Eve: Bremer Capital Holiday

If you want a wild bash with the lampshade-wearing and the drinking-champagne-out-of-a-shoe, look elsewhere. (Above, maybe.) For one thing, this civic cavalcade, formerly Capital New Year, is being held three days early. (The official auld lang syneing falls inconveniently on a Tuesday, and gosh, that’s a weeknight—though if you have to work Wednesday, you should […]

New Year’s Eve: Debbie Duncan/Nachito Herrera at the Dakota

New Year’s is one of those holidays where you can find yourself in a roomful of friendly strangers. In recent years, though, we’ve come to view it more like Thanksgiving—it’s so much more fun to be with people you know and love. Well, Debbie Duncan certainly qualifies. She’s one of the Twin Cities’ most beloved […]

Oz: The Final Season

Launched in 1997 by Barry Levinson (Diner, Rain Man), Oz showed other theater and film vanguards that the path to creative freedom on the small screen led to HBO. The Sopranos, Six Feet Under and The Wire soon followed. Oz follows the lives (and untimely and/or gruesome deaths) of the prisoners in Oswald Penitentiary’s experimental […]