I was only vaguely aware of puzzle rooms (aka escape rooms) until Jamie Fassett-Carman filled me in. They’re hugely popular with younger folks, but they could also help those of us in the grey-hair brigade keep our wits sharp. Here is the story.
Author Archives: michaelwilsonmpls
Joe Quigley’s aerial photos leave North Star, head downtown to Special Collections
Great news for history lovers! After a two and one-half year effort, Hennepin County Library’s Special Collections department and Minneapolis Public Schools finally reached agreement on donating Joe Quigley’s aerials. They are now being professionally archived and scanned and will soon start appearing on HCL’s Digital Collections website for everyone to enjoy. Here is the story.
Uptown Rotary and The Great Jefferson Read
The members of Uptown Rotary launched The Great Jefferson School Read on October 11. Patterned on PBS’ The Great American Read, the program created by Uptown Rotary, Magers & Quinn Booksellers, and Jefferson teachers includes authors who speak especially to the inner-city experience. Here is the story.
Cedar Lake South Beach in 1896, 1924, and 2018
Cedar Lake South Beach sits at the heart of the Cedar-Isles-Dean neighborhood. In 2018 a major rebuilding of South Beach was completed. It seemed like a good time to cast our thoughts back 122 years, to 1896, when local photographer William Wallof captured this image of his nephew Paul Wallof III standing at the site of today’s South Beach. Here is the photo and the story.
William Wallof photographed two boys (whose names were not recorded) in a rowboat at South Beach in the 1890s, with the George F. Warner house again in the background. This photo and caption has not (yet) appeared in Hill & Lake Press. Here is the photo.
Fast-forward to 1924. The completion of the Cedar Lake-Lake of the Isles channel in November 2013 had lowered the water level in Cedar Lake by an astonishing five feet, creating the broad sandy beach which these boys enjoyed in 1924 and which we still enjoy today. Realtor and local historian Bob Glancy featured this photo and caption in one of his calendars which delighted Hill and Lake residents for many years. Here is the photo.
The Park and Recreation Board and the Cedar-Isles-Dean Neighborhood Association hosted a grand reopening of South Beach on August 13, 2018. I tried my hand at creating an ad for the pages of Hill & Lake Press. It took hours! Not too bad, and definitely … colorful. Here is the ad.
Opposition to overreach of Minneapolis 2040 spreads
The more residents in many parts of Minneapolis learned about the massive upzoning throughout the entire city contained in the new comprehensive plan, the stronger their pushback became. The group Minneapolis for Everyone led the way in mobilizing opposition to the plan’s overreach. City planners, deluged with 10,000 written comments, hired a public relations firm to help deal with the fallout. Here is the story.
On September 18 Lisa McDonald, former City Council member and one of the founders of Minneapolis for Everyone, held a press conference to highlight parts of the plan that are indefensible and ill-advised and to call for a restart to the entire process. Here are McDonald’s press conference remarks.
Kenilworth Corridor’s ‘remnant lands’: Keep Public Lands Public!
We stared in disbelief at the Minneapolis 2040 Built Form map, meant to direct development throughout the city: it called for a Corridor 4 district, meaning four-story apartment buildings, on the county-owned land along the east side of the Kenilworth Corridor. Unintentional error? Or a trial balloon from planners intent on densifying the entire city? Either way, Hill and Lake residents pushed back — hard. This is the story.
Planning for Southwest Service Area parks moves into high gear
Thanks to funding from the historic 20-year Neighborhood Parks Plan, approved unanimously in April by the Park Board of Commissioners and the City Council, improvement plans are being developed for all 40-plus park properties in southwest Minneapolis. Here is the story.
International Cello Institute recital series: Summer 2018
The International Cello Institute, now in its ninth year, brings cello students to the campus of St. Olaf College in Northfield for three weeks of intensive instruction with nationally-renowned cellists, mentoring, and relationship-building. In the summer 2017, ICI co-directors Anna Clift and Laura Sewell started CELLOici — three recitals bringing three of ICI’s instructors to up to Minneapolis for our summertime listening pleasure.
Mark Kasower, with pianist Jae-Won Oh, performed on July 17. Astrid Schween, with pianist Mary Jo Gothmann, performed on July 21. Here is the story.
Young cello phemon Brannon Cho, with pianist Victor Santiago Asuncion, performed on July 31. Here is the story.
SWLRT costs soar past $2 billion
In a classic example of the sunk-cost fallacy, Hennepin County commissioners voted on May 31 to give the mammoth Southwest LRT another $204 million. “Given how much we’ve already spent, we can’t stop now” seemed to be the overriding sentiment. Concerns of Calhoun Isles condo tower residents remain in limbo. Here is the story.
Residents listen, learn, and speak out about Minneapolis 2040
Hill and Lake residents packed St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on June 6 with the changes proposed in Minneapolis 2040, the proposed revision of the city’s comprehensive plan, very much on their minds. Although feelings often ran high, the tenor of the meeting was respectful and focused, thanks in large part to the firm and skillful moderating of Shawn Smith, Kenwood Neighborhood Organization board chair. After the meeting I asked several folks in attendance for their opinions. Here is the story.