The first robin heralds spring; the first cicada tells you summer is halfway through its course. Perhaps you've heard that cicadas spend 17 years underground, like a rock group with a small but dedicated following.
Updated: July 23, 2011, - 10:43 PM
The Angel of Death, Tree Division, dropped by our house this week and condemned an elm to stumphood. The orange band of doom. When you see it, you're stunned. You know there's no appeal. But you go through all the stages anyway.
Updated: July 21, 2011, - 08:06 PM
Newcomers might have heard about this "Aquatennial" thing and wondered what it means. Allow us to help.
Updated: July 16, 2011, - 09:33 PM
Bars that didn't get their licenses renewed are running out of beer. Miller, which didn't get its trademark paperwork approved in time, faced mandatory yankage of the suds from the shelves. Excuse me, but apparently we haven't learned from history: When you have a depression, there's more beer, not less.
Updated: July 14, 2011, - 08:53 PM
If you look at a map of the state, it seems like it's trying to suck in its gut. Right in the lower middle, where Wisconsin puffs out its chest. Minneapolis regularly gets mentioned in the ranks of the Nation's Most Fit Cities, and if you go to the lakes you see bikers in Spandex who would be mistaken for greyhounds if they dropped to all fours.
Updated: July 09, 2011, - 06:37 PM
Nicollet Mall is one of the few successful pedestrian malls in a major American city; most were jackhammered up years ago. Our serpentine street remains a local treasure, but periodically it needs improvements, and this summer it's getting new concrete and gardens on three blocks. To commemorate the construction, the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District launched an initiative befitting of this literate city: a poetry contest. The winning pro-mall poesy will be installed on signs. People will stop, read, reflect and continue on, ennobled. Perhaps even empowered.
Updated: July 07, 2011, - 09:47 PM
Shutdown fallout: The traffic cameras went dark, and they didn't even play reruns. The Intersection of Highway 666 and Hellmerge Boulevard is on hiatus; please enjoy this compilation of idiots driving 65 miles per hour in the blizzard of '07. Or run all the tapes backward, and people can pretend they're watching traffic in England.
Updated: July 02, 2011, - 05:20 PM
There are two kinds of fireworks: legal, and fun. Dull, and forbidden. Dull is the stuff we have in Minnesota. You either have a cone, which shoots sparks and belches smoke, or a fountain, which belches smoke and shoots sparks. The big assortments you buy at the store might as well be named "Indistinguishable Effects of Varying Duration," to be honest.
Updated: June 30, 2011, - 11:32 PM
Rainbow hues and empurpled piers: The 35W bridge was specially lit for the Pride Festival this weekend. Whether you approve or disapprove or file it in the bin of Things I'll Get Around to Caring About After I Form an Opinion on Coke Zero vs. Pepsi Max, you're probably surprised the bridge is rainbow-capable. Now that the secret's out, you can expect petitions from other groups who will want red for Christmas, green for National Spoiled Lunchmeat Day and a ghastly plaid for Kilt Awareness Month. Or we could just keep it rainbow-hued all year long.
Updated: June 25, 2011, - 11:49 PM