Monday, July 28

The Beatles played their one and only concert in Minnesota on August 21, 1965. As they climbed down the steps of their plane at MSP airport, a number of fans broke through security and rushed the Fab Four. The band was whisked safely away to a press conference at Met Stadium but the event's promoter, Ray "Big Reggie" Colihan, wasn't going to take any more chances. He ordered that no one be allowed on the field that night during the concert. No one, that is, who wasn't part of the tour. The Beatles' US tour manager, Bob Bonis, was stageside that evening with his camera. The 32 pictures he took are the only close-range images that exist of the show. They remained in his basement for 45 years until his son decided it was time for the rest of us to see them. You can get a free peek at this collection, "The Beatles at the Met," in the lobby of the W Hotel until August 3rd. They are part of a larger exhibit of artifacts called "Ladies and Gentlemen . . . the Beatles!" on display at the Mall of America until September 7. While you're there, take the elevator up to the top and check out the Foshay Museum and Observation Deck.

Tuesday, July 29

I'm a sucker for juggling but I don't know why. There's probably no skill on the planet less practical than the ability to keep multiple objects moving through space simultaneously. I mean, how often do you really need to keep three chainsaws off the ground at one time? Then again, the ability to hit a baseball traveling at 90 mph is not very practical either, and that's fun to watch. I also like live magic shows. Today's my lucky day because Eric the Juggling Magician performs at the St. Anthony Library at 2 pm. Juggling magician? That's like getting waffle fries and seasoned sour cream . . . without an upcharge! Now, if Eric could just throw a puppet show in there, he'd have a perfect trifecta.

Wednesday, July 30

Speaking of impractical activities, how about paddling yourself around a lake while standing on an oversized surfboard? The paddleboard craze is here to stay because, for reasons beyond my understanding, it's fun! Kayaking is a blast too. Midwest Mountaineering hosts a free demo of both activities today from 5-7:30 pm at the main beach on Lake Nokomis. They'll supply everything you need to try both activities. Just know this: It's tough to look cool while paddleboarding. It's the water-based equivalent of rollerskating for the first time. But if you can push past that, you just might discover a new passion.

Star Tribune's White Printing Press

Star Tribune's White Printing Press

Hot off the presses!

Hot off the presses!

Thursday, July 31

You're reading this on which probably means that you don't have a physical copy of the newspaper sitting next to you. But the Star Tribune is a relatively healthy US newspaper with a daily circulation of over 300,000 (that number doubles on Sundays) and rising subscription rates. That's a lot of paper. In fact, each roll delivered to the facility contains 14 miles of paper, and the Strib goes through about 900 rolls each week. And the way they're installed on the printing presses is like something out of Star Wars. All these facts and more will be yours after a tour of the Star Tribune's print facilities. Free 90-minute tours are offered Thursday-Saturday but must be arranged in advance. Even if you don't subscribe, you'll walk away with a new appreciation for what it takes to make your puppy-training paper.

Friday, August 1

The Uptown Art Fair is the winner of 115 Pinnacle Awards, the most prestigious honor bestowed by the International Festivals and Events Association. OK, Pinnacles mean nothing to me, if I'm totally honest, other than this has been deemed an awesome event by people that know awesome events on an international level. It's also the most highly attended event in Minnesota after the State Fair. Numbers like that don't lie, right? Plus they've got culinary competitions, a youth art section, live music, wine tasting, and a hands-on Family Imagination Station in addition to installations from 350 artists. Call me crazy, but I think I can smell Pinnacle #116 just over the horizon.

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