Recent content from James Lileks
The terror — or joy — of traversing dirt roads.
The upside of being incompetent at basic life tasks: You can provide amusement for people who know what they’re doing. Growing grass, for example. How…
You can often tell at a glance whether a building is residential, commercial, civic or religious.
The good news: People from "Lawnguyland" and "New Joisey" are below us.
Made summer travel plans yet? Bad news: Nine people are looking at that flight you want. Right now. They're probably talking about you, too.In the…
The film also features a catchy song by the team that wrote "We're Going to Win, Twins."
The Minneapolis City Council is considering a nickel tax on plastic and paper bags. He's "torn."
Burger King's brilliant new idea: Unhappy Meals. That's not what they call them, but it's clear that's what they mean. It's a shot at McDonald's…
A World War I hero dog and spy-chomper was awarded the rank of sergeant.
How dare the service center staff be so efficient again?
Somewhere deep in the Amazon (the rain forest, not the warehouse), a worker picked a delicious guarana berry, and put it in a basket.He may…
"Twin Cities" is banal and inaccurate. We're more like conjoined nephews. And Minneapple is best left in the '80s.
"One-touch functions" will still be allowed if the phone is accessed without holding it, typing or scrolling. Here are some options.
I like to look on the positive side, so let me reassure you that there's no evidence your bottled water has cyanide.Arsenic? Well ... that's…
It's not just any White Castle. It's No. 8. And it's historic.
Two hours is not enough.
A windstorm, a broken door and wet dog food: James Lileks tries to teach Birch a new routine, and gets schooled.
It's snow buddy's business.
If you put NyQuil, Pepto-Bismol and a tube of pain cream down on the drugstore counter, and it's 9:45 on a Friday night, you know…
The new 5G phone network will change everything.
We hope everyone who came for the Final Four has had a nice time. It’s probably too much to expect thank-you notes, but that would…
There are planes? Landing? At the airport?
You need to know about St. Louis-style bagel cutting, so you can be outraged. What’s that, you say? You’ve reached Peak Outrage? You’ve been living…
Hennepin Avenue, near the Mississippi River. The Great Northern Depot stood at the edge of downtown by the river, in the Bridge Square area. Judging…
Change is good, and also we hate it.
Everyone has a pet peeve about certain words and phrases. I have many, including "pet peeve." It sounds like an adorable little furry ball that…
This whopper of a winter made saints of us all.
I enjoy online customer satisfaction surveys. After all, my opinion is very important to them — except when it’s a case of me being too…
Affordable, accessible motor inns were once the place to stay downtown. That all began to change in the 1960s.
If highway designers knew then what we know now.
I am not a coffee snob. I treat it like I do pizza: No matter how bad it is, it's still pizza. Logically, this means…
March is the first point when we can start to indulge the annual mass delusion we call "hope."
Skippy, best known for his role as Asta in the "Thin Man" movies, was a movie star in the glamorous 1930s.
Not everyone thinks highly of these aboveground, indoor sidewalks. But our recent deep freeze was a reminder of how the skyways make downtown not just livable, but unique.
Three words to confuse and alarm:Lucky Charms Beer.This sounds like something you'd write down in the middle of the night so you'd be sure to…
For a while, it was thought to be forward looking. Now it's widely considered inhumane.
If you clicked "accept," you're stuck with this year.
If you talk to the filmmakers who vote for the Academy Awards, you expect them to say:"My choice, while difficult, was based on the director's…
It's one of the most famous trademarks of the 20th century: a dog looking at a gramophone horn, from the 1898 painting "His Master's Voice."
How Minnesotans reacted to snowstorms in the good old days vs. now.
Cecil and Faye Glickman's neighborhood landmark is now seeing its fourth generation on the job.
If you never hear from me again, it's because I discovered the French toast conspiracy. They already took down Aunt Jemima. I don't know if…
Don't park anywhere ever, and you're fine.
In the past week, I've been cutting cords, sundering long-standing relationships and cleaning the deadwood out of my life. The first to go: daughter's health club membership.
It's ice until April, so stock up on sidewalk sand.
Which Super Bowl commercial are you discussing around the water cooler today? The one where Steve Carell did that thing for Coke? Or was it Pepsi? Doesn't matter; it was funny.
You've possibly forgotten they're even on.
Rising on the site of the 1858 Nicollet House, the hotel was financed by the public, and torn down in 1991. United Properties has proposed a 33-story glass office tower for the site.
This shouldn't be controversial, but someone needs to say it: We're entitled to yell "GUYAHHGH!" when it's below zero.
I'm not interested in personal pipe empowerment.
When the polar vortex strikes, you realize we don’t have enough words to describe extreme cold. Well, nothing you can say within a block of…
Everyone has some parenthood story that makes them wince, right?
It’s the middle of the month of the new year, and you haven’t reduced your screen time, learned French, lost weight, organized the drawers…
Though they're often overlooked, doors reveal a lot about a building and its era.
The (only slightly embellished) tale of one of the heroic dogs of history.
The battle of the almanac predictors leaves us cold.
Week's word is welcomely bland.
How's the new diet going? What, you haven't started? C'mon, we're already into Week 2 of this "New Year, New You" thing. Here are some…
Sauce for der gander, nein?
This is one you'll resolve not to use, a resolution you can keep.
If the holiday cards arrive today, they're technically on time, right?
Many banks in Minnesota now have new uses, but their original designs give them away.
Why start a new year now, when all is bleak and the fun is over?
With apologies to Charles Dickens, we offer this update to “A Christmas Carol.” It was Christmas afternoon, and Scrooge had stepped outside his nephew’s house…
There is a terrifying moment in a man's life when he asks his wife what she wants for Christmas, and she tells him.
Aisle be back.
When we complain about Christmas music, it’s not the songs themselves. It’s the way they’re forced upon us. Also, it’s the songs themselves. Consider a…
Everyone copies us at the holidays.
The season to be frazzled
In the ever-changing world of retail, catalogs are fading while online shopping is taking over. That's why I'm going to the mall.
The first electric streetcar was so popular that the city vowed to forgo horses and cables and go electric. A little more than a year later, the first interurban electric line, down University Avenue, opened.
Would you like a modern tale of woe and self-inflicted stupidity?Consider the Smart Thermostat. I have one, and it always lights up when I enter…
It's important to remember that nothing we are stressing about will matter or be remembered next year — or even by Super Bowl Sunday.
A group "empowered to elect for Minnesota a state flower" picked the wild lady slipper.
It sounds a little fishy.