Recent content from James Lileks
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.
The Amazon voice-activated device is called an Echo, but everyone calls it Alexa. That’s who’s inside. Those of us who own one don’t think there’s…
We need to rethink our Christmas tree paradigms.
In 1912, plans for the 3rd Avenue Bridge were presented to the commission charged with picking a design.
I was mass-deleting e-mailed press releases the other day when I found something that was actually relevant to my interests. To be honest, it sounded…
In 1978, a Minneapolis kid held a comic book convention at the Ridgedale shopping center, and his special guest was Stan Lee.
Despite his training, our rescue dog still goes a bit feral over certain foods.
We have no idea when the first Thanksgiving really took place. It could have been a Monday in September.
University of Minnesota football coach "Bernie" Bierman stood on the sidelines for the last time Nov. 18, 1950.
A fan explains why we loved the Marvel Comic maverick.
Last week I had the opportunity to drive to the southwest part of the state, to get out of the city, breathe some country air…
A study nags you to get in the holiday mood ASAP. Your happiness depends on it.
The Star Journal's headline tells the story of the storm: "City, Northwest Buried by Worst November Storm; Death Toll Rises; Many Still Lost; Cold to Continue."
Windows are more than just a means to bring in light and air; they're a way to read the style and technology of an era.
This word is a grave mistake
A schoolteacher became the first woman elected by Minnesotans to serve in the U.S. House.
A year ago, I replaced the old-style doorbell with a video device that pipes an image of the visitor right to my phone, showing me…
Why not fall forward? And other questions.
That existential void isn't going to fill itself.
Halloween might look like a child's holiday, a merry pretext for costumes and candy, but if you're a pedantic killjoy like me, it can be…
I wrote some breezy japery about the flu a few weeks ago, and some readers thought I was minimizing the need for a shot or…
A look to the future, when retail tastes shift again.
A monument to Charles M. Babcock was dedicated on his homesite in Elk River in 1947.
This 'tea' is a tart drink, indeed
The millennials' newest victim, according to Bloomberg News, is American cheese.
Most of us have three phases: 1. Oh, the leaves are starting to turn. Pretty! 2. Hmm, they're all brown. 3. Well, they're gone. In a week it'll be dark at 4:54 p.m. Why do I live here?
They call it Swedish death cleaning: You approach your possessions as if you were charged with emptying out your house after you’ve died. No one…
Perhaps we've become tired of being tired of pumpkin spice.
Visionary architect Victor Gruen saw the enclosed shopping center as an antidote to the Twin Cities area's car-centric development.
Once a week, I am reminded that someone in China thinks I am an industrial-supply executive. Here's the latest e-mail:Dears,The is Vepin from Tybonder Co.,…
Talking walk signals and parking garage alerts add to the urban cacophony. At least they could speak Minnesotan.
Firing up the furnace is a rite of autumn.
At the time, drivers faced potholes, mud, meandering paths and horses headed in the opposite direction.
All post offices should be closed. Except for the one closest to my house. For that matter, can we be finished with daily mail deliveries?…
If you call yourself Uptown, you have to deal with the eternal complaint that "Uptown is so over."
Northwestern Bell Phone Co. announced plans for an enormous new tower next to City Hall in Minneapolis, just before the stock market crash.
The lawn sprinkler had a lifetime guarantee. Yours, or its, that's the question.If it ceases to work, it's dead, and its lifetime is over. When…
Roll up your sleeve: It's questionably effective flu shot season again.
In addition to talking about crops, the author, newspaper editor, politician and all-around public intellectual also praised Minnesota's weather.
Minneapolis is No. 3 in packages stolen from the porch, according to patch.com. We are possibly No. 4 in purloined patches, according to porch.com, but…
You could say the crook slippered up
The other day I was reading the news on my phone, and accidentally clicked on an ad. My screen was taken over by a picture…
We've got a model of the New Urbanism design movement right here in the Twin Cities: It's called the Minnesota State Fair.
It's one thing we don't want to change.
My wife made a reference to the "summer TV season" the other day, and I had to check to see if we hadn't time-traveled back…
Some things about the fair you might not know.
“For immediate release,” said the public relations e-mail. That was three weeks ago. I like to let them know who’s boss. Now that a decent…
Retail's secret weapon: People
Minnesota is true pizza pioneer.
To tell the truth (cinematically)
Straws probably will be banned before they're relegated to Designated Sipping Areas. And then what? How will you get fluids from cup to maw? Don't worry. Canny entrepreneurs are already selling permanent straws.
They're already out of everything!
More from Star Tribune