Recent content from James Lileks
The old Mall of America theaters closed, making some wonder what was coming next. A Hooters the size of Belgium, with go-karts and paintball? Snowmobile…
Magney and Tusler was founded 100 years ago, and its buildings define Minneapolis: the old MacPhail, Calhoun Beach Club, the Minneapolis Woman's Club and many more.
Arguing over buying booze on Sunday has become a legislative custom.
At the Consumer Electronic Show this year, there were the usual gadgets, including Smart Fridges. You can push a button on the screen and the…
Downtown Macy's is closing. Some eulogies will call it the end of an era, which it is. But how did we get here?
We have nostalgia for something that we liked more than it liked us.
It's winter! Time to slip and break your shin.
"The checkbook is almost out of checks," my wife said. "Do we have any more?""Yes," I said, "This is the year 1997! We always have…
Broken your resolutions yet? Good. You're human. There's something about breaking a resolution that makes you accept your fallen nature. Perfection is not our lot.…
Some say Lake Calhoun, right on the edge of the bustling Uptown area, is good spot for a high rise.
Take heed. Many things will happen. Other things will happen, as well.
The tide has been turned! Victory is ours! Winter is on the way out. Oh, you say, this must be that fake news everyone's talking…
We've been enjoying Christmas music, but by Monday, all bets are off.
How's your CHMIQ (classic holiday movie IQ)? Test it with this quiz.
A flier from Amazon for $10 off a delivered restaurant meal didn't pan out as expected.
Winter survival kit should include gravel, flashlight and plane tickets out of here.
A building doesn't have to be great to be missed. That's why it's time to lament less notable buildings in Minneapolis history.
Well, let's see what's in the holiday mailbox.
"Vital Little Plans: The Short Works of Jane Jacobs" from the influential urbanist has lessons for us today.
Every year when I set up the outdoor Christmas decorations, I think I'll break down and go LED, but every year I get the same…
Decades before Google Maps, plat maps displayed a wealth of information with hand-drawn care.
Artificial Christmas trees keep improving, but is that for the best?
A cheapskate focuses on buying glasses online.
Are there any New Yorkers in the room? Can I see some hands? OK, we're going to be talking about pizza here, so you need…
With stores closing on Thanksgiving, we'll be forced to spend time with relatives.
Being a pitchman is a dying art, but that doesn't mean it's dead. Consider, for instance, Fancy Ray McCloney. Nothing he does could possibly be called dead.
You there. With the bolt cutters. You're the worst.
Oh, you'd better believe I listened closely to the menu options. They may have changed. I pressed "2" for the "Change service" option. I was…
Why can't candle makers give us Flaming Leaves?
Halloween ad slogans show a frightening lack of creativity. "Snacks so good they're scary!" Really? No.
Our misguided guide to the best and worst sugar-free candies.
Somewhere in the latest WikiLeaks e-mail dump there's probably something about our family.A real bombshell: On Aug. 27, we ordered paper plates with a tennis…
With everyone else getting giant Ferris wheels, we need a Minnesota version.
It's that time of the year when you feel as if you should drive north and look at leaves. You see the pictures of the…
With a sweeping array of murals, Minneapolis is a living, changing art gallery.
With 6,000 passengers, can the world's largest cruise ship float your boat?
Google (company motto: "We know what you're doing, pal") has announced a new personal assistant. It's called "Assistant." It sits on your countertop, answers questions,…
If a building's famous for its height or style, someone may tell its tale. If a building's lucky, it gets Larry Millett. The Pioneer Endicott at 4th and Roberts streets in St. Paul is lucky.
Let's stick to our favorites — or at least the ones we've heard of.
It’s October, and that means it’s time for jaundiced, worn-out columnists determined to wring all the joy out of life to complain about Pumpkin Spice…
We're being invaded by a nasty strain of super weeds.
Target introduced tiny shopping carts for tots, then realized that everyone over 3 feet tall hated them, and the carts were removed. Good. Now let's…
Before the weather gets chilly, let's take a stroll around Loring Park. It's a nice amble — and it's also a history of the city written in miniature.
Competing grocery stores are out for blood (sausage).
Former TV news cameraman and founder of Project Sweetie Pie envisions a food corridor he calls the Nile of the North.
Well, it's time for the annual flu shot. This year's strain, HBN6-3.14, probably started the same way as the rest, with some sick goose in…
A sure sign that summer's over? No hot dog cart at the hardware store.
After 40 years of splashy product demos, a new iPhone barely makes the news anymore.
Model house showcase creates an image of a world that will never be.
Want to meet new people? There's a magic word. It's ...Hold on, there's a back story. Last year I ordered a wood shed from FlimsyChineseExportsReseller.com,…
The unique – and enduring – buildings on the fairgrounds show a range of architectural styles.
As the State Fair ends, we're left with warm memories and grease-stained shirts.
We're pleased to present an interview with Emma M. Emmerson, the state's oldest fairgoer. She is 160, spry as a cricket and walks unassisted thanks…
You can't say this is the same ol' State Fair stuff.
Mottoes aim to share civic pride, even if some fall short of a shout-out.
There are 47 bottles in the shower. Thirty-eight contain various thick, scented substances that detangle hair, add bounce and shine, impart luster, weld split ends…
Iceland is like Minnesota, on the moon, with whales and trolls. You should go.
"Stranger Things" Netflix series is a dead ringer for the ugliness of the early '80s.
Real men chop down their own trees. Real smart men call in experts.
For weeks, the giant yellow pencil has hung over the seasonal aisles of dry-goods stores, looking like a guillotine blade raised to sever summer from…
Let's stop the shorts-shaming and admit that these practical pants have a place the closet.
A few years ago, I made plans to fly from Minneapolis to Amsterdam to Bucharest on the day before Thanksgiving. I was going to be…
Their annual serenade is a loud reminder that August is here — and fall is coming.
Directory assistance used to be quite simple: You dialed 411, and a complex informational retrieval and processing system responded. We called them "human beings." If…
True to his breeding, our dog treed a raccoon. I didn't end up a hero in that battle.
Our neighborhood has suffered a spate of burglaries — I think that's the technical term. A spate. Don't want to say a rash of burglaries,…
During the recent heat wave, an antique fan went from novelty to necessity.
Of all the strangest kinds of family reunions you can attend, the most unusual is the one that isn't your family. Here are some types of people you'll meet at every reunion.
News from Japan: The last company to make VCRs is shutting down production. If you know what a VCR is, you don't care, but if…
The trip through airport customs is a long, slow ending to vacation.
I did not steal the Steak Strips. But anyone behind me in line at the self-serve checkout would be justified in thinking I had made off with some cow slices, and in case you were there, I need to explain.
Our new stadium looks to the future, not the past, for its design cues.
The news that Pepsi was bringing back Aspartame and dumping Sucralose was met with great merriment in our house. I still remember the anguished look…
He had absolutely no power, but he did have lots of fun.
A new website lets metro-area residents locate where their personal histories were made.
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