Minneapolis Parks Celebrate Halloween

For the kids – dare to visit a MPRB rec center and have a howling good time this Halloween…..HAVE FUN AND BE SAFE! 

Keewaydin Park, 3030E. 53rd St.
Saturday, Oct. 31, 6-8 p.m. – Haunting Fun welcomes ghosts, goblins, witches and every other haunter come for some tricks and treats, a coloring contest, crafts and more. Free; no pre-registration required. Call 612-370-4956 for more information.

McRae Park, 906 E. 47th St.

Saturday, Oct. 31, 6-8 p.m. – Spooky Fun at McRae Park features games, treat bags and more. Open to everyone, but especially the younger goblins. Free; no pre-registration required. Call 612-370-4909 for more information.

Minnehaha Falls Park, 4801 S. Minnehaha Park Dr.

Saturday, Oct. 31, 2-4 p.m. – Minne-ha-ha Falls of Fun Halloween is a family event with kid-friendly musical entertainment, hayrides, creepy crawly creatures to check out (courtesy of the Park Board Naturalist Program) fortune-telling, marshmallow roasting, and a trail full of costumed characters for trick-or-treat. $2 per person; pre-register online at any south Minneapolis park, at www.minneapolisparks.org, or pay the day of the event. Call 612-370-4923 for more information.

Pearl Park 414 E. Diamond Lake Rd.

Friday, October 30, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – Preschool Halloween Party featuring a western-style ghost town. Come dressed in costumes for a tour of the “I Spy” room, craft project, games and concessions (small fee), all set up like the Wild, Wild West. Join the costume parade at 12:15 p.m. $2 per person; pre-registration is required at www.minneapolisparks.org – Recreation Centers – Pearl Park. Call 612-370-4906 for more information.

Sibley Park, 1900 E. 40th St.

 Friday, Oct. 30, 4-5:30 p.m. – Rec Plus Halloween Party for 12-year-olds and under with plenty of tricks and treats. Free; no pre-registration required. Call 612-370-4954 for more information.

Three Cheers for 3 Tiers!

This would be the obvious headline.  But the jury is still out on 3 Tiers

I made a stop in the new East Nokomis bakery and bought a half dozen treats to share and try. The most impressive thing I had was a mini key-lime pie tart with three fresh raspberries on top.  Tasty combination.  The key lime was especially tart, and the raspberries were especially sweet.  The least impressive was the lemon bar.  It tasted like sugar more than lemon. 

I really want them to succeed and offer another treat for those of us in East Nokomis, and another reason for people to travel to this side of the lake.  The atmosphere was lovely.  Crisp, clean, minimalist.  The sharp edges on the perfect shaped cakes assured you that the decor was intentionally sparse, and not just "yet to be determined."  And there were many treats yet to try.  The sign reads, Cakes, Truffles, and Tortes, and I did not try any cakes or truffles.

Any one else have an experience to share?

New Look, New Dog, New Pizza…same old weather (includes Pizza Joe’s review)

A week of change!  We've been working on updating the look of this site and went live with it on Sunday night.  Here it is!  You're looking at it.  It's not perfect, but I think that's okay considering that we help people buy and sell houses for a living, not design websites!  Let us know what you think.  Like it? See a glaring error?  Tell us that too!

Second, my family and I adopted a new dog on Sunday.  He was formerly known as Chevy Chase, but we have fittingly renamed him Clark W. Griswold.  He's a ~7 month border collie/lab mix.

Clark W. Griswold
Clark W. Griswold 2

He is very exited to meet all his neighbors around Lake Nokomis and the Minnehaha Dog Park.

And lastly, news for everyone in the East Nokomis area.  I tried our new pizza joint last night.  Pizza Joe's moved in to the space formerly occupied by Ginelli's.  Ginelli's was a favorite of my neighbors and mine.  Would Pizza Joe's successfully replace it?

Well so far so good.  We tried to order on their website and ran into some errors.  When we called to follow up, they were unbelievably nice.  The manager was clearly excited at a chance to make some new customers.  We ordered two pizzas:  a build your own with peppers, onions, and mushrooms, and a sausage.  We had our choice of three different crusts and went with the "hand tossed."  Both pies were well received.  The sauce was good, the toppings fresh, the cheese gooey, and I heard from the others that the sausage was good. 

Was it as good as the late great Ginelli's?  Well…no.  But it was better than any of the chains for sure.  It held up well against the local joints too. I like the choices and flavor of Parkway Pizza better, but their bitter crust cannot be eaten alone and you end up with a plate of "pizza bones."  And Pizza Joe's was cheaper!  I'm not a huge fan of Joey D's..err…I mean Chris and Rob's pizza, but I know that others are.  I guess I could see myself order from any of the them depending on what I'm in the mood for and what crowd I'm feeding.

Welcome to the neighborhood Pizza Joe's!

2009 U.S. Pond Hockey Championships


The U.S. Pond Hockey Championships return again to Lake Nokomis this weekend (January 23-25), and it sounds like an icy blast of arctic air will arrive just in time to scare away any thin skinned spectators.  The website for the event even includes safety tips for cold weather!

And remember, it was warm weather than brought the tournament to Lake Nokomis in 2007 from Lake Calhoun.  The ice just wasn't good enough after the mild winter.  We're glad to see them back here for a third year.  I bet the new Caribou will do a lot of business this weekend.  If you want to help out a local coffee shop, try crossing over the lake to Nokomis Beach Coffee.  Great coffee and locally baked pastries will surely warm you up.  Plus hot soup and sandwiches!

Best Halloween Display in Minneapolis!

If you live in the Ericsson neighborhood, you've probably already discovered Polly and Gregg Hanson's annual Halloween display.  They (okay, mostly just Polly) have been growing and improving their "graveyard," as Polly calls it, for 10 years.

As the owner of Virginia Rose Estate Sales, the Hansons are in the perfect business for finding odd and discarded pieces add to the scenery.  Polly says that she tries to avoid store bought items, although with their reputation they often recieve gifts that do have commercial origins.  The hard work and commitment to producing something orginal that you can't simply buy at Menard's really shows.  Go check it out before the spooky season is over! 

The home is located at 4228 30th Ave S.  Enjoy the pictures:

      From street  

Big picture  Skelly 

 Mummy  Al frankenstein  Side of house

Nokomis and Longfellow Are the Best!

The editors and readers of City Pages agree.  The following local favorites made the the list for City Pages best of 2008.

Buster’s on 28th:  Best New Neighborhood Bar

Lake Nokomis:  Best Place to Get Away From it All Without Leaving Town

Minnehaha Dog Park:  Best Dog Park

Hiawatha Golf Club:  Best Golf Course

Sea Salt:  Best Seafood Restaurant

What?  You haven’t been to all these places and you live right here in Nomokis/Longfellow?  Unless you are deathly allergic to fish, phobic of dogs, or think fun is for losers…you have some catching up to do!

Blossoms Along the Parkway

The flowering trees along Minnehaha Parkway are in full bloom!  Take a detour this week to see the dozens of bright pink trees.  Better yet, take a ride along the Parkway the day after a storm or particularly windy day.  The fallen blossoms collect in mounds aside the curb like pink snow drifts.    Don’t miss them before they’re gone until next year!Blossoms_002

I Finally Made it to Buster’s on 28th

When the restoration of the Lake Inn was done, I was pleased to see a new bar with big windows.  I have a thing about dark bars with no windows–even in the door.  It means you have to walk in with no preview of what might be inside.  I figure there’s a better than fifty percent chance that a record will screech to a stop and a bunch of scary guys will stop their conversations and look at me.  Then one will threaten, "We don’t take kindly to strangers around here!"

With the new windows, I’ve been eager to step in.  I finally got the chance on Saturday, as my parents were watching the wee one for my birthday. 

I had previewed the menu on their website:  www.busterson28th.com.  I was eager to sample from their extensive list of fancy beers, but I was a little disappointed with their vegetarian selection.  They have a couple items, but no veggie burger.  And if I’m going to a bar for beers, chances are that’s what I’ll want to order. Fortunately, they were still serving the new brunch menu, which gave me several options (I went for the egg and cheese sandwich on a Baker’s Wife croissant).  Very decent sandwich, and very good breakfast potatoes.  The meat eaters were just as pleased.  The fish and chips got a big thumbs up.Busters

The server was very knowledgeable about the beer list and offered to bring a sample of anything I was considering.  I tried the Arcadia London Porter on a recommendation from a client (Nick).  He was right, very good.

I won’t be able to go back as often as I’d like, but I look forward to showing it off to some out of town friends next time they visit.  I told my friend Jeni that I was going to blog about it, but she didn’t believe me that I have a blog.  I captured her enjoying an Ace Pear Cider to prove her wrong.  Smile Jeni!

A Baker’s Wife Scores Again!

Wow.  I ordered thanksgiving pies from A Baker’s Wife this Thanksgiving.  Everyone knows how I feel about their pear tart, but can the pie stack up to home made?

I ordered two:  a pumpkin and a cherry.  Honestly, the pumpkin pie was a disappointment.  My mom’s is light years better.  She makes it from scratch, starting by cooking a former Halloween jack-o-lantern.  This pie only barely surpassed cafeteria food.

The cherry, however, was the best I’ve ever had.  In interest of full disclosure, you should know that I don’t like cherry pie.  Or I didn’t.  If it’s your favorite, be prepared that this one taste different.  It looks as normal as any fruit pie…here let me serve up a piece to photograph…oops I dropped a bit on the counter…let me just scoop that up an…slurp…oh no…scarf slurp…can’t…stop…burp!

Uh..well here’s the photo:Empty_plate

As you can see.  I like cherry pie now.  Don’t wait until next Thanksgiving to try it yourself!

Ginelli’s Pizza – R.I.P.

June_13_2007_056_3I’m sure you all have you favorite pizza joint.  Or likely, several.  When I’m out on the town, I sometimes hunger for Pizza Luce.  Sometimes for Pizza Nea.  Maybe a trip to Red Savoy’s or Cosetta’s.  But when I’m at home, I call for delivery from my favorite neighborhood joint…Ginelli’s Pizza.  Their combination of fresh inventive toppings and greasy pizza goodness satisfies me every time. 

Whenever suburban visitors are staying with me, I always make sure we order some Ginelli’s.  You can get Pizza Hut and Domino’s all over the world.  But the local joints in Nokomis and Longfellow are each one-of-a-kind places.

But alas, no more.  Ginelli’s closed up shop a few weeks ago.  According to the owner, business has been slow and some other stuff.  According to my sources, the other stuff involved some no good employees.  We may see him back soon with a "take-n-bake" operating in Richfield in the near future.

Fortunately, there are many more local pizza places to please my pallet.