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I miss my grandfather 

Posted Thursday, September 21st, 2017 01:40 pm GMT -5 in Family,Personal,Work at 1:40 PM

Thank-you box from 3M arrived in my office today

Ready for Gorillaz 

Posted Wednesday, September 20th, 2017 08:01 pm GMT -5 in Concerts,Family,Music at 8:01 PM

Awesome

MK @ Revival

Posted Friday, September 15th, 2017 08:10 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 8:10 PM

Saint Paul secretly kicks Minneapolis’ ass

SK @ Red Rabbit

Posted Wednesday, September 13th, 2017 05:54 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 5:54 PM

Cool space, OK food

Collegiate housing

Posted Saturday, September 9th, 2017 04:11 pm GMT -5 in Family,Housekeeping at 4:11 PM

SK has built an awesome spot

First day at SES

Posted Tuesday, September 5th, 2017 07:04 am GMT -5 in Family,Schools at 7:04 AM

Only one of these left :-/

Salty

Posted Sunday, September 3rd, 2017 01:53 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 1:53 PM

And the onion rings were good too

It’s Burger Time

Posted Friday, August 18th, 2017 12:26 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 12:26 PM

Celebrating the privilege of driving

Saw off her tweeter

Posted Friday, August 18th, 2017 12:24 pm GMT -5 in Family at 12:24 PM

MK goes to juvie court

A very high swing

Posted Tuesday, August 8th, 2017 10:33 pm GMT -5 in Family,Personal at 10:33 PM

Not walk the truss terrifying, but still uncomfortable 

Celebrate Life

Posted Saturday, August 5th, 2017 02:11 pm GMT -5 in Concerts,Family,Music at 2:11 PM

Hazelfest 2017

“Who bought the shitty Mac?”

Posted Friday, August 4th, 2017 05:42 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,Shopping at 5:42 PM

Kids these days

Back at it

Posted Tuesday, August 1st, 2017 09:48 pm GMT -5 in Family,Sports at 9:48 PM

The Tuesday night $5 special with MK

The Science of Pixar

Posted Saturday, July 29th, 2017 07:51 pm GMT -5 in Disney,Family,Friends,Movies,Museums,Science at 7:51 PM

Not what I expected, but still cool stuff

In-seat ordering rocks

Posted Friday, July 28th, 2017 08:12 pm GMT -5 in Concerts,Family,Food,Music at 8:12 PM

Dilly Bars, FTW @ Billy Joel

Lunch with this one

Posted Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 01:38 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 1:38 PM

SK @ Mercury Dining Room and Rail

The Twilight Hours at the Cedar

Posted Tuesday, July 25th, 2017 10:45 pm GMT -5 in Concerts,Family,Music at 10:45 PM

Here’s one from back in March (the 25th, to be exact), when we headed over to the Cedar Cultural Center to see The Twilight Hours. We’ve been big fans of Matt Wilson and John Munson in all of their various projects and try to catch them when we can. They will be playing down the block at Music in Mears this Thursday, which reminded me I never posted pictures from the Cedar show (pics after the jump).

The Counterfactuals and Fathom Lane opened the show, but we were really there to hear songs off The Twilight Hours new album, Black Beauty. I think they played all but two of the new songs, which was nice to experience for the first time. Not much else to say, other than to highly recommend you make your way down to Mears Park this week for a free sample of this great band.

SQUIRREL!

Posted Monday, July 24th, 2017 10:34 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,Personal at 10:34 PM

Big River Pizza is cool (#1)

Stripes or solids?

Posted Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 09:13 pm GMT -5 in Family,Friends,Sports at 9:13 PM

Nice to finally play again

Maxwell lunch with SK

Posted Wednesday, July 12th, 2017 12:57 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 12:57 PM

Tried something other than fish and chips

Not the Fourth

Posted Saturday, July 8th, 2017 05:02 pm GMT -5 in Family,Travel at 5:02 PM

…but still lots of fun, though

We had a golden ticket

Posted Thursday, July 6th, 2017 01:33 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 1:33 PM

Free preview week @ the new Portillo’s in Woodbury

The Cadillac of Mines

Posted Tuesday, July 4th, 2017 08:59 pm GMT -5 in Family,History,Travel at 8:59 PM

A return to the Soudan Underground Mine

Canoeing on Vermilion 🛶 

Posted Monday, July 3rd, 2017 02:54 pm GMT -5 in Family,Sports,Travel at 2:54 PM

So much work, but well worth it

Marina walk with the girls 

Posted Monday, July 3rd, 2017 02:51 pm GMT -5 in Art,Family,Travel at 2:51 PM

Always liked that carving

He’s still at it

Posted Sunday, July 2nd, 2017 01:51 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,Travel at 1:51 PM

Mandatory stop at Gordy’s, Cloquet

Dinner at Esker Grove

Posted Sunday, June 25th, 2017 07:57 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 7:57 PM

I’ll interrupt this stream of Vegas posts to briefly talk about Esker Grove at the Walker. One of Doug Flicker’s projects, it’s been open for a bit now and we went way back in December (as an anniversary gift from kid one – thanks, SK!). Rick Nelson gave it 3.5 stars (out of four) in his Strib review and Dara’s review at Mpls.St.Paul magazine talks about the tea that Colleen liked so much:

The green tea toddy was a treasure. It came as a pure white cup with an orange-flower rose in its heart. When the server poured in a blend of green tea, lemon, and honey and orange flower water, the orange peel unfurled into a ribbon before my eyes like a conjurer’s trick. The scent of orange exploded from the cup and then vanished to be replaced by great familiar comfort. That’s some tea.

Two former La Belle Vie alums are also part of the deal: chef de cuisine T.J. Rawitzer (who has a fun Instagram account to follow) and bar manager Jon Olson (who I think was also part of Bradstreet Crafthouse, no?). The space is part of the newly redesigned Walker north entrance, directly across from the remodeled sculpture garden. It’s very nice and fits the museum well, in my opinion. Not sure if they will rotate the artwork along the back wall, but the beautiful collage by Duluth artist Frank Big Bear was present when we visited.

Looks like the menu changes often, as what’s posted online now only contains one thing I remember ordering (Endive & Farro Salad, 11 – blue cheese, smoked honey, vinaigrette). You can take a look at my pictures after the jump, which also includes scallops, steak, swordfish and dessert. Doug and Amy are working on their new Bull’s Horn project in South Minneapolis now (along with the big Heggies Pizza news), but I recommend you stop in to the “old” joint on your next visit to that part of town.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Happy Tiki Birthday

Posted Friday, June 23rd, 2017 01:32 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,Holidays at 1:32 PM

Birthday lunch for the old lady @ Pyscho Suzi’s

I spy a pizza girl

Posted Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 01:43 am GMT -5 in Family,Food,Work at 1:43 AM

Kid two started her new summer job across the street

MoA lunch with kid one

Posted Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 01:29 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 1:29 PM

Found something that didn’t make her sick

Every day is Father’s Day

Posted Monday, June 19th, 2017 12:14 pm GMT -5 in Casinos,Family,Holidays at 12:14 PM

Luckiest Dad ever

Checking out another Punch

Posted Thursday, June 1st, 2017 06:41 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 6:41 PM

This must be the hipster NE version

Somebody else loves the choo-choo

Posted Thursday, June 1st, 2017 06:39 pm GMT -5 in Family at 6:39 PM

Concert night with the MK

Last choir concert eva 

Posted Wednesday, May 31st, 2017 07:02 pm GMT -5 in Concerts,Family,Music,Schools at 7:02 PM

MK with the Abba to close out her high school choir career (and she lettered!)

That bird doesn’t seem so bad

Posted Saturday, May 27th, 2017 11:44 pm GMT -5 in Art,Family at 11:44 PM

MK and the recently maligned sculpture 

Dinner at Bellecour

Posted Saturday, May 27th, 2017 11:00 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 11:00 PM

After the success of Spoon and Stable in the North Loop, everyone was watching to see what Chef Gavin Kaysen would do next (and I don’t mean the stand at the stadium). When word got out the next project would appear in Wayzata, the countdown for reservations was on (and become like a concert on-sale date). Bellecour was the name, Lake Street was the place and modern French influenced by mentors Daniel Boulud and Paul Bocuse was the format. With some good social media timing, I snagged a reservation for one of the first Sundays (March 26th).

The building has housed several restaurants over the years (including a Muffuletta I knew nothing about) and was completely redesigned for Bellecour by Minneapolis-based Shea (whose growing résumé is becoming seriously impressive: Spoon and Stable, McKinney Roe, Mercury Dining Room and Rail, Milkjam Creamery, Italian Eatery, 4 Bells, Eastside, CōV). It’s a pretty space that’s not super big, but has several distinct areas, including a tiny bakery up front for pastry superstar Diane Yang. Cocktail legend Robb Jones (Spoon and Stable, Saffron, Bradstreet Crafthouse) leads the bar program, which we sampled while we waited for our table.

We were seated between two groups that were rather remarkable. On the one side, we had a family of four that appeared very high up the socio-economic ladder. I was surprised someone would bring such young children to a restaurant like this, but the kids turned out to be some of the best behaved people in the whole place. On the other side, we had what I found out later was a table full of restaurant critics (several of which I follow on social media). They were having an extremely fun time, at least that’s what I would surmise based on the amount of noise coming from that table (I still love you all, but wow).

We asked our server Ross how he liked working there and he said he actually just started and was hired after the initial wave of people were trained. He told us he was a chef prior to this job and he was very knowledgable about how all the menu items we asked about were prepared and served. There were a few timing issues with our service, but overall they were doing fine for a brand-new operation.

Colleen and I both started with salads Рhers the verte (bibb lettuce, shaved radish, fines herbes vinaigrette, $9), while I went for the fris̩e (sourdough crouton, crispy bacon, poached egg, sherry vinaigrette, $12). How can you go wrong with sourdough, bacon and egg in a salad? It was very good, but The Bachelor Farmer still holds my number one spot.

For our main course selections, my notes say that Colleen had cod ($25), but it must have been a special (don’t see it on the current menu). I chose the steak frites (NY strip steak, watercress, arugula, beurre de Paris, $28) and found it to be a solid second to the same dish at Barbette. Colleen added a side of champignons (roasted mushrooms, madeira butter, $8), which were one of the highlights of the evening for her.

We both ordered sorbet for dessert (don’t recall the flavors, three scoops for $7), which were served in an edible bowl. Great presentation and strong flavor. Overall, the total bill with tip was right around $150. Stopped in the kitchen to say hi to chef and congratulate him on the new venture and found him to be as gracious and humble as the other times I’ve met him. It’s great to see good people achieve success – bravo, chef!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

The little Mozart seems happy

Posted Saturday, May 27th, 2017 03:26 pm GMT -5 in Family,Music at 3:26 PM

Thanks Studio Phil (and Guitar Center)

Last concert of the year

Posted Friday, May 26th, 2017 11:18 am GMT -5 in Concerts,Family,Music,Schools at 11:18 AM

MK playing baritone over on the right

Uptown doesn’t have all the rooftops

Posted Thursday, May 25th, 2017 06:23 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 6:23 PM

Ox Cart Ale House Rooftop – follow the tracks

Nerdfest 

Posted Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 08:28 pm GMT -5 in Family,Schools at 8:28 PM

MK wins another academic letter award from EVHS

Ray Lewis on the attack

Posted Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 04:26 pm GMT -5 in Family,Schools,Sports at 4:26 PM

Finally got to see MK play lax (final game of the year), Shakopee South

Best part of my day

Posted Monday, May 22nd, 2017 05:57 pm GMT -5 in Family at 5:57 PM

SK on track 2

Tried out dinner @ Golden’s Deli

Posted Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 08:13 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 8:13 PM

Lunch with kid one, dinner with kid two

First-timer

Posted Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 01:19 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 1:19 PM

Can’t believe the steak lover had never been to Murray’s (still the best in town, IMO)

Yet another St. Paul classic

Posted Sunday, May 14th, 2017 08:45 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 8:45 PM

Mother’s Day dinner with the fam 

My little Tweety friend

Posted Sunday, May 14th, 2017 06:47 pm GMT -5 in Family,Pets at 6:47 PM

Spent some Sunday Funday time with Ms. Robirdo

Mother’s Day 2017 @ IHOP

Posted Sunday, May 14th, 2017 12:37 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,Holidays at 12:37 PM

Tried the Maplewood edition

My lunch visitor

Posted Thursday, May 4th, 2017 10:13 pm GMT -5 in Family,Schools at 10:13 PM

SK took a study break at my office 

Thanks for the dogs, Franky

Posted Thursday, April 27th, 2017 08:31 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 8:31 PM

Post-run dinner with the old lady

Lauryn Hill at First Avenue

Posted Tuesday, April 25th, 2017 11:28 pm GMT -5 in Concerts,Family,Friends,Music at 11:28 PM

I’ve run into my friend RW the past two days in a row, which reminded me of the Lauryn Hill concert at First Avenue last September (that I never wrote about). You can read Chris Riemenschneider’s review of the 9/4/2016 concert here, since this is all I really remember from that night:

  • We loved the Fugees and were sad we hadn’t seen any of her other recent visits.
  • It was the most money we’ve ever spent on a First Avenue ticket.
  • We learned RW is a true First Ave VIP and got us one of the tables upstairs.
  • Ms. Hill completely lives up to the diva reputation (and her band probably wanted to kill her by the end of the show).

That cover of Nothing Compares 2 U was amazing, though.

Not sure why all the pictures from this show were so terrible, but here you go…

(Not) Doug the Pug

Posted Sunday, April 16th, 2017 01:05 pm GMT -5 in Family,Holidays,Pets at 1:05 PM

Easter with the in-laws

National Sibling Day

Posted Monday, April 10th, 2017 09:41 pm GMT -5 in Family,Holidays at 9:41 PM

The sisters headed to a sleepover

SK at Nokomis

Posted Saturday, April 8th, 2017 07:45 pm GMT -5 in Family,Nature at 7:45 PM

Breaktime between Saturday shifts

Dangerously Delicious

Posted Wednesday, March 29th, 2017 12:12 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 12:12 PM

SK and I try out the St. Paul Lowry (aka Bottle Rocket)

Sunday Brunch at Saint Dinette

Posted Monday, March 27th, 2017 11:50 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 11:50 PM

I’ve already said about all I can say about the burger – it was time to try brunch at Saint Dinette. My only issue with the regular menu is that my younger daughter is a picky eater and won’t be adventurous, while my wife is allergic to eggs and corn and won’t eat red meat (SK is always good for a burger and fries). The brunch menu had expanded options for Colleen and MK is still out of the country, so Sunday was the day to go.

You know it must be a good sign when there were people waiting outside the door to get in when I got back from my morning run. There were still a few tables open after I showered and changed, but it was almost completely full by the time we left. It will probably be even worse once the regular Farmer’s Market resumes next month.

We started off with the monkey bread (cream cheese frosting, $7), which might have to be served alongside that cheeseburger and fries during my last meal on Earth. I’ve always had a soft spot for Cinnabon amongst all the evil chain options, but damn, this thing just blew them out of the water. It was hard to really follow that up, but my crepe was really good (Canadian bacon, gruyere, truffle bechamel, egg, $13), while Colleen had granola and blueberries ($8) with a side of maple pork belly ($6). So tasty.

What can I say? Saint Dinette is one of the best amenities to living in Lowertown. Come early, come often…

An Update from Ireland

Posted Monday, March 27th, 2017 11:50 am GMT -5 in Family,Travel at 11:50 AM

Her horse Rose in Killarney 

Starting to get jealous

Posted Saturday, March 25th, 2017 05:18 pm GMT -5 in Family,Travel at 5:18 PM

Another beautiful Ireland pic from MK

The Euro Store?

Posted Friday, March 24th, 2017 11:32 am GMT -5 in Family,Shopping,Travel at 11:32 AM

Free time to shop and explore

She made it!

Posted Friday, March 24th, 2017 08:18 am GMT -5 in Family,Travel at 8:18 AM

MK in Ireland

She’s on the menu

Posted Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 02:19 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 2:19 PM

Bird sauce forever @ Cecil’s

Ireland-bound 🇮🇪 

Posted Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 07:01 am GMT -5 in Family,Music,Schools,Travel at 7:01 AM

Spring break band trip to the old country for MK

Lunch with the scholar

Posted Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 04:14 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,Schools at 4:14 PM

Kid one @ Sea Change

Life in Lowertown

Posted Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 12:15 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,Housekeeping,Personal at 12:15 PM

Change is good, right? Well, we’ve been charging ahead full force the past month. Kid one moved out and into her own apartment mid-February, while the rest of us decided to pack it up and move back to the city. Today marks three weeks in our new loft in St. Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood, which the local boosters describe as:

A vibrant artists’ quarter filled with beautiful workspaces, hip cafes, fine dining and the stunning CHS Field.

We are kitty-corner from the wonderful St. Paul Farmer’s Market in the Rayette building, which we share with the home of my all-time favorite cheeseburger, Saint Dinette. The building has had an interesting history, opening as a millinery in 1911, with stints as the home of Aqua Net hairspray and as a parking ramp before being converted to lofts in 2014. We downsized from three bedrooms to two, but added 13 foot ceilings, huge windows and a layout that seems much larger than before (ours is the Monroe, with 1,459 square feet). I love the exposed brick, industrial columns and lack of carpeting throughout (finally got to toss our crappy vacuum cleaner).

In addition to the suburb-to-city change, transportation has also been turned on its head. We still have two cars, but one is parked here and the other is in storage. Colleen gets a discounted transit pass from her employer and now rides the bus to work (express plus a short transfer). I bought a monthly Go-To card from Metro Transit and ride the Green Line trains to and from the stadium. The Union Depot station is a block over and takes just under 40 minutes to drop me off right across Chicago Avenue from the Legacy Gate (and/or the skyway entrance). I can’t express how much of a quality of life improvement it is to not drive in metro rush hour traffic any longer. Now I plug in my headphones, check social media, read stories, play games and just relax. Hoping to eventually sell one car and just stick with one (which kid two uses to drive herself to school).

We lived in downtown St. Paul the first year out of college at Galtier Plaza, but this area is now completely different. I read somewhere that Lowertown now has 3500 residents and I’m pretty sure about half of them have dogs, which makes me very happy (even though allergies still prevent us from adding to the total). Mears Park is a block west and has a mini restaurant row, with Bulldog, Barrio, Public Kitchen + Bar and Handsome Hog. Big River Pizza is across the street, with the eclectic Golden’s Deli a few doors south of that. There are a ton of additional restaurants nearby and we are super excited for Saints games to start. Our Twins ticket group also has Saints tickets, so we are buying one share this season to see how it goes. The stadium is literally on the other side of the building you see above.

In addition to having the option of that cheeseburger downstairs six days a week, the building has a bunch of other great amenities. The workout room is just perfect – it’s exactly what I would design if I had the opportunity: all Life Fitness gear, two treadmills, a room full of spin cycles, free weights, an elliptical, squat rack, benches and more. There are two large TVs with DirectTV and a speaker system that you can supposedly plug stuff into (can’t seem to get that part working so far). It’s conveniently located one floor below our unit and now I don’t have to go outside in the winter any more to exercise. The downtown YMCA teaches a free spin class one night a week and may bring back a yoga class later in the year too. Once it gets warmer, I will have some great new running and biking routes along the Mississippi that I can’t wait to try.

Directly across from the exercise room is the “Sinatra Lounge,” which is a shared community space that has a fireplace, bar, multiple TVs and a pool table. We’ve already spent a lot of time shooting pool – I really like having access to that again (and free is even better). Up on the roof, there is a community patio that includes a gas fire pit, grill, all-season TV and speaker system. The views of the river and surrounding areas are stellar, day or night. The office manager and maintenance guy are great, the mail and package delivery systems seem to work well and I love having chutes for trash and recycling. My only (small) issues so far are the overly complicated thermostat and the noise from one of the garage door openers.

We are mostly unpacked now, with just a few areas that need to be cleaned up (and a few more things to hang on the walls). Once that’s done, we’d love to have visitors – drop me a line at dk@7minutemiles.com and we will see you soon in Lowertown!

Grandparent Approved

Posted Sunday, March 19th, 2017 11:52 pm GMT -5 in Family at 11:52 PM

First visit by my parents at the new place

Pool in the Sinatra Room

Posted Sunday, March 19th, 2017 04:34 pm GMT -5 in Art,Family,Friends at 4:34 PM

SK and Kodos visit Lowertown

Saturday morning in Lowertown 

Posted Saturday, March 18th, 2017 08:56 am GMT -5 in Family,Food at 8:56 AM

It’s a rare SK sighting at Golden’s Deli

Wednesday night in St. Paul

Posted Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 08:32 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 8:32 PM

This building has it all

The Spring ’17 Choir

Posted Tuesday, March 14th, 2017 06:56 am GMT -5 in Concerts,Family,Music,Schools at 6:56 AM

MK didn’t think so, but they sounded great

Drkulas Throwdown

Posted Saturday, March 11th, 2017 02:41 pm GMT -5 in Family,Sports at 2:41 PM

We’re watching you, MK

Another solid EVHS concert

Posted Tuesday, March 7th, 2017 04:00 pm GMT -5 in Concerts,Family,Music,Schools at 4:00 PM

Go, baritones, go

 

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Husband, dad and stadium IT director

Personal Records & Mileage

  • Mile - 6:10
  • 5K - 21:42
  • 10K - 44:40
  • Half - 1:38:40
  • Marathon - 3:43:32
  • 2017 Mileage: 199.2

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