Joe's Blog 7.23.10

Hey friends, This is one of those terrific weeks where there is a different major event every day. Last night was the typical Thursday night bonanza (Music in Mears, Summer Dance Series, Music in Movies in District del Sol, etc), and the new Heartland opened, tonight is the MN Original party, tomorrow is the Red Bull Flugtag, and Sunday is the Black Dog Block Party. There are great things at the Turf Club, Penumbra, Western Sculpture Park, the Fitz and more!

Heartland is Now Open!!!

Last night Heartland officially opened its doors to the public adding yet another marquee name to lowertown and adding to the unstoppable momentum to everyone's favorite neighborhood. I stopped in for a quick drink so I could scope out the joint. Truth be told, I never loved the dining room at their old location, favoring the wine bar side instead. This new space not only seems to double the number of tables available, but the space is georgeous!!! I'll be down there tonight w/ Mayor Coleman to watch him take a turn behind the bar. The bar manager at the new Heartland is Adam (whose last name escapes me) who was bar manager over at the Town Talk. He's got a terrific bar program set up with a fun twist on traditional cocktails, making his own bitters, and conjuring up concoctions that rise to the same elite level that we've come to expect from Lenny Russo's kitchen.

MN Original in Mears Park - Friday

I’m really excited about this event, not only because of the artists that will be on hand, but also because TPT's MN Original is kind of like a supersized version of my weekly note, featuring artists from across the state. MN Original started this year w/ support from the legacy amendment, and TPT is celebrating in Lowertown from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. tonight. This party is basically a live version of the show: live music from groups including Nachitio Herrera, Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps, and Mad Ripple Hootenanny (I think its the first time in Saint Paul for Jim Walsh's round robin song writer's showcase), the opportunity to make art at the Drawing Club with local artists, and the chance to buy some local art to take home with you. As if you needed any more reasons to stop by, Springboard's CSA program... Community Support Art that is, will be dispersing the season's dividends to the investors (go to springboard website to learn more about this awesome program Plus, the party is free. What more could you ask for?

Red Bull Flugtag at Harriet Island – Saturday

If you haven’t already heard of Flugtag or seen the hysterical commercials, get excited. Flugtag means “flying day” in German, which is a pretty apt description for a day full of “flying machines” soaring—or maybe not—off a 30-foot high deck on Harriet Island and into the water (most fly as well as your average stone). Flugtag started in 1991 in Austria, and after more than 80 Flugtags worldwide, this fantastic event is making its first stop in Saint Paul. Flugtag is totally free, and you can even watch from your boat if you want to get closer to the action. For more info:

Black Dog Block Party in Lowertown – Sunday

The Black Dog Café is hosting their fifth annual Block Party in Lowertown this Sunday. This year, the Lowertown Entertainment District is joining Black Dog to create an even bigger and better event—and to show everyone that Lowertown is still open during construction of the LRT. The music line-up this year is really spectacular, with acts ranging from funk and hip-hop to Celtic and Brazilian. Some highlights will include Kristoff Krane, Irv Williams, Batucada do Norte, and Ursus Minor (a band that I've been waiting for 3 years to see again - they are incredible... I also have my fingers crossed that a certain albino hip hopper may join them). There will also be an outdoor art fair (featuring lowertown artists of course), and great café-style food. You’ll definitely want to stop by the corner of Broadway and Prince Streets from 2:00 to 9:00 p.m. for free, all ages fun.

Nathaniel Rateliff at Turf – Friday

Up-and-coming folk/indie artist Nathaniel Rateliff will be at Turf on Friday. He’s been touring across North America in support of his debut album “In Memory of Loss.” He’s been described as an “alternative” artist, but he calls himself “just a songwriter” with a wide ranging style. He’s been playing shows for over a decade, but with the recent release of his album, Rateliff is finally starting to gain some traction. So hit up Turf at 8:00 p.m. to check out a great newcomer.

Word(s)PLAY! New Play Festival at Penumbra – Saturday

This weekend is the last night of the Word(s)PLAY! Festival at Penumbra. For three weeks, Penumbra has been showcasing staged readings of new plays by African American playwrights. This week’s play is “Dance, Salome, Dance” by Tanya Fernando, a play examining the nature of patronage and race in a ballet company. After the play, there will be an open question session with the playwright, director, and artists. This is really a cool opportunity not only to get a first look at some great new works, but also to talk to the people involved in creating it.

Make-it and Take-it Copper Fabrication at Western Sculpture Park – Tuesday

After a weekend of admiring the artistic creations of others, maybe you’d like to try creating something of your own. On Tuesday in Western Sculpture Park, you can try your hand at copper fabrication—or if that seems a bit too intimidating, just watch the apprentice artists do their thing. The copper fabrication runs from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. and then, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., there will be an ArtsWorks Apprentice Showcase featuring the work of over 20 artists, both in copper fabrication and “urban textile design.” Thanks for reading my note, and keep sending me your great suggestions for cool events! Joe