Monthly Archives: October 2010

New restaurant in NE MPLS: Hazel’s

The buzz in Northeast Minneapolis this week is all about what’s cooking at 29th and Johnson.  For the past  months the neighborhood has mourned the passing of first of Snap, the pizza and ice cream hangout, and more recently, of Pop!  Tears were shed as neighbors lamented the loss to the community and to their gustatory options.


The buzz—Hazel’s Northeast will fill the culinary gap.  Hazel’s is a family friendly home-style cuisine dream of brothers Andrew and Adam Sieve who hale from Alexandria, MN.  Though Hazel’s is their first independent venture, they’ve worked their way up the eatery chain, starting as bus boys in the family restaurant, The Traveler’s Inn, Alexandria’s most venerable family-owned restaurant, opened in 1928 by their grandmother Hazel whose pie-baking enterprise had outgrown her kitchen on the family farm.


Both brothers tried other professions, but are returning to their restaurant roots.  They’re working now on décor and delicacies including traditional comfort food that meet the “three square” basics six days a week.  They will be open early December – a holiday gift to Northeast residents and to hungry folks throughout the area who prefer a quiet neighborhood haven to the predictable strip mall chain or  downtown haute cuisine .


The UpTake Journalists Banned in Edina!

The intrepid crew from The Uptake hit its first bump in the transparency world this week when the Edina Chamber of Commerce banned all video and audio recording from Wednesday’s debate between candidates Erik Paulsen and Jim Meffert.  Not a major hurdle for the folks from The Update who have covered and shared a daunting roster of candidate forums, debates, town meetings and more during campaign 2010.


When the dust settles it will be interesting to learn just how many miles they’ve covered, camera in hand – From the Clinton visit to Blaine and Obama’s U of M appearance over last weekend to La Asamblea de Derechos Civiles in South Minneapolis, Farm Fest, the rambunctious Oberstar/Cravaak debate in Duluth and scores of other sites.  The Uptake crew covers the event live if possible, then records and posts the full program on The Uptake website.  They even offer fact check back up that is endlessly illuminating.


Today, Tuesday, The Uptake provides live coverage of the much-vaunted debate between Michele Bachmann and Tarryl Clark taking place in St. Cloud.  The enterprising Uptakers suggest that viewers watch the debate live from home or office, then contribute the cost of the gas saved to The Uptake.


At this point in the campaign every Minnesotan is burned out on sound bites and TV spots well-funded by a mix of vested interests.  The would-be informed voter might do well to take a breath, settle into an easy chair, and take time to view and listen to the candidates themselves – uninterrupted, on the spot, recorded by The Uptake.


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The Orphan Train Riders Gather in Little Falls, MN

The 50th Anniversary Reunion of the Minnesota Orphan Train Riders met Saturday, October 2, at St. Francis Center in Little Falls.  Over 150 attendees, including three Orphan Train Riders (all 90 years-plus) participated in a wonderful day of learning, reminiscence, photographs and the warmest possible hugs.  An earlier post described the program – this note is just to underscore that the day was perfect in every way.  The eagerness of families to learn the stories of their parents and grandparents was palpable.

And the resources for learning were rich.  The room was filled with scrapbooks, photos, clippings, family memoirs and more.  The featured program was one-woman tour de force theatrical performance by professional actress Pippi White.  Her information rich presentation brought tears, laughs and an incredible documentary story of the nation’s immense immigration initiative that transported some 250,000 children from the streets of New York, primarily to towns and farms in the Midwest.  The estimation is that there are now 4,000,000 descendents of these children

All present agreed that the story of the Orphan Train Riders and of their immense contributions needs to be integrated into the mainstream histories at the national, state and local levels.  These committed leaders are building an immense documentary record to support that effort.

OTR descendents and interested, but welcomed, people like me were unanimous in the conclusion that the one word that describes the Orphan Train Riders is SURVIVOR.  Those survival skills served them and contributed mightily to the strength of their communities, churches, schools, businesses – and most of all families – that thrive today.

The day was videotaped and Pippi’s DVD was on sale.  Sales were so swift that the supply needs to be replenished.  Watch this site for more information about purchase on these new resources.