Posts Tagged ‘St Paul’

There’s a band hanging around the Twin Cities these days.  They have fun playing and they’re fun to listen to.  I can only imagine what their practicing sessions are like. I like to catch them whenever I can because, well, two of the members are my nephews.

Forrest Miller and the Lodge Boys get their inspiration from the likes of Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard and Levon Helm.  Toe-tapping music at least, if not something to make you jump up and grab your gal (or guy) for a spin.  Listening to these guys play is nothing less than entertaining, and after hearing them play I have at least one of the songs echoing through my mind for days after.

Forrest Miller, in his summertime garb. Country music with a Hawaiian shirt? Yeah, he can pull it off.


Nick Griffiths, musician extraordinaire. I even heard him yodel once.


Spencer Miller, the coolest bassist ever.


Michael Rainville, Jr., keeping the beat no matter what.

The band has a loyal following…

A smattering of fans at Dickman Park in Northeast Minneapolis.  What a great way to spend a summer evening in the city.


The band even inspires Minneapolis’ finest and Nordeast bigshots to sing along.

Guess what?  Forrest Miller and the Lodge Boys are playing a gig at the Underground Music Café in St. Paul this week.  You can come and see them, and better still there’s no cover charge!

At the Underground last November. They were a hit!

The food and beverages at the Underground are great and it’s a cozy venue.  Support the arts and drop a bill or two into the fishbowl for the band.

This time Forrest Miller and the Lodge Boys will be playing acoustic – something I’ve never heard them do before.  I’m totally going to be there.

See Forrest Miller and the Lodge Boys at the Underground Music Café this Thursday, August 17 at 7:00 p.m.  No cover, great food and drink, tip the band if you want.  (This is an unpaid gig.)  I’ll be tipping big, because my little grown-ass nephews are stars in my eyes.  It’ll be a great event!



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A Brief Escape

You know how much I complain about the day job? How it takes up too much of my time and how much I wish my retirement would occur next week rather than twenty-one months from now?  How the clientele gives me a bad feeling about our society in general and how the pissiness of the people I work with just drags me down?

You might feel the same way about your day job too.  Sometimes it’s just a necessary evil we have to endure to be responsible adults.  We have to pay bills, after all.

For those of us who are working strictly for a paycheck there has to be some kind of respite.  Something to take us away from what pushes us into a circle of hell that affects the way we think and relate to our skewed vision of the world.

OK, I’m being a little dramatic.  My point is, if we’re not completely happy, or at least content in our jobs, we have to find a way to escape, physically and mentally.  That’s when I put on my walking shoes and hit the skyways of St. Paul.

Today you get to see a little of what I see when I go off in search of endorphins in the middle of my day.

Fun artwork in the First National Bank Building.

The defunct but still lit up Galtier Theater entrance.

A view from the skyway to another skyway.

I love this space. So clean, fresh, and unusually peaceful for being downtown.

See that building in the shadows? I want to buy it and make it into a single family dwelling…for myself.

That shiny blue monstrosity is where I spend my hours working the day job. It used to be a beautiful department store. Mom and Dad took us to that department store to see Santa when we were kids. Once in a while I’ll see a glimpse of an original element of the building and have flashbacks.

A place for corporate drones to have happy hour after working for the man. I’ve never seen it open for business during business hours. I have no idea what the name of this place is or what it’s like when it’s open.

One of my favorite buildings in downtown St. Paul. The Pioneer Building. It’s been turned into apartments and I would totally live there.

That gorgeous arched window of the Pioneer Building as seen from the inside.

My favorite doorway. It belongs to that building I want to buy and make into my own urban mansion.

It’s all about finding beauty and serenity wherever you can. It’s all about finding an inner life and living it for a few minutes here and there throughout the mundane work day.  It’s all about making the best of a bad situation until you can go home and live a life you want to live twenty-four hours a day instead of six.

Do you love your job?  If not, do you escape somehow throughout the day?

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Dive Night is a once monthly adventure undertaken by me and Husby, along with our friends Ruthie and Ray. Each couple alternates choosing a restaurant, one which must come under the category of “dive.” Our definition of dive: a neighborhood gathering spot with a laid-back atmosphere and good food. We’ll find the interesting hang-outs in the Minneapolis/St Paul area.  Casual attire required. A sip of beer or wine doesn’t hurt either.

After skipping last month’s Dive Night outing due to pressing and exhausting personal matters Husby and I once again met up with Ruthie and Ray for an evening of culinary and atmospheric experimentation.  Tin Cup’s is the place, and if any of you are familiar with St. Paul, MN, it is located in St. Paul’s Rockin’ East Side.  *gulp*

We weren’t even sure if Tin Cup’s was still in business, so Husby called to confirm.  Not only are they open (and under new ownership) the woman on the phone called him Sweetie when telling him about the Friday Night Fish Fry.  Sweetie.  You know a place has got to be good when the staff refers to patrons as Sweetie.

This is Michelle. She served us in a most friendly and efficient manner. I don’t think she called anyone Sweetie, but there might have been a Darlin’ or a Hon.

The place was decked out for Easter, which was kind of a contradiction to the overall environment, at least in my opinion.  The chair covers were definitely surreal.  But who am I to criticize anyone expressing a festive holiday mood?

I really liked the lights hanging above each of the booths though.

Tres Cool!

There were three TVs playing: one was showing The Big Bang Theory, the second was showing Wheel of Fortune, and the third was showing a golf game.  If it were football season would they all be showing football?  Hard to know, but when we were there the variety of viewing pleasure was ample.

We weren’t there to watch TV though.  As usual we started out with a drink.  We’re not too creative when it comes to cocktails.  Ruthie and I usually get a glass of wine and the guys usually get a beer.  (Special note to Charlotte: they have Guinness!)

And what’s a bar on the East Side without pull tabs?  Tin Cup’s has ’em.  We saved our money for the food.

Paper Crack

Time for the appetizers. We went cheesy, with a cheese quesadilla and cheese curds. The quesadilla was complete with lettuce and tomatoes, sour cream and salsa. Curds came with a yummy ranch dip.

On to the entrees.  Husby, Ruthie, and Ray all ordered the fish fry.  They ordered the three-piece dinner, but for two dollars more you can get all-you-can-eat.  Now that we’re older we can’t really eat much more than three pieces, so it was great plenty.  The fish came with french fries and coleslaw.

Ruthie described the fish as hot, flaky, and plump. Ray and Husby agreed ~ all three were very happy with their meals.

For the sake of testing out the menu a little, and because I never have been one to do what everyone else does, I ordered the Minnesota Wrap.  Our server Michelle said it’s really good and really big.  I’m all for that.  What’s a Minnesota Wrap?  Walleye fingers, lettuce, tomato and sauce all rolled up in a tortilla.  I don’t do tomatoes so I asked Michelle to keep those out of my wrap.  She was right, it was pretty big.  Unfortunately there was way too much lettuce and not enough walleye.  Oh, it was good, but I guess I never realized how tiny the fingers of a walleye really are.

The Minnesota Wrap. I got a dumb picture of this as you can’t even see the inside of the wrap. There was lots of lettuce and some very tiny fish fingers inside.

My wrap also came with french fries and coleslaw.  I really liked the slaw, creamy and sweet.  The fries were good and hot.  My favorite part of getting french fries with fish is I get to dip the fries in tartar sauce.  Delish!

Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.

I’d definitely go back to Tin Cup’s and try some burgers and all the other things they have to offer.  I’m pretty sure I’d see many of the same people at the bar too.  Seems to be a place of regulars.  I especially liked the curly-headed lady.  Hair was dyed jet black with a poodle-style perm.  She had to have been pushing eighty years old and most likely has been sitting at a bar her entire life.  She has a hump on her back to prove it.  Party on!

She’s a wild thing.

All in all I liked Tin Cup’s.  The service was great, the food was tasty, plentiful and hot and served in a timely manner.  The clientelle ranges from people like Poodle Lady (pictured above) to families with small children.  One drawback we encountered was the windshield washer guy outside the restaurant when we left.  You know, those guys who squeegee your windshield and then want money for it even though you didn’t want your windshield washed in the first place?  Totally obnoxious, but I suppose the guy’s got to earn a living somehow.  We managed to avert his unwelcome wash water by taking a different exit out of the parking lot.

Check out Tin Cup’s if you haven’t already.  It’s located on the corner of Rice Street and Maryland Avenue in St. Paul’s Rockin’ East Side.  Chances are pretty good someone will call you Sweetie.

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