This Week in Saint Paul: Monday, March 31–Sunday, April 6, 2014

March 31, 2014

Okay. No kvetching! You can park on both sides of the street now. The snow will be with us for a while, but the air feels a lot better, light enough for us to seemingly glide down sidewalks without having to brace ourselves from the previous months’ harsh elements. They say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Here, that image rings as thinly as that story about the groundhog. I can't think of a good animal to reference in an allegory fitting to this Minnesota winter, but it does not matter. It's nicer out. Let's greet it with art in our 20th edition of This Week in Saint Paul!

A Stranger’s Opinion of St. Paul

March 25, 2014

Harriet E. Bishop is a name familiar to anyone interested in the history of Saint Paul. Born in Vermont, Bishop came to Minnesota in 1847 and here achieved many firsts—Saint Paul’s first teacher, founder of the first Sunday school in Minnesota, first leader of the women’s suffrage movement, and a driving force behind several social movements. She was well known in the city’s literary ­circles and wrote about Minnesota and Saint Paul, though her writings often include language that today would be considered racist, ­revealing attitudes toward Native Americans common to the era but whose effects are still felt to this day.

This Week in Saint Paul: Monday, March 24–Sunday, March 30, 2014

March 24, 2014

The calendar on my kitchen wall claimed that spring had sprung last week, but Minnesota still predictably holds out. As a kid, and even now as an adult, I didn't understand the connection of the equinox (nor that Pennsylvanian hedgehog) to any change in season. As a kid, I wasn't sure if the groundhog myth was about adding six weeks or six months to winter. Hey, I was growing up in Minnesota! Anything is possible.

Bald-headed Men and Sundays

March 22, 2014

My boys viewed their mid-1980s births in the old Midway Hospital on University between Porky’s and Ax-Man as an embarrassment, a slight their Saint Paul mom had designed to punish them by withholding the polished corridors of HCMC in their own hometown...

March 27, 2014 – Soul Sounds Open Mic presents “Words on Womyn”

March 21, 2014

Tonight is a night of true celebration! Tonight, we honor the womyn in our lives—those who teach us, those who taught us, those challenge us, those who birthed us, and those who spit fire on the mic and make our jaws drop! Bring all of your favorite material by womyn writers or bring an ode to womyn, a womyn, or just bring yourself in the spirit of honoring these beautiful souls. We can't wait to see you!

Slow Boats and Fast Water

March 19, 2014

Early in the morning on June 21, 2007, my son Cullen encountered a rowing scull, crewed by five young women in the Saint Paul Harbor and pinned by a heavy current of the Mississippi River. This crew team had misjudged the current and was trapped against the Padelford wharf barge.


March 19, 2014

Just beyond the hem of the lake’s blue skirt
the sky turned suddenly jaundiced,
a weighted stillness, not quite your own, descended, and even the black pine
and birch hovered motionless
in a calm that bore no calm at all.

Danger Days

March 19, 2014

Back in the old danger days,
when we were kids, we stood
on the front seat of the Chevy Impala—no seat belts to hold us back,
our mother’s arm the only thing between us and the dashboard

Skeleton of a Nation

March 18, 2014

jagged rocks dusted red bleed rose water from ancient springs who was baptized here saved and sustained by sacrificial land...

This Week in Saint Paul: Monday, March 17–Sunday, March 23, 2014

March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day! If you have ever seen the sea of faces at Saint Paul's St. Patrick's Day parade, maybe you wonder, like I do, why March 17 is not a government holiday in Saint Paul. With all the crowds, as there should be in our city, my biggest question is whether the mayor will take out his bagpipes.


March 16, 2014

My father and I used to go door-to-door delivering wafers in a tiny gold case. I imagined my father gave me this job to make me feel special when all of the older kids went to school. When they disappeared behind the doors of St. Mark’s School with their starched uniforms and shiny pencil cases, I felt left out. As a remedy, my father quickly got me started in the business of delivering communion to neighborhood elders...

A Little Rock

March 12, 2014

A rock on the ground, next to the rock a tree, on the tree is a bird, its feathers like the river...