Jukebox, Christmas lights.
Last night at the bar, someone foolishly intimated that I could not draw D.B. Cooper’s F.B.I. composite drawing from memory. Bad news, chumps: I did it, and I did it perfectly. It made the time I drew L. Ron Hubbard from memory look like amateur hour.
After months of rumor, developers’ plans to
transformrevert Block E into a massive casinocollection of adult bookstores, seedy lumberjack bars and illegal art studios were finally officially unveiled today.
Alatus Partner Bob LuxA person that would actually go downtown on a regular basis says Block E’s fatal problem to date has been its reputation as a rough-and-tumble spotsuper-lame failed northern outpost of the Mall of America where teenagers and tourists hang out.
“Safety was the main concern,”
Luxsomeone else said. “ It’s what is keepingWe need to keep people from the suburbs from coming to downtown Minneapolis.”
Friendster’s closing down this week. Head on over, and use the exporter to preserve your 2003-era profile (including photos and “testimonials”) in amber before it vanishes into the pre-Zuckerburg mists of time. Then, weep for the desiccated remains of your lost youth!
Here is a “testimonial” from my old Louisville art supply store chum Ted Nathanson from 2005, that period when I was still in transition between lives and spending a lot of time driving up and down 90, 94, 35 and 65 (and drinking in bars in Chicago, Madison, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Minneapolis). I find Ted’s comments here at least halfway prophetic, from the vantage point of my mid American early thirties.
The robot trick, demonstrated.
I was loitering outside the Pizza Luce on Franklin Avenue last night, when two bros on single-gear bicycles wearing Sally Jesse Raphael glasses pulled up, parked their bikes, and purposefully walked inside. A few minutes later, they walked out, and I overheard part of their conversation.
“I know, right?” said the one. “I’m just going to in to say hi and see what’s up, and she’s all…workface.”
“Workface”! Have you ever heard this term before? It’s perfect. I looked it up on Urban Dictionary, which is always my first destination when I hear a new word in the wild, and it looks there’s a lone entry for it from 2007. So it’s not original, but it’s still new to me.
Using a single well-placed word can vividly illustrate complex ideas. “Workface” was so vivid that I saw the whole encounter play out in my head without hearing another detail about the conversation. The bro rolls in and puts his arm up on the counter and says, “Hey, [Female Millennial Name], wasn’t that party at the [Punk Rock Adjective] House last weekend totally [whatever people like this say instead of “bitchin’” these days]?” And he nods expectedly, except then she looks up and screws her face, and sneers, “What kind of pizza would you like, sir?” And she rolls out the “sir.” He says, with genuine shock that his affable bro qualities don’t seem to be carrying him, “What? No, I don’t have any money. I just came into say…” And she says, “[Male Millenial Name], I have customers. Please.” And the bros flee.
I am going to write and direct a low-budget mumblecore movie about this heroic pizza parlor employee called Workface. Workface is a really great name for a mumblecore movie, even though I know you’re not supposed to call them that anymore.
mightyflynn asked: I've come to enjoy bourbon more regularly over the past couple of years. Maker's Mark, Basil Hayden's, and Knob Creek are the usual suspects, George T. Stagg on special occasions. I only name-drop to give you an idea of my palate. (An incident during my high school years put me off Jack Daniel's for life.) I prefer my whiskey neat or with a few cubes of ice. Lately, I've branched out to rye whiskey. Though the marketing and name annoy me, I like Rī. But it's pricey. In an effort to cut costs, I tried Russell's Reserve Rye. Unfortunately, it tastes like bad black pepper to me. Do you have any recommendations in the area of inexpensive rye whiskeys, or bourbons that don't need a mixer to be enjoyed?
This is an excellent question, and one I am only about halfway qualified to give you a good answer on. The sad truth is, many of my bourbon-purchasing habits are fairly suspect, formed not by taste and careful consideration, but by sentimentality and a dubious sense of humor.
For example, there are two bourbons in particular I always try to keep on hand on the S. 12th liquor shelf: Cabin Still and Heaven Hill. Not because they’re good (they’re not, really), not even because they’re cheap (they are), but instead for these reasons:
See? These are aren’t reasonable criteria for judging the value of bourbons. That said, there are some top-shelf bourbons I like to get when I can: Ridgemont Reserve 1792 is perhaps the best bourbon I have ever had. I am a big fan of Buffalo Trace for easy mid-price sipping, as well. My friend Dave swears by Four Roses’ various lines, many of which were only available in Japan for many years.
Rye whiskey, on the other hand, is something I have only recently come around to, and almost always for mixing Old Fashioneds in the classic (i.e., non-Wisconsin) sense: rye whiskey, sugar, bitters, maybe a little soda water and a lemon slice. I would tend to trust the distilleries I know, and go with their rye brands. Buffalo Trace makes a nice Thomas H. Handy. They also own the Old Rip Van Winkle brand, which makes a very fine reserve rye whiskey, as well. Plus, I guess there’s always Old Overholt, which is old and cheap — if it can’t be good, I usually think, it should at least be old and cheap. Plus, derelicts used to call it “Old Overcoat,” I hear. So perhaps there’s that.
ragbag asked: is there another decent mixed drink that uses gin? is there another decent mixed drink that uses tonic? or are gin and tonic the most monogamous ingredients in the universe?
(please keep in mind: <i>decent</i> is the key word word here)
For once, Raynor, I trump you in the historical trivia division. Gin was actually the only thing people put in cocktails back in the bad old days. Referring to my copy of Duffy’s Standard Bartender’s Guide (Garden City edition, June 1940), we find a mere two pages of vodka-based cocktails. That’s all! No one wanted vodka! The only people in America in 1940 that drank vodka were Russians, Henry Roth, and Communist Hollywood screenwriters who’d go on to testify in front of HUAC fifteen years later. Everyone else drank gin, with the exception of the people that drank bourbon. And all of those people were cross-eyed Lost Causers from twang-holes like Louisville, Orlando and Alpharetta, Georgia.
But back to Duffy’s, it’s pages and pages of gin-based recipes. So there’s a ton of decent gin-based cocktails in the world, and even though I don’t like gin all that much — I think it tastes like Christmas trees — here’s a few drinks I’d whip up for you if you came by S. 12th for the Mexico-Nigeria match:
The Racquet Club. I am not allowed in racquet clubs anymore because of my radical socialist political beliefs and uniformly poor personal hygiene, but they can’t stop me from mixing their oh-so-precious bourgie clubhouse cocktail drinks in the comfort of my own home.
Princeton. I am not allowed at Princeton anymore because of my radical socialist political beliefs about the presidency of Woodrow Wilson and uniformly poor personal hygiene, but they can’t stop me from mixing their oh-so-precious Cap and Gown Club cocktail drinks in the comfort of my own home.
Monte Carlo Imperial. I am not allowed in the Monte Carlo anymore because…no, actually, that’s not true. I really like the Monte Carlo. It’s on 3rd Avenue North near Target Field, it’s a great place for a drink before or after a ballgame, it has tin ceilings and they serve a Madison-style Plaza Burger, and it’s where I once witnessed the greatest taxicab driver/parking lot attendant kerfuffle of my lifetime.
So there’s three, all thoroughly decent. As far as tonic is concerned, I never use it. I prefer soda water and simply take my chances with malaria.
Done. And I bought two. Pretty soon, every beer that is consumed at S. 12th will be Andy’s Beer, literally, figuratively and spiritually.