Issue 416

Quad Cities, Iowa and Illinois

It’s all about the river in the Quad Cities—the quartet of river towns straddling the Mississippi where Iowa meets Illinois. Low-slung barges slouch under the iron spines of down-to-business bridges. Wailing freight trains trundle along the riverbanks, while bikers and joggers pursue tracks of their own. Old-time paddle wheelers provide excursions, and double as casinos. And summertime’s jazz festivals percolate along its banks.

Each Quad City town boasts its own persona. In Illinois, Rock Island rocks as the party port, while Moline is all about John Deere. In Iowa, Bettendorf is a pretty bedroom community bordering Davenport, the largest of the four, which lays claim as the Quad’s arts mecca. Read the rest of this entry »

Journeying Toward Pride

June will be here soon, and with it come both Twin Cities Pride and Minnesota Leather Pride. My usual Pride warm-up is the International Mr. Leather (IML) Contest year in Chicago on Memorial Day weekend. This year, however, I started thinking about Pride earlier than usual.

During the Creating Change conference in February in Minneapolis, I attended an all-day workshop, “Mapping Your Desire,” in which each participant made a map of his or her personal sexual/erotic/romantic “desire journey.” We noted significant mileposts as a way of figuring out where next we wanted our desire journey to take us. Read the rest of this entry »

Your Wayside Restaurant

Before the era of the drive-thru, wayside stops served a basic need. Signs pointing out picnic spots (with restrooms!) dotted the highways. They invited families to their grassy parks with barbecues and benches. Sit, enjoy a meal, stretch your legs, and throw the ball. Road trips became more bearable with a half-hour out of the car and a tasty sandwich from a picnic basket. Wayside stops still exist, often framing fantastic views, awaiting your arrival on your next road adventure. Read the rest of this entry »

I Saw You!

“I Saw You!” is the newest way to rekindle fleeting romances, and make up for missed opportunities. Saw him at the bar, but just couldn’t say hi? We’ve got you covered! Now, you can tell him, “I Saw You!” A Sugar & Spice production, “I Saw You!” results may vary, and satisfaction is not recommended.

YOU 6’0” or 6’4”, blond hair, blue eyes. Or maybe you were under 6’. Oh, you were brunette. Wait, I don’t think you had hair. I met you at a house party.

ME Charming Southern boy who lives in Uptown. No, not drawl Southern. More like Steel Magnolias-Southern. I probably made fun of myself for wearing man-granny panties (manties?). I promise my other underwear is cute. Read the rest of this entry »

Marla’s Caribbean Cuisine

Patrons return often to enjoy their favorite dishes at this authentic Trinidad restaurant.
Marla Jadoonanan and her husband, Ian, tried their damnedest to explain the intricacies of Trinidad and Tobago cuisine. At a strange intersection of Latin, French, Middle Eastern, African, and Asian, but also heavily influenced by Indian cuisine, the island nation has invented a curry all its own. Words like “fruity” and “fragrant” were tossed about, along with a more definite “spicy.” Despite the assertive flavors that make their way into any of Marla’s dishes, they also have a lightness that one doesn’t find in traditional Indian food.

The Jadoonanans both are from Trinidad. Marla immigrated to the United States when she was 15. It was a difficult adjustment. After spending 18 years as a nurse, the time had come to fulfill her real passion—preparing the traditional foods of her home country. Read the rest of this entry »

Food Bites

Lyn-Lake Eateries

Park once, eat globally. No passport needed, and not much damage to your credit card. That’s the draw of Lyn-Lake in Minneapolis, a once-dingy-to-outright-dicey crossroad, now reclaimed by avant arts, retail, and dining ops, from fine to funky.

Falafel King, a longtime anchor of the crossroad, reigns as monarch of that Middle Eastern favorite. Domas and pita sandwiches, too, but no booze. Read the rest of this entry »

Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra Presents Hit Parade 2: Censored!

On May 14, the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra’s Spring Concert features three “hits” that have experienced some type of public censorship, but survived to see the light of day.

• Wolfgang Mozart’s “Overture” to The Marriage of Figaro. This opera was based on the Pierre Beaumarchais play of the same name, which was banned in Vienna because of the satiric way it depicted the aristocracy.

• Felix Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin in E minor, Op. 64. Vicious German anti-Semitism, which began as early as 1850, and lasted through the Nazi regime, was responsible for the denigration and eventual banning of many of Mendelssohn’s ingenious works.

• Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9 in E-flat Major, Op. 70. Shostakovich was no stranger to harsh Soviet criticism and threats on his life. The central censorship board banned his Ninth Symphony three years after it was written.

The concert features Assistant Concertmaster Clarice Purdy as solo violinist for Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Violin in E minor.

As well, the concert is the orchestra’s last under the baton of Joseph Schlefke, who has been its Music Director and Conductor since 2001.

Hit Parade 2: Censored!
May 14
Sundin Music Hall
Hamline University
1531 Hewitt Ave., St. Paul
(651) 656-5676


The Family Sign

The first sound you hear on the latest Atmosphere disc is a slightly out-of-tune piano playing a quick downer melody. It’s a mood that serves this collection from beginning to end, as vocalist Slug has plenty of heavy ideas on his mind, while partner Ant, along with new members, keyboardist Erick Anderson and guitarist Nate Collis, deepen and darken the sound throughout. Anderson especially gives the album a classic vibe—part Booker T, part Steppenwolf—that really drives the music in a fresh way. Along with his usual straightforward tales of modern life and relationships come bits that delve a little deeper, such as “Became,” which spins a fantastical story to delve into separation and the loss of a lover. Read the rest of this entry »

STD Rates Surge Among MSM

Sexually transmitted disease. Ooo, doesn’t that sound exciting?

Usually, when you start talking about STDs, people turn the page, turn down the volume, or leave the room altogether. They don’t want to hear about it, or don’t think it affects them.

They think, “I’m not dirty, poor, or a tramp, so I don’t have to worry about the clap, the drip, or the dreaded Curse of Venus.” Read the rest of this entry »

Three Theaters Coproduce In the Brown and Red Water

Lorca’s Yerma and Yoruban folklore inspired this first installment of a trilogy.

When Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Brother/Sister Plays trilogy opened at New York’s esteemed Public Theater a year-and-a-half ago, The New York Times’s chief theater critic, Ben Brantley, compared the 30-year-old to Eugene O’Neill and Sam Shepard.

McCraney currently is RSC/Warwick International Playwright in Residence at the world’s most-prestigious theater, the Royal Shakespeare Company.

GLBT audiences know McCraney for Wig Out!, a play about Harlem drag queens. Read the rest of this entry »

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