Innie or Outie?

When visiting sculptor Joe Anton’s split-level rambler in Brooklyn Park, it might take a while for the subject to come around to art. Horsepower TV might be on, demonstrating the latest muscle-car trick modifications. You might need to help unload an awning from the bed of his Ranchero. Plaques in the rec room display his […]

Toothsome Treat

“Crisis” may be a strong word for the chocolate situation locally, but the situation is alarming. If you plan to say “I love you” with a box of chocolates on February 14th, options are dwindling. Dependable entry-level fare is still available at any of Fanny Farmer’s metro locations. And nowadays, we can’t turn around without […]

Big Sister Is Watching

Despite the overnight snowfall and a route through some of the metro’s most notorious traffic hot spots, I pulled into the well-salted parking lot almost fifteen minutes early for my appointment to look at the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s new Roseville compound. It’s a brushed aluminum affair, called the Water’s Edge building. Together with the […]

The Kindest Cup of All

When ex-president Millard Fillmore led a steamboat expedition up the Mississippi 149 years ago, it may have looked like a publicity stunt for the Know-Nothing party. Maybe he was just looking for a good cup of coffee brewed fresh from organic, shade-grown beans. Of course, in 1854, all coffee was organic and shade-grown by default. […]

The Long Arm of Crop Art

Lawyers are the ultimate insiders. Just ask anyone foolhardy enough to represent him- or herself in court. So just how does a lawyer get to be an outsider? Rob Lowe’s stunning 1985 haircut for his new TV series, Lyon’s Den, seems to be doing the trick for him. But around here, nonfictional lawyers do it […]

All Shook Down

It started with letters in the mail. Then there were the spies. Then one day at an unglamorous neighborhood coffee shop in South Minneapolis, the phone rang. “I’ve been to your café. I know you have a CD player,” said the voice on the phone. Paul knew he was in trouble. It was true; there […]

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The Bear Refreshing

The Hamm’s Club brewery show this past September was pretty much what one would expect: a few dozen vendors in the parking lot of a defunct brewery hawking beer collectibles to each other. Some sold genuine antiques, some had kitsch, some not-yet-kitsch, and some never-would-be-kitsch. A guy named Jerry from Fort Worth offered Styrofoam Hamm’s […]

Meat Wins!

The character of 26th and Lyndale has changed little in the last few decades. The C.C. Club still has a decent breakfast and a better jukebox. Though Oar Folkjokeopus is gone, the ancient carpets in Treehouse records steeped so long in Oarfolk essence that a sniff can bring the old days back, as you wander […]

The Fiberglass Rooster Mystery

Weldon Johnson underwent a triple bypass on April 1. Twenty days later, his rooster was gone. “It sure didn’t help his recovery any,” said his daughter, Colleen Johnson, when The Rake discussed the incident with her. Mr. Johnson first installed the nine-foot fiberglass rooster in front of his Two Harbors gift shop in 1965. Prior […]

Dude, where’s my truck-like car thing?

You’ve seen them: the new passenger vehicles with pickup truck beds sprouting from their behinds. The Subaru Baja, the Chevrolet Avalanche, the Cadillac Escalade EXT. An automotive slice of the 70s slid into this century, along with the bell-bottoms and halter-tops. Avacado-colored refrigerators can’t be far off. But can any of these freshly minted sleds […]