Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Sheltering Arms House Rehab is Complete

Post and photos by the Hawthorne Hawkman.

There are photos of the interior at the end of this post, for those of you who may want to skip my ramblings and get to the best part.

The Sheltering Arms House, at 2648 Emerson Ave N, had a pre-open house on Saturday.  For those looking to read up on the recent history of this house, most of that was covered first on Johnny Northside, and later on this blog - each hyperlink will take you to that blog's "Sheltering Arms" search results.

In short, however, the home was built in 1891 as an orphanage for the Sheltering Arms Orphanage.  It is believed to be the first or among the first orphanages away from the main campus on the Mississippi riverfront.  The orphanage was the precursor to what is now the Sheltering Arms Foundation.

It's worth repeating that the Sheltering Arms was run by a group of twenty-five Episcopalian nuns, dedicated to serving needy children "without regard to race, color, or creed."  A women-run organization with that mission in eighteen ninety-one is a part of this city's history that most definitely needed to be preserved.

In a smaller sense, this house had its own place in north Minneapolis history as well.  That's because...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Cultural Comfort Food Fusion

A recent Facebook conversation with my favorite former Minnesotan, Bryan Thao Worra, centered around cultural comfort foods and culinary fusion.  As more and more Southeast Asians (and other immigrants) locate in Minnesota, they will bring their comfort foods with them--laab meat, papaya salad, sticky rice, etc.  Here in the midwest, we've already got plenty of our own comfort foods, such as shepherd's pie, the infamous hot dish, and various jello and fruit conglomerations.

So we began to ask ourselves, what would happen if some of these Scandinavian and Southeast Asian foods were to be combined in some unholy culinary syncretism?  What would some of our choices even be?

I ruled out chicken noodle pho right off the bat.  But laab meat had some potential...

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Aldermanic Privilege, When it Works and When It Doesn't

Post by the Hawhtorne Hawkman, photo from the Healy Project blog.

The term "aldermanic privilege" has its origins in Chicago, but the principle is often applied here in Minneapolis as well.  The phrase refers to circumstances where the council as a whole defers to the wishes of the council member whose ward is most impacted by a particular issue or vote.  This privilege has its benefits - and not just to the individual council member, but also to his or her constituents.  And then there's the drawbacks, especially in a "weak mayor/strong council" city like Minneapolis, where a liberal application of aldermanic privilege bestows too much power on each council member.

First up, when and where it works: