Treehouse Records a staple of the Twin Cities

It smells like the 1980s: a little bit stale tobacco smoke, a little bit unwashed dog. This is appropriate, I guess, because this same record store with a different name (Oarfolkjokeopus, a very different name) was the high tide point of the Minneapolis music scene during a time when the Minneapolis music scene was the high tide point of the American music industry, and that time was called the 1980s. Old vinyl has its own smell anyway, but all the vinyl in this store is not old, and all the musical wares are not vinyl. Still, that’s what it’s known for, Treehouse Records: used vinyl. There are also new releases, and some used CDs and you can buy tickets to First Avenue shows and occasionally there is live music in the store. Mark Trehus, the owner, used to be the manager of Oarfolkjokeopus, and he bought the business, but not the name, in 2001. Trehus also used to own a record label with the same name, Treehouse Records, in the 1980s and 90s, but it is no more. Just the record store, ticking along at the corner of 26th and Lyndale, a corner where Trehus has been doing business for 28 years.

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Movies on 35th Street: Bringing the community back to video rentals

It’s strange to have rows of sleek DVD cases be an object of nostalgia, but for those who haven’t set foot in a video rental store for years, visiting The Movies on 35th Street is almost like returning to a simpler time. It’s exactly like the video store you remember: A muted video plays on the corner TV, movie posters line the front desk, and the owner stands behind the front desk, chatting with customers and methodically polishing DVDs.

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"I'm not opposed to development"

Last Wednesday I found myself in a nearly empty meeting room, observing the Lowry Hill East Neighborhood Association (LHENA) at work. This has been an all-too-frequent circumstance for me in recent months, as I work the Wedge-beat for a fake news organization called @WedgeLIVE. I was there to watch the proposed development known as Frank-Lyn inch its way closer to the finish line. Supporters of the development achieved a sort of moral victory in hostile territory, falling just one vote short (4-3) in a bid for LHENA’s largely symbolic approval (on its way to meeting the approval of the City Planning Commission late Monday, as I write this).

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Did you know? Transit challenges affect St. Paul's East Side

The Green Line may be up and running, but that is only the beginning of new transit development in the eastern metro. Did you know that there are three potential transit projects that could have a direct impact on the future of Dayton’s Bluff?

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Old Hamm's brewery finds new life in three businesses

(Photo by Karin DuPaul) Standing in front of the entrance to the Flat Earth Brewing Company are, from left: Lee Egbert and Bob McManus, owners of 11 Wells Distillery; John Warner, owner of Flat Earth; Bob Roepke, Flat Earth Brewer Master; and Franco Claseman, Flat Earth Operations Manager.

The rich history of the Hamm’s Brewery, the desire to be part of the renewal of these historic buildings, and the water from “the land of sky blue waters” brought three businesses to the oldest buildings on the Hamm’s Brewery campus: the city-owned buildings on the south side of East Minnehaha Avenue.

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Thanks to industry and rail, life in Northeast comes with pollution and smells

Matthew Hegge and his wife are trying to sell their house in Northeast Minneapolis. It’s a little difficult, though, when you don’t want to let the “fresh” air in.

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Sympathy for the Devil?

It may seem strange to work up much sympathy for a booming industry that killed 47 people while virtually leveling their Quebec town last year and later touched off a giant fireball over Casselton, N.D., on the Minnesota border, but that's what I'm feeling these days for the railroads.

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Recalculating a life

Like Dorothy who was whisked away from drab Kansas to exotic Oz, I daily confront the complications of living in a new and strange land. I keep learning that things I thought were a normal part of the world were actually regional characteristics. For example, Midwest roads and streets are laid out in an orderly grid, crossing each other at 90-degree angles in predictable intervals. As a Flatlander, I took that grid structure for granted. I was amused but also reassured by Minneapolis’s alphabetical street names (Colfax, Dupont, Emerson, Fremont, Girard, Holmes).

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A DMV grows in Saint Paul (inside the Sears department store!)

Saint Paul is a weird city. One of its many quirks, which may go largely undetected, is that it has a DMV located deep in the recesses of a Sears Department Store.

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A Southwest Light Rail explainer

August 03, 2014, back seat of a Toyota 4Runner, Highway 169, Central Minnesota:

“So what’s going on with that train stuff?”

“Ah, it’s kind of a long story at this point.”

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