West Side Neighborhood News and Events

The West Side neighborhood is rich with diversity.  The topography ranges from the River Flats that are home to many businesses to the Bluffs which provide breathtaking views of downtown Saint Paul and are home to some of Saint Paul’s finest historic houses. Within the West Side neighborhood, community members come from a rich diversity of income, age, cultural, and geographic backgrounds, this diversity is celebrated through a host of public art pieces disbursed throughout the neighborhood. The West Side is home to many parks and scenic overlooks as well as several neighborhood commercial areas—District del Sol, Stryker/George, Smith Avenue—all of which make the neighborhood vibrant and convenient. The West Side is just minutes to downtown Saint Paul and surrounding suburbs.

(Description from livemsp.org)

For detailed demographic information, see the neighborhood profile from Minnesota Compass.

MUSIC REVIEW | Queens of the Stone Age rock the Roy Wilkins Auditorium

Photos by Chad Rieder

After the release of the Grammy nominated album …Like Clockwork in 2013, there is little reason to doubt that Queens of the Stone Age hold the hard-rock title today. The stoner rock legends from Palm Desert, CA hammered Roy Wilkins Auditorium in St. Paul with a nearly two-hour set that was held together with a disciplined fist that drove hard from start.


THEATER REVIEW | "Behind The Eye" at Park Square Theatre gets the full picture of a famous photographer

Lee Miller (Annie Enneking) in Park Square Theatre's production of Behind The Eye; photography by Petronella Ytsma

I fell in love with Carson Kreitzer’s writing back in the early 2000s when I first read her play Freakshow. The way she bends and twists language to do exactly the poetic things she wants it to do. The strange sideways glance she gives the world, a world you recognize but now see in a completely different way because of the manner in which she frames it. Her sharp, peculiar sense of humor.  An audience can’t sit passively and watch one of her plays drift by—it’s too busy prodding you with little shocks and surprises (and that’s as true if you’re seeing it live on stage or simply reading it). I like the way she’s drawn to the oddballs and the outcasts—whether it’s the sideshow monstrosities of Freakshow, serial killers (Self Defense or the Death of Some Salesmen), nuclear scientists (The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer), the spirits of celebrities trapped in limbo (Dead Wait), or the different breed of human being who decides to live and die in Las Vegas (Flesh and the Desert). 


THEATER REVIEW | Blue Man Group at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts: A delightful sensory experience

Photo Credit: Paul Kolnik

A performance of Blue Man Group, now playing at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, is a delightful sensory experience. It has striking visuals, thrumming music with an air of novelty, and physical comedy of all sorts. It is also stuffed to the gills with audience-interactive elements and frequently spills off the stage into the aisles and seats of the hall. If the idea of dozens of giant balloons bursting into the audience for you to bounce through the theater appeals to you, the show is not to be missed.


MUSIC REVIEW | Joe Pug, Malamanya and Erik Koskinen on Real Phonic Radio at the Hill Library

This month was an eclectic lineup for the monthly Real Phonic Radio performed at the James J Hill Library with some Cuban salsa, folky Americana, alternative country and a little poetry thrown in for good measure.


THEATER REVIEW | Minnesota Opera showcases the magic in Mozart's "The Magic Flute"

Photo credit Robert Millard

To call the Minnesota Opera's current production of The Magic Flute "a reimagining" would be a gross understatement and a disservice. "Outstanding" would be a better word, "revelatory" another, and "hopeful" maybe the best yet. A friend working on the production told me that at the final dress rehearsal last Friday a huge crowd of students "screamed at the end like it had been a One Direction concert." I think Mozart would have been very proud to see this production, even if he wouldn't know who Harry Stiles is.