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City VIP Blogger Meet Minneapolis

Welcome to the Insider blog. The City VIP section will feature posts straight from the minds of Minneapolis celebrities, as well as some cool inside information from us. Also, the Insider Post area will spotlight a random member of the Minneapolis community, allowing them to share their unique perspective on the city. Read on and become an Insider.

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City VIP Blog Posts
Thursday August 01, 2013

A Walk Through History: Minneapolis Northeast Tour


East Hennepin.

The Northeast Neighborhood.

“Nordeast,” as the locals call it.

Regardless of what you call it, what you need to know is simply this: it’s Minneapolis’ first neighborhood.

The history that radiates from this area is palpable. Everywhere you go, each building you see, there’s a story behind it. These stories are stooped in rich tradition with tales of how Minneapolis grew to the city it is today.

The coolest part about this neighborhood? There’s a walking tour dedicated to giving you the complete behind-the-scenes tour of this historic locale. The tour highlights 18 different places in Nordeast, all important to the vitality and growth of Minneapolis. You can find out more about the walking tour here, but we’re going to give you a sneak peek of four of the places you’ll see when you take this highly-recommended tour.

1) Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church

Our Lady of Lourdes Church is the oldest continuously-used house of worship in Minneapolis. The original structure was built in 1857 when the east side of the Mississippi was still the village of St. Anthony Falls. At that time, it held nearly 500 people – which was 1/10th of St. Anthony’s population. The church still holds mass to this day.

2) Nye’s Polonaise Room

Home to the “World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band,” Nye’s is a throwback to the Eastern European culture that was prevalent in Nordeast at the time of its founding. Al Nye bought the establishment in 1940, and by 1964 his success at running the bar enabled him to buy the building next door for a dining room addition, called the “Polonaise Room.” You’re guaranteed to have a crazy night when you step through the doors of Nye’s.

3) Kramarczuk’s Sausage

In the late 1940’s, Wasyl Kramarczuk and his wife Anna emigrated from their homeland of Ukraine to the United States. In 1954, after years of hard work, they founded Kramarczuk’s. Still family owned and operated to this day (like many of the Nordeast businesses), Kramarczuk’s has grown to become the official sausage provider of the Minnesota Twins, and just recently won a James Beard American Classic award.

4) Surdyk’s Liquor and Cheese Shop

In business since 1934, and run by four generations of the Surdyk family, this single store has become the largest provider of wine in the entire Midwest. The store started up at the end of Prohibition, with the original owner, Joseph Surdyk, selling groceries and liquor would bolster the family’s income. So, $200 of borrowed money, a liquor license and 79 years later, Surdyk’s has become a cornerstone of Nordeast.

If you're ready to experience the full tour yourself, reserve a tour here.

Insider Blog Post
Monday December 10, 2012

Catch Me if You Can

It’s no secret that Minneapolis is a city that’s known for its theatres. With all those theatre seats to fill, there is nonstop entertainment from the Guthrie to Chanhassen Dinner Theatres and everywhere in between. This time of year, many of us look to the holiday classics like “A Christmas Carol” or the “Nutcracker,” but Hennepin Theatre Trust is offering something completely different this season with a Minnesota debut of “Catch Me If You Can” at the Orpheum Theatre Dec. 11-16.

Frank Abagnale Jr. is an expert on fraud, scams, deception and beating the system. Between the ages of 16 and 21, he forged and cashed $2.5 million worth of bad checks in the United States and 26 other countries, while successfully passing himself off as an airline pilot for Pan Am, a doctor, a college professor and a lawyer. He was ultimately caught, as he always knew he would be, and served time in French, Swedish and American prisons.

Abagnale’s adventures were immortalized, and somewhat fictionalized, in Steven Spielberg’s 2002 film “Catch Me If You Can,” with Leonardo DiCaprio starring as the young con man and Tom Hanks playing the FBI agent who pursued him. The movie, based on a ghost-written autobiography, inspired a 2011 Broadway musical of the same name – score by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, book by Terrence McNally, direction by Jack O’Brien and choreography by Jerry Mitchell – is touring the country, and lucky for us, stopping in Minneapolis.

Abagnale himself will be doing a question and answer session after the opening night performance for all ticketholders who wish to stay and hear more from the man himself. 

Abagnale’s life on the lam is the most entertaining part of his story – but it’s not the best part of his story. It may not even be the most remarkable part of his story. What Abagnale has done since leaving behind his life of crime is both mind-boggling and inspiring. He has used his knowledge as a counterfeiter and scam artist to stop criminals and protect law-abiding citizens, initially working with the FBI – which was part of his parole agreement – and then by developing a host of fraud prevention programs that are used by more than 14,000 financial institutions, corporations and law enforcement agencies.

Put your holiday traditions on hold for a night and spend it entertained by a musical straight from Broadway here on Hennepin Ave. Gift yourself as an early present. Make it a girlfriend’s getaway or a chance to break from the hustle and bustle at home by staying in Minneapolis for the night with a great hotel deal from www.go.minneapolis.org (shameless plug).

Individual tickets for Catch Me If You Can are on sale now. Tickets start at $34 depending on performance time and seating preference. Tickets may be purchased in person at the State Theatre Box Office (805 Hennepin Avenue, Mpls., 55402, no service fees), online at HennepinTheatreTrust.org or through Ticketmaster by calling 1.800.982.2787 or visiting a Ticketmaster Ticket Center. All prices include applicable facility fees. Additional charges may apply. Groups of 10 or more save, and should call 612.373.5665 for information and reservations.

Performance dates for Catch Me If You Can are Tuesday–Sunday, Dec. 11–16, 2012 at Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Orpheum Theatre (910 Hennepin Avenue, Mpls., 55403).

Performance times are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 and 6:30 p.m.

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