Sunday, May 8, 2011

Minnehaha Liquors, Minneapolis, MN.

Interior of Minnehaha Liquor Store, Minneapolis
(Photo courtesy of Jewish Historical Society of the Upper Midwest)
In July 2010, I made my way back to Minneapolis, MN for the first time since May 2006. I had lived in the Twin Cities from 2001-2006 and seriously missed them the five years I'd been away. While I was taking a road trip to Northern Minnesota to see Dwight Yoakam (also for the first time!), I made a stop over in Minneapolis to break up the ten-hour drive and to see my favorite Midwestern city once again. Driving down Lake Street, I saw many things that had changed, yet several that had (luckily) stayed the same. When I came across one of my favorite local landmarks, the Minnehaha Liquor sign at 2613 E. Lake St., I noticed that it was receiving a touch-up. I enthusiastically took this opportunity to obtain some more information.
sign painter dipping brush
sign painter 2
According to the above historic photo, Minnehaha Liquors has been around since the 1920s. According to the man repairing the sign (why didn't I get his name?!), the original porcelain-fronted neon sign is currently maintained by Skyline Neon at 451 Taft St. N.E. in Minneapolis. He also discussed how all of the signs once lit by neon are now lit by LED, like the Payless Shoes sign across the street. He takes great care and pride in his work to keep these signs alive and continuously illuminating Minneapolis' streetscape. I'm thankful I had this chance to return to the city and spend this time with him finding out more information on this local architectural icon that always managed to capture my attention along Lake Street the countless times I'd passed it.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

History & Identity As Told Through the Historic Taverns of Bay View, WI

Spring 2010:

Last winter I moved to Milwaukee, WI. To get to know the area better I set out with a few cameras and my Zoom H2 to explore Wisconsin's very ummmm, unique, drinking culture. The result is this documentary that focuses on the experience and history of Lee’s Luxury Lounge at 2988 S Kinnickinnic Avenue, Milwaukee, WI. You’ll hear both residents and patrons express what they feel gives shape to and defines their distinctive Bay View identity.

Special thanks to Lee's owner, Deanne Wecker. Sadly, I found that Deanne sold the bar shortly after I completed this piece.

For more photos of Bay View's historic taverns visit

Lee's Luxury Buffalo

(Interior view of Lee's Luxury Lounge)