Major League Soccer Comes to Minnesota

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Exciting news has come to Minnesota sports fans. On Friday, August 19th , Minnesota United FC held an event at CHS Field in Saint Paul to officially announce they will be joining Major League Soccer in 2017. This news comes after the Saint Paul city council voted to move forward with a new soccer stadium to be built between Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

The new stadium will seat 20,000 fans, which is double the capacity for the current facility NSC Stadium in Blaine. The location of the new stadium will fall at Snelling Avenue and Interstate 94, almost exactly halfway between Minneapolis and Saint Paul; it’s seven and a half miles to Minneapolis and five miles from downtown Saint Paul. The building site is currently a depot for out-of-service buses and is owned by the city. The agreement for creating the stadium relies on utilizing private funding with an exemption on property tax; the stadium will remain a public facility after completion in October 2018. Mayor Chris Coleman did not hide his enthusiasm for the project at the press conference releasing the stadium plan.

“I am thrilled that the team wants to work with the community to build a stadium here in Saint Paul. A soccer stadium will provide an important catalyst for the redevelopment of the entire area – creating jobs, spurring housing and new commercial opportunities, and building on our commitment to transit-oriented development.

With an agreed framework for the construction of this stadium, we are confident that working with the community, our local and state partners and with one another, we can complete the process necessary to bring MLS to Minnesota.”

Many fans were excited as well to learn that the club will not be changing its identity. As the move into MLS advances, the team will remain Minnesota United FC. This was happily accepted as Minnesotan soccer fans have had to deal with several club name changes in the past. After being the Kicks, the Strikers, the Thunder, and the Stars, the present name has been written in stone. It is also worth noting that Minnesota has never had a top-league soccer franchise of any name. The United are no slouches either, regularly finishing the season in the top five.

The next step for the club will be acquiring new sponsorship and trying to attract new team signings. Playing in the top flite will demand a new class of player, and with new revenue will come the opportunity for potential big name signings. This will only help the club grown its fan base and make every match worth watching.

With the enthusiasm behind the stadium proposal and the official MLS announcement, it would be hoped that the positive waves would carry onto the field. If they can gain momentum, and get positive results from their strong striker Christian Ramirez, they will have little trouble making entry to the final season tournament. Though the club is moving up they must continue to battle and prove themselves worthy of their accreditation.  

 

By Sam Stinogel

Twin Cities Chic – Twin Cities Fashion Blogs to Follow

When thinking of fashion meccas, most people think of New York, Paris or Milan. But it turns out that the Twin Cities is pretty trendy itself – just take it from one of our stylish bloggers. From vintage experts to plus-size mod mavens, there’s definitely an Instagram account for everyone to follow. Check out our curated list of the top fashion bloggers in the metro, each one with a unique voice – and hashtag!

A Girl from the North Country

This blog, named after the Bob Dylan song of the same name, screams big city chic with Midwestern roots. It’s described by creator Steph McCoy as, “a celebration of the work we Northerners have done to make flannel sexy and layering seductive.” McCoy’s style is part Ilana Glazer from Broad City and part 1950s housewife – two things that may not sound alike but actually work perfectly together. Follow her on Instagram @agirlnorth or check out www.agirlfromthenorthcountry.com.

PX.Kin

Saint Paul features one of the highest concentrations of Hmong people in the world and PX.Kin (pronounced pee-axe-kin) is a definite player in the emerging Laotian fashion scene. Started by sisters Pa Chia and Xee Vang, the blog features a flair for BoHo looks inspired by the pair’s travels to various locales. The photography is out of this world and could easily be in the pages of Vogue. Visit www.PXKin.com for more information or follow @PXKin on Instagram.

Rachel’s Lookbook

Rachel Trampel founded Rachel’s Lookbook in 2011 with the goal of inspiring others to find their own unique styles in an affordable way. The Minneapolis-based blogger showcases adorable outfits along with expert beauty tips. Trampel has been featured on LaurenConrad.com and InsideInstyle so yeah, this girl is one to watch. Follow her on Instagram @rachelslookbook or head to www.RachelsLookbook.com.

Style Optimist

Style Optimist is dedicated to fashion, beauty, and natural hair care. Jewel Laura, the blog’s creator, has a snappy sense of style with a budget-friendly edge. Most of the outfits and products she posts about are under $50, meaning anyone can look great without breaking the bank. The blog has extensive tips for styling natural hair, with Laura sharing her own personal experiences with her curly, textured locks. Check out www.StyleOptimist.com for more information or follow @StyleOptimist on Instagram.

Already Pretty

For those still discovering what style suits them best, Already Pretty is a great place to start. Sally McGraw’s extensive blog features not just fashion, but also the author’s personal journey with body image. Her main mission is, “to show that body knowledge gained through explorations of personal style can foster self-love and self-respect.” McGraw recently published a corresponding book, Already Pretty: Learning to Love Your Body by Dressing it Well is available through her website, www.AlreadyPretty.com or at several independent Twin Cities bookstores. She can be found on Instagram @alreadyprettyblog.

Sincerely Cecely

Despite being a relative newcomer to the Twin Cities fashion scene, Sincerely Cecely is definitely a blog to watch. Cecely’s style is feminine yet flirty, combining versatility with originality. Her posts offer tips on how to make certain looks work for you while staying under budget. Cecely encourages all of her visitors to explore their own unique fashion sense with a fearless flair. Follow her on Instagram @sincerelycecely or visit www.sincerelycecely.com

 

 

By Rachelle Gordon

 

Almost Destination Shopping – Zimmerman

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Just beyond the outer edge of the suburbs lies a hidden gem: the eclectic, one-of-a-kind stores on Fremont Street in Zimmerman. Think antique store meets shabby chic meets Minnesota handicrafts, all-encompassing home decor, kitchen wares, wall art, and clothing.

Located just off of North 169 past Elk River, these shops are starred on the maps of cabin-bound weekenders and urban dwellers looking for that perfect unique find. Apple trees are scattered among the yards of the old houses, now redesigned to host each shop, all within walking distance from one another.

Ramshackled Treasures

Our first stop was to Ramshackled Treasures. Located in the oldest house in Zimmerman, built in 1895, Ramshackled welcomes you with an open porch displaying white washed picture frames, an old refurbished chandelier, and hand-painted inspirational wall art. Inside, you are greeted with the soft smell of pine, presumably from one of the upcycled pieces of furniture. Each room is decorated with a different theme, all cohesively neutral in their palette of whites, browns, and blacks. Distressed shelves and dressers, dishtowels and potholders with the state of Minnesota stitched onto the front, and local handmade goat’s milk soaps and lotions are just a few of the items available.

Sassy Bean Boutique

We crossed the street to Sassy Bean Boutique. This shop takes more of a colorful, upcycled approach. Sets of antique collectibles, vintage liquor decanters, artisan jewelry, purses made of old books, and things that might be called “man gifts” like old tool and tackle boxes. Signs that offer personalization and custom orders are scattered throughout the two floors. For the passionate Minnesotan resident, a variety of Minnesota wall art is included in almost every room. A room upstairs is devoted mostly to children’s room decor, a heaven for an enthusiastic grandmother.

Zo Chic Boutique

We were lucky to be visiting during an open weekend at Zo Chic, a traveling boutique with a brick and mortar shop located on Fremont in Zimmerman. The small shop was well-decorated and cleanly designed, with strong contrast between their white brick walls and brightly colored dresses, tops and accessories.They make appearances at different locations around the Twin Cities in their Fashion Truck, as well as home parties for those looking for a more intimate shopping experience. Their hours are limited, but their Facebook page showcases their line and promotions.

Nelson Nursery

Aside from what you’d expect from a nursery, such as perennials, shrubs, potting supplies, and lawn ornaments, Nelson’s Nursery has a great gift and accessory section. If you’re looking to bolster your gnome garden, find a set of salt and pepper shakers in the shape of piglets, or a floral travel mug, you’ve come to the right place. It’s a little off the beaten path, but it’s worth the stop.

Wild Poppies

Massive oak trees surrounded the house, and as we stepped into the front porch it felt as if we went back to a time when those trees were just saplings. Collections of vintage dishes and patio furniture decorated the glassed-in porch. Even the smell felt real, a sweet sort of dustiness. A beautifully refinished dining room table sprawled in the front room with the most darling set of red floral drinking glasses and pitcher displayed upon a mirrored tray. The kitchen, my favorite room, was organized by color and boasted set after set of orange, green, and yellow translucent glass goblets, orange juicers, and butter dishes. A few newer items mingled among the old, creating a realistic feel that made you wonder what it would be like to have these wonderful things in your own kitchen.

Zimmerman Floral and Gifts

Zimmerman Floral and Gifts, across the street and around the corner from Wild Poppies, is a one-stop-shop for gifts. Aside from floral arrangements, candy bar bouquets and balloons, the shop smells of sweet greens and candles. China teacups, antiques arranged with silk flowers, and a surprising variety of clothing are arranged along the walls, and a (real) sleeping Chihuahua kept us company while we browsed.

The Shoppes on Fremont

After a quick lunch at Santa Lucia’s of paninis, coffee, and ice cream, we stopped in at The Shoppes on Fremont. The main floor feels similar to the rest of the shops and is always worth the browse, but for me, the basement is the main attraction. If you’ve ever wondered where those crafty people on Pinterest find their old wooden furniture for their projects, look no further. It was here, among the old wooden crates and chairs, that I stumbled across what I’ve been looking for the last few months: an old bar cart. It was rusty and needed new wheels, and it was the perfect fall restoration project.

The Tattooed Lady

This shop isn’t just for getting inked, though if you are, it’s one of best parlours in the outer twin cities. It’s also a collective art gallery that allows members to not only showcase their work, but be involved the local art community, acquire sales experience at the store, and meet their customers face to face. They offer a great variety of classes, unique and handmade gifts, and, of course, art. Their facebook page offers information on events, classes, and hours of operation.

AshleyTaylor Salon and Spa

What better way to end an afternoon of shopping than a mini makeover? Offering a variety of massages, facials, makeup applications (and lessons!), body treatments and nail services, AshleyTaylor is the icing on the cake. If you’ve never experienced a seaweed body wrap, you need to stop what you’re doing and make an appointment. They also offer customizable private parties at the salon for educational tutorials, your annual ladies night, and private spa parties.

We ended our day relaxed and satisfied. We hope to return on November 5th for “Ladies on the Loose,”  an event put on every other month by the community of shops. It incentivises visiting every store, collecting each store’s stamp on a punch card to enter to win prizes. We didn’t need much incentive today, but it was just what we needed: a day away to unwind, shop, and find a little inspiration.

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By Whitney Grindberg

 

Upcoming Highlights of the Minnesota Vikings 2016-2017 Season

In addition to our new stadium, this upcoming season offers a lot of excitement for Vikings fans.  For starters, rookie Laquon Treadwell is bursting with promise and enthusiasm.  Ranked by Mike Mayock as the second best wide receiver in college ball in 2015, Treadwell skipped his senior season at Ole Miss to go right into the draft in April.  The first round pick was the first player to report to Vikings training camp this year and has earned a reputation for trying to improve his already considerable skills as much as he can.

World-reigning rushing champion Adrian Peterson is determined to break Emmitt Smith’s career rushing record this year.  Running back Peterson deserves it after the grueling training regimen he’s been on, a daily three and a half hour combination of sprinting, heavy lifting, swimming, boxing and more which if administered as a punishment would probably violate the Geneva Conventions.

Harrison Smith may just be the most effective and adaptable safety in the league, and on June 6th, Smith signed a five-year contract extension worth $51.25 million making him the highest-paid safety in the NFL.  Despite missing Weeks 12, 14, and 15 last year due to a knee injury, the juggernaut still recorded 66 tackles, 2 interceptions, and a touchdown.  He was the interception leader the year before as well.

“Really, the number one thing is helping the Vikings win and get to the Super Bowl,” said Smith in a 2013 interview.  That’s a well-held priority for a man playing at his level.

Of course the gravest concern on the minds of those who cheer “Skol!” is Teddy Bridgewater’s tragic injury.  When our quarterback dislocated his knee and suffered a complete tear of his ACL in August, it effectively ended his entire 2016 season.  Fortunately, Bridgewater is expected to make a full recovery, but his absence puts the spotlight on quarterback Sam Bradford who was only just acquired from the Eagles.  Bradford has the pedigree of a great, having won the Heisman Trophy in 2008 after throwing for 4,720 years and 50 touchdowns, making him one of only eight players to do so in addition to being first draft pick.  Bradford will have some familiar faces around him in Minnesota, having played with Peterson for the University of Oklahoma in 2008.  He was also backed by up our quarterback Shaun Hill when they played together for the Rams in 2014.

No matter what triumph or tragedy befalls our team, we do not root for them because they win — we hope they win because we root for them.  Despite the devastating blow that is our star’s injury, the great men, and spirit of the Vikings will always bear us through the season.  The Vikings’ interception defense rate is ranked third in the NFL, their offense fourth.  In terms of pure points scored per game, we are tied for fifth in the league with 21.3 per game.  Promising statistics like these, combined with our newfound home field advantage, may all very well add up to finally see us through to a Super Bowl.

 

By David Scheller

Fargo’s Hottest Coffee Shop ‘Crawl’

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It’s no secret that Fargo loves coffee more than Lorelai Gilmore loves Luke’s Diner. You can start your coffee shop crawl in downtown Fargo, where you’ll experience some of the best brews around town. A few sips at any of these unique locations will ensure your day gets started bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for work or for your next weekend outdoor adventure.

The Red Raven Espresso Parlor – Boasting the best historic location and overall cool factor, Red Raven is located on 916 Main Ave, inside one of Fargo’s earliest fire stations. Get your culture on, as Red Raven regularly offers poetry readings, music, and art. Enter through the back alley and if you’re lucky enough to come in on Purrsday Thursday, your coffee comes with a discount and some feline company from neighbor Cats Cradle Shelter.                                                                                                                                                                              To try: Dirty Chai

Babb’s Coffee Shop – Are you in Fargo or Seattle? You might find yourself wondering this out loud and that’s because Babb’s, located on 604 Main Ave offers the best of both worlds with its cozy urban interior that makes you inexplicably forget about summer and yearn for fall. For the ultimate Seattle experience right here in town, cozy up with a book or sit by the window and relax while you wait for the rain to come down.

To try: White Chocolate Blackberry Lavender Mocha

Stumbeano’s Coffee Roasters – Fargo’s possibly best-kept secret located on 210   

      Broadway in the heart of downtown on the lower level of the Loretta Building. If  

      you’re feeling adventurous, you can enter through the alley in the back by the Boiler     Room and enjoy their patio. Known for syrups in house and roasting their beans in

      Fergus Falls, Minnesota and using a range of brewing methods depending on your bean

      selection, Stumbeano’s is well worth branching out from your own tried method with a

      pour over and fresh breakfast waffles.

      To try:  Green Cardamom Vanilla Iced Latte

20 Below Coffee Co. – Located on 14th Robert’s Street North, 20 Below – as the name implies –  is not for the faint of heart. In a class above the rest, you’ll get to experience a blast from the past with a syphon immersion. First patented by Frenchwoman Mme. Vassieux (née Marie Fanny Amelne Massot) in the 19th century, this “glass balloon” mechanism lets you see the science of brew at work while exuding a certain level of steampunk glam. Try yours in a handmade cup at the bar or take a seat outside while the weather’s still warm.  

To try: Syphon Immersion

Atomic Coffee – A tried and true staple of the downtown scene, Atomic gives you the absolute best views from 222 Broadway. Watch classic car show unfold from the comfort of an armchair or catch up on the High Plains Reader while you sip on your favorite comfort drink. Be sure to try one of their lemon bars with an espresso, or if you’re feeling like you’ve hit your caffeine limit for the day, try the raspberry Italian soda.

To try: Atomic Bomb

 

By Ana Mitrovici

Fargo’s Fall Festival: Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater Indeed

Many people, including myself, consider fall their favorite season. The temperatures aren’t scorching, but they aren’t yet frigid. Leaves change color and we see the beauty of nature laid out like an artist’s canvas. We love everything about fall and there is no better way to celebrate the season than Fargo’s Fall Festival.

According to Fargo Park District Program Coordinator Rachel Wolpert, the Fall Festival has been a Fargo Park District staple for 19 years.

“It began as a celebration of harvest and Halloween,” she explained.

Over the years, the festival evolved into a celebration of harvest and fall instead of Halloween. What hasn’t changed, however, is the popularity of the event, especially for families.

“The entire family will enjoy a festival full of fall fun, including carnival games, autumn crafts, live entertainment, inflatables, live animals, a pumpkin patch, a straw bale maze, and so much more,” Wolpert said.

For those that spend countless hours planning events like this, it is the love of making people happy that makes those late nights worth it.

“What I like best about my position is that there is a ton of planning that goes into each event, a ton of stress to make sure our participants will have a great time,” Wolpert explained. “But all of that stress is well worth it when you see people having a great time at your event.”

The Fall Festival happens over two weekends, September 17-18 and 24-25. According to Wolpert, close to 13,000 people will walk through the gates of Rheault Farm. Many of them will head straight for the pumpkins.

“Our pumpkin patch is a popular spot during the event for families to take pictures or buy pumpkins,” Wolpert said. In addition, the activities involving animals are always a big success. “Whether it be the petting zoo, pony rides, or carriage rides, children love to be where the animals are,” she explained.

Wolpert would like to invite everyone to the Fall Festival. If you have never been, now’s your chance. For that matter, Wolpert would also like to invite everyone to all Fargo Park District’s events.

“Fall Festival and other events put on by the Fargo Park District is a great opportunity to come out and enjoy time spent with your family,” she said. “There are events all throughout the year that cater to everyone.”

If you like anything to do with fall or pumpkins, the Fall Festival is your place. In addition to the pumpkin patch (with over 1,000 pumpkins) and petting zoo, you can also enjoy face painting, arts & crafts at the Peter Peter Pumpkin Factory, balloon animals, carnival games, pumpkin decorating, a straw bale maze (with a new pattern), barrel train rides, pony rides, and concessions.

Admission to the park is free. Some activities require tickets, but you can purchase an all-day pass for the low price of $5.50. The festival takes place at Rheault Farm, located at 2902 25th Street South in Fargo.

By Jamee Larson