August 29, 2017
Update from the Executive Director

Viewing others' responses to adversity is humbling.

The hurricane in Houston has wreaked unimaginable chaos and destruction. It will be years before any semblance of normalcy returns. The trajectory of tens of thousands of people's lives has been forever altered. 

And yet, it is the one-on-one interviews that offer a modicum of hope. The determination, dedication and outward focus of so many to bind together to help friend and neighbor, offer a sharp, healing contrast to daily counts of division and hate. A metaphor for what is most valued.

The reports are not easy to watch, but the selflessness, heroism, empathy and care depicted in their message offer guideposts for daily living and a balm that heals. Learn how you can help victims of Hurricane Harvey  here.

MILL CITY COMMONS: We learn. We share. We engage. We give.

~ Joan Wright
Last Tuesday Happy Hour
Tuesday, August 29, 5:00 - 6:00 pm
Bardo, 222 E Hennepin Ave
Join us for Last Tuesday Happy Hour at Bardo, East Hennepin's newest restaurant, helmed by chef Remy Pettus. Hosted by Cecily Hines & Tom Pettus and Dave & Peggy Lucas, this gathering is a time to catch up with friends and neighbors over drinks and small bites. Dinner will not be available after Happy Hour, as Bardo is not normally open on Tuesdays - this special evening is just for MCC members and guests! Dutch treat - no reservations required.

MCC members and guests. No registration required.
Social Bridge
Wednesday, August 30, 3:00 - 5:00 pm
Washburn Lofts, 700 2nd St S
Join bridge players for a round of social bridge; levels of expertise and experience vary. Bring a partner if you can, and remember to register both yourself and your partner. Questions? Contact Carol Jordan at

MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC.
Rendezvous Readers' Book Chat
Wednesday, September 6, 9:30 - 10:30 am
Abiitan's Porter Cafe, 428 2nd St S
Join us to discuss  The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen. Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, The Sympathizer was the breakthrough novel of the year. With the pace and suspense of a thriller and prose that has been compared to Graham Greene and Saul Bellow, The Sympathizer is a sweeping epic of love and betrayal. The narrator, a communist double agent, is a "man of two minds," a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who arranges to come to America after the fall of Saigon, and while building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam.
The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity and America, a gripping espionage novel, and a powerful story of love and friendship.

MCC members and guests. No registration required.
Men's After Hours Connect
Wednesday, September 6, 5:00 - 6:30 pm
Piper Jaffray, 800 Nicollet Mall, 12th fl
The MCC men are launching a new evening group that will connect once a month over a speaker, tour or social event. This inaugural event, hosted by member Bob Rinek, will include a tour of the trading floor at Piper Jaffray, with comments on sales, trading and capital markets from one of the traders; an overview of Piper Jaffray and the Merchant Banking business; and remarks from Lars Oddsson, founder and chairman of RxFunction, an early-stage medical device company. Those who are interested may conclude the evening at McCormick & Schmick's for a dutch-treat happy hour.

Male MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC
Men's Coffee and Conversation 
Thursday, September 7, 7:30 - 8:30 am 
Elsie's Restaurant, 729 Marshall St NE 
It's caffeine and camaraderie for the male members of MCC and guests! This group meets every other Thursday and is hosted by various members who get the conversation going. Please register by the Monday prior to Men's Coffee and Conversation. This week, MCC member Dr. Michael Brennan hosts on the topic of "The Wages of Societal Mistrust: Lessons from China." Michael and his wife Dr. Rebecca Bahn have been in the Far East several times in the past year and have returned with some interesting and provocative insights about institutions and comparisons with China and elsewhere in the world.

MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC.
Our Turn: A Conversation for Women
Thursday, September 7, 10:00 - 11:30 am
Mill City Quarter Club Room, 322 2nd St S
MCC women, you are invited to attend Our Turn: A Conversation for Women. This week, Lou Burdick hosts on the topic of Immigration. Immigrants and immigration are front and center in the national dialogue in America today, and the immigrant experience is deeply woven into the fabric of this country's creation. Many immigrants came to America seeking greater economic opportunity, while some, such as the Pilgrims in the early 1600s, arrived in search of religious freedom. Others came unwillingly as slaves or willingly paid for their passage by signing on for years of indentured servitude before becoming citizens. What is your family's immigrant story and how is this historical heritage reflected in your life and your attitudes? Do you have any friends or family members who are immigrants?

Our Turn meets every other Thursday, alternating between morning and afternoon times. Locations, hosts and topics change each time.

MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC.
Concert: A Musical Offering
Thursday, September 7, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Washburn Lofts, 700 2nd St S, #W61
Join us for a special concert presented by The Musical Offering (TMO), the Twin Cities' oldest chamber ensemble. TMO has a core ensemble of nine musicians affiliated with the Minnesota Orchestra, eight of whom will be performing at this gathering. On the program is Mozart's quintet for piano and winds K.452. In a letter to his father, Mozart wrote, "I myself consider it to be the best thing I have written in my life." The program will also include Milhaud's jazz-inspired Suite for violin, clarinet and piano. Musicians performing include Susan Billmeyer, piano; Jane Garvin, flute; John Snow, oboe; David Pharris, clarinet; Norbert Nielubowski, bassoon; Caroline Lemen, horn; Celine Leathead, violin; and Jim Jacobson, cello.
MCC members sign up here.
Nosy Neighbor Tour: Washburn Center for Children
Friday, September 8, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Washburn Center for Children, 1100 Glenwood Ave
Washburn Center for Children was founded as the Washburn Memorial Orphan Asylum in 1883 by Cadwallader C. Washburn after the Washburn "A Mill" explosion left children orphaned. Continually evolving to meet the children's mental health needs of the community, Washburn Center serves 3,000 children and their families annually. In 2014 the organization completed a $24.5 million capital campaign and opened an expanded, nature-infused facility. Tour this unique community resource that creates a space for young minds to heal and grow. Washburn Center's LEED Gold building provides a therapeutic environment to support a comprehensive spectrum of services and is also home to the United Health Foundation Training Institute, which trains mental health professionals, nationally and internationally, in children's mental health evidence-based and best practices.

MCC members sign up here.
Cooks of Crocus Hill Class: Say Cheese!
Monday, September 11, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Cooks of Crocus Hill, 208 1st St N
Do you find yourself selecting the same cheeses every time when you shop the cheese section? This session can help you break free of your cheese comfort zone and teach you the best ways to pair delicious cheeses with sweet and savory accoutrements. Perfect for entertaining ideas!

Each attendee will also receive a 15% discount to Cooks of Crocus Hill for that day. (Coupon is good for regular priced, in-stock merchandise. Excludes cooking classes, private events, gift cards, electrics and sale items.)
MCC members sign up here.
Technology Workshop: Technology Tools for Travelers
Tuesday, September 12, 1:00 - 2:30 pm
American Academy of Neurology, 201 Chicago Ave, Training Room A
If you missed our sold-out spring Technology Tools for Travelers series, here's your second chance! This session is the first in a three-part series focusing on useful apps, accessories and tips for traveling with your iPhone or iPad. The series will cover tools that can help you stay in touch, save money, navigate your way in a new place and discover interesting sites. This first class will cover apps to use for accommodations, transportation and airline travel, such as Airbnb, Lyft, Uber, Roadtrippers, FlySmart, My TSA and more. The workshop is limited to 14 attendees, and it will cover iPhones only, not Android devices. You do not need to participate in all three workshops to attend. Please make sure your device is fully charged, as electrical will not be available in the room.

MCC members sign up here.
Driven to Discover: Is the North Loop Losing Its Cool?
Tuesday, September 12, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Rock Island Lofts Party Room, 111 4th Ave N
The North Loop Neighborhood is a heat island in the middle of Minneapolis. This is the result of early urbanization, the loss of most vegetation and historical preservation rules that limit return of that vegetation. The problem will only increase with global warming. Professor Fernando Burga and his Land Use Planning students at the Humphrey School spent Fall 2016 studying this issue and recommending appropriate responses. Graduate students Alyssa Schmeling, Christopher Brittain and Maureen Hoffman will present their findings.

  is the first in MCC's new, ongoing program series under the banner "Driven to Discover." The series will feature University of Minnesota faculty and students sharing current research and programming at the University.

MCC members sign up here.
MCC Program Calendar

Plan ahead! View the full MCC September calendar here.
News from Members

Are you a lawyer? If so, MCC member Patty Connelly wants you to know about the First Friday Coffee and Case Discussion Series at The Advocates for Human Rights (330 2nd Ave S, Suite 800). The event gives new and existing volunteer lawyers a chance to revisit cases that have been stuck in the procedural backlog, brainstorm creative legal arguments and identify potential solutions to case challenges. The discussion is from 9:00-10:00 am the first Friday of each month. Learn more here .

MCC member Ellie Hands shares that the Midwest Renewable Energy Association is bringing its famous Energy Fair to the Twin Cities this year. The event is free and includes 60 exhibitors, 80 workshops, live music and an electric vehicle show. The Fair will take place September 9-10 at Harriet Island Park in St. Paul. Metro Transit is free to and from the event. More details can be found here.

Have you heard about the Minnesota Bach Ensemble (MBE)? MCC member Susan Plimpton shares that they are a professional chamber orchestra dedicated to performing the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. The ensemble explores other composers of the Baroque and early Classical periods yet always returns to the intense beauty, emotionalism and inspiration of J.S. Bach. Susan invites you to an MBE house concert on September 10 at 3:00 pm at the Carlyle, 100 3rd Ave S. RSVP by emailing Learn more about the MBE, including details of their upcoming season, by clicking   here.

MCC member Margee Bracken invites members to attend Nadia, a marriage of music and theater, produced by the Bakken Trio. The play is about the legendary Nadia Boulanger, who Quincy Jones called "the most astounding woman I've ever met". She influenced an entire century of music.  Christina Baldwin stars as Nadia Boulanger, assisted by Bakken Trio musicians whose performance triggers her stories and vignettes of her life. Performances will be at MacPhail Center for Music, 501 S 2nd St, on September 17 & 18. Learn more here.

MCC member Ellen Breyer wants members to know that the Minnesota Orchestra is offering a free concert from 6:00-7:00 pm on September 19, led by Music Director Osmo Vänskä at The Commons Park (425 Portland Ave S). Enjoy a mix of classical works, including Smetana's The Moldau, a series of Dvořák's Slavonic Dances, Sibelius' Finlandia and John Williams' March from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Pre-Show entertainment begins at 5:00 pm. 
Around Town

Mill City Night Market Music
Every Tuesday, August 29 - September 26, 5:30-7:30 pm, The Commons Park, 425 Portland Ave S
The Mill City Night Market will be hosting live music every Tuesday evening through September 26. Click here to see the line up. Shop for local, sustainable and organic groceries, enjoy a cooking demonstration and listen to live music in one beautiful place. Join over 25 local farmers, artisans and prepared food vendors - rain or shine. Don't forget your picnic blanket!  

Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR)
September 14, 12:30-1:30 pm, Hennepin County Bar Association, 600 Nicollet Mall #390
QPR is a free, one hour presentation that covers the three steps anyone can learn to help prevent suicide sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Just like CPR, QPR is an emergency response to someone in crisis and can save lives. Registration is appreciated but not required. Click here to pre-register. Learn more about NAMI here.

Mill City Times  is a local website devoted specifically to our neighborhood and a place to go to find out what's happening, whether it's a new restaurant opening, a local event, proposed construction, volunteer opportunities and more.  
Volunteer Opportunities 
Click here for community volunteer opportunities on the MCC website!  
MCC Ongoing Social Opportunities
Dutch Treat
Social Hour
Mondays, 4:00-5:00 pm
Aster Cafe
125 Main St SE
Drop in for an afternoon coffee or drink and a casual chat. No reservations

Readers' Book Chat
1st Wednesday of the month, 9:30-10:30 am
Abiitan's Porter Cafe
428 2nd St S
    No reservations required.
The Sympathizer
by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Rendezvous on 5
Wednesdays, 9-10 am
Guthrie Theater Level 5 Express
Drop in and join your friends and neighbors for fellowship at this neighborhood haunt. This weekly adventure requires no reservations!

Social Bridge
Every other Wednesday, 3:00-5:00 pm
Washburn Lofts,
700 2nd St S
Enjoy a round of social bridge. Be sure to register on the website!

Men's Coffee and Conversation
Elsie's Restaurant,
729 Marshall Street NE
Caffeine and camaraderie for the male members of MCC! This group meets every other Thursday at 7:30 am and is hosted by various members who get the conversation going.

Our Turn: A Conversation for Women
Relax and chat with other MCC women. This group meets every other Thursday and alternates between morning and afternoon times. Look for details in the body of this newsletter.
Ongoing Member-Led Activities

MCC Caregiver Support Group
2nd and 4th Wednesdays,
10:30 am-12:00 pm
A way to support members and non-members who are or have been in a  caregiving role. For more information, contact  Betsy Wray

Men's Dutch Lunch
Abiitan's Porter Cafe
428 2nd St S
Alternating Thursdays at 11:30 am
August 31 & September 14
 This casual, dutch treat lunch alternates weeks with Men's Coffee and Conversation. No reservations required! Questions? Contact  Allan Burdick.

 Mill City Commons

Ongoing Fitness Opportunities

SBS Class


2:00-3:00 pm

G-Werx Fitness,

428 2nd St S, #100
An exclusive opportunity for members, this weekly class focuses on strength, balance  and stretching to keep you fit and strong.
First time participants, please contact G-Werx Fitness at (612) 767-4415 and arrive 20 minutes early to complete paperwork. Cost varies depending on commitment.


  River Walkers

Tuesdays and Thursdays,

7:30-8:30 am

Stone Arch Lofts Riverside Parking Lot

All levels of walkers are welcome for this early morning walk along the banks of the Mississippi River. An MCC volunteer leads each walk.


Hatha Yoga

Wednesdays and Fridays,

8:00-9:15 am

Yoga Center of Minneapolis,

212 3rd Ave N, Ste 205

This is an alignment-based class. Purchase a 12-class pass for $132 directly from YCM to use as your schedule allows, or drop in on a class for $12.50. Contact Dena at 

612-436-4700 for details.

Drop-ins welcome.


Mill City Commons | 125 Main St SE, Suite 339, Minneapolis, MN 55414 |  
(612) 455-3329