July 31, 2018
Update from the Executive Director

This year's "season of road repair" has been particularly hard to bear. Major artery closings, coupled with local street and sidewalk construction projects, continue to add a layer of planning and foresight to one's driving schedule! Downtown living's walk-ability life style  affords an occasional respite, and thank goodness the Stone Arch Bridge, walking and bike paths remain open. Area parks, local businesses and an array of sporting, cultural and educational opportunities often are just a 5-15 minute walk away. 

Fortunately, public transit provides several sanity-saving alternatives. Most particularly economical are  Metro Transit's three 50 cent Downtown Zone options connecting riders to virtually any location: Downtown Minneapolis, Downtown St. Paul and Hi-Frequency Network. To learn more about these zones click  here.

On a much smaller scale, check out  Minneapolis Water Taxi. You won't travel far, but you will have fun! Invite a few friends to join you and Captain Cory Parkos on this 7-passenger solar powered electric launch. Enjoy an hour-long trip up the Mississippi to the Blue Heron Rookery or downstream to Upper Lock and St. Anthony Falls. It picks up/drops off daily with a reservation  on the hour between 10am and 10pm primarily at Boom Island Park in Minneapolis. A fun, affordable and unique opportunity! Pricing and reservation info available here.

So, when road construction gives you lemons, squeeze every last drop out of the alternatives and make lemonade!

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

~ Joan Wright
Rendezvous Readers' Book Chat
Wednesday, August 1, 9:30 - 10:30 am
Abiitan's Porter Cafe, 428 S 2nd St
Join us to discuss Mudbound by Hillary Jordan. It's 1946, and city-bred Laura McAllan is trying to raise her children on her husband's Mississippi Delta farm--a place she finds foreign and frightening. In the midst of the family's struggles, two young men return from the war to work the land. Jamie McAllan, Laura's brother-in-law, is everything her husband is not--charming, handsome and haunted by his memories of combat. Ronsel Jackson, eldest son of the black sharecroppers who live on the McAllan farm, has come home with the shine of a war hero. But no matter his bravery in defense of his country, he is still considered less than a man in the Jim Crow South. It's the unlikely friendship of these brothers-in-arms that drives this powerful novel to its inexorable conclusion. The men and women of each family relate their versions of events, and we are drawn into their lives as they become players in a tragedy on the grandest scale.
MCC members and guests. No registration required.
Our Turn: A Conversation for Women
Thursday, August 2, 10:00 - 11:30 am
Mill City Quarter, 322 2nd St S
MCC women, you are invited to attend Our Turn: A Conversation for Women. This week, Sue Halverson will lead a discussion on Twin Cities' uncelebrated treasures. Come prepared to share little-known spots in the Twin Cities that hold a special place in your life. Is there a place you enjoy for quiet time, or alternatively, stimulation? Is it an entity like a coffee shop, library, gallery, chapel or bookstore, or a natural space such as a park, hiking trail, bike path or lake? How far is this spot, and why does it work? What makes it special to you? Do you go alone or is this a place you visit to enhance family or social connections?

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

MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC.
Driven to Discover: Bell Museum Tour
Monday, August 6, 1:00 - 3:00 pm
Bell Museum, 2088 Larpenteur Ave W
Explore the Bell Museum just weeks after the highly anticipated grand opening on July 14! Embark on a guided tour of the Bell Museum and enjoy a conversation with Dr. Holly Menninger, director of public engagement and science learning, about the expanded reach of the Bell to include its Outdoor Learning Landscape and planetarium. See next generation artists and scientists at work in the museum's Art & Nature summer camp, as they explore the connections of art, nature and science.

This is one in an ongoing MCC program series under the banner "Driven to Discover." The series features University of Minnesota faculty and students sharing current research and programming at the University.

Registration is now closed. Email betsywray@millcitycommons.org to be added to the waiting list.
Technology Help Desk
Tuesday, August 7, 1:00 - 2:30 pm
MCC office, 125 Main St SE, Ste 339
Schedule time with a tech support guru and have your nagging technology questions answered during our complimentary Help Desk. Support for both Apple products and PCs is available. After you register, MCC will confirm the time of your 20-minute one-on-one session. Reminder: Installing or upgrading software and creating accounts cannot be included in the Help Desk session, as they exceed the allotted appointment time.

MCC members sign up here.
Social Bridge
Wednesday, August 8, 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 caroljordan@millcitycommons.org.

MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC.
Saudi Arabia on the Cusp of Change: Traditions and Future Prospects
Wednesday, August 8, 7:00 - 8:30 pm
Carlyle Great Room, 100 3rd Ave S
Under a dynamic and forceful young crown prince, Saudi Arabia is embarked on radical new steps in domestic and foreign policy. The jury is still out on the ultimate impact of Mohammed Bin Salman's ambitious plans for a demographically young yet tradition-bound society. And there is growing concern that the regional rivalry between Iran and a Saudi Arabia in pragmatic cooperation with Israel may be building toward military confrontation. The Trump Administration's abrupt tilt away from Iran and toward the Saudis, including ongoing support for their campaign in Yemen, adds further volatility to the mix. This program will provide a snapshot of the status quo ante in Saudi Arabia and an analysis of geopolitical trends in the region. It will be based in part on insights and a wide array of images from a visit to the Kingdom in 2016. Speaker Tom Hanson is a former foreign service officer with the U.S. Department of State and is currently Diplomat in Residence at the Alworth Institute for International Affairs at the U of M - Duluth.
MCC members sign up here.
M en's Coffee & Conversation
Thursday, August 9, 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 Fred Dietrich hosts. Fred will pose a question: Is there someone important in your life who is no longer living, who, if they were alive today, you would like to ask questions of? Fred will follow with his answer to the question and reflect on how this person influenced his life.

MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC.
St. Paul Saints Game
Thursday, August 9, 7:05 pm
CHS Field, 360 Broadway St, St. Paul
Join your MCC friends to cheer on the St. Paul Saints as they step up to the plate against the Gary SouthShore RailCats at 7:05 pm at CHS Field. Tickets have been purchased for those who reserved them, but others are welcome to purchase their own tickets and meet up with MCC members at the game.

MCC members and guests can purchase tickets at the box office.
Sunday Soiree
Sunday, August 12, 5:00 - 7:00 pm
Lourdes Square, 186 Bank St SE
Join your friends and neighbors for the MCC Sunday Soiree, hosted by Liz & Van Hawn at Lourdes Square. Please contribute to the potluck by bringing a hearty hors d'oeuvre, main dish salad or dessert to serve at least 8. As you register, let us know what you'll bring by answering the "Question" that will appear on the screen. You are welcome to bring your own wine or beer to share.

MCC members sign up here.
Balance Training Part I
Tuesday, August 14, 10:00 - 11:00 am
Mill City Quarter, 322 2nd St S
Learn strength and balance exercises to improve your health and wellness! Siobhan McMahon, RN, is the lead researcher in a University of Minnesota study, "Ready Steady: A Wellness Program." The objective of this study is to determine how best to promote physical activity, particularly things that improve balance and leg strength, among older adults. In this first session, McMahon will present an overview of factors that increase the chances of falling, and then demonstrate and guide us through four to five balance movements. In the second session on August 21, she'll review those movements, add a couple more and talk about her research project. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes. You don't need to attend both sessions to participate.

MCC members sign up here.
Current Events: A Conversation with Bill
Wednesday, August 15, 10:30 - 11:30 am
La Rive Party Room, 110 Bank St SE
Current international news and U.S. foreign policy provide an endless trove of topics for learning and discussion. Retired foreign service officer and MCC member Bill Davnie will identify a topic in advance, although news can always lead us in a fresh direction. There will be both presentation and discussion.

This ongoing program is held on the third Wednesday of the month. Topic ideas for each monthly gathering are welcome.

MCC members sign up here.
Twin Cities River Rats Waterski Show
Thursday, August 16, 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Twin Cities River Rats, 1758 W River Rd N
Minnesota is the birthplace of waterskiing, and the Mississippi River is the home of the Twin Cities River Rats Water Ski Show Team! Join MCC friends on the banks of the Mississippi for one of the Rats' hour-long shows, where they combine various waterskiing acts with skits and music. We'll meet at 6:00 pm to grab a viewing spot, and then order pizzas from nearby Broadway Pizza or visit one of the concessions on site. A development show (with newer or younger River Rats) starts at 6:30 pm, followed by The Big Show at 7:00 pm. Park on West River Road south of Broadway. Bring blankets or chairs. Guests are welcome!

MCC members sign up here; guests email MCC.
MCC Program Calendar

View the full calendar of MCC's July events here.

Plan ahead! View the full calendar of MCC's August events here.
News From Members

MCC member John Cairns wants members to know that Experience Corps is seeking volunteers who would like to serve as literacy tutors and mentors to kindergarten-3rd grade students in Minneapolis or St. Paul. Volunteers receive comprehensive training and support throughout the year. As a tutor and mentor, volunteers serve as a caring adult for students--someone to listen, offer encouragement, serve as a role model and someone to celebrate their success with! Visit here to learn more, including dates of upcoming New Volunteer Information Sessions. You can also contact Erin Simon at esimon@expcorpsmn.org or (612) 708-5933.

MCC Executive Director Joan Wright notes that the University of Minnesota has a new study (The ACT Trial) looking at the effects of aerobic exercise and cognitive training on those with mild cognitive impairment (MCI). If you or someone you know might be interested, click here to learn more or email 
ACT-STUDY@umn.edu to ask questions or enroll.
Around Town

Groveland Gallery's Plein Air SmackDown VIII 
August 4, 10:00 am-6:00 pm, Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock and Dam, 1 Portland Ave
Twenty gallery and guest artists will be painting en plein air on and around the Lock and Dam from 10 am-3:30 pm. The public is encouraged to visit and observe. From 4:00-6:00 pm, all artists and observers are invited to Groveland Gallery (25 Groveland Terrace) for a party and sale on the front porch at the end of the day. For more details, click here.

National Night Out
August 7, various locations including Our Lady of Lourdes Church, 1 Lourdes Pl
National Night Out is an annual event that encourages residents to get out in the community and get to know their neighbors as a way to encourage crime prevention. It's a great way to promote community-police partnerships and enjoy a Minnesota summer evening surrounded by friends and family. Enjoy Kramarczyk's brats, root beer from Surdyk's and cake and water from Lunds in the street and courtyard outside of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. There will be a band to enjoy and prizes to win! 

Twin Cities Polish Festival 
August 10-12, Across from Riverplace and St. Anthony Main, 43 Main St SE
This festival presents a kaleidoscope of unique cultural and educational displays, food and entertainment. Learn more 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.
August's book is  Mudbound
by Hillary Jordan

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.

 Mill City Commons

Ongoing Fitness Opportunities

SBS Class


                 9:15-10:00 am

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.


Ongoing Member-Led Activities

MCC Caregivers' 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 2 & 16
 This casual, dutch treat lunch alternates weeks with Men's Coffee and Conversation. No reservations required! Questions? Contact  Allan Burdick.
Mill City Commons | 125 Main St SE, Suite 339, Minneapolis, MN 55414
www.millcitycommons.org | info@millcitycommons.org  
(612) 455-3329