Items related to downtown Northfield

Revitalizing downtown Northfield: What’s on sale?

I love to shop, even when I have no money. 

With all the talk about revitalizing downtown Northfield, I decided to seek out sales to hopefully add to our town’s economy (and escape from my school stress). I set a price line of $5.  I wasn’t going to touch anything higher than that. 

The first store I was attracted to was Lena’s Hus, a nice boutique with Scandinavian gifts.  It had signs screaming 60% off.  This was definitely eye candy to me.  Lena’s Hus has some interesting items on sale, including spunky gift bags that say “Older, Wiser, Sexier,” which I bought for less than $3, birch wood coasters, cards, candles, and an assortment of other colorful items.  Though these weren't on sale, you should go check out their collection of newly arrived glass doves.  Your guests would be awed if you own a pair of these in your home.  They come in all sorts of swirly colors.  Even if you don’t find anything interesting, you’ll find the big fluffy (and quiet) dog behind the counter to be quite charming.  Also, ask about the horse in the picture frame behind the register counter. 

Weekend Entertainment and Events

0207Guide InteractiveThere's no limit to the exciting February events that are happening in Northfield! It all starts this weekend.

Thursday: Jeff Ray will walk a thin line between blues and folk while strumming and singing for The Tavern crowd.

Friday: Bernice Johnson Reagon will deliver song and speech about her 40-year journey as a cultural activist, drawing on life stories of 19th- and 20th-century African American women. Held at Skinner Memorial Chapel, Carleton, from 10:50-11:50 a.m. At 6 p.m., make sure you stop by Grezzo Gallery for the opening of Lindsy Halleckson's art show. Also at the art show, you'll hear live music from Gospel Gossip and Sick of Sarah. Live music, art & wine, it doesn't get better than that! Coffeehouse Writers' Night starts at 7:30 p.m. at Tiny's – bring your writing to share or just come to support those who are sharing their work.

Saturday: 'Poetry in the Prairie' highlights the poetry of Northfielder Scott King at the Maltby Nature Preserve. He'll read from his book "Leftover Ordinary" starting at 7 p.m. If you're in the mood for theater, make your way to the Northfield Arts Guild to witness opening night of Forcefield's Third Annual Community Cabaret. The cabaret begins at 7:30 p.m. – call 645-8877 for ticket information.

The Northfield Entertainment Guide is growing! Check out the new extended size of the Guide – it's packed with information about all the local happenings!

City-wide Wifi is coming... soon!

Northfield Wifi ScreenshotI just got off the phone with Nate Lyon, one of the owners of Northfield Wifi, which is a new ISP (Internet Service Provider) in town. The newsworthy part of is that they will be offering wireless internet (WiMax) for the entire town. (Five mile radius, big brick buildings, yadda yadda.)

This is a paid service, mind you, the same as cable internet or DSL offerings. This is a bit different than the free Wi-Fi Access Points around town that we list, which are intended to bring customers into local businesses. Competition and choices in this area are great for us Northfielders.

Nate will be doing this with Ted Lyons, whose name similarities are merely coincidental. Northfield Wifi will be open for business in three weeks and they're beta testing with a select group around town right now. According to Nate, "When we go live, we will be one of the fastest residential ISP's in the 5 state area, if not the US."

Just Food Inside and Out: History and Scene...TONIGHT

Join Stuart Reid and other co-op members for an exploration of "Co-op History and National Scene" in this program -- the first of a series of five offered by the Just Food Board of Directors. The session is from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. tonight at the Cannon Valley Friends Meeting House -- 313 1/2 Division Street above Jenkins Jewlers.

The Just Food Inside and Out series will explore co-op history, philosophy, values, and nuts and bolts.

Stuart Reid is the former General Manager of Just Food Co-op and now works for the Food Co-op 500 program as a development specialist. introduces "Office Hours"

Editor's note: This story was posted earlier, so this is just a reminder to join us for coffee at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

No, we didn't hit the lottery and buy a swanky new office building. But building an online community doesn't just happen online.

That's why I'm busting out of my home office and heading downtown.  We're calling this experiment "Office Hours," and I'll be setting up shop somewhere each week. This Tuesday morning, from 7:30-9 a.m. I'll be at Goodbye Blue Monday coffee shop on Division Street.

Library Envisions Expansions

Lynne Young, director of the Northfield public library, gave a “behind the scenes” tour of the library this morning at 10 am.

Ms. Young directed a group of about 10 people that ranged from toddlers to middle-aged patrons.  The tour allowed patrons to get a sneak peak at the behind-the-scene operations spaces and facilities.  The tour explained the library’s vision to expand its facilities to address the library’s space issues as it prepares to better accommodate future technology, library programming, and attention to a family-inclusive environment.

Eating in Northfield: Tiny's to stay open late, the Reub: 1982 in 2007.

Lots of culinary happenings around town:

  1. Tiny's Hotdogs is now open until 2 a.m. on Friday nights. There was also talk of an upcoming 'Open Mike' night for poetry and whatnot. This is really good news for anyone who wanted Real Food late night - perfect for a college town. I also shot a small panorama of the counter of the store.
  2. Today is the last day of 25th Anniversary 1982 burger prices at the Reub'N'Stein. Burgers can be had for $1.65 today (double and triples slightly more) which is the same introductory price back in 1982 when they were first offered. Now if I could only get some $0.99 gas to drive me over there with. :)
  3. There's a discussion in our forums about the best places to eat in Northfield. Also: what places would you like to see open up?

Bon Appetit.

Snow Emergency for Tonight, Jan 22

Snow Emergency-20070122The Northfield Public Works Department has declared a Snow Emergency for tonight. You can download the full release by clicking on the thumbnail. It reads, in part:

The Public Works Department has declared a SNOW EMERGENCY for the City of Northfield. The snow emergency will start Monday 8:00 PM, January 23, 2007 and will continue until all streets are plowed curb-to-curb.

All downtown parking lots will be closed with the exception of the parking lot at 5
th and Washington. All downtown parking lot permit holders must park in this lot tonight January 23, 2007. The morning of Tuesday January 24, 2007 permit holders who normally park in the 5th Street lot should park in another downtown parking lot.

Downtown snow removal is scheduled for Tuesday morning January 23, 2007 at this time.


For updated information please call the Northfield parking hotline at 645-3080 or check the city’s web site at

Thanks Captain Tim Halverson

YMCA will offer first programs in February

Have you ever seen footprints in the snow and wondered where they came from or where they end? The Northfield Area Family YMCA offers "Animal Tracking" for children ages 7-9, on Saturdays from 1–2:30 p.m., beginning February 3 at the Sibley Marsh and Prairie. Children will be led by a naturalist from River Bend Nature Center as they explore animal behavior and lifestyles by observing the trails they use and the tracks they leave behind.

This Week in the Northfield Blogosphere - Happy 105th Birthday, Basketball

January is a tough month for holidays.  I missed MLK Jr. Day, but that's probably too serious for inclusion in this column.  So, the 105th Anniversary of Basketball it is.

I'm not a big fan, but that's probably because I'm Minnesotan.  I think that this is a state holiday in Indiana, with lots of speeches, Hoosiers movie reenactments, and really short parades.  So here's to you, Dr. James Naismith, patron saint of tall people everywhere.

Weekend Entertainment and Events

Click to view/downloadEver wondered what Ann North may have been thinking?

Tonight you can sit back and hear the Northfield founderess recall winters past as they were in Northfield. Starting at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, at Millstream Commons.

Orrin DeLong and Marian Hvistendahl will play John and Ann North. The topic of "winter" just got more interesting - you won't want to miss it!

If music is more your style, head over to the Tavern and catch Mark Mraz tickling the ivories Thursday night. If Hip-Hop is more your thing, participate in Hip-Hop Night located in the upstairs section of the Rueb.

As always, Friday is full of entertaining happenings! Randall Kennedy will speak at Skinner Memorial Chapel, Carleton, Friday at 10:50 a.m. Kennedy is a law professor at Harvard Law School and will be speaking on "Race Lines in American Life."

Carleton is hosting a guest artist concert: The Irrelevants including saxophonist, Carrie Koffman, and violist, Tim Deighton will be accompanied by pianist Nicola Melville. The concert begins at 8 p.m., Friday, at Carleton's Concert Hall.

Musical events pervade on Saturday starting with the Twin City Playboys who will rock their country and cajun sound at the Cow from 8 - 11 p.m. Brat Pack Radio will rock the house at Dawn's Corner Bar in Dundas starting at 9 p.m. Relativity, with their blend of current and classic light rock with acoustic guitar and vocals, will entertain the crowd at the Tavern.

League's 4th Monday goes on hiatus

Television shows do it all the time. Your favorite shows are just showing new episodes after a holiday hiatus.

Pat Kriesel of the League of Women Voters says the Fourth Monday event for January just isn't going to happen. It's going on hiatus, a victim of a month thrown off by holidays and happenstance.

Pat says a series of cancellations and conflicting city meetings made the date unworkable. But she promised the series will be back on February 26, with a program to be announced later.

She also asks that if you have any ideas for topics, just comment below and the group will consider them, or click through to the league site link above and shoot them an e-mail.


NCO Board to set plans for 2007

The board of Northfield Citizens Online, the group that runs this little website, will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, at Carlson Capital Management.

We have a lot of good ideas for the year ahead, from environmental and health columns to online book clubs, in-person issues salons and and arts and authors sections. We will be prioritizing all the projects, setting timelines and lining up volunteers to help make them happen.

If you have ideas or comments, please send them our way and we'll add them to the mix!

Latino issues highlight events this week

The Northfield Human Rights Commission on Thursday will join what is shaping up to be a week of discussions of issues involving Latino concerns, but reaching throughout the community.

The commission, which meets at 7 p.m. at City Hall, is slated to discuss the recent closing of Las Delicias, a downtown restaurant. The owners, who are legal immigrants, are involved in a complicated landlord-tenant dispute. You can catch up on the background here.

The commission also will discuss a statement by the League of Minnesota Human Rights Commissions asking the federal government for an end to the sweeping raids conducted in December targeting undocumented workers in Minnesota. You can read the entire statement at the end of this article.

Earlier in the week, on Tuesday, the Northfield Downtown Development Corporation will use its monthly 8 a.m. forum at the Archer House to discuss the challenges facing owners of restaurants and other small businesses trying to succeed downtown. The discussion was sparked by the Las Delicias closing, but will address broader issues such as building costs, taxes, operating expenses, revenue potential and marketing  downtown. Read the details here.

League creates handy list of local meeting spaces

Did you ever try to set up a meeting, then drew a blank when trying to determine the perfect place? Who has rooms available? How big are they? What are the fees?

It can be maddening, especially when there are so many places ready and waiting for you to use. At least 27 places, according to some interesting information just collected by the League of Women Voters. Margit Johnson of the League sent along the complete list, which you can download here as either a Word doc or a PDF file.

Margit says: 

"The impetus for this list came from a meeting at the Public Library last summer. That meeting room is constantly in demand while other meeting places are underutilized.

Also the LWV thought that community members would appreciate a "one-stop shop" resource for information about locations, capacity, contact numbers, and details. We hope that you and others find this list useful. Updates will be forthcoming as needed."

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