The Star Tribune made me smile today, twice:
The first story, which you may not have been following if you're not a Northeaster, reports the culmination of a nearly two-year battle between Gabby's Saloon & Eatery and the City of Minneapolis. The City has been trying to strongarm Gabby's into shutting down, using shady tactics and imposing restrictions on the restaurant when, in fact, the restaurant has done nothing wrong. The headline is a bit misleading, though; the City has to cover all of Gabby's legal fees ($175,000) since the beginning of this mess, as well as pay back a $25,000 penalty it levied on the restaurant, with $1,000 interest.
Gabby's decided to drop their additional civil rights lawsuit which, to me, says that they decided to take the high road. That, or they had no tangible proof that the City was trying to shut Gabby's down because of the patrons. (After dark, Gabby's turns into a predominantly black, hip hop nightclub). It probably sucks living across the street from a nightclub, but that's both the beauty and the hazard of living in Northeast. There's a bar on nearly every corner, and you just have to put up with the bar-close noise. Plus, Gabby's has been there a long time. Probably longer than many of the folks who live there now.
"COOPS DREAMS" is first in a series in the Home + Garden section of the paper. It profiles a couple of urban chicken keepers, namely their pleasure (fresh eggs) and pain in the ass (dick neighbors) of keeping chickens in the city. I'm not interested in getting chickens where I live -- my landlord might say I'm already pushing it with the giant compost container in the back yard -- but I was happy because one part of the article encourages people to adopt chickens from Chicken Run Rescue as opposed to commercial hatcheries, the fowl equivalent of puppy mills. Many of Chicken Run's hens and roosters are rescued from illegal and extremely inhumane cock fighting operations, so you're really giving them a second chance at life. Not only do they give you their eggs in return, but you also reap the benefits of an expedited compost heap, which the chickens love to scavenge, and some excellent garden fertilizer.