Articles in this Issue

Features

Bridging the Gap

how a city known for its bridges lost its luster

“Bridges have always been critical to Eau Claire. There’s a nostalgia, a history to them. … Now, I see those aesthetics coming back ...” – EC Public Works Director Brian Amundson

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Editor's Notes
Opening Letters

Thai-ing one on

Thailand’s “same same but different” style of acclimating yankees

They tell you “Same Same But Different” to reassure you that, while their eight-pronged dinner fork looks different than the average one, it really is the same. But then you bring it home, stab yourself in the mouth, and realize you just ...

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The Rear End

The Creative Curse

an epic battle to make something new

I’m starting to realize that, throughout my life, I’ve struggled to be creative. Not because of some sort of mental block, but because I’m kind of, well ... afraid to be creative.

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Cover Art

On the Cover | Apr. 28, 2011

learn about this issue's cover art by Jenna Ruder

“I am absolutely in love with objects, ordinary things that people don’t tend to notice. Dirty socks, old wrenches or rubber bands, I like to play with these objects like characters on a stage: manipulating their form, lighting, texture and ...”

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Opening Shots
Athletic Aesthetic

Autograph Awkwardice

a guide to avoiding uncomfy silences when asking for celebrity signatures

I brought my Twins cap – with a Tim Laudner 1987 signature – to a 2001 ex-player autograph game day and discovered that day’s signer was ... Tim Laudner, then handed him the cap to sign.

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Music

Ukulele Club

locals find common ground with tiny Hawaiian guitar

“We hope to get a few more current rock songs in as well. Def Leppard keeps coming up in discussion, and I’m determined to get some Pink in the mix.” – Stasia Vishnevsky on the kinds of tunes the Ukulele Club jams to

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More Mors Mortis Machinatio!

killer metal lineup also includes Purge and Desolatevoid

Oh, man, Mors Mortis is back! When word spread of their (indefinite?) hiatus over a year ago, I was profoundly bummed. See, I was a little late to the party. When people mentioned the band name to me, I always pictured Meatballs.

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Stage

Live Operas and Ballets Not At ... The Mall?

It’s rare that the Chippewa Valley sees an opera or ballet, let alone one of the highest caliber. But this summer, Oakwood’s Carmike Cinemas is trying to remedy that. Carmike Cinemas is joining the Emerging Pictures network of cinemas to feature live

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Improv-ing Themselves

Memorial High’s Improv Team heads to Chicago

From the first laugh of the show to the last, team members spontaneously slip in and out of awkward, maniacal, and loveable characters that cross the proverbial line and raise the bar.

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Producing Laughs

CVTG stages Mel Brooks’ classic The Producers

The music, sets, costumes, and stories of Broadway are a magical tradition any musical theater lover can respect and appreciate. And Mel Brooks is out to ruin all of it.

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Fair and Unbalanced

Second City Touring Company returns to State Theatre

So here’s what you need to know about The Second City: they’re based out of Chicago and they’re in the business of being funny. They’ve been in that business for 50 years now, and in that time the sketch comedy group has counted people with names ...

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Words

Taking a Shot

Stout math professor writes a young adult sports novel

“Now that I see people reading it and loving it, I might like to write a few more. ... And it just so happens that I have a sabbatical coming up next year. So, perfect timing!” – Jeanne Foley on her fiction debut, Shooting Two

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Locals Release Third College Life Anthology

It has been 15 years since Patti See and Bruce Taylor started putting together Higher Learning: Reading and Writing About College, a text both for and written by college students, and intended for college orientations and composition classes.

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Visual Art

Tangled Up in Hue Goes All-Out Magical

With Earth Day in recent memory, it seems appropriate that Tangled Up in Hue, an artist collective in downtown Eau Claire, is featuring the works of Magic Mama. Known best as an area musician, she describes herself as an “eco artist to the max ..."

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Like Magic

Jyl Kelley’s strange photo and installation art

Jyl designed and built her own set of pinhole cameras, 33 of them to be exact, which are a primitive camera by today’s standards, but help her to bridge the gap between the past and present.

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Local Look

Downtown Eau Claire Redesign Concepts

get excited – the future of downtown is nigh

They gave us a taste of what’s to come at the April 18 meeting by presenting four design ideas for Eau Claire Street. And not only did they include exciting elements such as promenades, duck-ins, sculptures, and fountains, but officials say ...

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Questioning the Locals | Mike Richardson

get to know your neighbors

Bartenders come up at the V1 office every so often, and while Menas (Joynt) and Dez (House of Rock) are frequent talking points, so was this really cool dude at Houligan’s that no one really knew.

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Shortcuts | Apr. 28, 2011

condensed local news about civic and cultural goings-on

In August of last year, Molly Otis Scheer (a local musician linked to Mike Perry and the Long Beds and Molly and the Haymakers) filed a lawsuit against the City of Hayward. The city had put an ordinance into effect that prohibited ...

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Washington Post Columnist Coming to UWEC

E.J. Dionne Jr., a syndicated columnist with The Washington Post, will be the featured speaker at the 2011 Ann Devroy Memorial Forum at UW-Eau Claire. The forum, free and open to the public, will be held May 4 in Schofield Auditorium at 8pm.

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Food / Drink

Where My Dogs At?

authentic Chicago-style hot dog stand opens in EC

A little chunk of meaty Chicago goodness is working its way into Eau Claire. As of April 12, Samboney’s Hot Dog Stand opened its doors at 1907 Brackett Ave. featuring classic Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian sausage, Polish sausage, and gyros.

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Get Your Delivery Fix

new biz provides delivery for every local eatery and beyond

If you’ve ever been hungry with no desire to cook or leave the house, you know to call delivery. But sometimes you’re craving a restaurant that doesn’t deliver. You’re stuck. Corey Hawkinson and Troy Beighley have come up with a new answer...

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Recreation

ValleyCat Version Five

area’s coolest bike race comes prowling back to town

May 14 marks the five year anniversary of the bike race/scavenger hunt known as the ValleyCat. The event started in 2007 as an experimental alleycat race with just 12 riders ...

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Special Sections

The Driven Snow

a local winter memory

I desperately held on to my aunt, simultaneously trying to stay on the back of the swerving snowmobile and hoping to keep my lunch down. Something was wrong ...

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Over the Hill and Still Skiing

a local winter memory

As a kid, my idea of a great way to spend a winter afternoon consisted of curling up behind the couch with a handful of cookies and a volume or two of the World Book Encyclopedia.

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Repetition Made New

A friend loans me some snowshoes and I learn what our ancestors had discovered some 4,000 years ago. I float with ease across the snow, leaving a wake of large duck foot impressions behind me.

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Life Inside a Snow Globe

Snowflakes were so big that even a 3 year-old atop his dad’s shoulders could throw back his head and catch them in his mouth. It’s the closest I’ve come to feeling the tranquility of life inside a snow globe.

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The Snow Architects

When I was young and it snowed, my older brother and I became the Greatest Snow Architects Under the Age of 10. You may have heard of our greatness.

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Travel Story: Tiny Town Tripping

Cornucopia, WI: the appetizer in a trip around Lake Superior

Raise you hand if you’ve heard of Cornucopia, Wisconsin. OK, all three of you can put your hands down now. For the rest of you, I can assure you, Cornucopia does exist.

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Travel Story: Early Bird Gets the Whale

my laid-back family trip to San Joe del Cabo

The energy on the boat was electric. Someone would spot a whale, fingers would point, heads would turn, the guides would quickly move the sail so we could loop around and see the whales again. Everyone was buzzing with excitement.

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Travel Story: Life on Mars

a volcano-traversing trip to Maui

Eventually the path brought us below the clouds, and the landscape turned into a verdant rainforest and savanna-like grassland. Our first night’s cabin sat at the base of a cliff dotted with trees, and we fell asleep after watching the moon.

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Travel Story: A 'Junk' Trip in Vietnam

my introspective boat tour of Halong Bay

I hunkered in the doorway of an office building as gray clouds moved in, threatening to break open above me. Piles of luggage were stacked in the doorway, but I held tightly to my backpack. I was a solo traveler making my way through Vietnam.

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Travel Story: A Buddy Movie with Explosives

a road trip of the great Northwest

We created games to pass the time involving the forklift, bought a remote controlled car, and played racquetball. We blasted music and drank beer. We were Ferris Buellers living a month in a giant warehouse filled with explosives.

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Other Stuff