Quick Q+A: Tom Letness + Polyester In Odorama!


To be honest, we were going to only have one event pick for today—the screening of the 35mm print of auteur John Waters’ Polyester, a fantastic dark comedy about late 70s suburbia starring a monumental performance from Waters muse Divine with corresponding Odorama! smelling cards! However, the movie, with it outlandish characters, weird fetishes, abortion jokes—that’s just the tip of the Polyester iceberg—frankly isn’t for everyone. So we gave you some more mainstream event options. 

But if you have any sense of cinematic adventure, or just want to have some fun, head to the Heights Theater tonight to see and sniff the movie. We were so excited about the screening that we quick checked in with Heights owner Tom Letness to mentally and physically prep for the picture.

Secrets of the City: Be honest: Is there any smells in this Odorama! screening that will make me vomit?

Tom Letness: Yes, pretty much all of them.

How did you get your hands on the 35mm print and the Odorama! cards?

I slept with John Waters . . . but don’t tell him that, he might get pissed.

How is it that Polyester is one of Waters’ most accessible films, but also one of Divine’s best?

Well, not all things in life make sense . . . this is one of them.

Any insight on why erotic foot stomping is so funny?

Who says it’s funny? Frankly it is a real problem in our communities.

There’s a million answers, but if you could have any one set piece from this classic film, which would you pick? (We want Todd’s sunglasses.)

The booze caddy that Divine rolls out to serve Elmer his drink, it’s heaven on wheels.

Grab your tickets ahead of time, this is going to a raucous full house tonight! 7:30 PM. $10.

The Heights Theater, 3951 Central Ave NE, MPLS;

Midweek News & Notes: Ch-Ch-Changes


Since many of our readers don’t read anything except statistics about how spiders could eat every human on Earth no problem, we feel we should share some of the important-to-you stories being shared around the SotC virtual water cooler, so that you’re properly briefed before your happy hour.


News: It’s finally breaking that Live Nation will be building a new big club over by the Twins Stadium.

Notes: A couple things. First, they’re going to call the club The Fillmore, like many other famous clubs throughout the country. At the very least they should call it The Fillmore North, get on brand! Second, it’s going to be attached to a Westin extended stay “hotel concept”, which makes it seem like a downtown entertainment complex, which is kind of weird? Then there’s also that it’s another move to do directly compete with First Avenue, which has always seemed like a bad idea, but especially now that the club has insane large venue shows—2 Chainz, Beck, Spoon—over at the Palace in St. Eazy. But! If this saves us from having to drive to Maplewood to Myth to see Run the Jewels, it’s maybe worth it.

News: The new Lynhall opens today in Lyn-Lake.

Notes: Don’t call it Uptown!™ Speaking of concepts, there’s a new restaurant that’s a bakery, a restaurant, and a kitchen studio, and a space for food start-ups. That’s all fine, but what’s pretty crazy is the names involved: Kristin Volk Tyborksi formerly of The Dakota, Shane Oporto formerly of La Belle Vie, pastry chef Katie Elsing formerly of Icehouse, even Tyler Lanzi, formerly of Dogwood Coffee. Word of warning or encouragement: The new space is full of communal-style tables. 


News: Saturday is St. Peazy’s DFL endorsing convention for mayor.

Notes: Since a DFL endorsement pretty much leads to being elected in MPLS + STPL, it’s a big deal. To our knowledge, and sort of like in MPLS, the candidates vying to replace Stormin’ Chris Coleman have said little to distinguish themselves from each other. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know who they are, and the leaders so far are Melvin Carter (who is Executive Director of Governor Dayton’s Minnesota Children’s Cabinet), Council Member Dai Thao (who allegedly had campaign staff improperly solicit donations), and Council Member Pat Harris. Get a look at some coverage of the candidates from the PiPress round-up.

Burger Hunter: Anchor Fish & Chips

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Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He gets fan mail from our readers and from restaurants, in fact more than the rest of us! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.


Ahoy polloi. Summertime and the livin’ is easy. This hunt we head to 13th Ave for the legendary fish fry line out the door place. Yup, it’s The Anchor Fish & Chips! Let’s get right to it. You get a burger at fish place? Damn right I do. And if you knew what was good for you, you’d do the same. Okay . . . we just had to talk that out. Glad we’re still friends. Pro Tip: Order the Fish & Chips as your appetizer! Your shipmate will be impressed. Now you’re settled in, on to the Burger & Chips. It’s packin’ Peterson Farms beef with their sweet limos (Limousin cattle from France) hella fresh kinda steaky smooth, but grass fed so clean and gentle. The texture is unique and hundo p made me want more and more. Nicely seasoned and salt is dialed. Medium and juicy. Bun is potato and from the French Meadow Bakery. Buttery grilled and just right. Arhhhhhhhh. The Irish Cheddar is whispering. It’s good, but double up if you cheese two. Get it? Says 1/3 lb, feels like a 1/2 pounder, so it kinda needs 2 slices. Anywho, the salad is monster . . . crispy and fresh. Tomato was better than textbook. The below deck bun gets a wonderful bath of flavor from all the meat juices and moisture. It holds court but becomes this whole new area of delight. Burgers on point . . . FR. List worthy even. The fries are wedgy and creamy good. You might even hear the fry chef say “nailed it”. Gotta love taking pride. Good work Anchor. I tip my sailor hat to you!

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.3   Presentation: 6   Originality: 7

Anchor Fish & Chips, 302 13th Ave NE, MPLS;

Quick Hit: Insight Brewing’s Super Crazy Aunt Beer Cocktail

insight crazy aunt

As we alluded to on Friday, part of our plan for weekend hydration was to try out Insight Brewing‘s new beer cocktail (beerktail?), the Super Crazy Aunt. It’s basically two ounces of gin plus half a can or so of their new Crazy Aunt Gin & Tonic Ale plus some lime juice and slices. Now you might be pausing at “Gin & Tonic Ale”—we did, too—but we recommend it. It’s light without being sweet, an ale but with a really pronounced and enjoyable flavor, and the coriander comes through and surprises you. Plus, like any good beer, the bottom tastes as good or better than the top. So what about the cocktail? Even better. The lime juice spritzes things up a little more and a good gin just adds a little more depth of flavor. We’re actually planning on trying out Insightful Garden and French 75 recipes, too. Pro Tip: With the beer at 6% ABV plus the gin, maybe just don’t bike around too much after two or more. 

Quick Q+A: Emily Janisch + Northern Spark Launch Party


Regular Readers know we want Northern Spark, the all night art festival that runs the length of the Green Line and focuses this year on our upcoming climate chaos, to be a significant and ongoing part of our summer Arts & Culture scene. There’s a ton of exciting programming that includes installations, art, food, and more, happening this Saturday night—and it’s all free!  

One of the big reasons that the festival stays free is the ticketed Launch Party to kick off the night. The party includes drinks, an amazing roster of food, and music from Zuluzuluu. We sent some questions to NS Launch Party Coordinator Emily Janisch to get us and you pumped up for the Launch Party.

Secrets of the City: The food is such a great party of the launch party and definitely worth the price bump in our opinion. Do you know who/what you’re having?

Emily Janisch: Mercy // Cafe Alma // Eastside // Red Stag Supperclub // French Meadow // Handsome Hog // Silhouette Bakery & Bistro // Cafe Latté // Fulton Brewing // Crooked Water Spirits // Barefoot Bubbly // Sociable Cider Werks // Peace Coffee

I know there will chocolate cake from Cafe Latte, there will be salmon rillettes from Red Stag, and Chilled Sweet Pea Soup with smoked salmon, creme fraiche and Brioche from Alma. And the specialty cocktail exclusive to the evening and event is the Spark 75, details viewable here.

This year has another packed lineup that’s literally down the line. Do you have any personal favorites for the stops for Northern Spark? (Besides Mekong Night Market?)

Awesome, yes! Local Somali artist extraordinaire Ifrah Mansour’s My Aqal where people are invited to built a traditional Somali home together; Alien Technology II by Monira Al Qadiri (presented by Mizna and The Soap Factory)—this huge sculpture is of an oil drill bit, do you know how fascinating these drill bits actually look? Definitely alien.; and Sami Pfeffer’s Phone Valet— check your phone as you would your car and explore with REAL technology like film cameras and maps

Other than attend the Launch Party, what pro tips do you have for staying awake all night at NS?

Make it a goal to see 3 projects in each of our 7 zones along the Green Line and the sun will have risen before you know it. Just keep exploring because you will stay engaged! Also, Peace Coffee at the Launch Party 😉

Do you feel like Donald Trump was personally out to get you and Northern Spark when he backed out of the Paris Climate Agreement?

I think he made the festival that much more relevant and now everyone is even more focused on coming together in harmony for a cause. Climate Chaos, People Rising!

Anything else we should mention besides Zuluzuluu?

That this is Northern Spark’s only fundraiser of the entire year, which keeps the festival FREE!

Northern Spark runs throughout Saturday night. The Launch Party goes from 7-9 PM at Thresher Square and leads right into the evening. Tickets at different support points still available.