Locked out on Lyndale

Locked Out âĦ on Lyndale Avenue THE SITUATION YouâÄôve locked yourself out of your apartment near Lyndale Avenue and 26th Street in south Minneapolis. ItâÄôs about noon, and you have maybe five or six hours until your roommate can let you back in. Instead of sitting forlorn in the dingy hall of your apartment building, you decide instead to explore the neighborhood. Though your bank account is paltry, youâÄôve got at least a few bucks you can blow. Lyndale Avenue is known for popular joints like the Wedge Co-op and the French Meadow Bakery , but there are tons of other interesting places still waiting to be discovered. Now get to it! GUIDE Coincidentally, your house happens to be on the corner of Lyndale and 26th Street and you see the big names youâÄôve frequently visited; with the CC Club, The Bulldog and Common Roots, this intersection is the nexus of hipster-y bar restaurants and organic fare. But wait âĦ whatâÄôs that white and black awning between The Bulldog and Treehouse Records? ItâÄôs Lyndale Grocery and Deli , a Mediterranean/American convenience shop that works overtime as an order-at-the counter food joint. For well under 10 bucks you can get a gyro and fries for lunch from this unassuming joint, and while you gobble on the moist lamb and beef sandwich, you can watch people smoke hookah outside or catch a foreign teledrama on TV. Sure, the place is not going to win any Michelin stars , but this Lyndale stop is a nice change of milieu. On your way out, order some Baklava for your walk. Now that youâÄôre fed (actually, youâÄôre probably stuffed; those gyros are huge), you probably should digest by going on a little walk. Or maybe you need a little socially conscious art to help you think about the lamb whose flesh youâÄôve just thoroughly enjoyed. Make your way to the Soo Visual Arts Center located one block away at 27th and Lyndale. Regardless of the current exhibition, this place is usually a bit zany. From Nov. 7 through Dec. 24, the Soo is exhibiting Polaroid photography called âÄòToys on RoidsâÄù from Sean Tubridy. ThereâÄôs also a neat-o art shop where you can buy handmade artsy jewelry or a purdy mixed-media piece to hang on your wall. The quirk continues next door at Robot Love . By far, this is the most confusing store in Minneapolis âÄî nay âÄî in Minnesota. This boutique is ultra-modern and arty, and not until you read the caption on the storeâÄôs website stating that it is âÄúa design store featuring limited edition designer toys, clothing, books, prints and magazines,âÄù did you actually understand what this place is. Even if you donâÄôt have a desire to buy limited edition robots, the shop is odd enough to deserve a tour. Maybe this commercial oddity has you wanting some literature on, say, the evils of capitalism. Well then the next logical step is Arise! Books on Lyndale and 24th Street. This place calls itself an âÄúactivist information hubâÄù that sells writing by Marx and Engels, or anyone else trying to stick it to the proverbial man. They also provide material on local events in the activist community, so the renegade in you can stay up-to-date. By this time youâÄôre likely going to need some relaxation, and what better than hard alcohol to set yourself at ease? Who cares if itâÄôs just the afternoon; after all, you are locked out, and you havenâÄôt rested your feet since you had that Gyro at lunch. The Red Dragon , located near the intersection of Lyndale and Franklin, is famous for pouring some of the strongest hooch in town. Massive bowl-shaped goblets are filled with rum, and more rum, and even more rum in the near-famous Wondrous Punch. It costs upwards of 10 bucks, but, for real, thereâÄôs an entire afternoonâÄôs worth of alcohol in there. Perhaps your guide has forgotten a very important detail: This place is also a (beyond kitschy) Chinese restaurant, though few enter the Dragon for the wontons. Take out the copy of âÄúThe Communist ManifestoâÄù you bought from Arise!, and sip yourself into happy oblivion. Hey, maybe youâÄôll even make a few new friends.