"A library book, I imagine, is a happy book." Cornelia Funke

"Everything puts me in mind of a story." Ben Franklin

Monday, May 12, 2014

Thing 17: Connecting to Community

Minneapolis by Open Spaces: "This app is a great way to find great places and events in Minneapolis. You can also submit information and photos, but all items are approved by an editor before being added to the content."

I was not satisfied with the ease of use of this app and have already deleted it. When I tried to make an account I got a system error message. From what I can tell, this app is for searching, not browsing, but I have no way of knowing if everything was displaying correctly. What I got was a search box, period. When I tried to search with the keyword "theater," the little wheel spun for 5 minutes and pulled up nothing. I looked for further instruction under the "about" page, but found nothing concrete.

I also tried:

Going Out: "Created by the Star Tribune, this app guides you through the latest happenings in the Twin Cities metro, from the hottest nightlife to family-friendly attractions."

I got more satisfactory results from this app than with Minneapolis by Open Spaces. When I entered the app, the screen below appeared, which is much more obvious to use than anything that displayed on Minneapolis by Open Spaces.

I actually tried this out a couple of weeks ago. Maybe this isn't a fair judgement, but I looked for what I already had plans to do and couldn't find it, which annoyed and disappointed me.

From Friday, April 25:

Hunting around, I could not find what I am actually doing tonight, going to hear Jack Zipes speak at the Loft Literary Center's Children's and Young Adult Literature Conference preconference. Here are the juicy details from the Loft's website :


Anxious Adults, Real Children, and the Liberating Story

"Speculative stories, be they fairy tales or dystopian novels, have long enraptured young people—and unnerved adults, from parents to oppressive government officials. Yet these fanciful tales offer a door in the wardrobe, a portal to new possibilities. Why then do these same stories often trouble adults? What cultural beliefs about childhood do these anxieties reveal? And what is the hidden power of such fairy tales, fantasies, and dystopian worlds? To explore these questions, Jack Zipes will offer the Czech film Who’s Afraid of the Wolf, by Maria Prochazkova (2008, unavailable in the US) to illustrate his view that “children read the world through fairy tales.” Children’s literature scholars Marek Oziewicz, Lisa Von Drasek, and Jack Zipes will then discuss the unique possibilities of speculative stories for young people as well as adult resistance to these tales.

Panel moderated by Charlotte Sullivan."

To give Going Out a less agenda driven second chance, I'm now (5/12) looking under their Best Bets section to see what they suggest. Under the selection Stage & Comedy I am surprised to see suggestions beginning May 3. If these were eliminated, it would make choosing easier.  Looking for this coming Saturday, I see: Crimes of the Heart at the Guthrie, Song of the Jasmine at the Walker Art Center, and Bandara at Old Arizona. Expanding this out to Stage & Comedy (not Best Bets), selecting "tomorrow +5" for my date, and looking at May 17 I also get
  • Zenon Dance Company at Cowles Center
  •  Rocket to the Moon at New Century Theatre
  •  Dave Fulton at Acme Comedy Company
  • The Three Musketeers at Guthrie Theater
  •  A Pedalpub Named Desire: Love in Minnesota at Brave New Workshop
  • Aziz Ansari at the Orpheum Theatre
  •  Lilies of the Field at The Open Window Theatre
  •  Alternative Motion Project at Southern Theater
  • The Dinner Detective at Courtyard Marriott Minneapolis Downtown
  •  Love, Loss and What I Wore at Theatre in the Round
  • Guinee Sogue at Ritz Theatre
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Howard Conn Fine Arts Center
  • Star City: A Russian Space Farce at Open Eye Figure Theatre
  • Mrs. Charles at Nimbus
  • Shrek: the Musical at Children's Theatre Company (Which we already saw, by the way and really enjoyed!)
  • Detroit at the Jungle Theater
  • The Saved by the Bell Show at Bryant-Lake Bowl
  • Greg Bancroft and Karen Pavlicin-Fragnito at Magers & Quinn
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Breck School
  • The Drunken City at The Lyric at Carleton Place
  • Ballet Folklorico Mexico Azteca at Washburn High School
And even more. Those are some incredible choices for a single Saturday night. And that is just in one category of entertainment. When you tap your selection, you can quickly find out  details like what time it begins, what address it's at and how much it costs. You can add it to your calendar, find nearby bars and restaurants and share it. You can also get a quick link to the venue's website. Pretty handy!

On the down side,  I also know that the wonderful Ten Thousand Things theatre group is also putting on the play Dirt Sticks by Kira Obolensky at Open Book that night, and I couldn't find it listed under any keyword search.

Still, I have to revise my original doubtful opinion about this app. It may not be perfect, and it may not find everything that I would like to do, but it sure won't leave me sitting home on the weekend from lack of choice. I think Going Out stays on my iPhone.

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