Let’s Go to the Movies!

Before the existence of a fancy TV set or more than one in every home and long before the availability of movie theaters with wide, reclining seats, special futuristic sound and vision gimmicks – priced along with food treats at almost unreachable cost – was the Movie Theater – a coveted family experience – or… Read More »

Minne and Me

Some of my recent blogs have prompted comments from several prominent Minneapolitans – about the blogs but mainly about me: From Burt Cohen – publisher emeritus of Minneapolis – St. Paul Magazine and owner and in possession of the prime seat in the Minneapolis Club Dining Room “Ray Harris has advised me that if I… Read More »

Better Way – Find It

“There is a better way – Find It” – a well known quote by Thomas Edison. Finding a better way to carry out my assignments, to meet challenges and solve problems has been THE guiding factor for all of my 60+ year professional career. Being self employed, I have always done things “my way” and… Read More »

Believe It or Not

Retail on the Nicollet Mall The Nicollet Mall was the pre-eminent retail location in the entire Upper Midwest. Shoppers from Canada and the states between Chicago and Denver traveled often to shop on the Nicollet mall. The retail offerings were extensive. All of the following retail stores were located on the Nicollet Mall in its… Read More »

Restaurants in Minneapolis

Pre Covid, Minneapolis offered a variety of restaurants – upscale, neighborhood, multi-chain operations, buffets, restaurants offering almost every conceivable cultural food choice – as well as dessert bars and wine bars. It seemed that new restaurants were opening weekly and as many closing weekly. Eating out in Minneapolis was not always like that; Choices were… Read More »

The Future of Traditional Retailing

Retailing, as we have known it, is failing throughout the United States – throughout the world. Delinquencies, even bankruptcies are not just a Minneapolis phenomenon; even before Covid 19 affected every aspect of our lives, the world of personal, on-site retailing was failing. There are some obvious reasons for this failure and some not so… Read More »


There was a time, not too many years ago, when all travelers arriving in or leaving Minneapolis traveled by train. After WWII, in the 50s and 60s, travelers gradually began flying in the now obsolete DC3’s. The train was still dominant, and cheaper, and more comfortable. There were two train passenger stations in Minneapolis –… Read More »

Another Withdrawal from my Memory Bank

My memory bank is full again, it’s time to withdraw some obsolete tidbits reminiscent of the days before one could press a button to activate every convenience in our lives. Do you remember – When the roads were filled with Studebakers, Edsels, Packards, DeSotos, Pontiacs, Oldsmobiles, and other brands built in the USA. When THE… Read More »

You had to be there..

The early response to the “Been There, Done That. Took Notes” blog has been very positive: an unexpected request, from a number of viewers, has wondered who is Ray Harris and what is his background? Does he cause these crazy things to happen or is he just an innocent victim? Both! I am guilty of… Read More »


This was written long ago by a great author, Rudyard Kipling. I read it often and try to believe in and emulate each phrase. You should too. It focuses on a man but is just as relevant for women!

Uptown and Calhoun Square

In writing about Minneapolis I have so many stories surging around in my noggin that, so far, I have been providing random stories about our city. However, there is usually a connection, a relationship between most of which happens/happened. This is true about the Uptown Story. The stories in this blog will connect history, the… Read More »

Liquor Patrol Limits Law

Prior to 1975 most of the City of Minneapolis was “dry”. Persons desirous of an alcoholic drink with their dinner were restricted to restaurants in Downtown Minneapolis – as defined by an arbitrarily determined boundary titled The Liquor Patrol Limits. When and how The Liquor Patrol Limits originated happened prior to my presence on the… Read More »

What Happened at Calhoun Square and by Whom

Calhoun Square was considered the BEST project ever proposed for the City of Minneapolis by the proponents! The opponents considered Calhoun Square the WORST project ever proposed for the City of Minneapolis. The proponents and opponents heatedly argued the merits of this development for five years. Who were they and why? As I remember: The… Read More »

The Calhoun Square Planning and Development Process

A five year saga dominated by controversy and national interest rates of 18 percent. Developer Selection Five serious proposals were submitted to the Minneapolis School Board and Minneapolis Planning Department: A Free Parking lot – proposed by members of the Business Community. A Community Center – proposed by members of the Resident Associations. A Greek… Read More »

Streetcars – The Yellow Banana

In the good old days almost everyone rode the streetcar – to and from everywhere! Seniors grabbed the rail and pulled themselves up into the car. Teenagers hopped on quickly. In those pre ADA days there weren’t any accommodations for the handicapped. Night or day rain or snow, streetcars were the form of transportation –… Read More »

Withdrawals from My Memory Bank

I don’t pretend to understand the new language that has evolved in the most recent decades – “browser, download, Facebook, Instagram, the Cloud etc. etc.” However, my memory is filled with relics from the past – where we worked, how we lived, what we wore, where we ate, how we received and paid for goods… Read More »

From Stanislaw to Osmo – The Orchestra Hall Story

Where it is – Why and How. In the early seventies I received a call from Stephen Pflaum, one of my attorneys at the Leonard Street and Deinard Law Firm. I thought to myself “What have I done wrong now?” Stephen replied “Nothing this time, but we need your help.” The Minnesota Orchestra performed for… Read More »

Take me out to the Ball Game

Baseball, in Minneapolis, has a fascinating history – affecting many aspects of life – commercial and residential real estate development, parking, traffic patterns, public transportation, and last but not least, the relationship between citizens of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. As a baseball fan for 80+ years and a loyal Minneapolitan for 90 years, I have… Read More »


Off-leash Downtown Dog Park. Over my 90 years, I have shared my home with 16 different dogs, – large, small, and many of Heinz 57 varieties – but all of them have been my close and loyal friends. Buddy, an energetic golden retriever mix with a penchant to chase a tennis ball into eternity, lived… Read More »

I Believe

Occasionally, I am going to include a blog explaining the philosophy that has guided my actions, my attitude, and the way I live – why I do what I do, why I am so stubborn, why I am a marshmallow, why I smile, why I am so demanding, so self-deprecating, why I was always self-employed… Read More »