Check it out // Cinema and Civics

Cinema and Civics season underway

STEVENS SQUARE — Sure, summer just started, but you have to act fast to take advantage of warm-weather opportunities. Case in point: outdoor movies.

If you haven’t yet, make this the week you grab a blanket, pack up some snacks and bike over to Stevens Square Park for Cinema and Civics. (Seriously, don’t drive. The parking there is awful.)

OK, so Loring Park Summer Music and Movies has a pretty good lineup this summer — a Paul Newman retrospective paired with really great bands like Gospel Gossip and Roma di Luna. But Cinema and Civics ups the ante for free outdoors entertainment.

First, there’s the environment: a sloping, tree-covered hillside in Stevens Square park, a tiny green space hemmed in by the neighborhood’s classic brownstones.

Then, there’s the civics suggested by the series title. Each Wednesday night gathering opens with a conversation led by a local political or neighborhood leader.

And, of course, there are imaginative pairings like the one scheduled for July 1st: the 1986 Jim Henson classic, “Labyrinth,” starring David Bowie, with local rockers STNNNG opening. (It’s pronounced “stunning,” in case you were wondering.)

This year, Cinema and Civics organizers will be screening locally produced short films before each night’s main feature. And there are other civic-minded happenings, like the clothing swap that was held for the series opener on June 10.

When:
Wednesday evenings thru July 15

Where:
Stevens Square Park, 1801 Stevens Ave.

Website: cinemaandcivics.org

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Lunch at La Chaya Bistro

KINGFIELD — Just about every restaurant in town has an outdoor patio these days. Not all our created equal, however.

Some might have you dining next to a congested roadway, taking in exhaust fumes or obnoxious noises from a construction project as you eat your dish.

La Chaya Bistro’s outdoor patio, however, is a little oasis on Nicollet. Tucked away from the street, it’s easy to feel like you’re at a café in Mexico or somewhere in the Mediterranean — the regions that have inspired the flavors on the menu.

La Chaya just started serving lunch, too. The plates are small and pass the good lunch test — you’ll feel satisfied but not so full that you’ll fall asleep at your desk when you return to work.

Dishes worth trying include the tacos de pescado (fish tacos with guacamole and pico de gallo) and the homemade quesadillas (you get three — one with mushroom and cheese, another with cheese and rajas, strips of chiles, and one with chorizo, potatoes and cheese). If you have the day off, consider ordering a chelada, a Corona with lime and ice, or a michelada, a Corona served with lime and hot sauce.

When: Lunch hours (11–3 p.m., Monday–Friday)

Where: 4537 Nicollet Ave. S.

Website: lachaya.com

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Shopping at Cliché

THE WEDGE — If you are one of those folks who’s into supporting all things local — whether it’s food, art, music or clothing — you need to add Cliché to your list of places to explore.

The fashion boutique is celebrating its fifth anniversary in business. A husband and wife team — Joshua and Delayna Sundberg — are the owners of the shop. They share a love of creative clothing, jewelry and art.

The shop carries several different labels, including many local fashion designers, such as Laura Fulk (an artist recently featured in the Journal), Anthem Heart and Ivan Idland.

The local lines are featured on racks on the outer edges of the store. You can find all kinds of pieces — knockout dresses that will make you the star of your next party, funky vintage ensembles and fun summer T-shirts. Cliché also carries unique jewelry and accessories made by local artists.

When:
11–7 p.m., Monday–Saturday; 1–6 p.m., Sunday

Where:
2403 Lyndale Ave. S.

Website:
clichempls.com