Debra Keefer Ramage

Debra Keefer Ramage began writing freelance for Southside Pride in 2012, shortly after returning from a 13-year sojourn in England. She covers progressive politics, education, co-ops and neighborhoods. In 2017 she started doing Southside Pride’s restaurant review column, The Dish.


THE DISH: Southside soul, delights of the U.S. South

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE I grew up in a suburb of Atlanta, Ga., and then at age 17 set up as an independent young woman in a neighborhood as close to downtown Atlanta as possible. (Atlanta famously had and still has almost no residential downtown.) I have always loved food—cooking…

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Who shall rule this American nation?

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE The above is the title and call line of a political ballad of 1866 written by then popular but now largely forgotten composer and lyricist Henry Clay Work. You may be familiar with one or two of his better-received works, either 1865’s triumphant martial air “Marching…

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Some interesting things to check out on East 42nd Street

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Mexican-American culture is osmosing through South Minneapolis for sure, and it’s in glorious evidence along 42nd Street. Just up the hill from El Colegio, a publicly supported charter high school “rooted in the Latinx experience,” there are two small businesses across the street from each other…

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Wrapping Up September with another convention, and events ahead in October, November

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE There have been a few victories in the resistance in the past month. Before the arraignment hearing (Sept. 27) came around for the group of immigrant rights protestors known as #ICEbreakers18, the court dismissed all the charges on Sept. 9. That was one victory. Another came…

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Comings and goings at the Midtown Global Market

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Midtown Global Market is coming into its 14th year of existence. There are a few businesses that were there at the very start and are still there. Pham’s Deli is one of them. Although I have been going to MGM for shopping or a quick meal…

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resistance persistence: Recap of August, new September events

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Do you realize what an insane month August was? Locally, we had merely days before the statewide party and non-partisan primaries, an allegation against a major DFL candidate—Keith Ellison, currently 5th District Congressperson, but running for Minnesota attorney general—of domestic violence. Ellison won his primary, and…

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THE DISH: Lunch Around the World: Coming Back Home

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Gatherings Cafe 1530 E. Franklin Ave. Mon.– Fri. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 612-879-1753 The Dish has had virtual lunches from Japan to Sweden, Ethiopia to Mexico, and from Korea to the British Isles. To finish out the series, we are coming home to Minnesota, to…

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From the quotidian to the sublime

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE The business hub around Chicago and 48th Street said good-bye to two casual restaurants this summer, then said hello to their replacements within the past month or so. Pepito’s, the very long-lived Mexican family-style restaurant associated with the Parkway Theatre, closed its doors. But lovers of…

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Kingfield and Lyndale neighborhoods host Open Streets

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Nicollet Avenue Open Streets event is Sunday, Sept. 23, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The route starts at Lake and Nicollet and extends southward to 46th Street, making it one of the shortest routes. But what it lacks in length, it makes up in intensity,…

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resistance persistence: Recap of August, new September events

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Do you realize what an insane month August was? Locally, we had merely days before the statewide party and non-partisan primaries, an allegation against a major DFL candidate—Keith Ellison, currently 5th District Congressperson, but running for Minnesota Attorney General—of domestic violence. Ellison won his primary, and…

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Artsy-craftsy Chicago Avenue

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE I finally visited StevenBe. As I mentioned in a previous article, “crafting,” especially needlecrafts, has not really been my thing. Too busy reading, writing and organizing, which are plenty creative endeavors in themselves. But I know a lot of crafters do it more as a form…

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Grand Avenue summer browse

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE We hit up an eclectic mix of shops and galleries all along the 3.5 mile stretch of Saint Paul’s Grand Avenue on a hot summer day in early August. The methodology was to start at an arbitrary point near the western end of the Avenue and…

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resistance persistence: July ends, August persists, September is coming on fast

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE On July 29, at the North Regional Hennepin County Library (1315 Lowry Ave North), Twin Cities DSA held a four-hour-long Special Endorsing Meeting, which was attended by about 70 members and a couple dozen press, observers and campaign workers. There were seven candidates asking for endorsement.…

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THE DISH:Lunch Around the World (Mexican Sonora Style)

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Sonora Grill 3300 E. Lake St., Mpls. 55406 Open 7 days from 10:30 a.m. (9 a.m. on Sunday) sonoragrillmpls.com Sonora Grill started out in the Midtown Global Market incubator as a from-scratch and innovative Mexican/South American food place with no booze and run by real Mexicans—two…

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Lyndale Avenue in stasis and change

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE As I was on my way to check out Encore Music, I had to walk through a deep mud patch on the sidewalk, because some heavy construction was going on. It seemed to be one of the stately old mid-size houses that liberally dot Lyndale all…

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