Off Beat

A Real Poser

"ONLY A MENU gets between Dara Moskowitz and her fried chicken." So proclaims the caption under a photo on page 38 of the current issue of Mpls. St. Paul magazine, next to a story about the City Pages food writer's recent James Beard Foundation Award. It was a very nice story, too, by local freelancer (and sometime CP contributor) David Brauer. Thing is, the photo--which depicts Moskowitz outside the Midtown Chicken Shack, holding a drumstick in her right hand and concealing her face with a menu strategically clasped in her left--isn't Moskowitz. "I was more than a little peeved," reports Moskowitz, who says that when the magazine's editors asked her to pose for a photo, she refused, not wanting to compromise her anonymity. "I figured they'd use an illustration. I never dreamed they'd take a picture of someone else and pretend it was me. I would never do anything as cheesy as to wave a chicken leg around while brandishing a menu in front of my face. The fact that thousands of people now think I would do that disturbs me." Mpls. St. Paul senior editor Adam Platt, who edited the piece and wrote the caption, wasn't aware of the gaffe until Off Beat gave him a call. "It's one of these unfortunate, stupid miscommunications that happen," says Platt, after huddling with the magazine's art director, Jim Nelson, to ascertain what went wrong. "He told the photographer to get someone to stand in front of the place with a menu in front of her face," Platt recounts. "Having not met Dara at the time, I saw the photo and thought: Dara with a menu in front of her face. Sometimes the word people and the picture people don't think the same. Jim Nelson made a decision on a tight deadline; he thought this was a decent way to go about it since Dara wouldn't agree to be photographed. But I'm taking the blame for this one. It's dumb. I'm red. This is a profession where you should assume nothing. Ask dumb questions. That's what I should have done."

The End of an Era

CLUB METRO, A St. Paul mecca for the gay and lesbian community, will pour its last drink later this month. For a decade the club has served up drag queens (and kings) and drink specials along a warehouse-filled stretch of Pierce Butler Route in Frogtown. Jim Gaffney, who has owned the establishment for the past five years, says the two-level, five-bar, 36,000-square-foot space was simply too big to be economically viable beyond Friday and Saturday nights. "There's five other days in the week, and the building just didn't prove profitable," Gaffney laments. Vowing that the club will reopen before long in a smaller building, he's now scouting a new location. "It's always tough setting up, but I think when we do get set up in a new location it's going to be even better," the proprietor says. The present location, meanwhile, is to be transformed into a nightspot catering to the Hmong community. Club Metro will host a final bash at its Frogtown locale on July 28. Dance-club diva Shannon, creator of the mid-Eighties hit "Let the Music Play," will lead the wake. For updates on the club's search for a new home, check the Web site: www.clubmetro.cc.

Headline of the Week

FROM LAST TUESDAY'S Star Tribune: "Church trips usually safe, sound; Teens who go on missions usually return without injury but with a changed and deeper faith." While the Strib's at it, Off Beat suggests some other investigations: Reporters might want to look into what transpires at funerals. Or Boy Scout outings. Or company picnics.

 
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