Archive | Neighborhoods

Booted From the Hollow; Bounced From the Flats

Saturday, April 18, 2015 Macalester-Groveland, Hamline-Midway, Frogtown, Payne-Phalen (Swede Hollow), Downtown, West End, Highland Park Garages: intentionally functional but not usually stylish and seldom worth more than a glance, but today I saw two within a couple of blocks of each other that break the stereotype. It’s not a garage in the strict sense of […]

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High Rises and the Transect

It’s probably safe to say that high-rises rank at the top of the list of things most residents don’t want to see in their neighborhoods. Fears of traffic, crime, depressed property values, and changing neighborhood (or even citywide) character for the worse will no doubt be cited in opposition. Even most pro-urban folks will agree that development […]

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Live Closer To Stuff

I was thinking about writing this post well before today’s Dear smug urbanites, stop ridiculing the suburb I love defens(iveness) of suburban living in the Strib, but that commentary seems like a good motivation to actually sit down and write it. But it’s also a bit funny, because I don’t have much to say to its author. I’m […]

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Local Control Over Speed Limits: Slow Cars and Save Lives

On my bike. About 5:30pm. St. Paul. I was traveling down Highland Parkway westbound towards the river at what I thought was a good downhill pace. The tree-lined median makes for a tight space, so I was hugging the right curb and weaving around the occasional parked car. From behind, I hear a rumbling muffler. It […]

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NIEBNA, Old St. Anthony, CenHen: An Exercise to Name a Nameless Place

Some of the greatest places have some of the greatest names. The Grand Canyon is fairly self-explanatory–it’s a canyon, and it is rather grand. Coney Island, with its imagination-inducing name referring to an isolated floating group of processed meats, juxtaposes the lighthearted, artificially-flavored entertainment district in New York. Then again, some great places have ambiguous names, barely describing the locales geography in […]

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sign on building that says "whittier"

Fixing High-Renter, Low-Equity Neighborhood Orgs

Minneapolis’ Whittier neighborhood has an equity problem. It’s 83 percent renter; half of households are cost-burdened; one third live in poverty. Yet the Whittier neighborhood organization, the Whittier Alliance, is pushing for higher rents and fancier amenities in a new building proposed as affordable “workforce” housing: “I think you’re underestimating the neighborhood in terms of design, character […]

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The golden leaves of the maple trees are set off magnificently by the deep blue sky.

Halloween, Hedges (because trees don’t alliterate) and Hydrants

12.5 Miles Macalester-Groveland, Merriam Park, South Como The warm October continued for another day, which gave me another chance to ride. Like yesterday, Halloween ornamentation and leaves were plentiful. On my bike rides I often see an object I otherwise wouldn’t lay eyes on. Many times it’s the unusual, but occasionally, it’s objects so commonplace […]

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See A Garden, Meet A Neighborhood

Have you ever gone by a house and seen a yard that you want to explore, but are afraid to ask? Do you like to plagiarize ideas from others’ yards (I do)?  If so, local garden tours are for you. This past Saturday was the Saint Anthony Park Garden Club’s tour. Ten gardens and gardeners in […]

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Transpo Convo: Kristen Biking With Her Son

[This is part of’s “transpo convo” series, which aims to be an oral history of getting around the Twin Cities, one person at a time.]  Kristen is a health care employee who cares deeply about community health and fitness.  She wants to set a good example for her family.  She has a bicycle trailer […]

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