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Moving to the Twin Cities with Car Free Midwest

Sarah Johnson, Omaha-based transportation advocate and podcaster, decided to move to the Twin Cities. Let’s follow along with her moving journey! We’ll check in at a couple of key points to get a more full picture of what it’s like to move to a brand new metro area.

Episode summary

00:00 | Intro
01:02 | December 2022 – picking a neighborhood
27:33 | The Parklet
29:13 | June 2023 – Buying, renovating, exploring the new city
55:25 | Outro

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Attributions

Our theme song is Tanz den Dobberstein, and our interstitial song is Puck’s Blues. Both tracks used by permission of their creator, Erik Brandt. Find out more about his band The Urban Hillbilly Quartet on their website.

This episode was hosted and transcribed by Ian R Buck, and edited by Ian and Tim Marino. We’re always looking to feature new voices on the show, so if you have ideas for future episodes, drop us a line at podcast@streets.mn.

Transcript

Sarah: [00:00:00] Part of the whole thing up there. The desire to move is to just kind of like figure out how to, like, rejuvenate my WeArY sOuL.

Ian: [00:00:11] Welcome to the Streets.mn Podcast, the show where we highlight how transportation and land use can make our communities better places. Coming to you from beautiful Seward, Minneapolis, Minnesota. I’m your host, Ian R Buck. Last year, I started listening to Car Free Midwest, a show based in Omaha, about shifting our transportation systems away from car dependence. I was very excited to hear one of the hosts, Sarah Johnson, talking about wanting to move from Omaha up to the Twin Cities. And I knew that I was going to have to get her on our show to talk about it. We recorded at a couple of different points during the process back in December, when she hadn’t yet settled on what neighborhood she wanted and then again in June after she’d been in her new home for about a week. Come join us on her journey. I’m somebody who has only ever lived in the Twin Cities besides going off going off to college for four years. But, you know, so like the the prospect of moving to an entirely different city that I’m not familiar with at all, like intimidates the hell out of me. Yeah. And I’m and I’m really, really curious like in your experience, like, how does one go about, like, choosing a neighborhood, you know, in a city that you’re not familiar with, that you’re not sure, like, what are my day to day like travel patterns going to look like? And where do I want to spend time?

Sarah: [00:01:36] Right? Uh, you know, I don’t know. So I’m winging it. Because when I moved to I mean, obviously when I moved to Lincoln, I was in the dorms for a few years and then got to figure out kind of the lay of the land there. So I knew where I wanted to live after that because I had spent some time there. And then in Grand Lake, Colorado, which is like considered a village because under 500 people live there year round. So it’s definitely a tourist town, like blows up to a couple thousand during the summer and then back down to a couple hundred in the winter. And I just, you know, I moved up there to be with my then boyfriend. So that didn’t really require much thought either because he he was from Omaha, but he lived up there for a long time. So, um, yeah, no thought had to go into that really either. So this is an entirely new prospect. We I mean, I do know a handful of people that are in either Minneapolis or Saint Paul…

Ian: [00:02:24] Many of whom have been on your podcast.

Sarah: [00:02:25] True. True. Some have. Um, and I think like the thing that really pushed me to Saint Paul. Well, okay, so our parameters, we know we want to leave Omaha. So that’s where it starts. Then we’re like, okay, we want to go.

Ian: [00:02:38] Someplace much more of a push factor than a pull factor.

Sarah: [00:02:40] You know, it kind of it started like that and then it turns into now more of a pull because we’re like, wow, we are realizing we’ve been up there a handful of times, um, over the last year. And we also for a minute we were thinking about Madison, Wisconsin, and then we quickly were like, I don’t know, we didn’t feel it, you know, like, I want to be like, Oh, this is my jam. Like, this is where I want to be. And that’s kind of how we felt, um, in Saint Paul. And I like West Seventh, but I don’t know anything about really any of the neighborhoods. So I want to quiz you as much as you want to quiz me because. Absolutely. I really don’t know much about much. I don’t know what I will be doing for employment when I get up there. Um, my husband’s an artist, so he works from home. So as long as he’s by a post office short bike ride, ideally to a post office would be helpful. Um, we both rely on e-bikes. I physically cannot ride a regular bike right now, maybe ever again, which I’m not wanting to come to terms with.

Sarah: [00:03:36] But, you know, life’s weird. And Scott, my partner, he, I almost like, didn’t want to date him when I first met. He came to the bike shop, but he was such an e-bike weirdo. I was like, ugh e-bikes, I don’t know, Like I used to race mountain bikes and I was very like, “ugh” you know, kind of a purist. So I’m curious about what the e-bike culture is up there. But before that, I guess, yeah, we don’t really know where we’re going to live. We’re looking at some different homes. We are going to be buying a house now. I don’t really know for sure for sure it’ll be Saint Paul, but we’re feeling like 99% sure. Saint Paul, a couple that I know that lives in Saint Paul. Um, adorable. And they said that Saint Paul is quieter, greener and kinder than Minneapolis. And I was like, my heart. That is what my heart needs. Um, so I don’t know if you would you say that that seems like an accurate..?

Ian: [00:04:25] I think the quieter part of that, that claim is definitely true. Um, I feel like the other two kind of get into, like, judgment calls. Sure. Yeah. Um, like both, both Minneapolis and Saint Paul have, like, fantastic park systems. Yeah. And they’re both, like, very well connected via trail systems, you know? So, yeah, I think I would give them both points for, for greenery. Um, kinder. Yeah. Is like that gets, that gets into a little bit of yikes territory for me of like, like, you know, like people in the exurbs calling, you know, like Minneapolis “Murderapolis” and it’s like, oh God. Okay. Um, yeah, there’s, there’s a lot wrapped up there. Yeah. Yeah.

Sarah: [00:05:13] If it bleeds, it leads. So of course, you think of murder when you think of Minneapolis because that’s what they want to show you, but.

Ian: [00:05:18] Right, right. Yeah. But like, yeah, in terms of the, in terms of the politics of like, like citywide politics, I would say that Saint Paul’s feels a lot calmer and I’m not sure if that’s because there are fewer important issues that are like going badly or if that’s just because there aren’t as many people in the city who are like paying attention and getting into the minutiae and like, you know, making long Twitter threads about, yeah, whatever the hot thing right now is. Yeah.

Sarah: [00:05:51] Honestly, I struggle a lot with like, how much do I want to get involved in politics in whatever city we land in next, you know, because I have been frustrated. And, you know, it feels like, you know, too much at a point. Like that’s part of why I got to leave Omaha. I feel like I’m like, nope, I already know all the players and half of them are rotten and I’m uninterested. And so I’m like, Do I live in like a little bit of ignorant bliss for a minute or do I just jump right in? I don’t know. So I think time will tell. I’m trying to not have too many expectations. Um, but yeah, I’m just excited to kind of like explore a new place and kind of disconnect from a lot of the [disgusted sound].

Ian: [00:06:33] And in terms of like being able to easily plug into things, there’s, you know, there’s a number of like really, really good nonprofit advocacy organizations here in the Twin Cities that like there will be stuff, you know, there will be newsletters that you can subscribe to and just like, oh one, one click, send an email to my city council member Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Sarah: [00:06:54] Perfect.

Ian: [00:06:54] Yeah. It can be as, as, as low effort or as involved as like you want it to be.

Sarah: [00:07:01] That’s good to know. Yeah. I, um, I’m excited to be on the, like, more low effort side of things for a minute. Also like my health stuff, I just still don’t feel great, so I’m kind of trying to be realistic about what all I can get into. Um, so we’ll see. I don’t know. Time will tell. I mean, part of, part of the whole thing up there, the desire to move is to just kind of like, figure out how to, like, rejuvenate my weary soul. Yeah, I don’t know. I just feel like I’ve been kicked around Omaha too much. It’s hard. I care too much for Omaha, I think.

Ian: [00:07:29] Um, so you did ask me specifically about, like, what’s the e-bike culture like? Yeah, yeah. We’ve got, like, we’ve got a lot of people in the biking community who are like, who are really enthusiastic about e-bikes. Um, I think most of the, most of the individuals who I have seen who like have made e-bikes part of their big identity, you know, like the thing that they will talk about all the time. Yeah. Uh, most of them are from Saint Paul. Um, I mean, I would, I would imagine that there’s probably more people on e-bikes in Minneapolis, but that’s just because there’s more people in Minneapolis. Yeah. Um, and that’s, you know, that’s kind of like a microcosm of the broader like cycling community as well, is like when I go over to Minneapolis, I run into more people who I know and I, you know, it feels like a higher density of people biking. But that’s also just partially because there is a higher density of people, period. And so like you can get that critical mass without having a critical mass ride, you know, of like of just people out there on the streets.

Sarah: [00:08:39] Yeah, Yeah. That’s exciting to think about. Like, I finally I think it’s finally happened where, like, I don’t recognize everybody on a bike in Omaha, but there were a lot of years where I literally if I, if you were out on a bike, I probably sold it to you or at least know who you are. And I’m right. I’m kind of excited about not having that be the case. What part can I ask what part of town you live in?

Ian: [00:09:02] I live in Frogtown. Okay, cool. So I grew up on the east side of Saint Paul and that’s where I moved back to after college. Um, got very lucky and just happened to get a job at a high school that was a mile away from where I was living. Nice. So I just walked to school most days and that was, yeah, it was a great way to, like, clear my head after a day of, like, babysitting a bunch of high school students.

Sarah: [00:09:24] Yeah, totally. Imagine.

Ian: [00:09:27] Excellent. But we ended up we ended up moving away from the east side because, like, getting from the east side to most other parts of the Twin Cities was very challenging. Yeah. Whether it be by bike or by bus. Um, because like, so, so my, my biggest hot take in terms of like choosing a neighborhood in the Twin Cities is I find it very, very useful to be in between the downtowns of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

Sarah: [00:09:57] Cool. Yep. That’s kind of what we’re thinking too, because I’m like, I know there’s a lot going on in Minneapolis that we’re going to want to be, you know, exactly interacting with regularly. So why would we want to live on the East Side? You know, because actually my friends who said kinder, cleaner or cleaner, whatever those words, green, they live on the east side. Yeah. And they’re like, don’t discount the east side. And I’m like, Yeah, totally. But also I think I like the idea of being able to like my friend Anna Schwinn is she’s like, okay, bonfires, you’re going to have to come over for backyard fires. I’m like, okay, how do I ride from wherever I would be to Anna’s backyard? These are the questions that I have. I also yeah, we have a handful of friends that are over there and I’m like, I think it would be fun to live a little closer to Minneapolis. So I don’t know. One of my big things that we’re looking for is a quieter street because we live on 52nd Street, which is a drag strip effectively and as like a safe streets advocate. It like boils my blood and um, yeah. So less chaos in front of the house would be great. Omaha is super segregated. It’s still dealing with the effects of redlining and. So we are like on the edge of North Omaha, which like, I don’t know, I have a big problem with a lot of equity issues in Omaha. But anyway, so North Omaha is yeah, historically black folks and we hear the police helicopter all the time because they just circle around waiting for something to happen. Um, yeah. So I’m just like, I can’t believe I’m like the old lady who’s like, yelling, Get off my lawn and like, I want quiet. I feel like a Nimby or something. But yeah, I’m just excited for a little more calm and a little quieter. Yeah, we’ll see. But not suburbs. I’m not a suburb person, so like, I don’t want to live in the burbs for quiet like, but I want to find just a casual street in the cities.

Ian: [00:11:44] Right, right. Yeah. So actually that, that does bring up something. I think that like in Saint Paul, Highland Park is one of the most overrated, uh, neighborhoods that there is. Okay. Yeah. And it feels like a suburb.

Sarah: [00:11:57] That’s what I thought.

Ian: [00:11:58] Yeah. Inside the city.

Sarah: [00:12:00] I’m actually glad you said that, because when we were there last, I was like, This feels a little like, Yeah, the burbs, but it’s still technically in the city, right? Yeah. Okay, go ahead. Sorry.

Ian: [00:12:09] But yeah, I mean, I think it’s. It’s overrated because like, there, it’s not nearly as well connected to the bus grid as like a lot of other neighborhoods in Saint Paul. Yeah. Um, like, yeah, the, I mean living near the green line right, was kind of the main thing that we, that attracted us to. Frogtown Yeah. And, and it has, you know, that had a lovely side effect of like, okay, I’m close enough to University Avenue that like I live a ten minute walk from many many different stores amenities and things. Um, but also like, I mean I wish that there was higher density in my neighborhood, but you know, it, it is mostly single family homes, you know, in like the 2 or 3 blocks in my area. Okay. Um, but it’s a short block to the, you know, mixed use, high density stuff that’s on that’s on University. So. Yeah.

Sarah: [00:13:08] How long have you been there liking it so far.

Ian: [00:13:10] Since since 2017. Yeah. Yeah. I love I love Frogtown and honestly, I’ve been trying to convince like I’ve, I’ve made a lot of friends since, you know, 2020 on to now who like, like we want to hang out in person more now that we are able to and they all live in like the Wedge or in Uptown or you know like way over, far away, like a 40 minute bike ride away. And it’s a lovely bike ride because I get to go on the Greenway. Yeah, yeah. But it’s still it’s like, yeah, I can’t hang out until 11 p.m. and then go home and feel well-rested the next day. Right, right, right, right, right. Yeah.

Sarah: [00:13:50] Uh, yeah. Interesting.

Ian: [00:13:52] So, yeah, so I am in a little bit of a pickle right now of like, okay, can I convince all of my friends to all move to Frogtown at the same time? Yeah. Or do I need to move a little bit closer to the Minneapolis side of town? Yeah. Yeah. And, I mean, and, and housing prices are, like, changing so much.

Sarah: [00:14:12] Bonkers, you know, I guess we’ll see what happens in the spring, but that’ll definitely dictate a lot of what we’re able to look at up there is what we can get for this, you know?

Ian: [00:14:21] Yeah, all sorts of fun. Oh, and that’s, that’s true. I mean, like I am, I was looking at other houses in the same metro area, so roughly the same market and you know, everything’s going up and down together. Yeah. Whereas I have no idea what stuff is looking like, you know, like is Omaha a more or less desirable place to live in than it was, you know, when you first bought ET Cetera.

Sarah: [00:14:45] Yeah, well, luckily. So. My partner, he’s been here for, like, 12 years, so we’ll be fine as far as, like, what he bought it for and what we’re able to sell it for since it’s been so long that way, the coasts are totally chaotic and then Midwest kind of is like a little bit of a wave. But it seems to me from my Zillow time that the markets are sort of doing the similar ups and downs. I don’t know. I feel like I feel like it’ll come down to the house, frankly. Like, I feel like if we find the perfect house, I’m like, Oh my God, I can’t believe the sunroom or something like that. You know, it’ll be what’s available when we’re ready to go because we have to actually, it’s going to be complicated because again, I don’t have a full time gig right now. And Scott’s an artist. He doesn’t make a bazillion dollars. And so we but we do own our house. So we’re gonna have to wait till this closes live in a rental that my actually, my little brother has a rental house that we’re going to rent from him for like March, April, May. We don’t really know what that timeline is going to look like, but once this closes, then we’ll be able to look at stuff up there and then hopefully just move from the rental to our new house. But, you know, we’ll see.

Ian: [00:15:49] That gives you a heck of a lot more flexibility than a lot of people have.

Sarah: [00:15:52] Exactly. We’re super grateful, lucky, privileged, all the things. So we’re gonna kind of see what happens. But. Literally on Zillow every day. Like it’s a bit of a bit of a problem.

SNL: [00:16:06] [sexy music] You’re in your late 30’s. It’s time for a new fantasy. On Zillow. On Zillow…

Sarah: [00:16:12] I’m not proud. We do have a realtor we met up there because we did come up was that July and looked at like ten houses just to kind of get a feel for different neighborhoods and stuff like that and meet the realtor. Um, she’s awesome. So yeah, kind of getting a feel for different areas, but I think kind of like proximity to the, the light rail is a thing, which would be the downside of the West seventh situation. But I don’t know, I just thought that had. What do you think about West Seventh as a neighborhood?

Ian: [00:16:42] I mean, I like the West seventh neighborhood. Um, West seventh Street itself is like a terrible barrier to. Yeah, yeah. Being able to, like, get to the river. Yeah. And use the trail that’s near the river. There aren’t a whole.

Sarah: [00:17:01] Shepherd’s Road or something like that?

Ian: [00:17:03] Yeah. Yeah, It’s the Sam Morgan Trail that. That goes alongside Shepherd Road and nobody. Nobody knows that It’s called Sam Morgan Trail. Don’t worry.

Sarah: [00:17:12] I rode it. I we when we were out there last. But I would sketchily make my way onto that little trail and then scoot up in and hope to like not get smushed when I’m. Yeah. Entering or exiting that trail. But it was just like so freaking cool to see trails where it’s like, here’s the pedestrian area, here’s the bike part. It’s like, Oh my God, we beg for basics. In Omaha, I always say that we’re begging for basics and then like, you go to the freaking place like that and people in cars are like waving you through intersections and, like, yielding and being polite humans. And I don’t know, people in Omaha do not act like that. So that was pleasant. Are there like constant group rides and different events and all sorts of things going on? Because it feels like in Omaha there’s aside from like Mode Shift Omaha, who kind of still does some bike rides and stuff. There’s a few little club rides, but it’s all real cliquey, like shop to shop. Is that kind of the same up there?

Ian: [00:18:05] Yeah, well, there’s a lot of different groups that have group rides and they’ll all have like a different vibe for sure. Um, and yeah, I, I don’t know if anybody has like a cohesive list of these put together, but yeah, like, like I’ve, you know, I’ve gone to different groups, I’ve tried out different ones and kind of figured out like, which one, which one do I enjoy the most?

Sarah: [00:18:27] Yeah, yeah.

Ian: [00:18:27] Yeah, yeah. Because everything from like, what speed do you want to go to? Like, okay, do you want to meet up at a brewery afterwards? That’s 75% of the groups right there. Yeah, exactly.

Sarah: [00:18:39] Instead of just like the go fast crew in Lycra. Yeah. Do you have what’s your favorite shop up there? I don’t know.

Ian: [00:18:45] Lowertown bike shop.

Sarah: [00:18:46] Lowertown. Okay.

Ian: [00:18:47] Yeah. So they’re, they’re in downtown Saint Paul. Um, right at Union Depot station, which is also where the train stops. Uh, and, uh, yeah, they’re, they’re a nonprofit and they do great work. And they’ve also always been the closest shop to where I live. So it all works out perfect.

Sarah: [00:19:08] It does work. I know. So these are like the things I’m like, okay, I want to be close to good coffee. Maybe close to a good bike shop. Library would be cool post office, maybe a food co-op. There are no co-ops in Omaha of any kind. That’s another thing that I’m excited about. Bike co-ops, food co-ops like, because we’re trying to kind of figure out like, okay, which amenities do we want to be sort of close by? Okay. Here’s a question for you. Is there a neighborhood that you would say is like, wow, not connected?

Ian: [00:19:34] You know, something that actually you just just occurred to me? We have a municipally owned electric car share system here that just just launched like a year and a couple of months ago called Evie. And they are, you know, working on like expanding their like the area that they that they serve. But I think like keeping an eye on what their home area is on the map would be useful as well.

Sarah: [00:20:06] That’s smart. Okay. Cool.

Ian: [00:20:08] So a lot of a lot of West Seventh is south of their current home area.

Sarah: [00:20:15] I like the feel. I think of West Seventh, but I also feel like maybe it will be a little farther away from where we’ll want to be. I don’t know.

Ian: [00:20:25] You know what? I kind of feel like maybe not Cathedral Hill exactly, but like kind of in the area, like just west and south of Cathedral Hill might be nice to look at. Okay. I’m also saying that because I know that there is a Mississippi food co-op there.

Sarah: [00:20:41] Yeah. Thank you for thinking of that. Yeah, that’s I went to the one on West Seventh when we were there. I was like, oh, this would be nice.

Ian: [00:20:51] And like, like Selby Avenue. Yeah. Between like Dale and Summit is like, it’s super cute and it’s such a nice area to walk around in and there’s so many shops and you know, it’s all, it’s mostly like, you know, commercial use on the ground floor. With like 2 to 3 floors of apartments above hand.

Sarah: [00:21:13] J Selby, Vegan Place. Super freaking tasty. Oh, yeah. In Omaha. There’s like a vegan restaurant. It’s not. It’s not enough. I’m not vegan, I’m vegetarian. But I err on the side of vegan just because it makes me feel bad if I have a lot of cheese. Too much information. But yeah, so food is important. Oh, it’s just exciting to think about being someplace where I don’t know all the the routes everywhere. That’s the other thing is like, are there any. I’ve been seeing a little bit of drama about what they’re trying to do on is it Summit, the bike, the bikeway situation? Okay, that must be it. You’re giggling. Tell me more. What do I need to know?

Ian: [00:21:52] All right. We don’t have time in this episode to really get into everything that happened on Summit. Most of you know that story already. But here’s the quick version. Saint Paul Parks and Rec was putting together a master plan for a regional trail on Summit Avenue and they came up with a very, like, very smart design that incorporates like the the nature of the street itself into the whole design and everything. Some of the residents of Summit Avenue itself do not like to see any change whatsoever. And were giving a bunch of nonsense reasons why they opposed this particular bike lane. Um, you know, it’s very, very easy to debunk most of the things that they were saying, and it proceeded through the decision making process at the city level, eventually getting a 6 to 1 vote in favor of the proposed design at city council. So that, uh, that trail design was voted on after this conversation with Sarah. But we are now in the future and we know kind of how that turned out.

Sarah: [00:23:07] When a plan comes through the pipes, is it like decades before you see the thing or how do you feel like you’ve watched plans turn into projects?

Ian: [00:23:17] Yeah, it’s I mean, it’s definitely possible to be plugged in enough that, like, you see these projects like, yeah, a decade before they actually get implemented. Um, but it’s also possible to be like, you know, just plugged in enough that you see, oh, hey, they’re having an open house for this thing and they’re doing like the final iteration of figuring out what the design is going to be. And then it’s going to happen in, in a year or two. Um, so yeah, I mean there are a lot of, there are a lot of things that are getting put in right now that like, you know, my friend Andy Singer at the Saint Paul Bicycle Coalition, you know, he’s been doing advocacy work since the early 2000’s. He’s like, Oh, yeah, I remember that one, you know? And I’m like, I was in first grade when you were doing that push.

Sarah: [00:24:07] Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Interesting. Yeah. I feel like and that’s I mean, while I am excited to get out of Omaha, I also know that a lot of the issues that I have with Omaha are not unique to Omaha. And just the way things move so slow everywhere is kind of. Yeah, but the thing is, truly, Omaha seems like maybe 30 years behind the Twin Cities when it comes to like a lot of. Yeah, a lot of stuff from my perspective anyway. So even if things move slower up there, you’re already light years ahead of where I feel like we are here.

Ian: [00:24:39] I don’t know. Right. And mean and things. Things move slowly, but also like you can be more assured that they are a thing that’s going to happen, you know, like, yeah, that’s good. Both, both Saint Paul and Minneapolis have like comprehensive bike plans on the books that have, you know, that are directing staff at Public Works to implement these things. Yeah, yeah. And we have goods and we have good staff on the job you know who like they, they know how to get grants and federal money and you know, attract that kind of investment. Right, Right.

Sarah: [00:25:17] So just the fact that y’all have people that are dedicated to doing those things is delightful because we had a bike/ped coordinator that the previous administration, uh, created the position. That was the first time we had had any dedicated bike walk staff and this new mayor who’s not new anymore. But when she came in, that was one of the first things she did. The first budget she passed is she eliminated him. And I was like, no. So I’m just like, you know what? I’m just over it. I’m over it. I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself when I’m up there. But hopefully it involves less screaming into the void. We’ll see. Right.

Ian: [00:25:52] And and I mean, I definitely have like, fantasized about like, what if I just, like, moved to Copenhagen or Amsterdam or something? Like, I would never have to worry about being, you know, in the advocacy space ever again. And it’s like, uh, or I would probably find something.

Sarah: [00:26:09] See, that’s the thing. Yeah. Yeah. And I’m sure, like, you know, as much as I’m like, I think I’ll choose to be blissfully ignorant for a while, it’s like, Yeah, right. I actually already interviewed with. Minneapolis or Minnesota as a joke. I got the interview though, but I didn’t get the job, which is good because I’m like, Hey, I live in Omaha still. So, um, but yeah, I’m just trying to kind of get to know more folks up there and yeah.

Ian: [00:26:30] And you know, we’ll definitely we will love to have you. That’s, you know.

Sarah: [00:26:36] Hopefully! Thank you. Okay, good. At least Ian signs off on it. That’s excellent.

Ian: [00:26:40] I mean, one of the wonderful advocacy organizations that we have in the Twin Cities is Neighbors for More Neighbors. So like, that’s, you know, that’s the vibe of the community that you’re stepping into. Yeah.

Sarah: [00:26:51] All right. Well, I’m excited to be a new neighbor wherever the neighborhood may be.

Ian: [00:26:55] This actually reminds me of the approach that my friend Jeannie took when she was thinking of moving to the Twin Cities from Washington, D.C. She came and visited and went to do some group bike rides and met people and got to know them and, you know, connected with people on social media. So she was already like even while she was in D.C. before moving to the Twin Cities, she was getting a lot of, you know, knowledge and, you know, seeing seeing what folks were talking about around here, um, in especially in like the urbanist community.

Ian: [00:27:35] Now, before we jump forward to June, let’s take a break in a little segment that I’m calling the Parklet. This is where the podcast team can talk directly to you, the audience outside of the main topic of the episode. First, we’d like to learn more about all of you. Putting a podcast out there can sometimes feel like speaking softly into the void. So we’ve put together a little survey that you can fill out to tell us a little bit about who you are, how you interact with the show and what you’d like to hear from us. Second, I’d like to remind everybody that Streets.mn Is supported by you, the audience. It’s pretty challenging to do all of the awesome stuff that this organization pulls off on such a small budget, so every donation helps.

Ian: [00:28:19] If you’d like to pitch in, go to [https://streets.mn/donate]. And third, I’d like to close each Parklet by answering a quick urbanist question from the audience. So this first question is my own. I often complain that the transit routes that I rely on during weekdays, some of them don’t work on weekends and it makes it difficult for me to like plan stuff that I want to do on weekends. But then that got me wondering, are there any routes that only run on weekends? Going through all of the routes on Metro Transit’s website, I couldn’t find any. The closest would be MVTA’s 4FUN Bus, which runs on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. If you have a question that probably has a quick answer, write an email to [podcast@podcast.mn] And we’ll research it for you. And now to our June conversation with Sarah. Ironically, I had also moved during the time between these two recordings from Frogtown to Seward.

Ian: [00:29:23] All right. So, Sarah, it has been January, February, March, April, May, June. It’s been a good six months since we chatted last.

Sarah: [00:29:36] I don’t know how it’s June, but you’re right.

Ian: [00:29:39] But you are. You are in the Twin Cities now. You’re in Saint Paul. Moved in.

Sarah: [00:29:44] Well, yeah, pretty much. We actually last minute scrambled and shoved some stuff in my parents cars. And so technically, I still have, like, a bicycle and two frames in their garage. But we’re going back for Father’s Day, and then we’re getting it. And then I’ll be 100% here. But there you go. We’ve been mostly here for the last week and a half.

Ian: [00:30:02] And I knew that you were here because you were texting me asking me for, like, route options for getting to like, the Sustain Saint Paul bike plan review. Yeah.

Sarah: [00:30:15] Yeah, I was. That was a funny day because my husband Scott and I have been just working our tails off over at this old house and we were just like nasty from painting and scraping and whatever. But I was like, I really just want to go to this event because I’m really curious about the bike plan. And like, I bet I’m going to like, meet some Twitter people there. Et cetera. Et cetera. And yeah, so I was kind of doing a little like phone a friend on route recommendations. But we kind of I don’t even remember how we got over there, but it was delightful. Oh, we Pelham, we kind of like meandered towards the river, which like, wow, trails by the river that actually go to things. What a new concept. And then yeah. Protected infrastructure on. Is it called Pronounced Pelham? Yeah, yeah. Up to that brewery. Yeah, it was rad and.

Ian: [00:31:03] Yeah, Yeah. So Pelham is in an interesting spot because it was like the first example of a, like it wasn’t like curb raised, I think because they weren’t doing a full reconstruction. But it was the first example of a like bollard protected bike lane in Saint Paul. And so like we have learned a lot of things from that project’s implementation and you know, and so like, like nowadays people look back on it and they’re like, I don’t really like Pelham so much, but.

Sarah: [00:31:35] But Pelham is an Omahans dream. Let me.

Ian: [00:31:38] Tell you.

Sarah: [00:31:39] My first question, of course, is when did that go in that you’re like, That was so long ago. We’ve learned so many lessons.

Ian: [00:31:45] I’m going to have to get back to you on that because that was before my time in like the bike advocacy community. So it was pre 2015.

Sarah: [00:31:56] Oh yeah. No, I love it here.

Ian: [00:31:58] I think it definitely wasn’t 30 years ago kind of thing, you know.

Sarah: [00:32:02] So not still a pilot project. So like, right, boom, I’m into it. Yeah. It was rideable infrastructure that to my knowledge wasn’t like almost about to be removed at any moment. So yeah, it feels different here than Omaha in a good way.

Ian: [00:32:13] I remember that like your, your priority was kind of like you had settled on Saint Paul. You were sort of like thinking about which neighborhoods were going to be the best ones to look at. But ultimately it really was like you wanted to find the right house.

Sarah: [00:32:31] Yes. And the right street.

Ian: [00:32:32] And as long as that was in a neighborhood that was well connected enough, like there you go.

Sarah: [00:32:37] Pretty much, yeah. We’ve, you know, been looking for about a year like June last year was when we kind of were like, okay, let’s get real about this. So we’ve been looking for a while. And yeah, the main things were location as far as moving off of a busy street in Omaha, so looking for a quiet street in Saint Paul. And actually a lot of it had to do with noise because part of the reason we didn’t choose Minneapolis is because my delightful husband’s also a map nerd and he’s like pulling up all these like, airplane runway noise maps and stuff. And so we’re like, Oh, dang, Minneapolis is noisy for that reason. Let’s not. Between the less airport noise and then just we live on kind of a bookended street in Tangletown like the neighborhood even has a cute name. We’re real, real smitten on the street over here. But yeah, it’s delightful. The house is a million years old and it’s falling apart and it’s like living. Early. Every day we find a new catastrophe. But we’re just, you know, smiling our way through it. And yeah, it’s like The Money Pit. But we’re in Saint Paul, so it’s worth it.

Ian: [00:33:34] So the house hunting process putting out bids for things like how competitive is that in 2023? It’s been a few years since I’ve bought a house.

Sarah: [00:33:44] Yeah, no, it was silly. So this particular house, as I mentioned, we’ve been looking for a long time and we have a delightful realtor up here. And so there were a few houses over the months where I’d be like, Hey, can you see what’s up with this one? And she’d walk through it and she’d be like, Uh, this looks sketchy, this is good. Whatever. And then this one on Wheeler got listed and we were just like, okay, that one looks really cute in the pictures, but like, is it falling over? What’s the deal? So our realtor comes through and she sent us a video. We were doing a lot of like video tours and we were just like, Oh my goodness, this house is like, maybe our house. Oh, my goodness. It’s a huge it’s a long, skinny lot. But we have two little riff raff dogs that love to scramble around. So big yard, two car garage definitely doesn’t have any cars in. It has a lot of bicycles anyway. And so it hit it ticked a lot of boxes. And so when she did the walk through, she’s like, This is really cute. You might want to think about it. And so the house was officially listed that Friday. She was the first one to walk through and send us a video. There was an open house the next day on April Fool’s Day. So we were like, This is a sign. I’m not sure, but we were the fools because the night before was a huge blizzard. I don’t know if you remember, but like that big like. Yes, almost April.

Ian: [00:34:54] Well, yeah, because that was the beginning of 30 days of biking and everybody was like, Wow, okay.

Sarah: [00:34:59] What a kick off. Here we go. Yeah. So we were like, okay, we’re going to drive there Saturday. We left Omaha at 6 a.m. The open house was like noon to whatever. So we just walked through the open house with our realtor had lunch at Shish on Grand right in our backyard, basically. 

Ian: [00:35:14] Oh, excellent choice.

[00:35:15] We were just yeah, we were like, Oh my gosh. We could, like, walk here and, you know, my hip’s busted. So don’t really walk. But I’m like, This is close enough. Oh, my goodness. So we had lunch, talked about it and drove back to Omaha and talked about it some more and yeah, called our realtor and we’re like, we love that house. So it’s very competitive. We were one of six offers, but we had and we also like wrote like a sappy little letter to the, to the family that had it. Um, and yeah, we won out amongst the others. I think part of the deal with us was we were able to close really quickly, but it was all totally a crapshoot. Our house in Omaha closed on April 17th. We wrote up this offer on April 1st or second to close on April 19th, just like hoping everything happened, right? You know, And it was contingent upon that.

Sarah: [00:35:58] But then, yeah, here we are. So there you go. We didn’t do any inspection, though, and we knew that we were going to be like kind of, you know, running into some fun because of our lack of inspection. But that was part of what made our offer competitive. And I don’t know, I grew up with my folks always remodeling houses, and my brother does that now. And I’ve kind of I know my way around a drywall knife and such, so I don’t know, it’s worse than I expected it to be, frankly. But we’re still so happy to be here. Like it doesn’t even hardly matter. We work ourselves silly and then we’re like, Where should we ride to? Oh, it’s like, no, we’re not driving. It’s just so different than Omaha. Because in Omaha it’s like, am I mentally prepared to be accosted on my bicycle today? Like, that’s kind of how it felt, like a little bit more openly hostile. And here people are like waving you through intersections and like, I don’t know, it’s just different.

Ian: [00:36:47] There are some cyclists who, like, get annoyed when drivers wave you through an intersection because, like, you know, the vehicular cyclist mentality.

Sarah: [00:36:54] How about just frickin drive?

Ian: [00:36:56] Yeah, just treat me as a vehicle. Yeah, yeah.

Sarah: [00:36:59] I have my moments like that myself because I’m like, if we all just followed, you know, the rules of the road, it would go pretty cool. But thank you. Think, thank you. But also, like, it’s okay. I don’t know.

Ian: [00:37:10] It’s funny, I’ve also started thinking about it as like, well, if I were driving a car and I came up to a stop sign and the person at the other, you know, like going the other way waved me through, I would go through like, okay, fine, right?

Sarah: [00:37:21] Yeah. Regardless of mode. Sure, Yeah. Well, it happened on. We were trying to cross Fairview the other day heading like towards the river and um, people stopped like in the middle of Fairview. Like, not at a controlled intersection. No, No light, no stop sign. They were just like, Oh, there’s people on a bike they must want to go to there. We’re just like, What? What? Don’t know what’s happening. Okay. Guess we’ll go. Thank you, huh? Yeah, it’s rad. We do feel like. Yeah, just this kind of weird, like. I don’t know. It’s just. It feels good. It feels like what we were hoping for.

Ian: [00:37:49] The timing of your, like, touring the house and, you know, putting down an offer and everything is pretty hilarious to me because April 1st is the day that I got my keys for this apartment. And then I moved in like the day after and. Yeah, yeah, that’s funny.

Sarah: [00:38:05] Something about April.

Ian: [00:38:05] I like rode a bus because I wasn’t about to bike through that blizzard right in the morning. I rode a bus here, grabbed my keys, and then, like, by the afternoon everything had melted. And I was like, Yeah, all right.

Sarah: [00:38:18] I guess this is what it is. Yeah, that was wild. We, uh, when we were driving up that morning, all these tree branches were. Down and stuff. And actually the street that the house is on wasn’t even like you couldn’t people were parking on other streets. And I’m like, That’s good news. They’re not going to plow it. It’s super low travel. I’m liking this so far. The trees. Oh, it’s just so delightful over here.

Ian: [00:38:37] Yeah, I actually, I got here on time and the property manager was late because she was driving down from, like, Fridley or whatever, and so she, like, she was super delayed, but like, the bus made it.

Sarah: [00:38:48] Nice! Reliable transportation. Yeah.

Ian: [00:38:51] So you have been to at least one local advocacy type event. How are the vibes? How do you like that?

Sarah: [00:38:59] We were jazzed too. Very jazzed. It was red mean. Like, first of all, we pull up and we could barely find parking on the bike rack and it was like a Monday or something, you know? And we’re just like, Oh my gosh, this is cool. And then we go in and.

Ian: [00:39:13] And that’s saying a lot because that was at that was at Dual Citizen, right? Correct. And they’ve got like one of the few like, like two tier bike rack things in the city.

Sarah: [00:39:22] Not it wasn’t like they had a rack and it was full. It was like they have pretty significant bike parking and we were struggling to find a spot. So I was instantly like very pleased with that. And we go in and there’s a guy from Public Works, I believe Jimmy was his name.

Ian: [00:39:37] Yep, Jimmy Shoemaker.

Sarah: [00:39:38] And he rides bikes and he works in public works department. So I was like, Where am I? What is happening? This is delightful. Seems important that someone designing the infrastructure or implementing these things would understand how it works. And then actually the funny part was I was really not going to open my mouth because I’m the new kid on the block and have a lot of listening to do before I open my big mouth. Although I broke my own rule because someone brought up tactical urbanism and I have a little bit of experience with that. And they specifically brought up plungers and I was like, okay, I’m gonna have to talk about this. So did chat briefly about how tactical urbanism can be effective. And we helped save a bike lane in Omaha by doing something like that and made international news, blah, blah, blah. And then so after the meeting, everyone came up and wanted to chat more about that. So then it was really fun. I met a bunch of people, but I had like two beers, which for me these days is enough that I don’t remember anyone’s names. So if I talked to you there, thanks for the chat. It was delightful. I mean a little bit of just like feel like almost high from just like the energy here. It’s hard to explain. Like, I think Scott and I both have just had like these perma smiles because we’re just like, it feels good here. Other people are doing these things. It’s not just like we’re the weirdos on the bikes, you know, Like there’s a lot of us here and it’s nice.

Ian: [00:40:49] Yeah, that’s really encouraging to hear because like in 2015, when I moved back to Saint Paul and like, to be fair, I was living on the east side of Saint Paul, but like commuting by bike from my home to the high school, also on the east side that I worked at. Like I felt like I was the only person in the world who who who rode my bike to to work. Right. I had no idea that there was like a Twin Cities bicycle community. Yeah.

Sarah: [00:41:19] Yeah. I mean, I was, you know, I think when you hear the Twin Cities, you think, yeah, Minneapolis is the bike town and like, sure, whatever. Maybe that’s true. I haven’t spent as much time in Minneapolis, but I’m telling you what I’m seeing a lot of people on bikes in Saint Paul. We have more bike and foot dog walking traffic on our street than cars. And like, it’s just I don’t know. I just feel so very happy about the number of people I see on two wheels and the amount of infrastructure. It’s like not surprising to find bike lanes. A lot of places that you go. I was I will tell you, I’ve been kind of, you know, just mostly through Twitter. The Summit situation is kind of hilarious. I did watch the city council meeting when they voted on it, and that was kind of interesting to watch. So I it’s kind of I don’t know, like I need popcorn to watch like the back and forth. But yeah, that’s been kind of funny to just watch play out, you know, because usually I’m the one that’s like ingrained in that discussion when it would have been in Omaha and now here it’s like, oh, okay, I’ll just you got.

Ian: [00:42:16] You got to see the tail end of it.

Sarah: [00:42:17] Yeah. It’s interesting. Happy to hear it was voted through though.

Ian: [00:42:20] Yeah. And on a on a 6-1 vote too like every time that one of these projects, these fights comes up, you know, and like you have to decide, okay, how much of my energy and time am I going to like dedicate to this thing? And I was like, I was honestly, really conflicted about the Summit one, because on the one hand, like, it is a very important project. On the other hand, like I could see that all of the city staff members who are working on it were like, We’ve got really good priorities. We know what we’re talking about. We can tell that the arguments from the Save Our Streets people is like are just complete, very silly and not based in reality. Um, but at the same time it’s like, okay, well I have, I have no idea like how the Park Board commissioners are going to react to this. I don’t really like, you know, I have some idea of the city council members and where they stand, but it was still like, you know, I wasn’t sure where it was going to go. Six one vote is is better than I was expecting.

Sarah: [00:43:17] Strong Yeah, it was fun to watch. It was fun to hear the different councilors say their piece and just kind of talk about how like. I know you don’t like it. It’s like patting a little kid on the head. It’s like I know you are gonna feel sad for a minute, but it’s what we gotta do. Because the data says and the little, you know, it was pretty cool to see that happen and all the public testimony and yeah, it was just a neat thing to kind of, like you said, catch the tail end of it seems like it has been a long thing. Also not like decades either, right? Like, I don’t know. I just I’m so far seeming it seems that projects happen a little bit faster here. And I understand nothing’s overnight. And I also feel like I understand that there isn’t funding specifically for that project. So it’s like also they’re approving it. But if you don’t approve it, then you’re never going to have the resources allocated so.

Ian: [00:44:00] Well, yeah. And that so that’s I mean, this is a perfect illustration of like how projects go in Saint Paul, right? Is like, okay, we just approved it. That wasn’t a like long, drawn out process, but it’s going to be years and years and years like it’s going to be constructed in sections as different parts of Summit come up in the normal city public works process of like, okay, we got to replace this street.

Sarah: [00:44:26] Don’t know. It just seems like the momentum here is like, I don’t know, I don’t live in Omaha anymore, so don’t have to talk about how they go backwards instead of forwards. But it seems like here things are at least maybe it’s a little slow sometimes, but it seems like the general momentum is going the right direction.

Ian: [00:44:39] You mentioned that you met, you know, a few people at the the bike plan event who you probably have interacted with on Twitter. Like how proactive were you about like trying to seek out and find people online before you even, like moved?

Sarah: [00:44:53] You know, it’s kind of been like a gradual thing where, like, do you see something retweeted by, I don’t know, Twitter is weird like that. I don’t know how I’ve just all of a sudden have Twin Cities Twitter. Yeah, I don’t really know how some of it started, to be completely honest. I’m sure some of it I was doing a little just like snooping and scoping and following. But then now at this point, I feel like people are tweeting about stuff that isn’t even really necessarily bike related, but it’s still Twin Cities. And I’m like, Interesting. Okay. I don’t know how that happened exactly, but yeah, it seems pretty rad. So for example, the Pedaling Professor and I feel bad because I don’t remember his real name at this point. Yep.

Ian: [00:45:27] Zach Mensinger.

Sarah: [00:45:28] Yeah, he was rad. He gave us a route home. He’s like, Oh, you came this way on the way here, let’s go this way. I like Portland if you’re shooting this direction. So it’s kind of fun to just like, yeah, everyone that we have met, whether it’s a person at that meeting or if it’s like our painters or our realtor or our plumber, like everyone here is so welcoming and so rad and so like, I don’t know, kind. It really doesn’t seem like a fake. I know people say like Minnesota Nice and everyone’s like, passive aggressive and like shitty behind your back. And maybe that’s true, but it feels authentic and I’m into it at this point. It seems fine to me. Thanks for the ride home, Zach. Yeah, I was just really fun chatting with different folks and, and they don’t. It’s not like in Omaha where it just seems like it’s very specifically like people that are 20 to 40, that’s who’s there. And it just seemed like a little bit more diverse crowd. Um, but the main thing that was wild about that was that there was someone from Public Works who rides bikes.

Ian: [00:46:15] You get to know, like the folks on Public Works and a few of them ride bikes all the time and like they are legitimately like friends with a lot of us advocates, which is great.

Sarah: [00:46:25] That’s rad because definitely knew people in the public works department in Omaha, but was not necessarily on the greatest of terms with them. Huh. Anywho, cool. That’s awesome. Yeah.

Ian: [00:46:35] So when I was chatting with Tim, who edits some of the episodes for the Streets.mn Podcast, and I mentioned that like, you know, I need to contact Sarah again to like set up another recording. And he was like, Oh, she has a podcast? And I was like, he, like, he was like, Yeah, she followed me on Twitter, but like, I had no idea that she was like a.

Sarah: [00:46:52] Host of a Who is that weirdo? Yeah, my podcast is a huge deal. There’s like 14 people who listen to it and love every one of you. I am going to interview Councilor Jalali. Oh, nice. In a couple of weeks. I’m excited about that. She said something about democratization of the streets, and I was like, That’s who I’m going to talk to next. So got a couple fun ones.

Ian: [00:47:13] Oh, was that one of her comments during the Summit Council meeting?

Sarah: [00:47:16] Yeah, for Summit. Yeah, I heard that. And I was like, okay, that’s just right. Because there’s so many things that have happened over the last however many years that it’s like, I don’t know, it feels like sometimes people are able to forget about it or not let it continue to direct the well, especially policymakers, right? So it was just really cool to feel like a lot of the things that a lot of us are trying to learn and started learning a lot quicker a few years ago are actually leading the decision making up here. So I thought that was impressive. Yeah, she’s.

Ian: [00:47:42] She’s pretty rad. She’s a lot of people’s favorite city council member. Are you? I feel like you’re in her ward.

Sarah: [00:47:49] No, unfortunately. Um, let’s see. I think it’s like Chris. It’s Chris.

Ian: [00:47:54] Tolbert. Okay. Yeah. And I think.

Sarah: [00:47:56] I haven’t contacted him yet. Maybe I will.

Ian: [00:47:58] Trying to remember if he’s running this year or not. I feel like he might not be.

Sarah: [00:48:02] And when are council elections?

Ian: [00:48:04] On the normal election day, November the 1st Tuesday of November. The DFL endorsement caucuses already happened and everything, so.

Sarah: [00:48:10] Oh yeah. Saw some weird stuff happening with that. Yeah. I don’t know. It’s just. Yeah, just am taking it all in. It’s entertainment at this point.

Ian: [00:48:18] You got quite a few months to like, figure out who you’re interested in pulling for.

Sarah: [00:48:22] Yeah.

Ian: [00:48:23] There’s a local author, Naomi Kritzer. She, like every year she goes and does like a deep dive research on all of the races in Saint Paul and Minneapolis and like. Yeah. And so she’s she’s a really, really good like even if you don’t agree with literally every stance that she has, she’s like a very, very consistent in how she approaches these things. So like it’s a good starting point for. For my own research.

Sarah: [00:48:51] Yeah. Nice.

Ian: [00:48:51] Yeah. Okay. So you’ve, you’ve moved in, you’ve met a few people, you’ve gotten a feel for what it’s like to get around. Well, we’ve mostly been talking about bikes. Have you? Like, have you tried out the Metro Transit at all for anything? No.

Sarah: [00:49:04] It’s just so easy to ride here. It’s like I don’t even mean I’m sure I will take some sort of non bike transportation at some point, but right now I’m just having so much fun on my bike. I’m just. Actually, I got to tell you the most exciting thing. So, you know, I’ve been riding electric bikes for a while because of health stuff and our house is so close to like, Shish. And those little shops on Grand that I have an older some Buena Vista like analog bike that I rode actually the other day to Estelle. But yeah, so I am very jazzed that it is flat enough and a I wonder how many times in this episode I’ve said jazzed. That’s just feeling very jazzed. Anyway, it’s really fun for me to be able to, to power my own bicycle for a few short blocks. Um, I don’t know. It just feels like everything’s kind of exciting again here. So that was the whole point. We needed a total shake up. My attitude was trash, and it seems like it’s already improving here. So despite, you know, sewer bills and bats in the attic and carpenter ants outside and what else? Yeah.

Ian: [00:50:05] Wow, bats in the attic.

Sarah: [00:50:07] Yeah. We were like, wow, there’s a significant amount of little poop here and there. And then I was like, I feel like that’s too big for mouse poop because I know my way around a mouse trap. Unfortunately, the old bike shop had a basement. But anyway, yeah, so the pest guy was over today. He’s like, Yeah, that’s, that’s probably either a squirrel or a bat. And I’m like, okay, well, I think it’s probably not a squirrel because we don’t have any huge gaping holes in the attic. But so yeah, it’s just it’s literally every day there’s a new mini catastrophe. It’s delightful.

Ian: [00:50:36] And any time that like I am thinking about an area for, you know, like for moving to for living in think about like all of the the places that I go to on a regular basis and like, okay, you know, like what what are my options here? So like if I remember correctly, you said that Scott works from home and you are…

Sarah: [00:50:57] Underemployed yeah, I’m going to start thinking about looking for a job here one of these days. Actually, I did apply for a job with Move Minnesota to do some of the open street stuff. Didn’t get the job. It’s fine. I think I would have said no anyway, because you can sort of see that there’s some furniture in my office, but there’s still so many boxes and so much work to do. Like I’m not quite ready to jump full speed ahead into something like that. But easing back into the podcast and then trying to find something work from home ish, ideally, yeah. Or hybrid or yeah, figuring it out.

Ian: [00:51:27] But you’ve figured out like where your nearest hardware store is and your grocery and. Yeah.

Sarah: [00:51:33] Yeah. It’s really, I feel super privileged, grateful, all those things to be able to just kind of like settle in and like, I do not think that this would have happened if I had a 40 hour a week job right now. Like it’s just so bonkers to do this whole out of state move. And Scott had been in his house in Omaha for 17 years. And so and he’s an artist. And so he has like his whole studio, let alone like my bike shop, you know, it was just a lot. So. So I can’t believe it’s the middle of June somehow already. But we were thinking that the end is in sight of the worst of it, I think. Knock on wood.

Ian: [00:52:05] I can’t decide which I would think of as being like more stereotypically messy, like an artist at home studio or a bike mechanic’s at home workspace.

Sarah: [00:52:14] Yep. And so then go ahead and just combine those two and come on over because that’s what you got. It’s like I have too many bikes, books and plants. That’s like definitely. Those are my vice areas. And then Scott, like, he’s such a multifaceted artist. He’s got like and we’ve both been involved in so many different like advocacy campaigns over the years that we’ve like just have so much stuff, too much stuff, if you ask me. But I’ve gotten rid of it a lot. I’ve been really enjoying the Mac Grove Buy Nothing group because you’re just like, Here’s some weird shit I don’t need come and pick it up off my step so slowly. Getting rid of some stuff. Found a random saddle should just start like tweeting out pictures of random stuff. Like who needs this bike park, right? Who needs this random shit?

Ian: [00:52:52] I can definitely relate to that, even though like I already was pretty minimalist, like moving to a new space just anytime. It’s like, Oh yeah, discovering all kinds of things that I’m like, Why did why was that in that box? Right?

Sarah: [00:53:05] Where did this even come from? Whose is this? This is yours. It’s not yours. You know, like it’s just. Yeah, it’s all of that. So. And then we have duplicates of a lot of stuff because Scott was riding bikes before I met him. That’s how I met him, actually wandered into my bike shop. But yeah, so we’re like, how many how many of the same tool do we need? The answer is a lot. Scott thinks we need them all. So right now we have a lot. That’s fine. That’s fine.

Ian: [00:53:27] Any other fun, exciting things that you want to talk about with the move right now?

Sarah: [00:53:30] Well, first of all, everyone from Omaha is already texting me like I’m going to be up here this day for a conference. I’m going to be up here this day for a concert. I’m going to be up here this day on my way to Duluth, like so we’re already getting people that are like trying to use us as or not use us, but like, see us on their way or like come back through and stop or whatever. And one of my buddies from Shift Omaha actually, Derek, um, he was up here, I think also from he’s a computer I.T. something, something for Uno University. So he’s up here for something and he swung by and we were like, Do you need a ride to the airport? And he’s like, No, I’m just going to walk two blocks that way. Hop on the blah, blah, blah line to connect to this line. And I was like, Right, Our plan is working. People can exist here without cars. It’s so exciting. So that was like we were just kind of beside ourselves that we’re close enough to transit, short walk, and you can be to the airport. So that was pretty magical. But otherwise, no, we’re just kind of trying to take it all in and figure out how to live without air conditioning and, you know, find the next brewery or sandwich shop or pizza place or vegan spot. Actually, we’ve been at J Selby’s a lot.

Ian: [00:54:32] Good times. You’ve visited the obvious choice that I was going to name.

Sarah: [00:54:38] Someone else suggested Reverie in Minneapolis. You know, I.

Ian: [00:54:41] Don’t know where that one is.

Sarah: [00:54:42] I don’t either. But I’ve got to find out. I’m going to ride to there.

Ian: [00:54:45] I’ve got a fair bit of like exploring and getting familiar with things to do as well, because this is the farthest west that I’ve ever lived.

Sarah: [00:54:52] That’s what I was going to say. Where are you ish now?

Ian: [00:54:53] So I’m in Seward now. Okay. So from your place it would be like across the Marshall Street, Lake Street Bridge. And then I’m like, in the northwest corner of the neighborhood.

Sarah: [00:55:04] Okay, cool. I rode over that bridge the other day to meet a friend at Dogwood for coffee. Um, and, yeah, of course, she showed up on an electric big dummy. I’m just like everyone here rides fun bikes. This is just good. So, yeah, it’s fun exploring.

Ian: [00:55:17] Yeah. Sarah, welcome to Welcome to the Twin Cities.

Sarah: [00:55:21] Thank you. So far, so fun.

Ian: [00:55:25] Thanks for joining us for this episode of the Streets.mn Podcast. This show is released under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative license, so feel free to republish the episode as long as you are not altering it and you are not profiting from it. The music in this episode is by Erik Brandt and the Urban Hillbilly Quartet. This episode was hosted and transcribed by me, Ian R Buck, and was edited by myself and Tim Marino. Find other listeners and discuss this episode on your favorite social media platform using the Hashtag #StreetsMNPodcast. Until next time, take care.

About Ian R Buck

Pronouns: he/him

Podcaster and teacher. Ian gets around via bike and public transportation. "You don't need a parachute to skydive; you just need a parachute to skydive twice!"

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