Category: Culture

The Bleak State of Local Journalism in 2020

It breaks my heart to see Minneapolis CityPages, The East Bay Express, The Bay Monthly and dozens of other alternative newspapers and magazines around the country go out of business. It has resulted in hundreds, perhaps thousands of unemployed freelance writers, editors, cartoonists, artists and journalists. Many factors led to this moment but, more than […]

The League of American Bicyclists rates Minneapolis with a Gold.

Bicycle-Friendliness

The League of American Cyclists is responsible for putting out report cards that assign Bicycle Friendly rankings to communities, businesses, universities, and states. To receive a report card, all you have to do is fill out a 42-page application and await their review. Reviews are good for 4 years. There are a number of interesting […]

Cedar Lake, an area represented by CIDNA

Not Enough Community Input at Cedar-Isles-Dean Neighborhood Association

Over a decade of living in Minneapolis, I have found that a good way to hear many local government officials is to attend my local neighborhood association’s annual meeting. This is especially true during this time of pandemic and social unrest. The local association presents a roster of candidates to run for its board positions, […]

Curb Appeal: So Much More Than The Front Yard

At a house just one block away, the grass looks like turf instead of something real and diagonal lines run through the weed-free growth, evidence of a meticulous mower. I haven’t ever seen anyone either living there or working in the yard, but I imagine an elderly homeowner loving their lawn so much that they […]

A Poem for August 27th, 2020

Weep and know Death, Land of Sky Blue Waters. There will be no butter blocks carved of your daughters. Eighteen hundred siblings are already dead. All else holds its breath so The Thing won’t spread. The places you ate, the places you drank, The places you danced and flirted, The places you studied, and the […]

1a860425 D291 41fa 9483 55a6aa5241f3

Living on the Edge: Covid-19

The other day, I talked for over an hour with an old friend who now lives in Madrid. They teach English in a public school in the capital and have been on lockdown for the past two weeks. With over 110,00 confirmed Covid-19 cases  in Spain, lockdown for them means that only people with dogs […]

Whole Foods Produce

Help Design the Next Grocery Index

Dear streets.mn loyal readers, Last year, I worked on a grocery index that included local Minneapolis-St. Paul grocery stores and common staples. For the next index, it’s time to ask for your input on what stores and what staples you value. Since the last grocery index, I have learned that Instacart has a mark-up on […]

A street sign reading "time for change"

Things Can’t Be Both Better and the Same

The streets.mn mission is: To foster positive connections and inclusive conversations about better places in Minnesota. I want to focus on just one adjective in that statement: “better.” This site—streets.mn as an organization—is dedicated to improvement. There are different approaches to improving something, and certainly the mission statement leaves considerable room for people to disagree […]

A contemporary (1890s) photograph of Mary Ward

The 150th Anniversary of People Being Killed By Cars

Mary Ward was the first person to be killed by a vehicle that we would recognize as a car. The 150th anniversary of her death was August 31, 2019. She lived in Ireland, raised some children, and published scientific work about entomology and the wonders of microscopes, a developing field at the time. You can […]

basketball court

Goodness

“I think it’s brave, you living this social experiment with your family,” an acquaintance once told me. It wasn’t the first time someone from the outside had woven a conclusion about our life in North Minneapolis, and it wouldn’t be our last. “I see what you’re doing,” another well-meaning soul said. “Raising your girls on […]