Category: Culture

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 […]

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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 […]

Children of varying ages, some on bikes, some playing with a soccer ball, in the street

Sustainable Child Play

I spent half of a recent Saturday outside helping some friends do yard work in what most would call a working class to low-income neighborhood of Saint Paul. It’s a pretty diverse place, too, with U.S.-born black, indigenous, and white people living side-by-side with immigrant families from many countries. My friends’ duplex apartment is on […]

Openstreets15

Bicycles, Gender, and Risk

Disclaimer: In this post, I’m going to be referring to “men” and “women” because the study was done with a binary conception of gender. In a very real sense, this is garbage, but in a different real sense, it’s not only reasonable but a good idea to use that conception. I came across the recent […]

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Transit-Oriented Dating: Snelling-Midway

If you’re an urban planner or someone curious about the field, you’ve probably heard of transit-oriented development (TOD). It’s an important consideration for transitway projects like Metro Transit’s Green Line and Blue Line, but probably isn’t of much interest to most people. Several other TODs may have more appeal, such as Tangerine-Orange Daiquiris, Tacos on […]