Category: History

Sylvan Sights Around a Cemetery

Factories once dominated where schools now stand in the Como and North End neighborhoods of St. Paul, where cemeteries still quietly showcase the city’s history. Our author leads readers on a tour by bike.

Quarry Island as seen from the WPA Overlook in Mendota Heights

A Visit to Quarry Island

Quarry Island lies in the middle of Gun Club Lake in Mendota Heights, just north of the 494 bridge and beneath the roar of MSP Airport runways.

Street view of an alleyway in Tokyo, Japan.

National Links: Energized Cities

Michael E Smith, professor of anthropology at Arizona State University, describes how early cities thrived through energized crowding; Oslo plans for major emissions reduction; and how Seattle has radically changed within this past decade.

Dog Nearly Bites Man and Converted Churches on Dayton’s Bluff

September 27, 2021 Downtown, Lowertown, Dayton’s Bluff 20.1 miles The route map of my September 27, 2021 ride. The map is zoomable. A sunny late September day with the temperature in the mid-70s is a day to ride. And so I was winding my way east on Kellogg Boulevard Downtown toward Dayton’s Bluff. At the […]

Metropolitan Opera House and Palace Court, 1914

No Use for a Name: The Untold Story of Alley Identity and Utility in Minneapolis’ Palace Court

(The photograph above, showing the Metropolitan Opera House and Palace Court, was taken by C.J. Hubbard in 1914, Minnesota Historical Society) Historical and contemporary Minneapolis is not particularly known for its public alleys. They have served a more discreet role in the lives of Minneapolitans, unsung for getting private vehicles off city streets. Of course, […]

Chippewa Avenue and Curtice Street

The Native Street Names On the West Side

Five West Side streets are named after Native American tribes and West Side homes are among the most diverse in the city. Details in this Saint Paul By Bike ride.

A map of USI's coverage area. Areas notably missing include Phillips and North Minneapolis. They're expanding in to Northeast Minneapolis, St Louis Park, and Edina next year.

Every Map Is The Same Map: USI Edition

USI has rolled out their 2022 coverage map. This map has a striking resemblance to some other maps I’ve seen around here. Hmm. Someone who has a username “tcarter612” on reddit posted a thread about this rollout, purporting to represent the company. Someone commented, Our thread opener responded. Another response from elsewhere in the thread. […]

Two of the three stalls of Nancy and Vic's cool garage.

A Look at the Coolest Garage In Saint Paul

Garages serve many utilitarian purposes. One Highland Park couple has a garage that does so much more including serving as a neighborhood hangout, restaurant, bar and workshop.

Lift & Swing Bridges of the Twin Cities

A Bicycle Tour of Twin Cities Lift and Swing Bridges

From the beginning, the key to coexistence of rail and river traffic has been a half dozen movable swing and lift bridges. Unlike Duluth’s and Stillwater’s lift bridges, many Twin Cities lift and swing bridges operate in underappreciated obscurity. Let’s take a bicycle tour!