Category: Neighborhoods

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 […]

Dale Street Needs a Diet

Sweeny’s Saloon has a parking lot across Dale Street from the bar. While COVID-19 might reduce the bar’s crowding, it should not prevent safety improvements! My parents and I live relatively close to each other, only about a 3 block walk separates my apartment and their townhome. As such, when my printer is giving me […]

An open front porch on a Minneapolis house

My Front Porch and Why I Love it – Volume 2

I’m “attending” the bi-annual Walk Bike Places conference virtually this week. It sucks. We should be in Indianapolis, a town I lived in for a few years in the 1990s. We should be doing walking tours and bike tours and visiting amazing spaces and seeing one another. But, we’re not. I’m sitting at the same […]

Streets Aldi Grocery

Shopping for Food, and Community, at Aldi

A grocery store arose at the corner of Penn and Lowry in the middle of a federally designated food desert some years ago, but it was no mirage. With healthy foods, organic produce and household items, Aldi is my oasis. The costs stay low through small measures: no fancy displays, no free bags, no piped-in […]

Bird Electric Scooters Media Photo

(Some) Electric Scooters Have Returned

The City of Minneapolis recently approved agreements with two electric scooter operators, Bird and Lyft, under the Nice Ride nonprofit banner. Under the agreements, the two operators can each deploy 1,250 scooters, with a cap on scooters in Downtown. They also require a minimum number of scooters to be available in areas lacking last-mile transit […]

nice ride electric bike riding

New Nice Ride Electric-Assist Bikes are Rare Finds

This year, prior to COVID-19, Nice Ride Minnesota promised to release 2,000 new electric-assist bikes. Those bikes arrived a few weeks ago, and we got a chance to test ride them. The new blue-wheeled bikes are on a promotional pricing right now, so all of my rides have been less than a dollar. During the […]

Streets Empty Skyway

Are Downtowns Dead? And What Might that Mean for Our Neighborhoods?

Our current world situation led me to think about the song Downtown’s Dead, by the esteemed urbanist and bro-country performer Sam Hunt. Although I doubt that a global pandemic was on his mind when he penned this tune in 2018, it does raise a question that increasingly is being pondered. Is downtown dead? Most employers […]

Rt 18

Metro Transit Staff Letter to Metropolitan Council Leadership

Metro Transit staff have penned an open letter to Metropolitan Council leadership demanding action in response to the killing of George Floyd and the series of subsequent protests. The letter, which was signed by 198 current and former Metro Transit employees and sent on June 26, points out that both its riders and its operators […]

Trash along railroad tracks near Hiawatha Avenue and Lake Street

Revisiting Stepping Up MN: A Virtual Cleanup (April 2020)

Much has changed since initiating Stepping Up MN, a virtual cleanup launched at the end of April to mobilize eager volunteers for community betterment. COVID-19 had us cloistered and adhering pretty religiously to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines against viral transmission. Litter accumulated in the streets, with city workers reassigned or […]

One of three towers on Fire Station 18.

A Tale of University Near Dale

September 17, 2019 12.5 Miles Macalester-Groveland, Summit-University/Rondo Little Free Libraries have provided second, third or more lives to countless books. The wood and plastic boxes are ubiquitous in Saint Paul and beyond. The first seed library I’ve encountered is perched in front of 1930 Jefferson Avenue in Mac-Groveland. Side note: I am collecting shots of […]