Category: Visual

posts focused on photos, videos, or drawings

2020 Cartoon Shout-outs!

Your friendly Saint Paul Crank here. It’s time for some late summer cartoon shout-outs. This first one goes out to the organizers of the Minnesota State Fair Crop Art competition. If not for the pandemic, you would have been able to see this piece hanging in the horticulture building with all the other excellent seed-art […]

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 […]

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Local Reactions to the Coronavirus Pandemic at the Urban-Suburban Edge

How has Coronavirus affected your neighborhood? There are several components to the way neighborhoods react: people, business, transportation, etc. Some reactions are common, some unique to each neighborhood. So yesterday I decided to document the most public & specific of these reactions: businesses. Everyone needs to shop & run errands, so how does the pandemic […]

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Walking All the Streets of Southwest Lynnhurst

Adjoining areas are similar, but each view is unique—even viewing the same site from a different angle. In broad terms, this fourth visit to Lynnhurst was similar to the first, which I described as “Some parkland, a school, a church, a restaurant, and a whole bunch of single-family homes.” (Indeed, the second and third days were also close to that […]

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It Began With a Tyrannosaurus

September 2, 2019 Downtown, Payne-Phalen, Railroad Island, Dayton’s Bluff 20.5 Miles In all my rides around Saint Paul, I’d never seen a dinosaur, nor had I ever expected to. That’s why the tyrannosaurus gazing out from a building on Pine Street on the edge of Payne-Phalen caused me to lock up the brakes on my […]

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Lake Street and Excelsior Boulevard Intersection: A Pedestrian’s View, Part 1

The intersection of Lake Street and Excelsior Boulevard at the western edge of Minneapolis, one of the busiest in the entire metro area, is an access point for both city commuters and residents of the West Calhoun and Cedar-Isles-Dean neighborhood, of whom I am one. According to Hennepin County data, over 36,000 vehicles pass through […]

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Whole Foods Just Lowered Prices, Just a Little

Whole Foods announced recently that they were planning on reducing prices store-wide as part of Amazon’s campaign to combat the image of a “Whole paycheck” grocery store. The Whole Foods media release gloated, “Starting Wednesday, customers will find new lower prices on hundreds of items throughout the store with an emphasis on high quality, peak-of-season […]

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Tile Entries

One of the things you get to see when you walk instead of drive is tile entryways to commercial (and sometimes residential) buildings. I’ve been collecting photos of tile for a while, mostly from somewhere other than the Twin Cities. Some of the designs are decorative only, as in the first row of images. Semi-floral, […]

linework-type map of the Mississippi river and tributaries, with cities marked along the rivers

Map Monday: An Urban Transit-Type Portrayal of the Upper Mississippi

A cartographer living in Madison, Wisconsin, Daniel Huffman makes maps as an art form. He has created typewriter maps, a chart of islands called “Round Island,” a wine country map in the style of the Oregon Trail, an unfurled map of Lake Michigan’s shoreline and an entire series of River Transit Maps. It’s fascinating to see our waterways […]

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Feeling Angelic in the Snow

At the corner of Portland Avenue and Third Street in Minneapolis, I stood in a large sneckdown corner, no tire tracks in the area since the snow had started falling only a few hours previous. (For the uninitiated, a sneckdown “is effectively a curb extension caused by snowfall,” according to Wikipedia, which calls this charmingly […]