|[The first step is the biggest.]|
It must be said that the West Side has been monumentally transformed since the days of my great grandmother, a woman who was fond of her cigars and whiskey (so it is told). The old flats neighborhood, a fiercely poor, impossibly diverse nest of streets, was wiped from the earth fifty years ago. Since then, the bluffs and enclaves of the West Side have remained, but missing the connecting tissue — the green stairs, the black bridge, the absent streets — that tied the place to downtown and the rest of Saint Paul. The remaining dives are mostly settled into the slopes leading up from the river, beginning in the nooks that marked the forgotten streams that used to flow North down the hill.
|[Ghosts of the old flats are still entombed in the bluff.]|
We will begin at the Cozy Cantina, located just across the street from some amazing Mexican restaurants and markets. From there we will turn to climb the bluff, venturing up up into the West Side night. What secrets lie beyond the edge of the city?
(We will end walk two miles, ending closer again to the Cozy.)
|[Not much remains.]|
When: 3/2, beginning at 6:30
Where: Meet at Cozy Cantina, on Cesar Chavez Avenue
Why: Because it’s there
Who: Anyone. Bring cash please. Free (but tips gratefully accepted in either cash or beer formats)
|[Shadey's, formerly Winner's.]|
|[Tapper's floral arrangements.]|
|[This one is almost impossible to find unless you know where it is.]|