Twin City Doorways #46

 [Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis.]

 [La Jolla, CA.]

 [South Minneapolis.]

 [San Diego, CA.]

  [San Diego, CA.]

  [San Diego, CA.]

  [San Diego, CA.]

 [San Diego, CA.]


Twin City Shovelers #7

 [Location forgotten.]

 [Downtown, Saint Paul.]

 [A Line, Saint Paul.]

  [Downtown, Saint Paul.]

 [West Bank, Minneapolis.]

  [Downtown, Saint Paul.]

[West Side, Saint Paul.]


Sidewalk Poetry #59: MN City

The cheapest rooms are always two blocks from the Greyhound Station
When I’m sitting on Hennepin avenue watching,

They have eyes like the sky.

He reaches into the pools of their eyes; the lakes, the rivers
flowing down Hennepin, up Seventh, on the Mall, in the IDS.

Lonely and scared day. Ice.
We are burning and do the love.
"Hi," he says, "How are you?"

Monuments grew downtown. Are growing. Dream money.
And those with no dreams are given housing. Housing grows
around the edges of the structures and the structures grow
towards the sky and birds of startled eyes flit in the shadows.

He prowls downtown picking up the girls from the small towns;
the farms, working in the offices, the stores, the waitresses,
students. Little white birds of love.

Wounded eyes of history. Light.
Touch in the shadow of the steel beams.
Bright eyes; fields of harvest, fields of flowers,
fields of wildness beside roads.
Dark adventure of morning. Alien landscape.
Creatures of herding anon. And none. And none. Touch. Touch.

[From Roy McBride's, MN City.]


Reading the Highland Villager #227

[Basically the problem is that the best source of Saint Paul streets & sidewalks news is the Highland Villager, a very fine and historical newspaper. This wouldn't be a problem, except that its not available online. You basically have to live in or frequent Saint Paul to read it. Until this newspaper goes online, sidewalk information must be set free. See also: Three Reasons Why I Re-Blog the Highland Villager.]

Headline: Ryan's revision of Ford site plan receives broad public support
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The company that wants to develop the old Ford factory is asking for some changes to the zoning code the City put in place a little while ago. There was a public hearing and people testified and most, if not all, were positive. Article details the requests from the developer, which include single-family homes, more parking, and other things. The neighborhood group likes the plan changes too. Neighbors are concerned about traffic. 

Headline: Racial segregation hits close to home in new play
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A theater company is doing a play about the history or racism in Saint Paul. [It seems interesting and a story that really needs to be told.] 

Headline: City drawing up design standards for Ford redevelopment
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The city is looking at ways to control how buildings on the Ford site look. Things that will be on the list include materials, windows, driveways, etc. Some people want modern looking buildings, while others do not.

Headline: Funding lines up for Lexington Pkwy. reroute
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The Met Council is going to give a grant to the city to realign Lexington where it meets W7th and Shepard Road to make it less dangerous. Neighbors are pleased. Article includes details of the new route that will be a useful connection for lots of different people. There are also new senior housing buildings going in at the site.

Headline: Event center planned for Dayton Ave. Church
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version:  An abandoned church could become an event center and a daycare.

Headline: Concordia's purchase of Central Medical hits snag
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A school wants to use government bonding to buy a tall building by I-94. The City Council is worried about the loss of property tax revenue, which would be something like $50K per year. [IMO we don't need to subsidize schools or nonprofits buying buildings...]

Headline: Riverview streetcar debate persists; West End holds roundtable on transit January 30
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: The County wants to build a streetcar / light rail thing on West 7th and there was a meeting. Neighbors are concerned about high costs of the project, and how long it is taking to complete.

Headline: Ward 4 folks trash organized system
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: Some people who don't like having the city of Saint Paul "organize" trash collection had a meeting to complain. CM Jalali Nelson was there and listened. "The system isn't working for everyone," she said. Neighbors are concerned about not being able to share trash bins, not being forced to recycle, or having to pay too much. [In six months almost nobody will even notice the system because it will be working so well and much more convenient than the previous libertarian thing.] 

Headline: Comments sought on landscape plan for Historic Pilot Knob
Author: Jane McClure

Short short version: A Dakota sacred site in Mendota Heights is going to be made nicer and more accessible. There are plan to add parking lot and better trails and entrances. People can send in comments. [This is a very special place and I kind of like it how it is, but it would be great if more people would know about it and go there.] 


Pedestrian Vortex Musings

I was driving around during the super cold snap, the "polar vortex" as they call it now, and simply happy to be warm. The car started. The seat heater was working. 

Extreme cold weather and wind gives the city an otherworldly gilmmer. Plumes extend to the horizon. Light obscures and refracts. Clouds get weird and hazy themselves, while hard edges crisp. The ground almost vanishes as snow blows itself up into powder, blurring edges like the world is being Photoshopped.      Through it all somehow the car still works and runs and speeds the dry buckling streets and loudly blows hot air at my head and gloved hands, and I feel lucky to be adjusting the radio in this hostile world.

And yet the street remains unfair. Even on a day when it's fifteen below zero and the wind is whipping, people are walking the streets of Saint Paul, huddled over their back to the wind noses poking out of thing scarves, standing on the street corner and icy sidewalks of the city. And even today, people are standing there waiting by the stoplight, numbly pressing the WALK button waiting silently waiting for people in warm cars to proceed for thirty seconds, two minutes, standing while the parade of people in warm heated personal vehicles processes by. On a day like this, the streets should stop and people walking should always have priority. 

But the hierarchy of the street prevails, even when life is on the line. Cars get their way, constant streams of them, right turns left turns both directions, and anyone sorry enough to be walking along the sidewalks, to and from the bus, is held hostage. 

It's like this every day, of course. In the heat or the rain or even on a nice day, where the people in private comfort have their way with the trudgers. But in the polar vortex it seems inhumane to force people outside to wait for you, and it is.