Nothing beats the smell of frustrated coffee consumers in the morning, and so I have taken to watching the state's worst Starbucks drive-thru in my spare time.
Here's a taste of the action. Enjoy!
Posted by Bill Lindeke at 1:41 PM 31 comments:
Signs of the Times #166
[Boulevard. Hamline-Midway, Saint Paul.]
[Window. Hamline-Midway, Saint Paul.]
MAKE A POM POM
TO DECORATE OUR
COFFEEHOUSE and GET
A FREE COUPON FOR
[Door. Snelling Avenue, Saint Paul.]
METAL [hand sign]
[Cardboard. West Midway, Saint Paul.]
[Porch. Hamline-Midway, Saint Paul.]
[Bench. Selby Avenue, Saint Paul.]
[Beg button. University Avenue, Saint Paul.]
Ch DR N
[Alley. Frogtown, Saint Paul.]
Posted by Bill Lindeke at 1:28 PM 17 comments:
Labels: signs of the times, stpaul
Join me for a Virtual Book Talk on "Closing Time" Next Wednesday
My co-author Andy Sturdevant and I will be doing a virtual book talk next Wednesday, discussing our book Closing Time, a history of Twin Cities bars. We'll be streaming it live on Facebook, and you are welcome to join and watch and even leave comments about how horrible we are. I think we'll be discussing our hopes and fears for bars in the age of COVID.
Join us live on Minnesota Historical Society's Facebook page for an evening with one or both of the authors of "Closing Time: Saloons, Taverns, Dives, and Watering Holes of the Twin Cities".https://www.facebook.com/minnesotahistoricalsociety/live
The book is an entertaining journey into the highs, lows, bright spots, and dark corners of the Twin Cities’ most famous and infamous drinking establishments—history viewed from the barstool.
If you have questions you'd like to ask, please leave them in the comments!
Posted by Bill Lindeke at 12:49 PM 76 comments:
Labels: books, dives, TCSidewalks Live
Signs of the Times: COVID Edition #1
IF SO, PLEASE
[Express Bike Shop, Saint Paul.]
HATE is ALSO a VIRUS
TOASTED stands with U, just 6ft apart
Cover ur fricken mouth
LOVE U BUT, BUY YR STUFF & LEAVE
NO SOCK or DIRTY $$
STAND BACK 6FT, PLAYA
U COUGHT, U DIE
Drink responsibly, YOLO!
BE NICE or GET OUT
[Toasted Wine and Spirits, Saint Paul.]
COVID 19 CAUSING YOUR FAMILY
FINANCIAL HARDSHIP? IF SO ASK YOUR
CASHIER AND HE OR SHE MAY BE ABLE TO
HELP. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO DONATE TO
THIS EFFORT TO HELP OUR NEIGHBORS
SUFFERING HARDSHIP, YOU CAN DONATE
TO YOUR CASHIER
[Cooper's Foods, Saint Paul.]
Minimum Guidelines at cash Counter
(to cope with Covid-19)
1. Keep distance a little more than usual.
2. Less talk than you like to.
Thank you for your help.
[Kim's Asian Market, Saint Paul.]
One Party at
A Time for Your
Safety and ours.
[SugaRush Donuts, Saint Paul.]
on the table
Please help yourself
when you open the door.
[Cha Yes Bubble Tea, Saint Paul.]
2 POR FAMILIA
Max 20 People in Store
Face Masks Encouraged
Please keep 6' Distance
Respect Door Atteendant
[El Burrito Mercado, Saint Paul.]
In light of COVID-19
for everyone's safety:
please remain behind the pickup
table and keep a distance of at
least 6 feet from others
We will be with you shortly
[Regina's Fine Candies, Saint Paul.]
Posted by Bill Lindeke at 8:36 AM 23 comments:
Labels: covid-19, signs of the times, stpaul
Minneapolis Neighborhoods Ranked by Scrabble Score
By popular demand, here are the highest scoring Minneapolis Neighborhoods according to Scrabble score.
Notes: Ranking includes one-word neighborhood names only.
1. McKinley 19
2. [tied] Hawthorne 18
2. [tied] Kingfield 18
4. Longfellow 17
5. [tied] Bancroft 15
5. [tied] Cleveland 15
5. [tied] Kenwood 15
5. [tied] Lynnhurst 15
5. [tied] Victory 15
10. [tied] Jordan 14
10. [tied] Tangletown 14
10. [tied] Whittier 14
13. Folwell 13
14. [tied] Beltrami 12
14. [tied] Corcoran 12
14. [tied] Kenny 12
14. [tied] Sheridan 12
14. [tied] Windom 12
19. [tied] Armatage 11
19. [tied] Bottineau 11
19. [tied] Bryant 11
19. [tied] Harrison 11
19. [tied] Holland 11
19. [tied] Lyndale 11
25. Seward 10
26. [tied] Central 9
26. [tied] Fulton 9
[See also, Metro Area Cities Ranked by Scrabble Score.]
Posted by Bill Lindeke at 9:37 AM 19 comments:
Metro Area Cities Ranked by Scrabble Score
By popular request, here are the highest scoring Metro Area Cities according to Scrabble score.
Notes: Ranking only includes 16-point names and higher. This includes one-word city names only.
1. Wayzata 22
2. [tied] Chanhassen 18
2. [tied] Deephaven 18
2. [tied] Excelsior 18
2. [tied] Independence 18
2. [tied] Richfield 18
7. [tied] Mahtomedi 17
7. [tied] Shakopee 17
7. [tied] Woodbury 17
10. [tied] Bloomington 16
10. [tied] Hopkins 16
10. [tied] Robbinsdale 16
10. [tied] Shorewood 16
[See also, Minneapolis Neighborhoods Ranked by Scrabble Score.]
Posted by Bill Lindeke at 8:17 AM 19 comments:
My Letter to the City Council on the 9th/10th Street Bikeway in Downtown Saint Paul
|[A great project for downtown Saint Paul.]|
|[Typical downtown Saint Paul sidewalk experience.]|
|[Does for downtown what Midwest nitrogen does for the Gulf shrimp industry.]|
Thus, the Capital City Bikeway. Jackson Street was a great beginning to this effort, but the city really needs to do something while it waits for more funding for the rest of the project. That's why it's great to see the City Council vote unanimously to support an interim route east-west along 9th and 10th Streets. More importantly, they did it despite the dunder-headed opposition of a handful of restaurants and even a brewery (!).
Despite what the Key's Café lady will tell you, rules for businesses downtown differ from those in Roseville strip malls. People come downtown because it's a vibrant, unique place. Nobody comes downtown for convenient parking.
Anyway, here's my letter to the City Council:
Dear City Council:
I'm writing today to let you know that the Transportation Committee of the Planning Commission passed a resolution yesterday unanimously in support of the interim bikeway treatments along 9th and 10th Streets downtown. We are on the record as being very excited about this project, that fulfills the commitments and ideals laid out in many of our long-standing city plans.
Speaking for myself, I believe that connecting downtown Saint Paul in ways that make it more walkable and bikeable will only boost the downtown economy, which has been uneven, fragmented, and struggling for as long as I can remember.
In my opinion, one of downtown Saint Paul's big problems is that it has long been isolated from the rest of the city around it. The freeways and dangerous, high-speed roadways that ring our downtown form a kind of asphalt moat that prevents people from easily walking, biking, or accessing the downtown from anywhere else in the city. This harms local businesses and prevents downtown Saint Paul from being the economic and tax base asset that it can and should be.
The Capital City Bikeway is intended to help fix this problem by linking all parts of downtown. This connection is both an internal one within the thriving pockets of downtown, and external one with the neighborhoods around it. The 9th/10th leg is a critical connection that will bring people into the city and alleviate perceived and actual tensions around parking for drivers. I am very enthusiastic about the future of a downtown Saint Paul that is gracefully and safely connected to the east, west, north and south.
Please support the 9th/10th bikeway by voting to lay out a welcome mat for people to easily get into and out of downtown, and help downtown Saint Paul streets, businesses, and communities thrive.
Thanks for your support, and I hope you are staying safe and healthy.
It's worth pointing out that debating this project during the stay-at-home shut down triggered by COVID-19 adds an extra layer of tension here. As CM Prince stated, she was worried about the loss of parking "further stressing these businesses" during the pandemic.
But I would suggest that the pandemic actually shows the critical importance of biking and walking infrastructure. When restaurants do re-open, the ones that are linked to biking and walking paths will be the most successful. This goes double for breweries, which have long thrived when they invest in bike parking and locate near bike trails. Here's hoping downtown Saint Paul comes out of this crisis better than ever.
Posted by Bill Lindeke at 9:44 AM 16 comments:
Labels: bikes, downtown, open letters, parking barking, stpaul
Signs of the Times #165
[Boulevard. Grand Avenue, Saint Paul.]
IS NOT FOR PROFIT
[Car window. Midway, Saint Paul.]
[Little Free Library. Frogtown, Saint Paul.]
TO SEEDS IN THE
[Little Free Library. Hamline-Midway, Saint Paul.]
Due to the short supply
of disinfectants and
cleaning supplies, dirty
deeds will no longer be
done dirt cheap.
[Yard cardboard. Hamline-Midway, Saint Paul.]
[Flowerpot. Hamline-Midway, Saint Paul.]
[Mailbox. Newell Park, Saint Paul.]
[Yard. Como, Saint Paul.]
If in our daily life we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. Thich Nhat Hahn
[Wall. South Como, Saint Paul.]
Posted by Bill Lindeke at 10:51 AM 20 comments:
Labels: signs of the times, stpaul
The Cabrini-Green Comment and the Ramsey Hill Association Testimony at the Heritage Preservation Commission
|[The rejected proposal that reminded a Commissioner of Cabrini-Green in Chicago.]|
|[The "elegant rectangle" garage in question.]|
When I listened to the actual comment, it seems fairly innocent, if deeply out-of-touch. Here is the remark, made by Commissioner Barbara Bezat:
“The massing seems much bigger than surrounding structures, standard Saint Paul streetcorner stores. What seems glaring from the renderings are the top hat. It really reminds me of Cabrini-Green, only shorter. I don’t know if you… but its quite visible even from your own drawings and particularly given you’ve clad it in the light-colored siding, the fiber cement. It stands out as, a not fitting sort of thing. And if i would get to play with the design, I would set the thing back, and turn it in the other direction, so it doesn’t it isn’t such an overbearing thing at the top.”
At the very least, invoking a famous, now-demolished Chicago public housing project, even for architectural purposes, is tone-deaf given the history of race and public housing in America. It's also worth pointing out that this project is right on the edge of historic Rondo, where the Selby Avenue racial sundown line existed in Saint Paul.
The other thing mentioned in the Villager article was how, at the end of the meeting, there was some unsolicited testimony by Mason Riddle, Heritage Preservation Chair of the Ramsey Hill Association. According to the Villager anyway, this testimony was out of place given that the public hearing had already been closed by this point in the meeting.
HPC Chair: Any old business? New business?
Mason Riddle: Can I say something?
Riddle: Hi I’m Mason Riddle. I’ve spoken to you before. I’m the heritage preservation chair for Ramsey Hill Association.
Until just a very few years ago, I used to drive a 1993 Mercedes, and on perhaps… it was an E320… and on perhaps the worst day in January, in terms of temperature and ice and blizzards and da da da da, I’m at Mississippi Market thinking I’m going to park my car, and the axle breaks. And so my car completely dominated one whole aisle of the Mississippi Market, so nobody could get in or out. And this lasted for about four hours.
My point is that I went across the street to the garage. It was January of 2015. They had tow trucks and things, and I said “can you come over here and just get my car across the street so other people can drive? And they said “no.” So they were open til at least then.
I agree with your decision as [to the garage] not being demolished. I just respected all the comments here, and I’ll pass that on at our next board meeting.
With the other development at Selby Avenue, I agreed with most of your comments. I’m not, I don’t have that packet. I’m less familiar with some of those details. But I would like to reinforce the point that there is that, let’s say, a massing height drift that goes on. Because every new building is just 8 feet taller than the one before it.
And if you drive… if you’re very familiar with Lyndale Avenue between Franklin and Lake Street? What has happened there with all of these 6-, 8-, 10-story apartments that are…
I used to once upon a time patron The CC Club…
HPC member: Probably the CC Tap!
Riddle: [laughs] … and the wonderful hardware store that used to be across the street from it is now 8-story building. These buildings are all so generic, they look so much alike. I’m just saying I really think this height issue needs to be looked at very seriously. And I am for large windows because of daylight, and i’m very conscious of this. I live on Holly Avenue, 3-4 blocks from all of this activity. And I know how horrible it is to drive down Selby in the wintertime, not that the height of the building is going to to improve driving down Selby.
[The Aberdeen, at Western and Marshall.]
I just think [of] everything closing in, if the building is too tall. And lastly, there’s one other building that is on my little device here. I'm trying to find the name of it, at Western and Marshall. Condos that were built. People started moving in 2004, 2005. They are horseshoe shaped. it starts with a C. It’s all brick and the 5th floor of it is stepped back a bit. That’s the other building in the hood that is slightly higher.
HPC: The Aberdeen.
Riddle: Yes. [laughs] As I said, it starts with a C.
I think that’s all I have to say. I think we should wait a little bit longer on the demolition of the garage, and a point which didn’t come up here at all, as one of the most environmentally lousy things is the demolition of buildings, that and just flying and airplanes. They are the two bad things.
Again, nothing really damning here, except for the factual errors [see below] and a healthy dose of melodrama.
I'm sure the folks involved in this discussion members are nice and care, as I do, about Saint Paul history. But the way the conversation proceeded here captures a general disregard for facts and a general dislike of new housing that, during a prolonged harmful housing shortage, seems misguided.
|[All the new apartment buildings on Lyndale, between Franklin Avenue and Lake Street; aesthetics aside, they are four, five, and six stories tall.]|
Posted by Bill Lindeke at 12:44 PM 23 comments:
Labels: aesthetics, historic preservation, stpaul
Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)