Thursday, May 14, 2009

The best interpretive center EVER.

People, a little excursion to North Minneapolis' Webber-Camden neighborhood is in order. Just east of I-94, along the Mississippi River, you'll find North Mississippi Regional Park (there are actually lots of entry points via trails and roads.) While the natural surroundings and trails are great, the thing you cannot miss-especially if you are an urbanist-is the Carl W. Kroening Interpretive Center.

Really, how often can you go into a park's visitor center and learn about the effects a freeway has had on neighborhoods and city development (as well as the natural environment)? Old newspaper stories, aerial photos, & a 1973 Barracuda tell the story of I-94's impact on North Minneapolis and the surrounding suburbs. It's a rarity to find a park that both celebrates natural resources and gives visitors an important lesson in urban history. Visit today!


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Green Inside & Out-My Love Affair with the Seward Coop

I love the Seward Coop building. It's a lovely hunk of modernism with its bold green exterior paneling and its boxy shape. There certainly is no mistaking the messaging here--this co-op is green--in every way. According to a January 2009 article in "The Bridge," the building has:

white roofing for climate control, skylights and recycled construction materials — including flooring from the old store — to minimize the co-op’s carbon footprint. Rain gardens and a sloped parking lot capture 90 percent of stormwater runoff.

It was also designed by Close Associates, whose offices are just blocks away on Franklin Avenue (how's that for local?!). As the store awaits for the results of its LEED Gold application (a year-long evaluation process, before certification is granted) I'll be wishing them success.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Live MSP--or why I have been MIA

I know, I know. Excuses, excuses. First it was my son born in September, now it's the forthcoming birth of in April. It is all I am working on now. I promise I'll get back to blogging here, but in the meantime, keep your eyes on

You can also follow Live MSP on Twitter and Facebook.

For those of you who have read the blog all along--this is fulfilling #5 of my "urban new year resolutions" for 2008!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Neighborhood Arts

In the process of working on my own website (the forthcoming that's live that rhymes with give, not with hive, got it?!?), I realized how much I like the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District Website. Everything you could possibly want to find in the area is on the website--from places to eat and shop and take classes to all of the studios and galleries. The maps are particularly great--showing you where all of the galleries/studios are and giving you a picture with address details too. Check it out here.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Treats

It is always a treat when my husband and I get to spend some quality adult time out and about in the cities. Today we had an amazing morning by starting out with breakfast at Hell's Kitchen. Yes, the much ballyhooed lemon ricotta hotcakes (see left) lived up to and exceeded my expectations. Even better though, we found a treat to take home with us--the homemade peanut butter. Folks, this is not your typical Skippy. This is chopped peanuts with loads of honey and brown sugar. It's more like a dessert peanut butter. This will go into everyone's stocking next year. Amazing!

After our hearty meal, we headed out to Fort Snelling State Park to go snowshoeing on Pike Island. It is a woodland oasis nestled in the shadow and roar of MSP International Airport. The solitude and pristine snow conditions made this urban, outdoor adventure truly stellar. After today, I'll be more easily able to remind myself why winter in the Twin Cities is a wonderful thing.
Merry Christmas!

images: Hotcakes at Hell's Kitchen, Jumbledpile on Flickr; Pike Island @ Ft Snelling State Park, Sharon Somero.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Can you believe I've got one more post on geography and fonts?

I know I must be killing some of you readers who couldn't care less about cool maps and interesting type face, but for the rest of you geeks I thought I'd showcase these funky neighborhood maps today. Alas, Ork Designs has not launched a Minneapolis or Saint Paul version yet, but I'm hoping with enough gentle pressure we'll see one soon. Lots of other hip, progressive cities are featured (e.g. Portland, Seattle, S.F., NYC, etc) so I have to imagine that we'll make the cut soon. I bought the DC map yesterday to honor the place where my husband and I met, where my daughter was born, and where I spent 8 great years of my life--as well as to add some much needed art to our walls!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Extra! Extra! News in the land of citizen journalists

Yesterday I found myself on the Twin Cities Daily Planet website for a good half an hour or so. While I've been here many times before, this time I was struck by the high quality articles that freelance, non journalist, folks have contributed to the site. It's also great to be able to find stories about really neighborhood-specific issues that aren't covered in this kind of depth anywhere else.

We're also lucky to have MinnPost too. Replete with top-notch writers, many of whom have worked for the area's major dailies, Minn Post offers some great analysis and investigative reporting.

I'm still a traditional, print version newspaper junkie, but I love having other quality journalism outlets too.