A guide to St. Paul for the news media

 It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. The local news media even those who write for our newspaper. . .the one that has been serving the city since the late 1800’s have a hard time understanding the geography of St. Paul and the names of our neighborhoods so they re-name parts of the city to make things easier for themselves and at the same time they show us St. Paul natives that they are not from our beloved city.

There is no “East Saint Paul” the name was given to the East side of St. Paul by the news media at some point in the 1980’s and some people who didn’t know any better started calling the east side “East Saint Paul”.  There is a West St. Paul and a North Saint Paul and a South St. Paul.  They are not part of St. Paul they are separate cities.  They even have there own mayors.  

There is no east St. Paul, none nadda, zilch. Just because the news media say East St. Paul like it is a real place doesn’t make it a real place.  Narnia isn’t a real place either even though C.S Lewis named the place in his famous chronicles of Narnia books that doesn’t make it a real place.  

Over the weekend when there was a water main break and one of the local news papers actually referred to the “Lower West End” in a news story. There is no lower west end!   My neighbors are most upset.  They have not yet lit their torches and chased anyone out of town but it could still happen.

There is a lower West side because of the river bluff on the south side of the river. Part of the west side is on top and part of it is below, the land on the lower west side is flat and sometimes referred to as “the flats”.  I don’t care if you think I am making this up.  The west end is flat and there is no upper or lower and it is west of downtown and on the west side of the city but it is not the west side. 

The West side of St. Paul is in the southern part of St. Paul and West St. Paul and South of St. Paul are both south of downtown St. Paul but they are not part of St. Paul.   The west side is also on the west side  of the Mississippi River because it runs north and south on part of it’s journey through St. Paul. 

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Map of the world

There is no such place as St. Paul – Minneapolis or Minneapolis – St. Paul  but that is the subject of a future rant. You can call them the twin cities but they are not identical twins and they are two separate cities.  

If you write for our local paper or talk about St. Paul on the local TV news stations or on the radio please print this and post it in your news room and stop renaming parts of the city and greater metro area.

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28 Replies to “A guide to St. Paul for the news media”

  1. I beg to differ. It is where I’m from- East St. Paul. My children all attended East St Paul Lutheran School and I shopped at East ST Paul Target. You are welcome to check your facts on our FB group page in the documents section. The fact is those place exsist and I am an East St Paulite and proud of it.

    1. Teresa Boardman says:

      I know the term East St. Paul is used so often it has become real just like Narnia

    2. Teresa Boardman says:

      I grew up on the East side of st. Paul and am proud of that too. 🙂

  2. From John Prine’s excellent song, Sabu Visits the Twin Cities Alone:

    The movie wasn’t really doing so hot
    said the new producer to the old big shot
    its dying on the edge of the great Midwest
    Sabu must tour or forever rest.

    Hey look ma
    here comes the elephant boy
    bundled all up in his corduroy
    headed down south towards Illinois
    from the jungles of East St. Paul.

  3. It might also be helpful to clarify that St. Anthony Park is a neighborhood in the northwest corner of St. Paul just north of the Midway (which should never be referred to as West or even western St. Paul even though it is west of downtown St. Paul).

    St. Anthony Park should not be confused with St. Anthony, which is a city a few miles away northeast of Northeast Minneapolis. Neither should be confused with St. Anthony, the city on the east bank of the Mississippi on the other side of St. Anthony Falls from downtown Minneapolis which merged with Minneapolis in 1872 and is home to the complex know as St. Anthony Main.

    St. Anthony himself was from Portugal, which is east of St. Paul.

    1. Teresa Boardman says:

      You nust be a native

  4. East St Paul Target begs to differ as well. Here is their link —(the link goes to the Target store and they call themselves “East St. Paul Target” on the web site)

  5. Here Here! I am a West Ender. He is an East Sider. New citizen need to get the lay of the land. Thanks for the clarifications. People may think our geography is crazy but that is what happens when cities are built out of wilderness and prairie.

    1. Teresa Boardman says:

      Very true. Our geography doesn’t have to make sense it is what it is

    2. The expression is “Hear, hear!”

  6. You need to read this on Almanac or somewhere!

  7. Here is another East Saint Paul current location. No need to post- just looking to be fair and true (link to price line)

    1. Teresa Boardman says:

      I get that there are a lot of businesses that call the East side east St. Paul, “east St. paul”. I can not post those links on my blog. I can probably find a zillion references to East St. Paul on the internet and elsewhere. That is why I wrote the post to begin with.

  8. Love your photos by the way. Truly beautiful.

  9. Teresa Boardman says:

    Tracy – thanks . . as for the links you are posting that is kind of my point. The news media started called it East St. Paul and so do some businesses. . . but that doesn’t mean there is an East St. Paul.

  10. True, there’s no East St. Paul, but you should accept that there is east St. Paul: it’s the eastern part of St. Paul.

    1. Jack Boardman says:

      No, Gene, we long-time St. Paulites don’t have to accept a Minneapolis-based renaming of the East Side of St. Paul—which is exactly what “East St. Paul” is. I defy you, or anyone else, to find an official city map or official city reference to the East Side as “East St. Paul.” It simply cannot be found.

      1. My comment denied the existence of East St. Paul, so I can’t see how we’re disagreeing.

        1. Jack Boardman says:

          My apologies, Gene. The non-capitalized “east: should’ve tipped me off.

  11. Pat Lindgren says:

    Nice job, Teresa. I was also wondering what the lower West End was. I did figure out that they were talking about the Flats. But then there were reports there was a 2nd water leak at West 7th & Sturgis, so I thought maybe there really was a lower West End.

    1. Teresa Boardman says:

      Pat – that makes sense. maybe they confused west side and west end as people have been know to do and created a lower west end.

  12. David Christofferson says:

    Well, there is not much to hear here, I used to live in Uppertown,St. Paul, which is on the same level as Downtown, but not as high as the East Side. Though I haven’t moved in many years, I now live in the West End, which is north of the West Side, actually, kind of in the south eastern end of the West End, depending on your point of view…I do wish I had more fun now and then.

    1. Teresa Boardman says:

      You still live in Uppertown.

  13. Shirley Sailors says:

    Liked the article; found it accurate and amusing. But PLEASE. . . . “it’s journey”???
    That is saying “it is journey” which is not what you meant. The possessive form is “its” — NO apostrophe. Sorry for the capitalized rant, but I am old enough that grammar and punctuation are important, and the misplaced apostrophe really bugs me.

  14. I was confused with the geography also. When I went there to visit a friend, I didn’t say the exact address I only mention the marking or those known buildings in the place.

  15. And what do the people on the real west side get to call ourselves? Invisible?

    1. Teresa Boardman says:

      nothing invisible about the West side. I hope we all call ourselves St. Paulites

  16. […] is Friday and Fridays are for fun.  In addition to starting arguments about the names of various St. Paul neighborhoods and publishing typos I like to shoot […]

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