• Neighborhood Businesses
  • Saint Paul Neighborhoods

    Each St. Paul neighborhood has it’s own personality. There are people in every neighborhood who will tell you their neighborhood is the best. I always find that amusing because my neighborhood really is the best. 😉

    The people who live near Grand avenue in the Summit Hill neighborhood were able to persuade the city not to put parking meters along Grand avenue. They had all sorts of great reasons for not wanting meters. Some of those reasons had to do with how the meters might look and some business owners were concerned that having to pay for parking could hurt their businesses.

    Recently a whole bunch of parking meters were installed in the West 7th neighborhood along West 7th street. I am not sure how it all came down. I can’t find any news articles about it and I don’t think there was a community protest. After all they are just meters not rail tracks.

    I do know that those meters will generate revenue for the city and that the West 7th community and it’s businesses are strong and vibrant and the meters will not have a negative impact on them.  I am not sure how they will impact the character of the historic buildings as they will be competing with several other modern amenities that we never should have allowed on the street.

    Parking on West 7th


    Parking meter on west 7th

    The building in the background is one of the oldest in St. Paul. It is kind of hard to see the meters in front of it because of where the cars are parked. I took the photos on a Sunday morning.

  • Neighborhood Businesses
  • More historic preservation

    People don’t always consider businesses when they think of historic preservation. This business restored the iconic sign that has been a kind of landmark in the area for decades. They did a wonderful job and it looks like a cleaner slightly more modern version of the original. I am sure they could have found a less expensive option but I am happy that they went with the mid-century modern type sign.

    liquor barrel
    Restored sign

    The other side of the building as a lovely mural made by local artists. I’ll post the photograph when I find it.

  • Neighborhood Businesses
  • Change happens

    When we moved into the home we live in now we were so excited that we only had to walk a couple of blocks for an ice cream cone.  Now the DQ is gone. It is a good thing that we did not buy the house just because of the DQ. It doesn’t matter where you live neighbors and businesses are likely to come and go.

    Neighborhoods can really change and sometimes it happens gradually over a period of decades. Our neighborhood has changed so much in the last 20 years that it is like we moved without moving. 🙂

    IMG_9292w (2)



  • Architecture
  • Brewery is now apartments for artists

    schmidt brewery
    Schmidt Brewery Artists Lofts

    Even with my wide angle lens I could not get it all in. The renovation of the Schmidt Brewery is in it’s final stages and many of the apartments are occupied. There are income limits and rents starting at $844 a month for a one bedroom.  There are 247 live/work rental units in the complex. See the Schmidt artists lofts web site for details.

    This is a unique project and an exciting one. We don’t always have a way to save historic buildings and this one is a treasure.

    I have written a few articles about this over the years. 

  • Neighborhood Businesses
  • Coming this week. .

     I usually write this the day before or after Thanksgiving but this year I want to put it out there right away.  There should never be a special day for shopping local.  We should shop local everyday unless of course we need warm woman’s boots

    As a local business myself I can tell you that most of the money that I make each year gets spent right in my own neighborhood.  I am not part of a big national franchise, and there is no HQ in another state that I send the money to.  There isn’t any big corporation or glass office tower either . . .I’ll have to work on that.  I like to say that real estate is local and so am I and I was made right here in St. Paul too. 

    As the economy continues to heal from the last recession I can see the impact on local businesses up and down the street.  Several near where I live have new signage and have made improvements to their stores.  One hired my niece so she can know the joy of earning money, paying taxes and paying some of her own expenses. 

    All year long and especially during the holiday season if I get to choose where we meet or where we go for lunch or coffee I choose the small neighborhood business every time. 

    Last summer I bought some used furniture from a store just a block from my house and fixed it up so that it almost looks like new.  A similar item at Target or Walmart would have cost 4 or 5 times as much.

    If you must shop on Thanksgiving day or the day after please consider shopping in your own neighborhood and don’t forget that next Saturday, November 30th is shop local day. 

    IMG 4936w 2Sophie Joe’sIMG 6321w
    Wescott Station
  • Neighborhood Businesses
  • Having a staycation?

     This is my busiest time of the year so a vacation is out of the question and even if I did have the energy to go some place Minnesota gasoline prices would stop me.  It is interesting the way there is a “reason” for sky high fuel prices just in time for Memorial day. I won’t work all weekend and there are plenty of things to do around town this holiday weekend.

    The Saint Paul Spot  web site has events and they have an mobile app.

    There are also fun things to do any weekend like go to the Farmer’s market or bike along the river or around a lake. 

    Staying in town and spending money at local neighborhood businesses is good for all of us. There are antique shops and coffee shops and garden shops too. Perhaps it would be a good weekend to shop for a good rain jacket, umbrellas and rain boots.  

    Don’t for get about the Science Museum of Minnesota or Como Park. Both are fun places to take children if you have some. 

    bleedingheart 2
    bleeding heart 

    Have a great weekend. I’ll return on Tuesday with our regular program.