The hot, dry smokey summer of 2023

I recently visited a home buyer client that I worked with last year. He moved to St. Paul from California.  He was moving away from the sky-high home prices and the fires.

He told me that the smoky air that we have been experiencing isn’t nearly as bad as what he experienced in California.

Something to think about as we go through another smoke-filled day.

Smoke from Canadian wildfires

Throwback Thursday – Power plant edition

Built in the 1920s and was obsolete before it was ever used. At one point it was going to be turned into condos but there were all sorts of issues . . . like the river that made the land hard to develop. The plant was demolished in 2014.

The land is now the home of River View upper landing apartments.  Change seems to happen at a snail’s pace but it happens.

power plant on Mississippi River
Power Plant built in 1923

I watched it being demolished. I am sure I have pictures of that somewhere . . . but where?


Throwback Thursday – Pedro Park

Dots being painted on the wall
Pedro Park Painting 2014

The old St. Paul Public Safety Annex building on 10th Street in downtown St. Paul on 10th street is being demolished. Eventually, there will be a new park on the site. I think.

There was a small park on the old Pedro luggage site. There were flowers, chairs, and a mural. I still have a bag or two that I bought from Pedro Luggage.  The site was donated to the city for a park. The safety annex building is next-door and has been vacant for many years and the lot it sat on will be part of the park.

The Pedro Park saga is long and complicated but it is photogenic and because it is right across the street from the Lunds downtown I always seem to be in the right place at the right time to take pictures.

Demolition of the safety annex building
Demolition of the safety annex building

Spring flowers are on the way

It finally feels like spring. The trees should start blooming soon. Tulips are starting to bloom and the hostas are poking up through the soil and so are columbine plants.

Wild columbine
Wild Columbine

Columbine, it is beautiful and plants itself in places where there it is shady with some sun.  Columbine is a woodland plant native to North America and Canada and is a perennial.  Here in the Metro area, these will bloom in late May and early June.


The old power plant – 2008

One of our clients remarked on how well I know St. Paul. I do know St. Paul because I have lived here all of my life. Here is a picture I took in 2008 of the demolition of the old coal-burning NSP power plant.  The perfect picture for throwback Thursday.

smoke stack
Smoke stack during the demolition of the old power plant

The new gas-burning plant can be seen in the picture to the right. It was strange at first not seeing the blinking lights on the smoke stack at night. For many of us, it was a kind of landmark we used when we gave people directions.

Sometimes we would hear a loud kind of roaring noise coming from the plant. Something about releasing pressure. During the coldest January days of January, the steam plume from the stack created a shady spot over the neighborhood.

It was always there . . until it wasn’t.

Send in the clowns

It is Friday and Fridays are for fun. As a native St. Paulite, I usually manage to attend a few winter carnival events. One of my favorites is the Grand Day Parade which is happening tomorrow January 28th.

Saturday, Jan 28 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

The King Boreas Grande Day Parade is our daytime procession down West 7th Street featuring dozens of bands, floats, and, of course, the newly crowned King Boreas and his Royal Family.

The route:

West 7th at Smith to 5th Street to Washington to 4th Street and disassembly will start at Market on 4th.  Disassembly will continue to Wabasha. All Hotel Guests will be directed to Kellogg and Market for entry and exit Market to 5th street.

Warm Up In Our OFFICIAL WARMING HOUSES at Mancini’s, Tom Reid’s, and Apostle Supper Club!

The weather will be perfect for it. 9 above zero with 7 to 10 MPH winds. Some folks view the parade from heated skyways and from inside buildings. To them, I say: “toughen up buttercup!”

It is all about dressing in layers. I’ll admit as a native I have a collection of warm coats, hats, mittens, and my big heavy warm boots with felt liners.

Here is a photo from one of the colder grand day parades on January 25, 2014. Temperatures were slightly above zero but there was a 21-mile-an-hour wind which greeted a windchill. it felt like -30. You can kind of see the cold in the picture.

clowns in a parade
Clowns marching along West 7th street 2014