Monday, June 15, 2009
Where Does North Minneapolis Begin? (Summer Visitation 2009)
Photos By John Hoff
When I picked up my son on Friday for extended summer visitation, we went to Pizza Luce in the Warehouse District. The food there was both good and affordable. The place seemed very popular with bike messengers. One of the messengers was wearing a pair of dress pants, hacked off with a scissor just above the knees to make a pair of shorts. Bike messengers are so cool, I thought.
I avoided directing my impressionable son's attention toward the bike messenger with the hacked off pants. It looks like a fun and addicting lifestyle, but will you become well-to-do like that? I don't think so.
While my son was eating his hot fudge sundae, I noticed the address for Pizza Luce had the word "North" in it. I sat there eating a salad (of course) and thought, "My son and I are in the Warehouse District. We are ALREADY in North Minneapolis. Where does North Minneapolis actually BEGIN?"
A friend tells me Hennepin Avenue is "Avenue Zero." Beyond that is First Avenue North. From downtown, this is where NoMi begins, geographically. However, when people say "North Minneapolis" usually they mean...
...something a lot different than north of Hennepin Avenue. One resident of North Minneapolis tells me Glenwood Avenue is the first place where people think "I have crossed into North Minneapolis." But when the media do their little media framing thing, virtually "marketing" North Minneapolis as an urban dystopia theme park, they appear to be describing a rather narrowly restricted area-within-an-area.
Even that area is, however, turning around by leaps and bounds as the foreclosure crisis presents opportunities to completely remake our neighborhood. NoMi is a wonderful, exciting, rapidly-changing place...and my son will be right in the middle of it for the next five weeks.