Tuesday, August 4, 2009

From "Blighted" To "Rapidly Revitalizing," NoMi Turns The Corner!

Photo By John Hoff

In the relatively short span of time since I started this blog, so much has changed in NoMi that it makes my head spin. And sometimes the transformation of my neighborhood forces small changes on this blog. Change is good!

And here comes another change...

My blog announces its journalistic activist mission on the "banner" at the top, with words like "Being the amazing, true-to-life adventures, etc."

Part of those words mention my son, now age 12. Twice now, I have changed the age of my son since he was 10 when I started the blog. But I have never changed the part about his dream of studying math and robotics at MIT for one simple reason: he never lets go of that idea. My son is far more focused than I was at his age. And, I might add, much better looking.

But enough about my son. The words in my banner also made reference to the "North Side" of Minneapolis and to this neighborhood being "arguably blighted."

Well, somewhere we turned the corner and reached a tipping point, the kind of rapid movement toward positive change some residents have struggled to achieve for DECADES, and god bless them.

Maybe that turning point came when Lavender Magazine announced it will be naming NoMi the hot "gayborhood" of Minneapolis. Maybe it was all the hard police work and the resulting rapid drop in crime. It might have something to do with all the new residents with fresh energy and affordable new homes they want to protect and improve, rather like reinforcements arriving to back the tired, muddied and bloodied revitalization troops; longtime residents who have fought this wretched battle for years, their deeds often unsung.

In any case...something has changed. And I can't look at this neighborhood and call it "arguably blighted" anymore when the term "rapidly revitalizing" seems to fit better. So I'm changing the words on my banner. And I'm also adding the word NoMi, because that's what this place is called, now.

The handle I use is "Johnny Northside" but, for the record, my alias has a middle name, too, and it's "NoMi."


Anonymous said...

yeah--ditto! an additional factor is what a huge difference it has made to have Don Samuels working on our behalf down at city hall. it's a lot easier to keep motivated during the hard times when you know that you have a city council member who is skillful and knowledgeable enough to see projects through to the end.

the last thing we need is, for instance, Natalie Johnson Lee coming back in and halting all city inspections on the Northside. news flash to Natalie: our neighborhood DESERVES to have high standards.

K said...

I had kind of an interesting experience today. I've been getting rid of a lot of stuff on Craigs List and today a guy stopped over to buy something I had listed. After we finalized the transaction, he asked me about the neighborhood since he had come from the Uptown area. I gave him my honest spiel about how happy we were with all the positive changes and he said he's been hearing the same thing about North - how things were really changing for the better.

I guess the word is spreading.

Jeanie Hoholik said...

John, thanks to your blog, many people in North have come together to report potential problems whether it be trespassing, open drug dealing, prostitution, etc. People are watching more than ever. Neighbors take pictures and download them, send them to the news media, blogs, etc. Maybe people aren't sitting outside on their porches like the old days, but the technology available to us has connected us like never before. It's strength in numbers.

In addition, the housing market in Minneapolis is very strong in the $150K and under category. With first time home buyer credits and available grants from the various neighborhoods, the incentives for owner occupied homes are outrageously attractive.

Things are looking up!