Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Party! Woo hoo! PARTY AT CONNIE'S $7,900 House In Hawthorne!

Photos and blog post by John Hoff

With improvements happening at Connie Nompelis' $7,900 house almost every day, neighbors are starting to sit up and take notice. In fact, word is the house next door--which has an identical layout and, for the past several years, has been beautifully painted--will soon be listed on the real estate market. Improvements include a brand new boiler just installed days ago.

Yay! New boiler.

No, seriously, things like that get me excited.

Clearly, the presence of good neighbors instead of 1.) a vacant house, 2.) a vacant lot, or 3.) yet another slumlord rental right next door has played a positive role in allowing the "house next door owners" to ask for a decent price instead of a "just give the damn thing away" price.

A couple nights ago, friends gathered in the backyard of Connie's house to have a barbeque and bonfire. The pictures and captions which follow are from that event...

Here is the house next door. Soon, the paint job on Connie's $7,900 house will look just as good, and the two classic homes will compliment each other and the neighborhood. Which will make MORE people move in and be good, revitalizing neighbors. It's like a positive domino effect.

Above, some of the guests at the party arrived in a limo, in the middle of a bachelorette party. This is usually a family friendly blog, so nobody look closely at the little tan objects in the young woman's veil. Every day, Connie's $7,900 house accumulates new layers of revitalization history. The bachelorette party was one of those new layers.

Here is the front porch of Connie's house, paint removal in progress.

So, a couple days ago, I was in my small semi-rural home town, visiting relatives, and I did something I hadn't done for a number of years: visited my father's grave. I cleaned the gravesite, including removing these weathered pieces of wood which once held Memorial Day flowers.

Wanting to do something special with the old wooden pieces instead of just tossing them away, I brought them to North Minneapolis to be part of a bonfire. This turned out to be the bonfire.

My father was a taxi driver in Minneapolis, often plying his trade here in North Minneapolis. It was that last cab robbery in North which made him quit, the one where he nearly died from carbon monoxide poisoning, locked in the trunk of his cab by three, possibly four armed robbers who punched and pistol whipped him for a small amount of money.

The Minneapolis Police Department saved my dad's life that day, and though it was probably a relatively routine incident, perhaps even forgotten by the officers that participated, I have never forgotten the debt I owe MPD.

Well, anyway, the wood was very dry and blazed up nicely.

I'm hoping the "No Copper" sign will soon disappear from the house next door. For the record, the reason it has "No Copper" is because the pipes are plastic Pex. Also, note how the letters themselves are copper-colored. I love that thoughtful little touch. You don't see slumlord Keith Reitman doing anything that creative with his Sharpie marker.

Cooking up chicken at the barbeque, Raymel was styling with his zipper pockets. Jordan Neighborhood super citizen Megan Goodmundson is the hand model.

It seems like when you go to a party in NoMi, there's always some new and different food or beverage. This is Dutch chocolate wine, which I'd never seen before. I could have consumed the whole bottle. It reminded me of Bailey's, only not as potent so I could drink a lot more.

Every weekend is a party here in NoMi for those who are hooked in tight with their neighborhood association and neighborhood activism. We work hard to make this place better, and then we party hard, celebrating our success.


Anonymous said...

Have you ever thought about creating a partnership between your neighborhood and "certified" investors. Say for example you vet an investor for previous experience and net worth. You then select a tenant that you would want to live near. You know one who thinks like you ecovillage types with the we watch we call signs. Then that tenant and investor shop for a home in your area and if the numbers work the investor buys the house, tenant signs a nice lease and the neighborhood improves. The investor wins by the neighborhood groups lining up qualified tenants who match the neighborhood. The neighborhood wins by sort of selecting the landlords who can participate in such a program.

Anonymous said...

This is a great idea 11:02. We in the neighborhood also need to be vested with the power to evict people that we don't want here. Maybe a neighborhood board could be set up that would be able to better regulate who lives where.

Anonymous said...

It's unlikley you could get the power to evict. Landlords have a hard enough time evicting except for non-payment. But I suppose you could use month to month leases so that when a tenant became undesireable the landlord could just issue a notice that the lease would be ending. However this is the point of the neighborhood doing the vetting. If they choose poorly then the deal doesn't work.

la_vie_en_rose said...

Off-topic slightly, but is that Chocovine wine as good as it looks? I saw some at a gas station/cheese place in Wisconsin a while back and was dying to try it, but I've never had red wine before, so I wasn't sure how good it would be.

Johnny Northside said...

I think you can't really taste the red wine, it just takes like chocolate with an alcoholic kick. The alcohol in it could be ANYTHING; red wine, white wine, grain alcohol. All I taste is chocolate with a kick.

Yes, I think it tastes as good as it looks, but my tastes are notoriously broad. Need we mention the bug eating video at CC's birthday party? I didn't think so.

M. Clinton said...

Just wait until you see the party we have AFTER the project is complete! And Megan - how did you know there were zippers? Were you looking at my boyfriend's butt? LOL

Ranty said...

Just for the record, it will only be "Connie's house" for a short while longer, after which it will become "Brian and Ray's house!" And, all of the wonderful work you see happening is due to them. I am so pleased to have them join the Hawthorne community and cannot wait until the house is officially their home. They will be a tremendous asset to the neighborhood, as they were to our mutual old neighborhood of Central.

Your Eyedea said...

I thought that kick was pretty hard... But then again I'm not a chocolate fan..Now red wine with pickle juice!! yum-o!


Anonymous said...

Paint and a boiler. Big deal!

That is like lipstick on a PIG. This is a terrible house and will end up looking like the girl who looks OK at the bar and then the lights come on and everyone see what she really looks like.

Connie is in this for a buck and it shows.

la_vie_en_rose said...

Do you know where it was found around here? I tried doing a search for it a month ago and only turned up a place in Uptown. Just trying to find out if I have to go all the way down there to get some.

Johnny Northside said...

I heard Connie was the one who brought the chocolate wine to the party, so maybe Connie can tell you where she got it.

As for the commenter who made the lipstick on a pig remark; the house is beautiful and all women are beautiful, too, before or after the bar lights come on, you misogynist piece of shit.

Our neighborhood advances and advances, by leaps and bounds we revitalize this place, yet by the sidelines a few negative nobodies have some asinine anonymous comments on this blog. It's apparently the best they can do, while the best WE can do is to actually change the world around us.

As far as I can tell, Connie won't be making any money off the deal. She did it for love of the neighborhood and to save the house from doom. Brian and Ray are going to be great assets to Hawthorne, as they have been in South Minneapolis. (SoMi)

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with you slightly John. A know a slumlord woman who hates snitches and the police. She is not beautiful.

The girl I went to prom with wasn't beautiful either, but that's another story.

Ranty said...

I got the Chocolate wine at Broadway Liquor Outlet, and, with respect to the house, I will be taking a fairly significant loss on it. Consider it my goodwill gift to the Hawthorne neighborhood.

Your Eyedea said...

Annoymous April 15, 2010 7:03 AM :

When someone talks but doesn't know what their talking about my mother called people like that "talking dogs." Cause dogs are smart, but not smart enough to talk let along know what their saying. Just stop with all the shit talking... its annoying and makes you look like all you do all day is hunt for blogs to make comments. Arg, get a life :)

la_vie_en_rose :
They also have a white chocolate with Chardonnay.

It's at Central Liquor off 26th and Central Ave NE

I may live northside but i still go there...good deals and great people that will go out of their way to help you!

la_vie_en_rose said...

White chocolate with Chardonnay? Well, they both sound heavenly! I'll have to mosey on over to where you mentioned, Eyedea. I hope they have the Chocovine, too.

I'd like to take this opportunity to say that I really wish we could have a Lund's Marketplace in NoMi (unless there's already something similar here that I don't know about). I visited the one in Uptown the other day while I was using Kinkos, and it was incredible. The freshly-made sushi was awesome, and you can't beat $8 for a salad with everything you can stand to eat in it.

MeganG. said...

@M.Clinton: lol, you crack me up!

Your Eyedea said...

YES! I used to live a block away from that lunds, we even had a cashier we would go out of our way to see.

It used to be 24 hour so it was super nice to go there after a the bar and get a three bean salad. As for one being in NoMi, sadly the closest thing we have would be...The farmers martket on lyndale. ( That's Northside right? )

(solow is super cool)

Anonymous said...

Eyedea and Rose,

The last thing we need in NoMi is a grocery store that is open 24 hours a day. That would just be a magnet for the thugs, who would hang out there all hours of the night causing trouble.

Lunds can stay out of NoMi as far as I am concerned. And if I hear about development plans you can be sure I'll be raising a ruckus about that!

Johnny Northside said...


We already have a grocery store in North Minneapolis that is open 24 hours a day. It is Cub Foods. And thugs don't hang out there all day, though sometimes the parking lot has its rough moments.

There seem to be blog trolls around who have adopted a "faux revitalizer" voice. I think a Lunds would be great.

la_vie_en_rose said...

I've been to Cubs late at night and never had any problems. There's always a cop acting as security (or else there's a mini-precinct there; I haven't noticed) whenever I'm there, and that seems to do the job of discouraging bad activity.

If a place like Lunds were to open here, they'd have to hire security, obviously. It's not as if that's just a NoMi thing; plenty of places hire off-duty cops to watch them around the clock or during nighttime hours. It's not as if NoMi has any monopoly on crime, you know.

MeganG said...

Well, one thing we can ALL agree and bet our paychecks on...

Lunds ain't comin' to NoMi.

Now, what I wouldn't give to replace Aldi's with Trader Joe's. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

I believe there used to be a Kowalski Market in 42nd and Fremont area but closed because they lost mega bucks. While I think it would be great to have a nicer market in North, unfortunately I just don't think there would be enough people willing to shop there to support its viabilty.

la_vie_en_rose said...

Yeah, I figured as much. I certainly can't afford to do all of my shopping there, but a treat every now and then is nice. Guess I'll have to continue going down there if I want some sushi or miso (unless there's a Japanese market or restaurant I'm missing around here).

I wouldn't mind a Trader Joe's. I've heard all sorts of nice things about them, and I used to get a flier for the one close to me in Indy, but I've never been there because I was told it can be quite expensive. If that's the case, I certainly don't want to lose Aldi because most of my shopping is done there. It's been that way for 13 years now, except for when I lived in Cincinnati, and then it was Kroger because there were no Aldis near me.

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with Aldi? I love that place!

I said...

Oh dear, Megan, Aldis and Trader Joes are both owned by a German discount company. Traders Joe's is based in SoCal but they use the same bussiness strategy as Aldis, you just pay more for that wonderful yuppie feeling that radiates from that crap-hole.

Now that I'm on my soap box, please people do a little research on the stores where you shop. Personally I want my money to directly benefit folks in my own neighborhood, or people/companies that carry out business in ways that positively affect me, my community and environment.

Anonymous said...

I think Megan's comment about Aldi's and Trader Joe's says a lot about the self rightous and superficial nature of the "revitilization" movement in north MPLS.

Megan doesn't even know that Aldi's and Trader Joe's are essentially the same company, yet she confidently says she wants to replace one with the other. She has a very superficial understanding of what these businesses are. But she has been taken in by Trader Joe's marketing. So much so that she wants to inflict that mentality on the rest of us.

North Minneapolis doesn't need to become another uptown. We should focus on locally owned businesses that keep money in the community instead of trying to live up to the image of Trader Joe's and sending our money to Germany.

Anonymous said...

Damn Krauts! Go Home!