Wednesday, May 26, 2010

God Bless The MPD "Broadway Beat"

Contributed photo, xoxo, post by John Hoff

A loyal reader captured this picture of an MPD patrol car with some rather interesting markings. The reader tells me the first time she saw this patrol car was about a year ago, but I must confess I've NEVER seen this patrol car before, so I think it's really cool. (Several times a patrol car like this passed by me with something interesting written on the side, but it was moving so fast I never had time to get a picture!)

In order to revitalize North Minneapolis, it is necessary to take back Broadway from thuggish behavior and make it a safe, clean, attractive commercial corridor like it once was. It's great to see MPD is so focused on the "Broadway Beat." Now, if only it were criminal behavior to have crappy looking commercial buildings, like Keith Reitman's "ugly ass chocolate brown building" or Friedman's shoes and their stubborn refusal to fix up their unattractive "butt glass."

(Do not click "Read More")


Anonymous said...

You people are shooting yourselves in the foot by demanding that all these businesses close or be charged with crimes. North MPLS needs jobs and commerce to get back on its feet.

The govt has already pledged its money to fund wars and go to military industry, there's none left for NoMi. We can't count on grants, green space and subsidies for art to revitalize. We need business and jobs, even if they have "butt" glass.

This attitude is doing more harm than good.

Sean said...

Business that do not meet acceptable community guidelines need to be shut down. "Butt Glass" is unacceptable. If we shut that business down, I am confident it will be replaced with something awesome and trendy - a business that knows what type of glass to have in its windows.

la_vie_en_rose said...

I believe that was the same patrol car number that came to us when we were robbed last year. I know I've seen it around.

emma. said...

Lay off of Friedman's for a bit... they've applied for a grant through the West Broadway Coalition Great Streets program which will include replacing their windows. So give them some time and see if they make it through the entire process. If they do they'll be quite a few pleasant updates, including windows. Unfortunately Keith Reitman did not apply...

So.. Anonymous 9:20, there are grants available for both architectural improvements to the facades of buildings in NoMi (on Broadway specifically) as well as grants to address artistic improvements to facades. Sounds like in 2010 there will be a significant number of funds available. It's just a matter of the businesses have access to this information, the ability to submit and proposal, and come up with matching funds (if needed).

I think there will be some very ascetically pleasing things happening to West Broadway in 2010-11. :)

Anonymous said...

It's interesting. As I read the various posts on this blog I go from Ahhh to What is this crap? Then I realize this is a post written by John Hoff and not our usual blogger the Hawkman. I can always tell because the end of the post gets nasty and brings out the bully blog nature of the poster. More Hawkman please.

Johnny Northside! said...

Friedman's already got one facade grant which--to the profound disappointment of many--they DID NOT put any of the grant into fixing the ugly windows. So now somebody on this blog is saying there's another grant in the works.

Well, if I get word OFFICIALLY instead of just through some commenter--who may or may not be telling speaking in some kind of quasi-official capacity--I probably would lay of Friedman's. So there's an email address right at the top of the blog. Contact me if this is true and share more details.

Frankly, I hope it's true. Not only because I want the ugly windows fixed, but because that frees me up to focus twice as much on Keith Reitman's ugly ass chocolate brown building.

Dee said...

Sean...Why are we criminalizing honest businesses like friedmans because asthetic means are not met. If there are all these businesses ready to invest money to be "awesome and trendy" they have lots of vacant buildings to do so. I just dont believe in kicking a honest/decent neighbor out because his lawn doesn't look good. The next neighbor might be far worse..

Anonymous said...

I keep hearing people talk about attracting more businesses that will hire locally, but look at the ones we've already got. Cub is a big employer, and if what I've heard is true, the place is one of, if not the least profitable store in their chain -not for a lack of business but because an overwhelming amount of employee theft.

I think of the original Bean Scene, which was a great place to go for coffee only if the one or two good employees they had on their staff happened to be working on the day you went there. Otherwise, you'd get to stand there waiting to order while the staff person chatted on their cell phone with a buddy, or had a conversation with a friend of theirs who was standing outside the drive thru window.
I remember once when I was in there and I was the only customer in the place, and the kid working the counter brought out my coffee drink, soup, and sandwich, and none of the three items were the things that I ordered. I'd given that place chance after chance for a long time, but it finally occurred to me, I've been to Starbucks and Caribou a lot too, and never once have they messed up an order of mine or made me stand there like an idiot while they carried on a cell phone conversation. I've never said hi to an employee at a Starbucks or Caribou and been ignored or had the gesture returned in the form of a dismissive grunt. So maybe it's a matter of training, but I think it's also a matter of common courtesy and manners. If a potential hire doesn't have things like basic manners and common courtesy in their existing skill set, who in their right mind would want to hire them on to represent a business?
I'm all for hiring locally, but I think first and foremost, hire for competence and worry about the geography as a secondary measure.
No potential employer wants to have to set up shop in a new place and train basic skills with their hires. They want a workforce that comes equipped with the skills they need to do business. People in need of employment around here need to make themselves attractive to businesses by gathering and acquiring desired skills.
As for Friedman's, sure the glass is disgusting, and the fact that you can't even see inside due to the haze and all the posters in the windows is off-putting, but they've got good customer service, which counts for a lot. I hope they replace the glass and manage not to poster over it so much, but as businesses on West Broadway go, they're far from the worst.

la_vie_en_rose said...

Please do not focus "twice the effort" on my building. I already have people staring at me as they drive past which is rude enough (besides the idiots who think it's all right to hang out on the step to my door and leave their litter behind). Sure, the color is drab, and the outside could use some work to make it more cheerful, but it's habitable, and hey, imagine that -- I live here! And I'd prefer to do so in whatever peace and quiet my family can get. I understand your agenda, but please have some respect for the people who live here.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:13 hit the nail on the head. While this phenomena isn't isolated to NoMi, the rudeness and lack of customer service at some local businesses always surprises me. I have done transactions at Cub without exchanging one single word to the cashier. No "hello", no "That'll $5.50 please", and certainly no "thank you" or god forbid "have a nice day".

I'm only slightly older than some of these kids and I know how to treat a customer, what is appropriate behavior in front of customers, treating people with respect, etc. These kids are totally unequipped to handle any real life situations. Its a sad state of affairs, that I have no idea how to fix.

Johnny Northside said...

The agenda is the agenda and I'm not going to let up on Keith Reitman. As you say, the outside could use some work. Well, that's exactly what needs to happen and it's needed to happen for years. Summer is here and no better time than the present.

la_vie_en_rose said...

Still, I don't like the fact that complete strangers drive/walk/bicycle by here and give me nasty looks without knowing me. You may be trying to get Keith to spruce up the place, but in the meantime, it's apparently causing people to see my family as nothing other than "just some more undesirables living here" even though I keep trying to rectify that.

I'd also like to avoid a bunch of protesters outside of my door. Just because I don't have a yard doesn't mean that I enjoy all sorts of people hanging around outside. Also, losing my home because someone thought it wasn't pretty enough doesn't appeal to me either.

Johnny Northside said...

What am I supposed to do? Ignore the ugly and it will go away?

NoMi Passenger said...

@la vie en rose: if people are driving by and giving you looks which you express they hold some sort of judgement, my guess would be it is because of the building itself and NOT because of this blog and John's repetitive calls for improvement at the ugly ass chocolate brown building.

To give John and his blog credit for all kinds of random passers-by I think is way too generous (sorry John but I don't think the readership is THAT broad)

Put it this way, if Keith "1564" Reitman can paint giant letters that say "VOTE FOR THE SISTA" on his building quickly and easily when the time suited him then surely he can scrounge up the resources to paint up his building and spruce up the main corridor of north Minneapolis.

It is Keith himself who travels around to public meetings for years saying all stakeholders need to do what they can to liven up our main corridor, so Keith, step up and do your part on the avenue


(again, I am MeganG for anybody that needs to know - I'm using my google account so my fans can't steal my identity, kisses!)

la_vie_en_rose said...

I'm not telling you to ignore it, but I do wish that my address isn't posted almost every single time that Keith is referred to. If this property was abandoned, it would a different story, but it isn't. I'm just asking you to understand that when you make these posts and post my address, it's creating an ill effect on my family because everyone on here automatically equates Keith with slumlord and trouble-making tenants. That may not be important to you, but how my neighbors view me IS important to me.

It may not be trimmed and a pretty color that everyone likes, but the paint isn't peeling from what I can see. And it certainly doesn't have pieces of building falling onto the sidewalk below.

I'm sorry it's not to everyone's liking, but apparently there are some officials in this neighborhood who don't give a rat's ass what color it is as long as it's not in a state of disrepair or otherwise they'd have pushed him out/forced him to do something about it long ago, yes?

Patrick said...

I'm with you John. Show that slum lord no mercy. If the people who live there don't like being gawked at, move. Butt ugly brown building has GOT TO GO.

la_vie_en_rose said...

Megan, I sincerely doubt it has to do with just the building. It wasn't this bad until the blog got noticed in City Pages which opened up this blog to more readers. And no, they aren't looking at the building when they pass by; they're looking at me, my kids, and my husband. Sometimes it's looks of confusion (along the lines of "why would a white family live there"), but more often than not, it's looks of contempt like we're another bunch on the long list of problematic renters in this area. I've even had a guy smirk and wave. I'd like to think it's people going out of their way to be neighborly, but I doubt it.

As for painting the building, well, I don't want to repeat what I just said to John, so I'll leave it to you to read and issue a response.

Anonymous said...

la_vie_en_rose I completely agree. The paint color may be unappealing, but it's in good shape. I think the real problem is that John just doesn't like Reitman, and nothing you say will stop his blogging about your house. My suggestion is this: John, fix up your house so it is a shining example of what homes in Hawthorne should look like. Right now your house is not in all that great of exterior shape and clearly needs repairs. Landscape your yard and fill in the mud with grass. I think it is hypocritical of you to constantly point out the fault of other homes until yours is in A-1 condition. Hell, you were cited for uncut grass, a junk car, and peeling paint.

la_vie_en_rose said...

Patrick, once again, you are an asshole. Move? Where the hell do you want us to move to? The streets?? We're here because no one else would even talk to us because we have less-than-stellar credit due to having lots of medical bills and no help with insurance (a big part of the reason we moved to Minnesota).

Sure, I'll move into a nice pretty home. We previously paid mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, etc. for my mother-in-law when we took care of her house, so I know we could afford to again. However, since banks won't even consider us for a loan because we're on Social Security, which one of you wonderful citizens will help us get one?

And this is the crap I'm talking about that I'm dealing with. People who automatically assume that we must be scum. I guess some of the "open-minded" people around here forgot that us peons have feelings.

Let me tell you a little story. Once upon a time, we were doing well and living in a luxurious apartment. My husband was a salaried manager who made a pretty decent amount. Then he grew too ill to work, much less get out of bed, so his job let him go. Then I suffered an accident that was caused by our expensive apartment complex, and I couldn't walk for months. And the icing on the cake was that our youngest son had to spend a month in Cincinnati Children's while the doctors tried to figure out what was wrong with him. All of these things happened within the same year, and since we suddenly had no insurance and was having no luck with getting any help in Ohio, medical bills and utility bills began to pile up. Yes, bad things happen to good people, unfortunately, and we're only just starting to recover from that nightmare, but thanks to the huge stack of old medical bills which we can't afford to pay off (and we can't even afford to declare bankruptcy), we'll probably never have a house or even a really nice apartment again.

We grew up on the poor side, so it's not like we need something extravagant. While this place may not be that pretty on the outside, it's still all right on the inside. It's way better than living on the streets, in a motel, or in some of these really slummy houses I keep reading about. We're thankful for what we have.

Anonymous said...

la vie en rose...

Many people sympathize with you, but at the same time we want Broadway--the gateway to Nomi--to feel like a place that people want to live near. It sounds like you are an innocent caught in the crossfire.

Until Broadway feels like a safe/clean place to shop the masses will stay out of Nomi. Economic recovery will not come back until more people actually want to live here.

Everybody that owns property on Broadway needs to step up and do their part to make Nomi a little more attractive to outsiders. This won't happen overnight, but hopefully over time the image can change.

I wonder if Keith could get some matching funds from the city to paint his trim?

The Hawthorne Sentinal said...

The masses are smart. I don't care what Broadway looks like it. On a long enough time schedule you WILL be a victim of crime passing through NOMI. Check out the MPD 4th highlights at the Minneapolis Crime Watch blog if you don't agree. Just google that blog you'll find it.

Your Eyedea said...

Anonymous 11:13 PM :

I can tell you that I was one of the good employee's at the bean scene. I really disliked working with teenagers for many reasons and also ALL the reasons you said, not to mention their butt cracks hanging out of their pants as they would lean over to pick something up and ruin my lunch.

I would go out of my way for the people there.. I know my coffee and I know my food..So I can tell you that I personally did NOT make ANY mistakes nor did I EVER talk on my cell phone (cause at the time, I didn't bring it to work for that reason ). The manger (Ms.Baker) has a thing for helping teenagers, but she never would tell them when they are doing something wrong so they could fix it and not do it in the future. that was one of my first coffee shop jobs and I loved it cause I grew up northside and ALWAYS wanted to see a real coffee shop here..

If you don't want to goto the bean scene cause of the lack of parking and respect from the employee's go to Wuollet Bakery in Robbinsdale (hate to send business to another city but man, those teenagers drive me nutz!) I used to work there and I can tell you that the girls there with bend over backwards for you, also they have the SAME coffee.. and free samples. !!!!!!

*sips her coffee*

Good coffee?

Your Eyedea said...

I also would like to note that everyone who did work there were from NoMi... Teenagers and all...!