Northeast Neighborhood

September 22, 2007

So … it’s certainly not too early at this point to start thinking about site in this process. I had discussions about choosing a site with two different faculty members this week. Julia Robinson told me that I ought to be beginning and ending with the idea of site selection; that is, she thought that I should find a community in Minneapolis, study it, and then work from there to determine what kind of housing or community project would be appropriate for that place. Then Ozayr also mentioned the subject. He was much more open to a multiplicity of options at this point and to finding something outside of the Cities if that’s what suits me best. But with one thing and another I spent a lot of time thinking about it towards the end of this week. Then passing by a GDII review in the courtyard I noticed a pinup of group projects displaying neighborhood research as the beginning of some studio project. My attention was caught by the visually compelling display about Northeast Neighborhood. It triggered me thinking about the research I did on the area for BTR this summer and about what a diverse and interesting place it is. So this morning I did my grocery shopping on foot along Central Avenue. I went to the coop and to the Holy Land Deli and also an Indian grocery to pick up frozen paneer and I took my camera along. I was struck again by what a culturally rich place that area is. There are local food markets beyond what you imagine the market could support. There are community centers, a health clinic, a vet, a YMCA, high and elementary schools and a public library branch all within block of each other and accessed by 6 bus routes and a major city transit artery. It has a mixed income level and an a rapidly increasing level of racial diversity. A lot of potential really. Its also somewhere I like to go and have easy access to, which is not insignificant. This is more than a little a shot in the dark but I noticed an empty lot at Central and Lowry. Here’s a picture. So … I’ll see where that takes me.
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