Milwaukee & Franklin Avenues

The antithesis of Milwaukee Avenue—the Seward neighborhood’s secret boulevard of late 19th century homes—is the Cedars 94 apartment complex, located just across from Milwaukee on Franklin’s north side. Where Milwaukee Avenue has dozens of brick homes with low front porches and gingerbread gables, the apartments have faded wooden shingles and a chain-link security fence. Where […]

Like Petting a Packaged Ham

I’m standing at the Dairy Queen on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul, waiting to order a chocolate cone. Ahead of me is the new American nuclear family: two boys, a father, and a mother cooing to a Chihuahua clutched to her chest in a front-loading doggy knapsack. A few weeks later, Us Weekly runs a […]

Before & After

Tornadoes don’t have names, they have dates and times. The inky spiral that drops from the sky is memorialized according to the moment it touches down and stays, cuts the power, and skitters any which way it pleases across a field or farm or town. St. Peter’s tornado struck at 5:20 p.m. on March 29, […]

Victoria's Hot Spell

Just around the corner from Como Zoo’s polar bears, snow leopards, and other winter-loving creatures is a Victorian-era tropical oasis. The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in Como Park floats on the horizon like a series of great, sparkling glass beads. Up close, the building’s steel and aluminum frame and solid Ionic columns are less ethereal, but […]

Como & Carter Avenues, St. Paul

At Como and Carter, next to the St. Anthony Park neighborhood’s library, the remains of an old tree trunk have been carved into a statue of a boy reading a book, an owl perched on his back. A few blocks northwest, sightings of a real owl—a great gray with a five-foot wingspan—have delighted the Park’s […]