I made a video on Saint Louis Park – stop by my YouTube Channel! https://youtu.be/W0ESPeTzz00
When I make neighborhood tour videos for my YouTube channel they always seem to get the most interest, and I stopped doing them when the snow and cold came around. Today I woke up and wondered why I was being such a wimp. I realized I didn’t want to shine a bad light on MN, and people hold so tightly to their convictions about the terrors of snow and cold – in fact a Washington Post reporter that moved to far NW MN from DC and wrote a book and an article about how happy he was and how much he actually enjoyed winter, was fairly viciously attacked in the comments when it posted on line.
So, I guess I was traumatized.
And then I said to myself – NO! I will not let the haters get me down – I will stand in solidarity with Christopher Ingraham and defend winter!
So here goes nothing! Don’t hurt me.
I took myself on a little driving tour of the first ring suburb of St. Louis Park. It sits directly west of the city and abuts the Linden Hills neighborhood of Minneapolis on one side and the City of Edina to the south. It is more affordable than the two of them, but because of the proximity to the city and the relatively more affordable prices, it has become a really hot area and things do not stay on the market for very long. The housing stock is pretty typical of SW Minneapolis in general – lots of 1950’s cape style bungalows, gradually giving way to 1960’s and 1970’s ramblers & split levels. I’m adding info about the home prices and the current market to the video….
It would be easy to picture the Brady Bunch living in SLP. I would not say that there is a lot of “historic charm”, but people have done some nice things with the ramblers (for the rest of the world – this is the MN term for a ranch style home). Lots are larger. There are sidewalks – and to me that is worth noting. I like walking without being hit by a car.
I admit to not spending an incredible amount of time in SLP other than driving through or shopping, so this was an enlightening trip for me as well. I was pretty pleased by some of what I found.
The Saint Louis Park rec center is not what I expected AT ALL! I thought it was a gym. It’s actually a park with an outdoor pool and water slides, and THREE full size ice rinks – 2 inside and a gorgeous outdoor rink as well. It’s a hockey paradise. Men with beards and big bags of equipment were pouring in for the open hockey that was happening.
SLP sits right on the the Cedar Lake Trail (temporarily closed because of light rail construction) and that connects to the Midtown Greenway and a whole network of other bike trails throughout the city and the suburbs.
At the “West End” you can find shops, restaurants (I tried “Lucky Cricket” Chinese restaurant and Tiki Bar today – Andrew Zimmern’s place. I was alone so I didn’t order a lot, but loved what I had – ShuMai burger). The insane Costco is over there, so if you’re feeling very Zen and can deal, or alternatively, if you’re feeling aggressive and want your anger to blend in, stop by! It’s mostly the parking lot that can change normally kind people into homicidal maniacs. Side note – there are 8 in the metro area, so if you go to the one in SLP consider yourself warned. There are other (more peaceful) choices. Just sayin’.
SLP has a very nice nature center on the far NW side of the city – I’ll come back in summer. The visitor’s center is being rebuilt and there are trails around a lake there. It’s called Westwood Nature Center and it reminds me a lot of the little oasis in Richfield – the Woodlake Nature Center.
Other outdoor activities… Theodore Wirth Park – an amazing and HUGE park with snow tubing! Groomed x-ctry ski trails! Biking trails – yes, even in winter! 12 sledding hills there alone! Snow boarding!
11 of the neighborhood parks have some sledding, night time lights, ice skating and a few have warming houses. I love this aspect of MN- it’s easy to be outside having fun year round.
Disc golf in winter at Brookview Golf Course! CURLING! I mean – that seems like a very Minnesota thing to do. Don’t ask me what it is.
Indoor – head to Punch Bowl Social for food and bowling. Or take the kids to Roller Garden – it’s old school fun.
That’s all I have for today and it’s way more than I thought I would have when I started out this morning. St. Louis Park surprised me. You may like it too!
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