Archive for the ‘Why I Love St Paul’ Category
Posted in Creativity, Minneapolis / St. Paul Marketing, Music, Teaching, Why I Love St Paul, tagged Chris Pollard, creativity, First Avenue, First World Problems, I talk like the movie Fargo, learning, Minnesota Accent, New Orleans Lousiana, no longer a travel pro, NOLA, non-rev, Non-Revving, NWA, Pine County Fair Demolition Derby, Riot Fest Denver, sidewalks, Tee-Eva's Snowballs, Travel, walking shoes on September 23, 2013 | 1 Comment »
Once upon a time I used to fly to Amsterdam just to listen to a band. (No, I wasn’t rich, I just had great flight benefits with Northwest Airlines). Now I travel occasionally to academic conferences and for the rare vacation.
I’ve been home for about 18 hours after traveling in a circle from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Chicago to New Orleans to Houston to Denver and back. After my NWA years I considered myself an expert traveler.
I made four errors:
- Three bad pairs of shoes for walking. Not horrible (no stilettos), but not good for the miles I put on in the Garden District and the Colorado foothills.
- Assuming WiFi is plentiful and the bandwidth large. Kudos to the Metropolitan Airports Commission or whomever stocked the MSP Humphrey Terminal with outlets, mini desks, and oceans of WiFi bandwidth. Let’s just say all the other airports I visited could learn something from MSP.
- Not upgrading my AT&T iPhone plan. Seriously, one month of “hotspot” service wouldn’t have broken the bank.
- Failing to download student work to grade offline. See above.
Of course I learned a lot, too.
- I’m most creative after learning something and then literally walking around with it. The hours I strolled through New Orleans (see WiFi above) caused a plethora of research ideas to bubble up (and a lot of blisters, too).
- Stories from Tee-Eva’s snowball shop will stick with me forever.
- Minneapolis and St. Paul have wonderful sidewalks.
- No one really cared if I live tweeted from Riot Fest Denver. No one.
- I love taking random photos with my phone.
- Let other people shoot videos.
- You can buy band aids just about anywhere.
- Only in Minnesota (I think) are earplugs freely distributed and easy to buy (thank you Pine County Fair Demolition Derby and First Avenue). I was lucky to find them at Riot Fest.
- Minnesotans like to find each other and revel in our collective wisdom of being, well Minnesotans. And we love our accents.
- New Orleanians are the best storytellers.
Video courtesy of Chris Pollard
Posted in Cool Things in St. Paul, Getting the word out, One Mile Project, Why I Love St Paul, Word of Mouth, tagged activity fair, Family Fun Golf, junior golf leagues, Macalester-Groveland & Highland Home Improvement Fair, St. Paul Golf Courses, streets.mn, summer kids activities, what to do in St. Paul, Youth golf lessons on April 8, 2013 | Leave a Comment »
If you like to golf, there are almost too many options in St. Paul. In fact, last year MinnPost reported that the city is trying to figure out what to do with all the city courses because they’re no longer profitable (learn more about urban golf course decline here).
- Are kids too busy?
- Does it take too long to learn?
- Is it too expensive?
- Doesn’t anyone golf anymore?
Regardless of the reason, the Saintly City is looking to grow their own future players with a number of programs.
The newest is their Sunday night “Family Fun Golf” where kids golf pay nothing and an adult plays for only $10. Children must be 7 years old and you can only make reservations 2 weeks in advance. Part of me thinks these will fill up fast–it’s a great deal and low-pressure atmosphere for kids. With extra short tees and lots of kids on the course there shouldn’t be anyone demanding to play through.
First Tee, a national golf non-profit, provides lessons and junior leagues through the local St. Paul branch and in cooperation with St. Paul Parks and Recreation. For only $30 young kids can learn to chip, putt, and drive in twice-a-week two-week series of lessons.
Better players, or at least, passionate ones can play in a weekly Monday morning league (5 or 9 holes), including one just for girls.
How do I know about this? I’m on the email list.
We need a summer activities fair.
But what if you’re a new parent whose child is ready to move up beyond plastic golf clubs?
How do parents learn of programs for their kids? Is it all word-of-mouth and Google searches? We’ve got a Home Improvement Fair in Highland Park, why not a summer activities fair–in February when we’re all dreaming of warm summer breezes?
Posted in Cool things in Minneapolis, Cool Things in St. Paul, Getting the word out, Why I Love St Paul, tagged Chapel Hill, Como Zoo and Conservatory, Lowertown Art Crawl, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota Children's Museum, Minnesota State Fair, MN Irish Fair, MN State Fair, Moving to St. Paul, Saint Paul Public Schools Community Education, St Paul Public Library Museum Passes / Passport to Play, St. Paul Minnesota, St. Paul Winter Carnival, the Great Minnesota Get Together, the Science Museum, Walker Art Museum on August 12, 2012 | 1 Comment »
When I moved to Chapel Hill, NC years ago, my neighbor and enduring friend gave us a list of all the fun activities for a family in the area. This year we’re sharing our Minneapolis-St.Paul knowledge with a family from Chapel Hill!
Here’s a list of just some of the fun things my family likes to do.
Target Family Day at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
The museum is always free, but monthly they do a special family event: http://www.artsmia.org/index.php?section_id=44
Today is “Family Day and Peace Games: Inside/Out”
Walker Art Museum
The sculpture garden is always free (and really cool). The museum is free on Thursday nights (6-9) thanks to Target and the first Saturday of the month with special family events (http://www.walkerart.org/free-first-saturdays)
St Paul Public Library Museum Passes / Passport to Play
http://www.sppl.org/services/museum-passes // http://www.melsa.org/MuseumAdventurePass/index.cfm
Check out free passes to local museums, the zoo, etc.
Saint Paul Public Schools Community Education
After school programs require registration through Community Ed. Gymnastics, swimming and other youth/adult programs are offered too.
Parks & Recreation
Sports, art, fitness, crafts etc. Linwood Community Center, for instance, has lots of kids dance programs and adult yoga.
Music in Mears Park, Downtown St. Paul
Free on Thursday nights at 6 pm
MN History Center – Nine Nights of Music
Free music on Tuesday nights
Lowertown St. Paul Farmers’ Market
290 E 5th St, St. Paul, MN 55101
Saturday and Sundays 6/7 am – 1 pm
Fruit, veggies, meat, baked goods, Hmong crafts & prêt-à-manger food
Plus there’s a lovely coffee shop on the corner (The Black Dog http://blackdogstpaul.com/).
Como Zoo and Conservatory
Always free and the Conservatory is heavenly in the winter!
Parks and Rec, lots of soccer club programs (Blackhawks, Joy of the People etc.)
Low key programs available through HGRA (http://www.hgra.org/) including Sunday, fall baseball for 9+. It’s fun with lots of emphasis on sportsmanship and learning the game. HGRA also offers spring track and summer soccer and baseball. Hockey is huge, but we just play “pick up games” at the local parks, many kids start at age 4 and play very competitively. St Paul Community Ed has awesome gymnastics programs for all ages, too.
Don’t forget the Minnesota Children’s Museum, the Science Museum, and all the pools in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Today’s the last day of the Irish Fair until next year
MN State Fair
Aug 23 – Labor Day
Lots of Park and Ride bus lots, discount tickets at Cub Foods
From seed art to crazy food on a stick with the best people watching in the state
Lowertown Art Crawl http://stpaulartcrawl.org/
Fall 2012: Friday October 12, Saturday October 13, & Sunday October 14
Ice Skating Downtown St. Paul (http://www.wellsfargowinterskate.com/)
Of course there is skating at all the local parks, too!
St. Paul Winter Carnival (http://www.winter-carnival.com/)
MUSIC I’ll leave for another day!
Posted in Cool Things in St. Paul, Minneapolis / St. Paul Marketing, Why I Love St Paul, tagged Acknowledgement improves customer satisfaction, Como Park Pool, process improvement on June 17, 2012 | 1 Comment »
Figuratively at least.
The City of St. Paul opened a stunning new pool two weeks ago to delighted kids and long check in lines. The new Como Park Pool squeezes in more fun per square yard than any pool I’ve ever visited. But this is a marketing blog, not a lazy river, zip line, water slide, cliff jumping blog; or is it?
I could complain about the glacial entry process, but who at the City of St. Paul offices will see my blog?
Thankfully, I have other options.
My pool is on Facebook.
2,055 of us on Facebook like the pool. 27 of us answered; me included. I politely mentioned that I thought there were too many double tubes in the lazy river which caused traffic jams and that it took me FIVE minutes (yes I did use capital letters) to check in 5 people on Saturday night.
And they wrote back! Who knew the pool could type?
I feel heard! I’m happy.
The lesson: Acknowledgement improves customer satisfaction.
Granted the pool only answered about tubes, so I hope management will analyze the entry process and make speed a goal. After all McDonald’s is not famous for their slow food…
Thank you, dear government of St. Paul for entertaining and educating me tonight on YouTube.
Some of my favorites:
We have hundreds of pizza shops because I think we all secretly want to be Italian (or Irish).
Remember this is Minnesota. We wear shorts when it’s 40 degrees and we’ll come if you provide the snacks.
In the State of Hockey, we are fearless.
We dance, but we dance like we know people are looking.
Because ice is just underutilized, yes, even in the State of Hockey.
Stay tuned and maybe you’ll get published in concrete, too!
My absolute favorite. But where are the parodies? Where is the rap version? Dessa help us out!
Posted in Communication Tools, Cool Things in St. Paul, Getting the word out, Why I Love St Paul, Word of Mouth, tagged Email offers, Frattallone's Ace Hardware, Lawnmower tune-up on October 17, 2011 | 2 Comments »
My beloved, local hardware store–yes I do mean beloved–emailed me an offer I just can’t refuse. This is the place I can find everything I need for my old house and then some. They are the romantic Five and Dime for the DIY set. I should only visit them with a list and just enough cash to cover the listed items, otherwise, I’ll spend double the amount I intended.
And no, it’s not Target.
It’s…Frattallone’s Ace Hardware!
Their idea: offering free lawnmower storage with the purchase of spring mower tune-up
Why it’s brilliant: The two Frattallone’s on Grand Avenue in St. Paul (yes TWO!) are surrounded by small turn-of-the-last-century houses. These not-so-big houses have teeny, tiny garages in a city where it’s nice to keep your car off the street in the winter.
The consumer problem they solve: Safe storage for your lawnmower where it’s not in the way of your car, snow shovels, snow blower, golf clubs, and bicycles.
Their big win: Revenue and reservations for the busy lawnmower tune up season.
Posted in Cool Things in St. Paul, Eating & Drinking (aka Restaurants), Minneapolis / St. Paul Marketing, Why I Love St Paul, tagged Cork's Irish Pub, Irish Fair of Minnesota, Sláinte on August 12, 2011 | Leave a Comment »
Last night on Twitter, I promised to say why they won:
- Their food was gooood! Braised greens, corned beef, and sausage.
- They had CHEFS!
- FIVE friendly people were working the tables that were decked out with table clothes, swags, greenery and gorgeous plates of food.
- Prizes! Enter your name and address for a free dinner.
- Coupons for free beer.
- Coupons on the standup bar tables for free beer.
- Music and game schedule on every bar table.
Their competitor had some tasty ribs, a hand made sign and one person serving — so no “presence” to say the least.
So congrats to Cork’s Irish Pub. They won with great food and fabulous marketing.
For some great photos, click here!