Friday, January 16, 2009

Why I Love Uptown

Since so many of my other posts point out negative items or suggest changes, I thought I'd take a moment to outline why Uptown is, and always will be, a special place for me. In no particular order here are my top 10 reasons for loving Uptown:
  1. Uptown is a (mostly) self-contained neighborhood. You can live here without having to leave to go elsewhere. You can go the library, buy your food, work, do your dry cleaning, or practically anything else you want to do. There are gaps to be filled, certainly (anyone else remember that US Post Office substation in Calhoun Square?), but overall this is a pretty good place to live if you'd prefer to spend your money and time close to home.
  2. The Lakes. Enough said.
  3. It's (relatively) affordable. Uptown isn't cheap, and is increasingly unaffordable for many, but in the grand scheme of things this is still a great deal. A location like this in many other cities would cost a lot more. Think about that next time you complain about writing out that rent check.
  4. The public transportation is good. Uptown has lots of bus lines running through it, making the neighborhood just a short ride away from major destinations such as downtown or the University of Minnesota. It will be even better if the proposed Uptown corridor light rail line gets built.
  5. I have a long history here. I grew up in Uptown and have seen it change over the years, for both better and for worse. I've lived in other states and cities, but Uptown remained my "spiritual home," for lack of better term.
  6. Uptown itself has history. This area has a long and fascinating history spanning more than 100 years. Things happened here that have both local and national significance. Interesting stories abound if you know where to look.
  7. People care about the neighborhood. This can sometimes be highly irritating, as I think some of those neighbors are bonkers and would be better off living in the 'burbs. Despite our occasional disagreements it's good to have residents who care strongly about our neighborhood and its potential.
  8. Variety is a good thing. While Uptown might not be as diverse as some boosters like to claim, it still offers a variety of experiences. There are stores for people of all economic levels and interests as well as a nice mix of residential and commercial buildings. It keeps things interesting.
  9. Uptown is conveniently located. While I think it's great that one doesn't often have to leave the neighborhood, it's nice to be so close to so many other places; downtown, Linden Hills, and Nicollet's Eat Street are all readily accessible.
  10. Uptown is pretty. Many of the houses are attractive and well-maintained, lots of the apartment buildings have fun fake Spanish names and architectural elements, there are lots of trees, and overall there aren't too many run-down or hideously ugly stretches of streetscapes.

This is a highly personal list. Whatever the reasons, it's clear that many others also feel the pull of Uptown. What makes it onto your list?

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