Monday, August 20, 2007

Secret Garden in St. Paul, MN -- The St. Paul Cultural Garden

If it's a secret, I'm interested. So when I saw the article in the Rake Magazine entitled, "The Secret Garden," I knew I'd be going.

Rebecca Stack and I decided that we'd treat ourselves to the night out as a reward for having cleaned our offices -- a momentous task for the both of us -- and we decided to check out the Secret Garden of St. Paul once and for all.

The description in the Rake on where this garden was exactly was about as cryptic as it's actual location. We drove in circles...under a bridge and back again -- like the Rake wanted to keep it secret!

Now knowing the spot, I'd tell you to park at one of the meters in front of the Ramsey County Government Center (Red Brick Building) and, facing it, walk around the right hand side of the building (so you're walking toward the river). If you feel that you've left the "corner" that the Government Center sits on, you're in the wrong place. Here's an address and map:

Ramsey County Government Center East
160 East Kellogg Blvd (at Jackson Street)
St. Paul, MN 55101

And the photo (above), though stunning, was no help in locating it either because the depth and variety of the structures make it seem that there would be something to look for that would make it stick out somehow. Not so. The best you'll do is to look for a very low-to-the-ground, broad, cone-shaped structure. But you'll have to look carefully!

Turns out that this garden was a project of two of my writing mentors from the COMPAS Summer Writing Workshops (et. al.) when I was in Junior High and High School. Alas, the summer program no longer exists.

But this Secret Garden does.

Definitely a must-see for travelers to Minneapolis / St. Paul, MN tourists and residents alike.

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Friday, August 17, 2007

David Huber -- Are You Still Out There?

I got your email via Blogger, but I have no way to contact you. I need your contact info! Or you can call me at 763-535-0880.

Hugs :)


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Friday, August 03, 2007

Cost of Living in the Twin Cities / Minneapolis, MN

I live in The Twin Cities: Minneapolis / St. Paul, Minnesota (MN), USA. (Technically in a suburb called Robbinsdale, which is on the west border of North Minneapolis.) This post will cover the cost of living in Hennepin County / the West Metro Area, which includes the City if Minneapolis (proper) and suburbs withing a 45 min circumference North, West and South of Minneapolis. I'm not familiar with the cost of living in rural towns or the East side.


These are what my household bills look like in Robbinsdale (mid-range):

Food per month per person = $100-150

*Note on electricity usage: our bill is a bit higher than others because we have at least 2 computers running every day.

Gas (Winter) = $280/mo
Gas (Spring/Fall) = $88/mo
Gas (Summer) = $23/mo

Water/Sewer/Garbage = $65/mo

Single Phone Line (no frills) = $35/mo

Search the Cost of Housing
(Purchasing) around the State of MN:

Search the Cost of Apartments (Rental) around the State of MN:


Example Areas in Minneapolis (Longfellow, Central, Camden, and Phillips neighborhoods)

Home Purchase: $35,000 -150,000
(low end here is a definite fixer upper, may have severe damage)

Annual Taxes: $1300-2500

Apartment Rent (1-2 BR): $400-500/mo


Example Areas in Robbinsdale, Crystal, Brooklyn Center, North Minneapolis (Camden neighborhood), South Minneapolis (Powderhorn neighborhood), Minneapolis (University of MN Area)

Home Purchase: $200,000-500,000
Annual Taxes: $2000-5000

Apartment Rent (1-2 BR): $600-1000/mo


Example Areas in Minneapolis (Lake of the Isles, Lake Calhoun, Uptown Area, Downtown high-rise condos), Minnetonka, St. Louis Park, Plymouth

Home Purchase: $500,000-5,000,000
Annual Taxes: $5000-47,000

Apartment Rent (1-2 BR): $1500-3000/mo


Fast Food Meal: $2.50-8/person
Sit Down Meal: $4-16/person
Fancy Restaurant: $12-50/person
Science Museum of Minnesota: $15-24 (non-members)
Community Pools: $4-8
Theater Tickets: $15 (rush line)-80
Movie Theater Tickets: $2-8.50
Art Museums: Free (for special days/events) -10
Single Alcoholic Beverage at Lounge, Bar, Tavern: $4-8
Night Club Cover Charge: Free (ladies) - $8
Sporting Event Tickets: $7-110

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