McMahon’s Irish Pub – Minneapolis, MN

I can’t say that I had a lot of experience with The Poodle Club, but it seemed like a decent place to play pool or watch bad karaoke while drinking macro brews.

Apparently, it’s turning Irish sometime soon, according to the signs posted on the now closed bar:

The Poodle Club is Closed

That seems like a strange choice with Merlin’s Rest just down the block.

Can East Lake support two Irish bars within 10 blocks of each other?

Elderly Couple in Longfellow Neighborhood Gets Bilked

This is the saddest thing I’ve read in a long time. It happened within blocks of where I live but I had no idea it was going on.

Joy Powell from the StarTribune reports on the sentencing of a home improvement swindler:

[Rick] Gurewitz, 41, the owner of Home Update Company, bilked one elderly woman out of her entire inheritance. He charged her $789,000 for substandard and overpriced work on a century-old 600-square-foot Minneapolis house.

$789,000 in work on a home that was probably worth $175,000 at most? How does this happen?

Three experts have since estimated the total value of the Gurewitz work as ranging from $43,082 to $121,500. The Caverlys lived for more than two years with ripped-out walls, code violations and structural hazards — and no working bathroom.

No working bathroom for two years? This is insanity.

Was there a happy ending for the home owners after the guy who ripped them off was sentenced?

“Everything’s ruined,” Betty Caverly had told the Star Tribune before she died in December at age 82. Her husband, Gerald Caverly, 80, has Alzheimer’s disease and is now in a nursing home.

Gurewitz got 9 1/2 years for this. I hope he manages to turn himself into a different person by the time he’s 50.

Longfellow Real Estate Ink

The Star Tribune caught up with with we figured out 3 years ago with an article about the rising popularity of the Longfellow Community:

River location has Longfellow prices on the rise

“Longfellow prices are going to continue to go up and up because it’s an area that’s recently caught fire,” said Elaine Anderson, a Realtor who specializes in the area and lives there, too.

Although homes in Longfellow aren’t appreciating at the rate they were five years ago, it’s one neighborhood that’s been less affected by the housing slowdown. So far in 2007, the average sales price in Longfellow has increased by 0.6 percent, according to the Minneapolis Area Association of Realtors, whereas the average sales price of seven of the 11 Minneapolis communities has decreased.

The last paragraph really nailed it:

Because of its location along the river, bikers, runners and other outdoor enthusiasts are often drawn to this locale, which is also home to the eastern segment of the Midtown Greenway and Minnehaha Falls.

Some of the new restaurants are also a big draw, including the Town Talk, Longfellow Grill, and Riverview Wine Bar.

Proposed Bike Bridge Subject of Meeting Tonight

Here is the agenda for tonight’s Longfellow Community’s Environment & Transportation committee. Notice that it includes time devoted to discussing the proposed bike bridge at 8pm:

Longfellow Community Council

Environment and Transportation Committee Agenda

Hiawatha School Park, 4305 E 42nd Street

June 26, 2007

7:00 Welcome and Introductions

7:05 Approve May’s minutes, select timekeeper and note taker

7:10 27th Avenue S Reconstruction Project Discussion

People invited:

9th Ward Council Member Gary Schiff

12th Ward Council Member Sandy Colvin Roy

Public Works Project Engineer Mersinger

and other appropriate City Staff

8:00 Proposed Mississippi River Pedestrian Bridge Hennepin County
Project Discussion

Meeting Evaluation and Adjourn by 9:00

Coming up:

July E & T meeting at Minnehaha Community Garden

RoofBloom Project in Longfellow this summer

Green Roof Workshop

July 28st from 10-12 at East Lake Library

For those who haven’t been to a meeting like this before, they’re relatively informal with cookies.

If you have strong feelings about the proposed bridge, want to figure out what’s happening with the strange intersection near the post office on Minnehaha, or like cookies, swing on down.

Update on Proposed Bike Bridge Over Mississippi

Friends of the Mississippi River has an article on the proposed bridge over the Mississippi River gorge at approximately 27th St E near the current railroad bridge.

As I understand it, the owners of the railroad bridge are not interested in sharing the bridge with pedestrians. There is certainly room on the bridge for both trains and pedestrians, and a bridge that supports a train can surely support a lot of people on bikes.

So, the county, with federal dollars, is considering building a bridge next to the railroad bridge. When I first heard about this at a Longfellow Community meeting in the winter, the proposed cost was in the $10 million range. FMR cites a $12 price tag in their article.

The proposed bridge would be a suspension bridge spanning the gorge with no entry into the river. Apparently, this is done to prevent having to make “barge proof” poles.

Personally, I think the bridge would do a great job improving the network of trails in the Twin Cities. Over time, this bridge would connect the Midtown Greenway to proposed trails in St. Paul that would run down Ayd Mill Road, connecting to the 35E bridge toward the Southern Burbs and with the Gateway Trail that heads out through Maplewood, North St. Paul and Stillwater.

FMR lays out their case for opposing the bridge here. They make a good case. Some points are kind of weak, such as comparing the cost of the bridge with the cost of paving the rest of the trail. Of course the bridge will be a lot more money. That’s the nature of bridges. Personally, I’d like to see someone figure out a way to use the current railroad bridge since it would probably be cheaper, is already aligned with the trail, and avoids building additional structures in the gorge.

Longfellow’s Architecturally Significant Church

Who knew we had an architecturally significant church within walking distance of our house:

Christ Church Lutheran: A Saarinen gem

Unless you’re an architecture buff, you probably haven’t heard of Christ Church Lutheran. It’s an elegant, modern church that was named one of the “31 buildings that changed American life.” And it’s right in our own backyard, located in the Longfellow neighborhood in south Minneapolis.

Here’s a link to Saarinen’s Wikipedia entry. Unless you’ve spent some time in Finland (or Des Moines, IA), you may not be familiar with his other work.