Thursday, March 31, 2011

The first day of spring

Official or not - how I know it's now spring:
  • I had to close my eyes as the bus whooshed to a stop to avoid the sand kicking up off the curb. I guess I'll take sand over ice, snow, pothole grime, mud, or puddles. Thanks to Snowmaggedon and Snowmaggedon Part 2, we have enough sand out there to have a little curbside beach.
  • The seagulls are out in the Midway Marketplace parking lots again. Can anyone explain this phenomenon? My theory is that they migrate to the great Sea of Parking. Or they like french fries.
  • Nobody even questioned me wearing rain boots. It never did rain today,'re welcome.
Also, a random update on Paver Watch 2011:

Yep. Your guess is as good as mine!


The Pioneer Press scooped up my blog last night!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Five easy steps to Central Corridor happiness

Five easy ways that you, too, can have a happy and relaxed construction season while showing some love to your neighborhood businesses.

1. Start a cupcake-a-week diet. 9 out of 10 doctors agree that sugar makes you more efficient at life. My favorites are Lemon Meringue Pie, Mexican Hot Chocolate, and Carol Brady.

2. Go have a beer and chill the heck out. Too lazy? Sharrett's delivers. Seriously - I can't make this stuff up.

3. Get on the bus or hoof it. Avoid driving and parking altogether. Pairs nicely with #2. You think the bus is slow, but I'm relaxing on here while you're stuck in traffic. Think of it as a really affordable chauffeur.

4. Get a dilly bar. Let's face it. It's 41 degrees. That counts as spring in Minnesota. Time to celebrate by walking through puddles in flip flops and dripping ice cream on your parka.

5. Stock up on googly eyes. Ok, Axman has more than just buckets of eyes, but regardless of what you think you don't need, you'll end up buying it here. Past purchases of mine have included trophy making materials, tiny tea cups and tiny silverware, reflectors, alphabet stencils, shiny paper, packing tape, suspender materials (for a lumberjack costume - they were out of actual suspenders so we had to improvise), alien finger puppets, giant greeting cards, a bike bell, and of course, googly eyes of several sizes.

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Let's see what you're made of

If you are of the nerdy planner, engineer, or history buff variety, you may have already started speculating about what would be found when University Avenue is torn up. As we know, parts of this street have been paved in all kinds of things, from eight-inch diameter tree trunks, to 30-pound granite pavers. The early results are in at Emerald Street.

A whole lotta concrete.

Concrete that sandstone?

And if you look close - red brick pavers under than thin layer of dirt on the far side.

Stay tuned for updates on Paver Watch 2011!

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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Retail therapy

I may have stumbled upon the perfect cure to construction anxiety. On my way home today I stopped in at Second Debut (it will always be Andy's) and picked up two cute tops on the cheap. Supporting businesses? Check. Retail therapy? Check. I feel better already.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011


After a mini-vacation in the northwoods this weekend, we've come back to find St. Paul covered in a lot of snow. Again.

It's hard to tell what progress has been made while we were away since everything is covered in the white stuff.

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Friday, March 18, 2011

Ghost town

For the first day of all traffic being shifted to the north side of University, the commute home was strangely normal. There were about six construction guys trying to make the new temporary traffic signal at Raymond do something other than a left green arrow, but no one seemed particularly bothered. Here's a look eastbound during our St. Paul style "rush hour."

And a look at the south side of the street, which has been barricaded and prepared for demolition of the road bed. Oh, and outfitted with a super classy blue port-a-potty (yay for street furniture!)

Emerald Street was also officially closed off today (just found out it's going be closed til the south side is finished). It was good entertainment on the walk home watching cars trying to turn south onto Emerald and then having to back up in traffic through the orange barrels. Silly people.

And obviously, a closed street can only mean one thing: skateboarding. Yeah, you're welcome guys.

Update: the mysterious Melt Monster has yet to be used. I am now wondering if I have vastly underestimated his abilities, and Mr. Monster is actually there to gobble up the concrete. Sorry for the mistake, Concrete Cruncher. I'm sure you could melt snow too if you tried.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The big melt

I'm quickly realizing that I am unfamiliar with the names or uses of most construction machinery. Luckily, blogs need not be weighed down by research and fact! This guy looks like a cousin of the zamboni. And since I don't know what it's actually called, I'll just say - welcome to the neighborhood, Melt Monster.

Once you've taken care of getting the snow off University, feel free to swing around the block and do our street, too!

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Heavy lifting

There's a backhoe at my bus stop. That's one way to shovel snow.

My stop is still technically open, although the construction workers did awkwardly ask me to move to the left and right a couple times as they swung the bucket around my head. Safety first.

This is the first work done since my last post - seems like it might be a long spring!

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Location:Emerald & University

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

All quiet on the avenue

The first day of construction was...uneventful. No work done, but a few bus stops have already been closed. I do like that the reasoning listed on the new parking ban signs is simply "light rail" - very to the point.

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Location:The city border