Thursday, December 6, 2012

No biggie

Let's see, not much going this week.

The construction update has the regular stuff: Tom is selling Christmas trees at the Y, overhead wires are being installed (weather permitting), and some clean up work is happening. Slow news day.

It's not like this past weekend marked the end of heavy construction on University Avenue, and the beginning of the rest of our lives. It's no major milestone in our city's history.

This is what I would call understated:

Bus Details
Bus routes on University Avenue will resume to normal configuration. Visit or call the Transit Information Center at 612-373-3333 for the most current information.

Quietly, and without much notice, University Avenue has been buttoned up for good. Sure - there are more lane closures and more guideway work to come, but I'm taking a full minute and a half to savor this landmark moment.

And, hmm, what else is happening this week? Perhaps we could have a little party. For the opening of a $243 million historic depot 40+ years in the making. Whaaat? I can hardly contain myself.

Not one, but TWO random people at the bus stop last weekend were talking to me about this. I haven't heard that much bus buzz about a single event...ever. I was down there on Saturday to meet up with some friends - I can say I knew you when, Depot.

And because I can't manage to show any kind of restraint, I've copied the full list of events and activities happening between 10 am and 4 pm. I will be there early (media event and speeches start at 9:30!)

  • Commemorative Poster - Complete a Transit Pass to receive a free commemorative Union Depot poster designed by Twin Cities artist Adam Turman.

  • Union Depot History Display – Artifacts and photos that tell the history of Union Depot. 

  • Metro Transit Booth – Information on service and bus routes. Download a free bus pass at 

  • Jefferson Lines – Bringing intercity bus service to Union Depot in January 2013.Tour one of their featured buses and check out their new ticket office in the Kellogg Entry.

  • Amtrak – Coming to Union Depot in 2013, Amtrak will be onsite to share the glory of the Empire Builder train that will operate out of Union Depot. 

  • Minnesota Transportation Museum/Jackson Street Roundhouse – Learn about Twin Cities train history and view a historic map that depicts the location of the original Union Depot. 

  • Operation Lifesaver - Learn how to make safe decisions around tracks and trains.

  • Treasure Island Resort & Casino – Meet their mascot Toucan and spin the wheel for a chance to win prizes. 

  • Mississippi National River and Recreation Area National Park Service – Explore a giant floor map of the river. 

  • U of M Raptor Center – Check out three live raptors perched out on display including a bald eagle!  Onsite 12 P.M. to 4 P.M.

  • Mystic Lake Casino – Play Card Sharks for prizes.  Also, tour one of their shuttle buses.

  • St. Paul Saints – Play some baseball on the St. Paul Saints inflatable batting tee and get information on the new regional ballpark opening in Lowertown in 2015. 

  • One on One Bicycle Studio – Coming to Union Depot early 2013, see their new space and learn about products and services.

  • Saint Paul Winter Carnival – Meet the Royal Family and purchase your official Saint Paul Winter Carnival button.

  • Counties Transit Improvement Board (CTIB) – Learn how five metro counties are working together to fund new transit lines, and see the vision for our growing regional transit system.

  • Metropolitan Council Central Corridor LRT (Green Line) – Learn about the latest light rail project and take your picture with a large tapestry of a light rail car.

  • U of M Press – View a collection of their railroad books and meet some of the authors.

  • Harding High School – Enjoy musical performances  by the Harding High School Marching Band, Drum Line, and Ensemble. Performances at 10 A.M., 11 A.M. and  11:30 A.M.

  • Colleen & Bradley from MyTalk107.1 – Meet Colleen and Bradley from MyTalk107.1’s morning show.  Onsite 11 A.M. to 1 P.M. 

  • Snoopy Unveiling & Meet and Greet – Meet Snoopy and see our newly redesigned “Doghouse Days of Summer,” Snoopy Statue. Event at 11 A.M. 

  • Urban Sketchers – Meet local sketchers, including some of Union Depot’s own residents, to learn about sketching the world around you.

  • Taste of Lowertown - Experience the unique foods of Lowertown, with a new restaurant providing samples at the top of every hour.

  • Studio Sendero – Demonstrations and free classes in flamenco, belly dance, yoga and Zumba.

  • Recess Press – Pick up a pre-made tote, or learn from an artist how to screen print your very own. Totes are free while supplies last.

  • Bedlam Theatre Performances - Bedlam Theatre will perform a series of small and large-scale historically referential performances throughout the day. 

  • Light Rail Shuffle – Learn to dance the Light Rail Shuffle and other fun dances.

  • Train-Themed Photo Stand-Ins – Be the driver of a light rail car or the conductor of the William Crooks steam engine, and have your picture taken.

  • Postcards from Union Depot – Choose from several postcard designs created by local artists and send a postcard to yourself or a loved one from Union Depot. 

  • Movie night! Elf is being shown at 5:30. Woooo.

I plan to transfer from the 16 to the 21 downtown for the ceremonial joy of riding all the way to the depot on Saturday. You didn't get the notice? It's right here - in the bus route changes.


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