Dinkytown not Megatown/Save Dinkytown

Northeast, Near North, Camden, Old St. Anthony, University and surrounding neighborhoods
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FISHMANPET
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Re: Dinkytown not Megatown/Save Dinkytown

Postby FISHMANPET » September 9th, 2013, 5:58 pm

And the unruly yelling has begun

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FISHMANPET
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Re: Dinkytown not Megatown/Save Dinkytown

Postby FISHMANPET » September 9th, 2013, 9:07 pm

So here's some pictures. Click the pictures for the full size version, which you'll need to actually read everything

We were given dots to place on statements to reflect how we agreed or disagreed. Ignore the multiple colors here, they don't matter
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And then here are the rest of the boards. Here the color dots matter. Green means you agree with/support/react positivly to the statement. Red means you disagree with/don't support/react negatively to the statement
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And here are a couple maps of the area I snapped pictures of, not sure how legible these photos even are.
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Re: Dinkytown not Megatown/Save Dinkytown

Postby RailBaronYarr » September 9th, 2013, 9:43 pm

Bummer I couldn't make it tonight. I went to the Nicollet Streetcar open house in hopes of making both but the meeting went a little long and by the time I got over to the U it was 7:30 already, so I had dinner with my little sister and saw her new place instead. Looks like the community is definitely mixed on some topics, as expected. Seems most people seem to agree there is a parking issue at hand, enough that people think the city should be in the business of building a parking ramp at cost (despite hundreds of non-metered spaces within a few blocks of the core, plus the 4th St ramp).

Woulda been interesting to be there, curious to hear your thoughts, mhwbkr and FMP.

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Nick
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Re: Dinkytown not Megatown/Save Dinkytown

Postby Nick » September 9th, 2013, 9:47 pm

Wish I could have gone, I had some friends in town from out East who just left today. Thanks for the pictures.

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Re: Dinkytown not Megatown/Save Dinkytown

Postby Silophant » September 9th, 2013, 10:44 pm

FMP and I spoke to a city planning guy about the parking issue for a while. He said the city is obviously aware of the issues with parking around Dinkytown, specifically with students and U employees claiming spots to park for the entire day, but that there's nowhere to just put in a parking deck. A lot of people seem to be in favor of the city building a parking ramp for Dinkytown, which I wouldn't be opposed to, except that there's not a single parcel of land within six blocks that I'd be okay with a ramp being built on. (Well, the train yards, but that's a non-starter). He also said that they're working really hard to get a vertical connection to the Dinkytown Greenway (Granary Corridor) built, probably at 4th and 15th, and that they'd be looking into putting a bunch of bike parking down there when it happens.

Kelly Doran and a few of his guys were there for the presentation, and I was going to try to ask them how many retail spots they were thinking about in their proposal, but they skedaddled pretty quickly, which I can't really blame them for, since this meeting wasn't really about their project.

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Re: Dinkytown not Megatown/Save Dinkytown

Postby FISHMANPET » September 9th, 2013, 11:18 pm

I think he was with the consulting company that was doing the study, not the city (based on his name tag). A completely irrelevant minutiae that I'm sure in some way is critically important to somebody somewhere.

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Re: Dinkytown not Megatown/Save Dinkytown

Postby Silophant » September 10th, 2013, 6:40 am

Thanks for the correction. Actually, that makes sense. I was under the impression the vertical connection to the Dinkytown Greenway was already funded in next year's budget, but he didn't seem to know about it.

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Re: Dinkytown not Megatown/Save Dinkytown

Postby woofner » September 10th, 2013, 9:54 am

By the way, the undotted versions of the groovy boards from the meeting can be found at the project page:

http://www.minneapolismn.gov/cped/proje ... kytownplan

They also have a survey that appears to be for members of the "community" only:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DinkytownSurvey
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FISHMANPET
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Re: Dinkytown not Megatown/Save Dinkytown

Postby FISHMANPET » September 10th, 2013, 10:02 am

The "community" is anybody that cares about Dinkytown, so if you have any interest, fill out the survey. They want to make sure that everybody that has a voice has their voice heard.

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Re: Dinkytown not Megatown/Save Dinkytown

Postby twincitizen » September 10th, 2013, 10:16 am

Thanks to FMP for the pics and Woofner for sharing the survey. Everyone should definitely share their thoughts. It only took me about 5 mins to fill out.

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Re: Dinkytown not Megatown/Save Dinkytown

Postby woofner » September 10th, 2013, 10:32 am

Also, my mistake, the groovy boards are not on the project page. However, there are some other materials there, including a document (labelled handout) that appears to have many of the same findings/recommendations - maybe someone who was at the meeting can say if anything significant is missing.
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Re: Dinkytown not Megatown/Save Dinkytown

Postby FISHMANPET » September 10th, 2013, 10:43 am

The handout was kind of a summary of what was on the boards. The boards contain more than the handout but the handout doesn't contain anymore info than the boards. I also wouldn't say there was anything ground breaking on any of the boards. As an avid poster/reader here it was pretty much all known to me or easily fit with what I did know. It was for the benefit of the average community member that probably doesn't have as much interest in this stuff as we do, so they're not going to know as much as we do.

I asked the planner if/when these would be online, and she said she wasn't sure how to digitize the boards in a way that can easily be consumed. Those pictures I took may be the best we'll get, until she figures out what to do with them.

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Re: Dinkytown not Megatown/Save Dinkytown

Postby exiled_antipodean » September 10th, 2013, 12:40 pm

mhwbkr wrote:I think Dinkytown is historic due to primarily to the events of 1950s-70s--its importance to the counter-culture of that time, central role in as a place of anti-war demonstration, the Red Barn protests, the folk scene (Dylan, but also Koerner, Ray and Glover, the Podium, its continued acceptance of street musicians, etc). But many people just have a gut reaction that it is an historic area, which I think is significant.
This is a well-articulated statement about the historic significance of Dinkytown that I agree with. And I think a lot of people in Save Dinkytown, but also in the "Let Dinkytown Change" movement would agree.

What's telling to me is that nothing in this statement mentions specific existing buildings where something identifiable happened (other than Red Barn!). It's about the vibe of the place, and the interactions between people.

It's really not clear to me why those non-tangible human events not connected to particular buildings require making it harder for people to build new buildings in Dinkytown, or replace them.

Wouldn't a better way of honoring those memories be things like public art, and plaques saying where Dylan lived, and getting wider sidewalks to allow more of the kinds of urban interactions that you describe? Dinkytown is great, but if 4th St lost a lane of traffic to and 14th Ave was a woonerf, it would be even more of it was, is, and can be.

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Re: Dinkytown not Megatown/Save Dinkytown

Postby mhwbkr » September 11th, 2013, 10:38 pm

I had a pretty good time on Monday. Two Indeeds, free dinner, some mingling and a show. I'm curious to see how the sticker charts turned out and how that will influence the discussion among the planning group, and I think the art cart thing is going to be a lot cooler than how it was described during the presentation. The crew from Intermedia Arts is also working on a documentary about the planning process in Dinkytown and were filming interviews upstairs.

I was in the back during the public comment time and often couldn't hear very well, so I don't really have much to say about it. The Dinkytown Rentals guy yelling at the start was funny and awkward, but was he the same guy who started stumping for Doran later? I couldn't tell. Doran sent a letter around to property owners that encouraged them to show up and support development in Dinkytown, seems like that guy really took it to heart. I'm glad Ms. Maze did not let the focus turn to one specific project.

I think it says a lot that almost nobody "strongly agreed" with the statement "Dinkytown should not change from how it currently appears" (paraphrasing, sorry). Based on what I know about the people I saw there, i.e."who supports what", it was a pretty diverse crowd, by my estimation.

I got distracted while I was looking at the boards and didn't end up putting stickers on anything.

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Re: Dinkytown not Megatown/Save Dinkytown

Postby FISHMANPET » September 11th, 2013, 11:08 pm

All I know about that guy yelling at the beggining was that his name was Tim, he's the owner of Dinkytown Rentals? That would make sense.

Also I have to say that I was standing in front of the Policy Spectrum board along with the owner of Vescio's. He was strongly against new bars and resturants, because that would mean more competiton for his restaurant. Both and the consultant and I pointed out that there are agglomeration effects to making Dinkytown a dining destination, that bring more people to Dinkytown to eat will bring more people to his restaurant, but I don't think he believed that.

Then the next night I decided to go there for dinner. I was there around 6:30-7:30, and it wasn't very busy. Based on what was printed on the receipt (VALET PARKING COMING SOON! PARKING SHUTTLE COMING SOON!) and another sign up at the register advertising the shuttle bus, it sounds like he thinks his downturn in business is due to a lack of parking.

When we were there, we were the only young people that weren't there with their parents. There were 7 tables in the room we were in including us. 2 of them were college students with their parents, and 4 were older people. The food we had was OK, but not that great. My pasta was overcooked, and my wifes chicken was greasy and probably microwaved. The service was horrible. It took 10-15 minutes for the server to take our order, another 10-15 minutes for bread, another 10-15 minutes for a second order of bread (because we still don't have food) and then 5-10 minutes after that we finally had our food. And it's not like they were overworked, there were 4 servers there. Tables weren't being bussed promptly. Servers had to bus their own tables, but I could see the service station from our table and they spent a lot of time standing around. The outside is not that inviting. We walked in and I thought it was closed, because it was so empty. It turns out they were seating everybody in the side room, which has windows to the street, but they're too high in the are to actually see in. At least the wine was cheap.

Now I'm not going to pretend to know everything about this restaurant after a single visit, but the impression that I got was that it was trying to attract an older crowd, and not really catering to the students on campus. Maybe it's different for lunch, because it looks like they've got some lunch specials, but I've never seen a lot of traffic even at lunch time, and I go to Dinkytown for lunch a lot.

Based on what I view Dinkytown as, this is a place that's out of touch. Obviously the owner has a different view of Dinkytown. I just hope that the future vision for Dinkytown doesn't try and make a Dinkytown that isn't relevant anymore, led by people that are holding onto the past rather than looking towards the future.

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Re: Dinkytown not Megatown/Save Dinkytown

Postby talindsay » September 12th, 2013, 9:46 am

Sounds like they should be looking to the pasta, not looking to the past :-P

I've eaten at Vescio's several times and enjoy their food and find the service acceptable. But your evaluation is probably accurate.

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Re: Dinkytown not Megatown/Save Dinkytown

Postby RailBaronYarr » September 12th, 2013, 10:14 am

Agreed, particularly on the clientele base. I had a pretty big social network in college between the marching band, enginerd classmates, and my core buddies in my house (11 of us). Not once did I hear anyone suggest going to, rave about, or recommend Vescio's. The one time I went during school was when I forced a few housemates in my effort to eat at every Dinkytown establishment before graduating. I thought the food was decent, priced accordingly, and the interior exactly as described by FMP. It's the one building on that block's stretch (save the Subway/parking lot) that doesn't address the street very well and thus feels closed off from it. I think this turns a lot of kids away. None of this is to rag on the owner or the business, just giving my experience.

EDIT: didn't mean to sound like a dbag on the social network, just that I talked to a lot of people because of the disparity in people I interacted with.

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Re: Dinkytown not Megatown/Save Dinkytown

Postby FISHMANPET » September 12th, 2013, 10:33 am

I'm a huge lover of Italian food, especially super simple stuff like pasta and sauce, and this was the first time in 8 years that I'd ever gone in, which I think in and of itself is pretty telling. The only reason I went this time was because I'd stood next to the owner at the community meeting.

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Re: Dinkytown not Megatown/Save Dinkytown

Postby widin007 » September 12th, 2013, 11:35 am

As a senior at the U right now, I don't know a soul (including myself) who either went to the U or is going still there that has ever eaten there or even considered it, and being a business in a college catering district I think that might be a problem.

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Re: Dinkytown not Megatown/Save Dinkytown

Postby Silophant » September 12th, 2013, 11:53 am

I ate there for the first time a couple months ago. It wasn't terrible, but wasn't great either. I'll maybe go back sometime, if I'm in the mood for pasta and don't want to go to LPB for whatever reason.


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