Saturday, August 28, 2010

Don't Ignore the Normalcy of NoMi Neighbors

Usually, the Strib's Letter of the Day doesn't even hold my quick glance long enough to finish the headline.  But today's was different, because the words North Minneapolis jumped out at me, as they always do.

I don't know Leah Westberry, the letter's author. But I tip my hat to her and give a "Well Said, Leah".

Thank you for putting it so eloquently.

There are "regular" people on the North Side, too. In fact, there are thousands of us here. We live in the midst of the gangs and the violence and the extreme poverty that you hear so much about. We are hardworking, middle-class families and individuals. We are senior citizens who have lived on the North Side for decades. We are college students, nurses, teachers, landscapers and truck drivers. We are black, white, Hispanic, Asian and Native American. We hate the violence. We love our neighbors. And we are not leaving. So please don't talk about the North Side as if the rest of us don't exist. It is a very small percentage of people causing all of the misery and getting all of the attention. Stop dehumanizing the North Side.-Leah Westberry, Minneapolis

So in honor of the normalcy of NoMi neighbors, I'd be delighted to share some photos of the wonderful, normal NoMi neighbors and other NoMi happenings, that I have a chance to enjoy. 
Normal NoMi Youth Neighbors
NoMi Neighbors being Normally Goofy
We have cool biker clubs, that's normal, right?
OK, I realize this doesn't look exactly "normal"!
We have great parties
And great cook-outs
We leave doorstep treats for each other
We show off our beautiful families at neighborhood events
We teach the little ones the important things in life, knitting
We try to grow the prettiest gardens you've ever seen
We make really fun drinks. Really fun!
We have artists and art houses and art galleries
We love each others children as if they were our own
Does it get any more normal than kids + scooters + sunshine ?


  1. Thanks, Megan - the photos are awesome and totally NOMI!

  2. I just moved to Nomi and I agree with everything said! Thanks, Megan. =)

  3. @Globe Jogger: You are now, too, a NoMi Passenger! Bon voyage!

    Bejing, huh? I have some NoMi neighbors you must meet. They love sharing Chinese connections. I suppose if I lived halfway around the world away from my homeland, I too, would want to make every American connection I could. Cheers!

  4. Hi Megan,

    Thanks for copying my letter from the strib and posting it here with these great pictures! I was so angry at the nasty comments people make about NOMI on the strib. I think reminding the public that we all actually live here is important.

    Take Care,

    Leah Westberry

  5. I have finally made it over to your blog and it is excellent.I was close to tears looking at your photos of people and fondly remember that getting along was second nature and we all mixed and mingled and loved (and in cases disliked ) each other.This will be the site where iexclusively remain in a state of reminiscence and will refrain from any profanity or controversy and wiil focus on memories from every section of North Minneapolis and i know the whole area and its history.From the border of Brooklyn Center to the borders of south Minneapolis near Bryn Mawr and from the Golden Valley border to the edge of Downtown i have lived and experienced a plethora of memories and have friends,family and acquaintances from ALL backrounds and that is the only way i wiil have it.AS i stated before, a Monoculturalistic society is very boring one and you must open yourselves up to the beauty of everybody.Thanks NoMi Passenger.

  6. thanks for stopping by boathead! I have done several posts that are photojournals of our wonderful lives in NoMi, so be sure to check them all out.

    And my camera is finally repaired and ready for pick up so that means just in time for another holiday weekend filled with good friends and good fun in NoMi, which of course means more photoblogging on NoMi Passenger!

    Stay tuned for a coool story on urban farming done right that can be duplicated in NoMi - as well as the NoMi State Fair on the Jordan Pond!