Category Archives: Neighborhood News

A Night on 48th


The celebration takes place at Turtle Bread Company on Saturday, November 4, from 7–10 p.m. Tickets purchased before October 27 cost $15 – $20 at the door – and include the buffet of food from Turtle Bread Company and Pizza Biga, live music, and a wine raffle ticket. Staff from Turtle Bread serves soft drinks, wine, and beer at the cash bar. Space in Turtle Bread is limited; tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Purchase your ticket online with the link below or by calling the office 612-721-5424.


Select the Number of Tickets
Names for ticket pickup

Question: When does the buzz about Night on 48th begin? Answer: Right after last year’s sold-out festive event. It’s not an understatement to report that people have fun at Night on 48th. They talk about it – and look forward to it – all year long. They relax, visit with each other and meet new people, sip wine and beer from a cash bar, eat tasty food prepared by Turtle Bread Company and Pizza Biga, listen to laid-back music, and shop the silent auction.

In addition to creating a night of pure neighborly fun, Night on 48th is our neighborhood’s primary fundraiser. It’s an event during which neighbors celebrate all that makes Field Regina Northrop an appealing area in which to live, do business, and have fun.

The funds that are raised through ticket sales, support from generous sponsors, and sales of items and services donated to the silent auction all contribute to the many activities and improvements that occur in our neighborhood.


Music provided by AKOUO returns by popular demand. The band will again establish a relaxed ambiance for socializing and shopping. They describe their sound as “a collage of musical genres” including jazz, R&B, funk, gospel, country western, and rock, all of which was embraced with enthusiasm for the past several years by guests.

New this year: childcare

On a first-come, first-served basis for adults who reserve to attend Night on 48th, a limited number of spaces for childcare, for kids from ages 5 to 10, are available at McRae Park. There is no charge for this service but tips will be happily accepted. To reserve space for your child or children, send an email to or call the park at 612-370-4909.

Silent auction

Exciting items will be included in the silent auction including the always-popular stay at Pier 1 in Duluth. Check our webpage and Facebook page to stay current as silent-auction items are listed.

Items donated to the silent auction provide the opportunity for guests to shop locally, support our neighborhood, and score attractive products and services from nearby businesses and individuals. The silent auction is also an opportunity for an individual or business to donate an item that puts your name in front of 125 people. To learn more, contact program manager Stearline Rucker in
the neighborhood office.

In addition to those who donate to the silent auction, the neighborhood greatly appreciates the sponsors of Night on 48th who make this annual event a big success, even before the first guest has entered the door! Please thank our sponsors when you patronize their businesses.

Our volunteer board members set up the event, provide hospitality during the event, and clean up afterward. If you would like to get involved to help host Night on 48th, please contact Stearline in the FRNNG office. (612) 721-5424;

We’re eager to see you on Saturday,
November 4. Invite a neighborhood friend and join us to have fun and raise money to keep our community safe, connected, and beautiful. 

Open Streets Coming to Chicago Avenue in 2017?

By Chris Schommer & Stearline Rucker

FRNNG, in coordination with our neighbors to the north and south, is working on developing an Open Streets event along Chicago Avenue for 2017.

These popular city events close off the street from vehicle traffic on a Sunday and let people use the street however they like. There are events held up and down the street and FRNNG is tentatively planning to combine our annual celebration with Open Streets next summer.

If you would like to see this happen, we need your support! While the Open Streets personnel are well practiced with running an Open Streets event and will be able to provide volunteers on the day of the event, the vast majority of planning is done by neighborhood organizations
and volunteers. If you are available to help make this vision a reality and bring an Open Streets event to Chicago Avenue, please contact the office at (612) 721-5424 or

Utility-Box Artwork Project Continues

By Lindsey Feiner, co-chair, Greening Committee

The greening committee has continued with the utility-box wrap project this winter and spring, gathering many images created by artists in the neighborhood.

Phase 1 – Completed Fall 2015
• Minnehaha Pkwy. & Cedar, NW corner
• 46th St. & Park Ave,. NW corner
• 46th St. & 4th Ave., NW cornerPhase 2 – Due to be completed
Spring 2016
• Minnehaha Pkwy. & Chicago, SW corner
• Minnehaha Pkwy. & Portland, SE corner
• 48th St. & Chicago
• 46th St. & Chicago Ave., NE corner
• Minnehaha Pkwy. & Bloomington, NE

Phase 3 – Due to be completed
Fall 2016
• 46th St. & Portland Ave., NW corner
• 42nd St. & Park Ave., NE corner
• 42nd St. & Portland Ave., SE corner
• 47th St. & Portland Ave., NE corner

The project has been moving forward in phases. The first three boxes were completed in fall 2015, and the second phase will begin in spring 2016. Five boxes wrapped in mainly nature-themed art should be completed in June and July of 2016. This art consists of mainly of photography and painting.

In fall 2016, the project will conclude with four boxes on Portland and Park Avenues. The theme for these boxes will be the diversity, history, and people of FRN. We are still accepting artwork that fits into this theme.

Box Wrap InstallationBy the time you see the artwork on the utility boxes along the parkway and Chicago Avenue, it will have been through two city committee reviews! The application process started in April with determining box eligibility (only certain utility boxes can be wrapped). That step was followed by the review of the artwork by the Public Art Advisory Panel and the Arts Commission. Once those entities sign off, the greening committee applies for an encroachment permit for each box and a local vendor wraps the boxes.

Any local artists interested in learning more about our utility-wrap project for the fall 2016 phase can apply by emailing Please tell us about your artwork and how it relates to the themes of diversity, history, and the people of our neighborhood. Artists will be compensated with a small stipend.

Meeting Addresses Problem Properties

By Mike Lyon, South Northrop Representative

During the meeting on February 22 that was convened to discuss an increase in burglaries in our area, a number of people mentioned a related topic: vacant and problem houses. To address this concern, a meeting was held at McRae Park on Monday, April 4. Chair of the community and safety committee, Ben Elliott, conducted the meeting.

Problem properties and vacant houses

Photo by Tony Webster / CC

Photo by Tony Webster / CC

Of the three or four problem properties in FRN that were mentioned at the meeting, the most notable is the property at 4640 Portland Avenue, referred to as “The Pink House,” which has been vacant since 2009.

The property has changed ownership between the City of Minneapolis and Hennepin County since 2009, but was never sold to the public. The city of Minneapolis, current owner of the property, made it available for purchase in mid-January 2016 through a new city program: Vacant Housing Recycling Program. An offer by a well-regarded developer is currently pending approval by the Minneapolis city council and is expected to be finalized in August. If the developer withdraws the purchase offer, the city has committed to raze the house with backed support from council members from the 8th and 11th wards and the FRN board. Once razed, the lot will become available for purchase.

A problem for years

Neighbors have called 911 since 2009 to report suspected illegal activities in the vacant property at 4640 Portland. Because of incomplete information by concerned residents and inaccurate data by 911 personnel, concerns about the property were never flagged as a “problem property” by the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD).

A number of neighbors who attended the April 4 meeting expressed vehement frustration with the situation. A common theme of the night was the willingness of concerned neighbors to continue to monitor and report suspicious activity but they want and expect a response, along with ongoing feedback from the MPD.

Solutions and suggestions

Some solutions to the issue of problem properties were offered by officials and neighborhood board representatives who attended the April 4th meeting. A supervisor from 911 presented information on the correct way to report information. See this website for more information: tipsforcalling

The neighborhood community and safety committee will continue to help residents of FRN voice their concerns to MPD’s crime prevention specialist and the MPD in general at monthly committee meetings and through other means of communication. The goal of the community and safety committee is to act as a liaison between the residents of FRN and the MPD when elevated issues are identified. Also, an established block club that is connected to the crime prevention specialist can enact an effective plan for solving an issue such as a “problem property.”

Senior project coordinator from the residential and real estate finance division of the City of Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development department (CPED), Roxanne Young Kimball, will be presenting the city council with the recommendation to approve the sale of 4640 Portland on May 13th.

If you would like to know the current status of a vacant property, please contact Roxanne Young Kimball at Roxanne. or the neighborhood housing committee at If there is a problem property on your block, you may contact the community and safety committee at

4 Questions with Dwight Gronlund of Nokomis Cycle

By Adam Webster, Member, Communications Committee

Note: On January 6th, we shared a great story on our Facebook page featuring Dwight Gronlund, as a Secret Santa, surprising a customer with a new bike. Since then, that story has now been shared by others more than 3,700 times! We thought it would be a good time to check in with Dwight for this issue’s 4 Questions column. View the original story on Facebook.

Nokomis Cycle

Dwight Gronlund in his shop, Nokomis Cycle, on 46th Street and Bloomington Avenue.

Are you a former professional cyclist? What led you to open a bike shop in the first place

Actually, I’m a former architectural draftsman (and bike commuter) who was looking for a career change in the early 1990s. I’d always enjoyed riding my bike, and so I sought more experience in bike repair at places like Freewheel and REI. I learned about the business side through courses at Normandale College and a friendly internship with a small shop over in southwest Minneapolis. After that, I looked for an area of the city that didn’t already have a bike shop. I’ve been at this location ever since.

Looks like you’ve been in Northrop since 1994. What’s changed in the years since you set up shop?

It was pretty quiet at Bloomington and 46th back then. When I got here, only Overcraft Printing and Don’s Barber Shop were here. Two months after I opened Nokomis Cycle, a stylist shop opened next door, and a version of that has been operating there ever since. In 1997, Sisters’ Sludge opened up on the corner, helping pave the way for more foot traffic at the intersection. And since one of those sisters became my wife (we first met in the trash-collection area in the alley), I’d consider that a pretty important development for the neighborhood!

Minneapolis routinely shows up as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the nation. How have you experienced this at your shop?

I’ve lived in Minnesota since 1968, and Minneapolis since 1984. I think both Minneapolis and Saint Paul are good for bicycling because they aren’t filled with “city,” so to speak. These urban areas still protect their lakes and rivers, and that means bicycling in the Twin Cities can happen on paths in nice areas removed from car traffic. Recent efforts by local government to expand bike access on arterial roads have helped, but that only works when there is a good reason for leisure biking in the first place. Bikes themselves have really changed in recent years, too. There is much more variety out there now, and it’s just easier to find a bike that meets every biker’s needs. I personally enjoy riding many different types of bicycles, and I have a few different ones to suit my mood.

What’s the biggest maintenance mistake bike owners make regularly?

People can forget that bikes are machines. Over time, every machine needs to be tuned up in order to deliver the experience you want. Chains need to be greased, tire inflation needs to be optimized and cables and brakes need to periodically be recalibrated, especially after our winters. As the snow melts, one of the simplest things bike owners can do is bring their bikes in for a once-over. A professional can spot issues quickly and in most cases can offer an immediate fix that will keep your gears from slipping all summer long.

4553 Bloomington Avenue South

A longtime neighbor – St. Mary’s Cemetery

By Sue Filbin

One of the busiest intersections in our neighborhood – 46th and Chicago – is also among the most quiet. Since 1873, long before traffic became plentiful, the northeast corner of this intersection has been occupied by St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery.

St. Mary's Cemetery

One distinctive memorial in the cemetery
honors firefighters from the City of Minneapolis.

With its location near the center of Field Regina Northrop, St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery is geographically part of the community. Its 65 groomed acres provide a resting place for more than 66,000 people, and a quiet space for neighbors and visitors.

The sole full-time employee, Baltazar Cardoso, who speaks English and Spanish, lives nearby. From April through October, seasonal employees help Baltazar maintain the grounds, prepare sites for burials, tend and install markers, repair equipment, clean up storm damage, and place flowers and wreaths.

St. Mary’s is dedicated to being a good neighbor. When pedestrians remarked that it was inconvenient to walk on the 46th Street sidewalk because of the heavy snow flung onto the sidewalk by Hennepin County plowing crews, St. Mary’s purchased a special plow attachment to clear that extra-heavy snow.


Neighbors are welcome to walk on the paved roads and to take in the tranquility of the site. Artists sometimes sketch the rolling landscape and historic, sculptural markers. School children rub tennis balls on rubbing paper to transfer decorative images from grave markers to paper. Dog walkers are welcome when they keep their dogs leashed and pick up after their dogs.

Each year, St. Mary’s hosts a Memorial Day celebration that includes a parade, recognition of veterans of past wars, Mass, and refreshments. This special observance is part of a long partnership between the Knights of Columbus and the cemetery.


St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery was originally established as the parish cemetery for the Basilica of St. Mary (located in downtown Minneapolis). It is now one of five cemeteries owned and operated by The Catholic Cemeteries, an independent, self-sustaining religious corporation. In the Archdiocese of Saint Paul & Minneapolis, 110 cemetery properties are owned and maintained by their respective parishes.

The cemetery’s designation as a Catholic cemetery means that it is considered by Catholics to be sacred ground due to its having been blessed by a bishop. Catholics are welcome to be buried at St. Mary’s, as are their non-Catholic spouses and family members. Friends and neighbors who live nearby have also been buried in the cemetery over the years. Between 100 to 125 burials now take place annually.

In the fall of 2015, one of the less-used paved roads was closed to make space for 100 conventional graves and 100 cremation spaces. In addition to traditional burial plots, 600 crypts and 300 cremation niches are available in St. Mary’s Garden Mausoleum that opened in 1994. One of the most striking markers in the cemetery is a tall memorial to firefighters who served in the City of Minneapolis.

The dedication to the cemetery and neighborhood from those responsible for St. Mary’s became apparent during a conference-call phone conversation with John Cherek, director of Catholic Cemeteries, and Jon Louris, operations manager for the Catholic Cemeteries and supervisor at St. Mary’s Cemetery and Calvary Cemetery, St. Paul. John Cherek said, “If any neighbors have any ideas as to how we can be a better neighbor, please let us know.” (651) 228-9991

New Director at McRae Park

By Chris Schommer

McRae Park welcomed new full-time director Heather Susag in December. Heather first started working for the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board (MPRB) as a 16-year-old and has been involved ever since. For the past nine years, Heather has been working full time for the MPRB in the area of youth development and the “Youthline” program that provides youth mentorship, education and recreation programs all over the city of Minneapolis. Heather also has experience working at several local park programs. This is Heather’s first opportunity as park director.

Heather Susag

Heather Susag became the director of McRae
Park in December 2015.

When asked what she was looking forward to in her new position, Heather said she is excited to, “Hone in and develop programming that has a wide spectrum.” Heather says her experience so far at McRae has been very well rounded and she hopes to support the local community by making McRae a neighborhood destination no matter your age. In addition to supporting the youth sports community, there are opportunities to pilot new senior programs and host more programing for pre-school children (such as the new indoor playground on Mondays for pre-K children). She has already expanded youth programming with the return of RecPlus, a summer child care and education program, after a 10-year absence from McRae.

The upcoming athletic field replacement project that is scheduled to begin later this summer and last through 2017 will be a big challenge for McRae Park but Heather says she is excited about it. “I know how tough it has been to play sports in the past. I am excited that [this project] is not only going to re-shape sports but will make the land more usable for everyone.” This includes new multi-sport athletic courts, additional warm-up basketball hoops and completely re-built athletic fields. Heather said she is also very excited about one overlooked aspect of this project – new walking paths, shady areas, benches and lighting that will allow guests to circumnavigate the entire park. “Now you can walk your dog, seniors can walk, and small kids can bike all around the park!”

If people want to contact Heather with their ideas for programming at McRae or for more information, please email or call the front desk at 612-370-4909. McRae is open 3-9 p.m. during the school year and 12-8 p.m. during the summer.

Programs at McRae Park

Indoor Playground on Mondays
Mondays from 10:30-12:30 6 month-Pre K Register online or register in person.
Kids can play with newly purchased tunnels, bikes, and listen to music. Free. Starting in the spring there will be a one-time cost of $5.

Summer Rec PLUS
Summer childcare. Includes swim lessons, field trips, naturalist programs and other activities.
Age: Must have completed kindergarten through 6th grade 7 a.m.-6 p.m.
Registration starts March 15

Committee Name Change Proposed

Proposal Renames Committee Name to Housing & Community Development Committee

By Ian Campbell and Nate Lansing

With new real estate developments being constructed around the City of Minneapolis at a seemingly breakneck pace, it’s only a matter of time before the Field Regina Northrop neighborhood begins to experience some of these changes. The FRNNG housing committee feels that it is important for residents of the neighborhood to have a committee who can act as a facilitator for conversations between neighborhood residents and developers interested in investing in our neighborhood.

At the January FRNNG board meeting, housing committee co-chair, Ian Campbell, proposed a motion to add “Community Development” to the name and responsibilities of the housing committee, which was unanimously approved. According to FRNNG bylaws, this change now must be presented in print to the public. The following are the changes being made to the committee name and Statement of Purpose:

Name: The FRNNG Housing Committee shall become the FRNNG Housing & Community Development Committee.

Statement of Purpose: The Housing & Community Development Committee’s Statement of Purpose shall be amended as indicated by wording in bold:

“The goal of the Housing & Community Development Committee is to promote a safe and healthy environment for all Field Regina Northrop neighborhood residents, developing housing strategies to rehabilitate existing housing stock and affordable rental housing, and to facilitate the responsible development of the built environment.”

Questions or comments regarding this change may be submitted to and

46th Street Update

By Chris Schommer

While the time-frame for resurfacing 46th Street has not changed from this summer, the 46th Street planning process has been slightly delayed. The delay is mostly due to several other other major Hennepin County planning projects that are occurring this winter and the slow task of coordination between different agencies. In this case Hennepin County, Minneapolis Public Works, and Metro transit.

Particularly troublesome is the busy area around the intersection of 46th and Nicollet, since Nicollet is now also scheduled resurfacing and restriping this summer that will need to interface with the 46th St project. Because of this original goal of a public meeting in March was pushed back to late April or early May with the intention of sharing a design option for the corridor that is fully engineered and stable so that neighborhood feedback on the project can be most useful and accurate.

Notice of a public meeting with Hennepin County and Minneapolis Public Works staff will be sent out via a postcard or our next Newsletter, and shared on our webpage and social media. If you would like to review the community developed concept from October or submit a comment to Hennepin County about your opinions, concerns or ideas for the project visit the Hennepin County project webpage at: transportation/46-street

Follow-up Community Safety Meeting

Monday, April 4, 7-8pm at McRae Park

Join your neighbors for a follow up meeting to address issues raised at the well attended February 22nd, “Neighborhood Crime information and Prevention meeting” at St. Joan of Arc Church.

Speakers will include Council Member Glidden, Council Member Quincy, Lt Lund for the 3rd Precinct , and a representative from Community Planning and Economic Development (CPED), plus a supervisor from 911 to answer questions.

We hope you will be able to attend this meeting to continue the conversation about crime and safety in our neighborhood. If you are unable to attend or would just like to be more involved, please contact the FRN Community and Safety committee at for more information. Neighborhood volunteers make things happen!

Neighborhood Crime information and Prevention Followup meeting
Monday April 4th, 7:00-8:00 pm
McRae Park, 906 E. 47th St