Minneapolis/Saint Paul Check-In Thread May 29, 2020 9:46 AM   Subscribe

For residents, relatives, and friends of the Twin Cities in Minnesota, this has been a very difficult week.

I hope that everyone is doing OK and able to stay safe.
posted by ZeusHumms to MetaFilter-Related at 9:46 AM (58 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

Echoing that I hope everyone's as okay as they can be. Thinking of folks in the Minneapolis area, but also everyone affected by the scariness and heartbreak of all this and its galling familiarity. I'm gonna ask folks to try and keep this thread focused on check-in and personal how-you're-doing stuff, and be sure to put news-tracking and general discussion stuff more in the thread on the blue that ZeusHumms linked above.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:49 AM on May 29 [6 favorites]


My friends in MNPLS are just gutted, first of course because of George Floyd and then the fires and destruction (largely by outside influencers, it seems). I sincerely hope this can bring about change. Stay safe, everyone.
posted by cooker girl at 9:50 AM on May 29 [3 favorites]


I'm a native Minnesotan and live out of state now but I know the area that's been on camera the past few days and it's so surreal to watch. Thank you to Minneapolis Mefites keeping us informed.
posted by nakedmolerats at 9:50 AM on May 29 [2 favorites]


I'm in NE Minneapolis which has thankfully been pretty quiet so far, though there has been some minor vandalism on Central and at the Quarry (broken windows). We've been sheltering at home for well over two months now, so not much change in the routine. It breaks my heart to see my city like this. Given the attitude that Mike Freeman seems to have that the entire country can go up in flames while he does his thorough investigation before arresting the guy, I'm not holding out hope that things will quiet down over the weekend, even with the national guard here.
posted by triggerfinger at 9:58 AM on May 29 [5 favorites]


Moved out of St Paul in February but went into town to for Whole Foods staples today and it was surreal. Our ups store/mailbox was closed. Cvs and Walgreens all boarded up. Lots of sirens. Gas stations closed. The one a block from my bffs childhood home burned down. Just listened to the Walz presser. Yeah stop burning our own stuff BUT GOD EFFING DAMNIT GO ARREST THE PIG. Sorry I have a lot of feelings right now.
posted by Bacon Bit at 10:01 AM on May 29 [9 favorites]


(It’s weird when you yell something on the internet and it happens. He’s in custody)
posted by Bacon Bit at 10:14 AM on May 29 [34 favorites]


My neighborhood in St. Paul has been unaffected by protests, but most of the businesses are closed, and public transit is shut down. Bizarrely, due to adaptations already in place for COVID-19, this hardly affects me at all.

Most of my loved ones are out in the suburbs and, I think, pretty safe, despite some reports of looting and arson scattered around the wider metro.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 10:22 AM on May 29 [2 favorites]


You did it, Bacon Bit! Yay!

I didn't get much sleep last night. We were going to head in to help with clean-up today but decided we don't want to get in the way. We're dropping off food with a friend who is making a big run to an emergency food shelf on Lake (I will post a link later) and are heading to the U at 2 with friends for another rally. We're glad that Chauvin's been taken into custody but there's more to do.

I don't know if it'll sink in until I see Lake Street for myself. Even though I have seen the live feeds and the pictures, it's still kind of unimaginable.
posted by Gray Duck at 10:28 AM on May 29 [7 favorites]


Has anyone heard from Frowner?
posted by Flannery Culp at 10:30 AM on May 29 [29 favorites]


I'm sick at heart. Like nakedmolerats, I'm no longer in MN, but I lived in the Twin Cities for over 50 years, and for the last 15 of them less than a mile from the 3rd precinct building--I used to bike through that area almost daily. There's nothing more I can say about the horrors that precipitated this that hasn't been said more eloquently by others; just wanted to add a grieving voice from far away, and gratitude to those in the area who've been posting updates and info.
posted by Kat Allison at 10:43 AM on May 29 [4 favorites]


My brother and his family live up near Lexington and Energy Park drive in St. Paul. I'm sure I would have heard something if they were worried but does anyone know what things are like on the ground over there?
posted by VTX at 10:47 AM on May 29 [1 favorite]


Outside of midway most of the damage has been sporadic in STP- random people driving up, breaking a window or two, looting the lululemon on Grand. Flloyds Pharm on Minnehaha and Snelling burned, gas station on Grand and Cleveland as well. I'm not sure if anything went north of Como, and as far as I can tell no people or personal residences were targeted in any of this, though some were harmed as proxy to various fires in midtown.
posted by Think_Long at 11:14 AM on May 29 [2 favorites]


South Minneapolis, a few miles from Cup Foods. I’ve gone numb and can’t articulate the grief and anger outside of clicking favorites. Thank you everyone who provided updates over the last few days. Please stay safe.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 11:48 AM on May 29 [13 favorites]


I'm in the Lowry Hill area of Minneapolis, and so far totally safe. My local Walgreens is closed for the moment (it's normally open 24 hours) and has a few windows smashed, including at the pharmacy drive-thru, but that and the dozen or so shell casings in the street near my apartment building are the only things I've seen.
posted by bile and syntax at 12:21 PM on May 29 [5 favorites]


I only lived there for a decade, and that was two decades ago, but Minneapolis remains the home of my heart, and for the last few days, I have been swinging back and forth between horror, panic, rage, and fear for all the people I know who live there. My first apartment in MPLS was about six blocks from the Cub plaza. I sent a donation to a food bank in the area because, seriously, there is now nowhere to get food or medication in the area, and people are going to suffer. Do what you can to help. Stay safe. Fuck the MPD. Justice for George Floyd.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:37 PM on May 29 [11 favorites]


I'm okay. Mr. Dinty is helping with the cleanup right now, I'm getting stuff ready for food dropoff. Really close to cup foods, less close to lake and minnehaha. Still worried about the future, glad the pig got arrested.
posted by dinty_moore at 1:23 PM on May 29 [10 favorites]


(It’s weird when you yell something on the internet and it happens. He’s in custody)

I'll spring for some lozenges, Bacon Bit has a lot of shouting to do.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:34 PM on May 29 [24 favorites]


SE Minneapolis, about a mile from Lake and Minnehaha. Feeling mostly safe here, in a residential area with few or no businesses nearby that would be targets for looting. Hard to sleep with the helicopters flying around and whoever is either revving or racing their motorcycles nearby.

Donated some food and supplies to one of the local business collecting. Planning on helping with some clean up if still needed tonight. I go to that Target pharmacy for medications and I have a feeling that it is going to be a while until they're open if ever.

All in all, I consider myself and my family pretty safe at the moment considering how many are in a vastly worse situation than mine. Including all the isolation going on on top of this, my own personal inconveniences seem pretty minor against the problems and issues others are facing.

The massive effort to lend help and assistance during this whole thing has been very uplifting to me personally, happy to see that Minnesotan sense of community is still there.

Stay safe Mpls Mefites.
posted by Sphinx at 2:03 PM on May 29 [6 favorites]


Also in good news, at least two of the food donation places (37th and Chicago and the touchstone mental health one) have been too successful and are turning people away.
posted by dinty_moore at 2:16 PM on May 29 [7 favorites]


I am on the Hennepin bridge with a large crowd. Good energy here.
posted by Gray Duck at 3:06 PM on May 29 [24 favorites]


I live in Midway, about three blocks from Lloyd’s Pharmacy which was one of the businesses that burned down completely. I went by in the morning to watch the last of it fall over as fire trucks sprayed water on it. All the houses in our area are OK although we have widespread Internet outages which supposedly may not be repaired until June 3, I’m not sure if that’s due to damage or because they don’t want to send techs to our area. No mail carriers out today, either. Other nearby businesses not burned have broken windows and spray paint, lots of police parked everywhere and boarded up windows, but many people helping clean too and some places giving out free food and coffee to all comers. My favorite coffee shop came out okay and so did the little Korean grocery I like.

Last night was terrifying and sad and I am so heartbroken for my neighborhood and all these places I’ve been to and loved, and so mad at the police and at myself. My friend posted “Our white silence has burned our city” and that about sums it up.
posted by castlebravo at 3:20 PM on May 29 [23 favorites]


Took nap. It kinda helped.
posted by ZeusHumms at 3:24 PM on May 29 [4 favorites]


Also AX MAN SURPLUS was looted of all places! so I hope whoever tore that place up enjoys their 250 KQQR night lights or cancer awareness zip ties or Joe Mauer bobble heads or whatever they got. No reports of anyone trying to wheel the iron lung down University so I can hope that’s intact.
posted by castlebravo at 3:48 PM on May 29 [18 favorites]


Back home. LOTS of businesses in NE, downtown, and Columbia Heights are boarding up their windows. There is a curfew in place for Minneapolis thru the weekend (8pm-6am) so maybe that plywood won't be needed? One can hope. Maybe we could send all this plywood to hurricane zones once we no longer need it.
posted by Gray Duck at 4:17 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


Friend of mine mentioned a lot of smaller community health clinics got hit and a lot more are closing and that's depressing me all over again. I get that buildings are buildings and people's lives are more important, but sometimes buildings help save people's lives, you know?
posted by dinty_moore at 4:42 PM on May 29 [4 favorites]


I've been checking police scanners online every now and then to check the general temperature. I'm glad they're available, but how the hell are open-band radio transmissions still a thing for law enforcement in 2020? It's welcome, but weird.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 8:20 PM on May 29 [4 favorites]


Got an email today from the school PTO asking for volunteers and/or supplies to help board up an alternative high school on East Lake Street. Is this an email I would have expected to receive last year? No. Am I even surprised at this point? Not really. 2020 is one multi-block-long dumpster fire of a year in a series of absolute dumpster fire years, and it’s only going to get worse as COVID spreads post-protest and we get closer to the fall election.

This quote from a social worker via this MinnPost article really stuck with me tonight, though: “I understand the word riot we use to describe what’s going on, but this is a ‘communal trauma response.’ That’s what this is.”
posted by Maarika at 8:57 PM on May 29 [23 favorites]


My neighborhood (northwest of where most of the actions were last night, near the 5th precinct) has been full of smoke for several hours and there has been constant helicopter noise as well. Not actually sure this qualifies as a check-in, because where I am this is still very much an ongoing situation, but I've been glad to hear from friends closer to the 3rd precinct location that that neighborhood had settled down, at least earlier today and tonight. Haven't heard much about how north Mpls is doing, other than official statements that that's where all the firefighters and National Guard personnel have been all night, which is unsettling to say the least.
posted by C. K. Dexter Haven at 10:11 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


Ready to evacuate, not evacuated yet
posted by dinty_moore at 3:06 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]


Things look like maybe they're calming down a little now. Though still some suspicious traffic. Nothing on fire within a block of me.
posted by dinty_moore at 3:42 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]


Lowertown St. Paul, 10am, young, white joggers, men & women, at least three appear to be wearing bullet proof vests.

(I am not a vest expert, and I am absolutely not a jogging expert, so if there's some fitness reason to jog in a stiff, black vest of front and back panels connected by straps, please feel free to correct me.)
posted by paper chromatographologist at 8:00 AM on May 30


In all probability it's a weighted vest for strength training. I'm assuming that if you're scared enough of getting shot you're going to skip the jog.
posted by Think_Long at 8:10 AM on May 30 [4 favorites]


Does anyone have any information on gas stations that are open? We've got a quarter tank and a bunch of places that were torched.

Also, I'd you're coming in to help out, I highly suggest getting gas outside the cities, for the above reason.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:14 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


We live in SW Minneapolis, near 50th and France. A jewelry store on France was apparently busted up the other night, and a Walgreen’s near the greenway was looted. My wife’s clinic in Uptown was evacuated on Thursday and boarded up - no damage there but a lot of frayed nerves and apparently residents of the senior housing center next door to the clinic were looking at fires and hearing disturbances all night. This is anecdotal and second/third hand, so take it as an indicator of where people’s emotions are at right now more than as factual reporting.

We live about a dozen blocks from Mike Freeman’s house, as it turns out. There are reports that there are protests planned for his block this afternoon (there were folks there earlier in the week, peaceful as far as I know). I’m told that the folks planning those gathering are credible activists with peaceful intentions, but that they are hearing that various unsavory elements are planning to infiltrate, disrupt, and move things to the 50th and France area - for those unfamiliar, that’s a fairly upscale retail district (think Anthropologie, Soul Cycle, Lush, Banana Republic, along with various independent shops) at the border between Minneapolis and Edina (a first-ring suburb with a lot of wealth).

Also today is my daughter’s 11th birthday. Happy birthday, kiddo!
posted by nickmark at 10:30 AM on May 30 [8 favorites]


The people running in weighted vests are almost certainly CrossFitters doing the workout called “Murph,” which is an annual tradition around Memorial Day, and involves running a mile in a weighted vest.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:41 AM on May 30 [6 favorites]


Thanks, ocerdraco. That helps to have a reason I I'd notice it for the first time today.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 11:20 AM on May 30






I’m worried about frowner. Stay safe, everyone. Thanks for checking in.
posted by Bella Donna at 2:32 PM on May 30 [8 favorites]


We left for my parents’ home in the northern suburbs. Feeling cowardly because obviously most don’t have the luxury of this option, but I have two little kids and my ability to protest right now is limited, with them to take care of and strict curfews. We moved all our implements of destruction AKA shovels, bricks, assorted yard tools from the garage into our basement, connected the hose to the outdoor spigot, turned on all the porch lights, left a set of keys with the neighbors. Last night was eerily quiet in Midway but tonight the FB neighborhood group has multiple reports of a large group of trucks without plates spotted gathered at my neighborhood park, two blocks from my house, half hour before curfew, with white men inside. Police were called and the group left. So I’m not going to sleep well no matter how far away I am from my home. Texting Minneapolis friends to make sure they’re safe. I hope all of you are safe as well. What the fuck is happening.
posted by castlebravo at 6:51 PM on May 30 [6 favorites]


South Minneapolis, Nokomis neighborhood. Mostly quiet but local businesses are boarded up for protection, at least 2 vandalized and one nearby gas station fully burned. This year is just the fucking worst. Stay safe everyone.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:55 PM on May 30 [5 favorites]


I'm really worried about Frowner- please check in.
posted by daybeforetheday at 7:05 PM on May 30 [4 favorites]


I'm up on 40th between Central and University. We just met several new neighbors, all of who are a bit on edge. We keep hearing what we *hope* are fireworks....really bad night for fireworks, folks. The house full of 20-somethings at the end of the block isn't letting the curfew stop them from having the 3rd party in as many nights. Good to see some things go on as normal!

Lots of businesses boarded up, lots of lights on in the neighborhood. All of the neighbors I chatted with are planning to spend some time sitting out on their front stoops tonight. We watched a gray truck with no plates drive by, followed by an unmarked police car. A friend spoke with the CHPD and they are keeping a close eye on Central/University/Johnson/Stinson especially now that the freeways are closed.
posted by Gray Duck at 7:38 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


I’m in Uptown, near Jefferson School.

It’s been big black helicopters nonstop since yesterday afternoon. All the neighborhood stores are boarded up—Kowalskis even has big concrete barricades.

They finally turned the water off at the 27th/Henn Walgreens though although the alarm was still blasting late into the night last night.
posted by padraigin at 7:46 PM on May 30 [4 favorites]


Lists of places needing donations and volunteers. There is some overlap, but I found them a good starting point.

from First Avenue

from Pioneer Press

from WCCO (warning: annoying autoplay)

from KARE

from KSTP

30 minutes ago from Support the Cities:

"Sunday Morning Update:
1. The entire length of Lake St. is looking terrific, thanks to all of you! NO cleanup effort is needed on Lake St. today.

2. We have reports that the lengths of Broadway Ave in North Minneapolis is also looking terrific. No cleanup efforts are needed there today either.

3. We are in the process of creating new events in new location requesting help.

Stay tuned!"

((((MeFites))))
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 7:32 AM on May 31 [11 favorites]


Here's Frowner, since people asked (which cheered me up!) . We live right in near South. We're sheltering indoors because my partner is high risk for coronavirus and I have a moderate risk factor, so I have actually just been at home, not at the protests.

It's scary and I'm pretty depressed, also extremely worried about the coming coronavirus spike which I think is going to crash the hospitals.

Our mail delivery was canceled on Friday with no end in sight - will we get mail on Monday? Who knows. I'm waiting on a non-emergency prescription, so that's sort of a drag.

It's been helicopters and gunshots, and our power was knocked out all day on Friday. The late morning and middle of the day have been normal every day, which is bizarre. Right now it looks beautiful outside and (partly because our back yard is weedy and unmowed so paradise for birds and squirrels) I can hear tons of birds out my window.

Uncle Hugo's, the venerable SF bookstore, was broken into and burned to the ground - lots of archival stuff gone forever, plus all the ridiculous hand-painted comic D&D signs in the windows.. It sounds as though the owner will be establishing a gofundme to rebuild, and since it's literally world-famous, I'm sure he'll have no trouble. But it will probably no longer be in my neighborhood. Let me tell you, if that was just trauma and protest that got a bit out of hand (because TBH, that's an important place which did not deserve it, regardless) I'm not mad, but if it was nazis I'm really angry.

Lots and lots of reports on FB and Twitter of plausible (and a few documented by photos) sightings of white supremacists, including a couple of vans with nazi stickers. There was a black SUV which shot up Pimento, a restaurant on Nicollet, and was seen to shoot at two Black people on the street (and those were just the incidents that got reported). These were not "outside agitator" protests but there are a number of nazis here attacking people. We'll never know which of the fires they started, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were some of the ones at small/minority-owned businesses and the ones off the main track of the protest.

Because the buses are shut down and deliveries are stopped, some people are having trouble accessing food. There are a bunch of community delivery projects underway. I wish I could participate, but I don't feel at all good about potentially exposing my partner to the virus, especially when I think the hospitals are going to be overwhelmed.

Someone I volunteered with a long time ago - about the time of the last recession - is in the hospital with a skull fracture and bleeding on the brain because of being hit by a rubber bullet.

As with everything else in this country, we have declined to fix problems for forty years, leaving everything hanging from a hair, and now the hair has snapped. There were a lot of relatively easy fixes for the policing problems here - not relatively easy solutions for the prison-industrial complex but relatively easy ways to improve and de-escalate things - but right down to last year when the city council refused to cut police funding over massive public outcry, they've always preferred not to go up against the police union. For some people it's political expediency - they would prefer a less violent, less racist police force, but they don't prefer it enough to waste political capital on trying to get it. For others, although they would never say it they prefer a violent, racist police force to do their dirty work - it's easy to look liberal when it's just "impossible" to fix policing problems and you still get to reap the benefits.

Anyway. Bad times.
posted by Frowner at 9:38 AM on May 31 [80 favorites]


It's good to hear from you, Frowner. Let us know if you need anything... I guarantee there are many Twin Cities Mefites that would be happy to help you and your partner out.
posted by Gray Duck at 10:12 AM on May 31 [9 favorites]


I lived in Frogtown, Summit-University, and Merriam Park before moving to Roseville. On Thursday night I was scared of what I would see on University Ave the next morning. But when I drove through I left hopeful seeing that businesses with signs showing they were black and immigrant owned were untouched for the most part. No damage was done to Rondo Library on Dale. And even damage done to Shung Hur and Sun Foods was cleaned up by the community before I even arrived around 12pm. I even bought food from Trung Nam because they were open to sell food and water to those helping with the clean-up. While I was experiencing all this it was around the same time it was announced that Chauvin was being arrested. So I'm trying to keep this moment with me to stay hopeful while we see what lies ahead.
posted by Become A Silhouette at 11:20 AM on May 31 [5 favorites]


Things are fine here. I woke up for my block watch shift (1:30 am) and it was quiet - no helicopters, no bangs, nothing (there was at least one helicopter circling, but a wide enough loop that I only heard it every 5-15 minutes or so).

The neighborhood has been amazing, a lot of people looking out for each other. Someone drove down to Rochester and purchased 30+ fire extinguishers then brough them up for folks - he was accepting market price for them but it sounded like that was definitely negotiable. Donation places are overflowing, lots of people volunteering to clean up (I saw some folks picking up my block and they were mostly picking up the sort of garbage that just sort of ends up there anyway, which struck me as awfully sweet).

The Aliveness Project at 38th and Nicollet was handing out breakfast burritos, fruit salad and coffee this morning, which was especially satisfying.

Someone I know got through the protests fine but then was doored while biking yesterday, so I guess my other request is to remember to watch out for cyclists.
posted by dinty_moore at 1:06 PM on May 31 [11 favorites]


Widespread reports of cached bottles of gasoline and matches, cached gasoline-soaked wood (although doesn't that dry out?) and a random white guy seen leaving bottles of liquid around Lyndale. Cached gasoline seems reported more in Nokomis and Powderhorn. This was also reported on ABC and seems legit. Neighborhood groups are advising that people check their alleys and backyards.

Three white men tried to set the Nokomis library on fire today (which seems like a big task, easier said than done) but were run off by business owners who were watching their own property.

You can follow @live_mpls on Twitter or Keep Safe Against Fascists Minnesota on FB.

There have been a lot of sightings of cars, vans and SUVs with no plates today, some with white supremacist stickers. People have been cornered and chased by suspicious nazi-looking white men.

There are a lot of rumors flying and things that are not actually true are going around, but I've seen and heard enough from neighbors and on twitter to feel that this is actually happening, there are nazis around and they are clearly planning for fire attacks of some kind. If you are in the city, watch out, listen out.
posted by Frowner at 10:37 PM on May 31 [24 favorites]


It's good to hear from you Frowner but I wish it wasn't so terrible. Stay safe.
posted by daybeforetheday at 3:10 AM on June 1 [3 favorites]


really bad night for fireworks, folks
We are an hour north of Minneapolis and every summer they start Memorial weekend and go through August. Most years I just roll my eyes but this week it is just so obvious how white and clueless this town is. I work in Minneapolis, but we have been at home since March. I have relatives, friends, and coworkers in the cities and I am concerned for them all.
posted by soelo at 8:57 AM on June 1 [3 favorites]


I feel like there has been more actual gunfire, though. I'm really used to fireworks all summer in my alley (and occasional gunfire, although not so much in recent years) and we've been hearing things that don't sound like fireworks. Fireworks have a sort of...fireworky snap that is more organic, at least to my ears, and the popping is less sharp. And there definitely have been scary cars driving around.

There have been people posting about "multiple rounds" on my social media, but in general other people from their street have been able to reassure them that it's just fireworks. I'm glad some people are cheerful enough for fireworks right now anyway.
posted by Frowner at 12:29 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


My local pharmacy reopened today, a week after being broken into and closed. More of a looting than anything else. They hadn't restocked, so it was easy to see they were missing a lot of cigarettes and cell phones.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:03 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


I grew up across from Macalester College, and my family is all still living within a mile. I've been compulsively scrolling feeds until all hours for a solid week: they assure me that all is well, but my dad's office window is a short block from a burned-out gas station, and I am worried about them all.

I now live in Rhode Island, and last night there was a run-and-destroy mob downtown that broke into the main shopping mall (and cracking one of my office windows), tainting the memory of a recent peaceful protest. So sometimes my wrath edges out my anxiety, but only for a little while.

My friends in Minneapolis have been helping with the clean up, and that makes me proud.

Stay safe MN'esotans; much love from Little Rhody.
posted by wenestvedt at 11:26 AM on June 2 [3 favorites]


castlebravo: Also AX MAN SURPLUS was looted of all places!

BASTARDS! LEAVE THE AX-MAN ALONE
posted by wenestvedt at 11:28 AM on June 2 [5 favorites]


If you were marching or involved in the cleanup this weekend, it's recommended that you get tested for COVID-19. You can find testing sites here.

There's also a ride board for folks who need to get out to testing sites - one for drivers, one for people who need rides.
posted by dinty_moore at 2:37 PM on June 2 [3 favorites]




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