What are our best local color stories?

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by Grace Kelly, 8/25/08 • The scripted Republican National Convention stories are going to be boring, boring, boring. And right now editors are surfing lists like this one looking for local color stories. Here is our chance to tell our own stories on what makes us unique and special. You know that it is St Paul when… So I am starting with a small list, please everyone add at least one thing. [Use comment section below to add your local color stories.]

1) From the days of Snoopy painted statues, St Paul likes statues and looking for where they are hidden. Now we have carved wood statues. We have Christoper Robin statue, a Victorian lady with an umbrella, a Victorian man with a lantern and child, bear statues, etc. Can the press find any or all of the wood statues? OK, How about gold statues of horses?

2) We love old houses, painted in many colors and maintained despite all of the drastic weather. Cathedral Hill has a nice selection of old houses. Check out houses for the annual house tour. PS. Our houses have basements, attics, double windows and double doors!

3) From the days of prohibition, we have had home brewed beers. Lately there has even been a resurgence of micro brew in bars. The Northern Brewery on 1150 Grand Av has the best local supplies. Savoring beers best done in places like the Happy Gnome and O’Garas. Help me out here, I don’t go to many bars. Name great drinks in great places.

4) For restaurant I think Republicans would like “The Lexington” at Lexington and Grand. I love our ethnic food restaurants like “Taste of Thailand” on Pierce and Summit.

5) St Paul still has that real small town feel, where you can still get a five cent coffee while waiting for a prescription at St Paul Corner Drug, at Randolph and Snelling. St Paul Corner Drug also has personal brand better vitamins that are more absorbable than typical vitamins. What you can’t find there is available at Mastel’s health store, just down the street, along with great personal service. St Paul loves its unique locally owned stores!

6) Ice Cream is what St Paulites go out for! Debates rage on the best ice cream places, from Grand Ole Creamery (750 Grand Ave) to Izzys (2034 Marshall Ave), although ice cream is widely available.

7) Grocery shopping is serious business here with many flavors: the grand experience of Lunds, Kowalskis or Whole Foods, the coop experience of Mississippi Market, the local grocery stores as well lots of farmers markets. Food shopping here comes in a great diversity. We even have grocery delivery!

8) We love our trees, any neighbor who cuts down trees is considered a traitor. We have great small parks and many bikeways and rivers. In St Paul, we try to already live in our cabin dream home! And just check out the flowers.

9) From the Cathedral to Mickey’s Diner, we cherish our landmarks. List of these are widely available. Have you heard of the ghost tour? We love our history too. Did you know that Norm Coleman was once a DEMOCRATIC mayor here? It is lucky that we picked “St Paul” for a name, otherwise the RNC public relations would have a horrid time talking up the wonders of “Pig’s Eye”.

10) You have probably heard of St Paul celebrations of St Patrick’s day with green beer, Irish dancing and Irish parades. Have you heard of Festival of Nations or Winter Festival. Hmmm, what if we delivered a giant ice sculpture of John McCain? (Oh no, I’m melting)

11) Speaking of winter, maybe we could bring out our stack of winter stories and wow the sun lovers. Do you think they will believe the cabins on ice or snow higher than the first story (why we have two story houses)? Any chance of snow?

12) Have you found a way around our streets yet (reference to Ventura)? No, we don’t notice the difficulty. St Paul people live here a long time, sometimes even generations in the same house. Oh, the tricky part about St Paul is flat maps because St Paul is not flat! Even the skyway is on two levels. And streets are up on the bluff, down the middle of street to lower level and other complicated directions because St Paul is not flat!

OK, everyone help me out! Add your own St Paul flavor stories!

Grace Kelly nicknamed Kelly
Proud Curmudgeon of Merriam Park