I chose this title for a very obvious reason: I’ve never known of a more community-driven, neighbor-oriented neighborhood than Seward. Being from a suburban town, community involvement, neighborhood celebrations and block parties are nothing new to me. However, many people make the assumption that city life usually entails a whole lot of individual secrecy and people carrying on about their lives with no extreme concern for their neighbors. Seward is a city neighborhood that proves that stereotype so wrong it’s almost like it backhands you right across the face.
Above is a photo that I feel represents the tenants of the Seward Neighborhood impeccably. At first glance all you see is a congregation of people in a park. Take a closer look. You see the diversity and passion within this community. There are people of all ages, races and social types getting along and socializing as if all of the differences between one another don’t matter. Because honestly, they really shouldn’t and they don’t.
Not only is Seward a tight-knit community, they are also very eco-friendly and a little on the artistic side. As quoted by the Seward Profile blog (yes, they have a blog that was created to keep residents updated about current affairs and events):
“”Most Hipster Neighborhood”: That’s the designation City Pages recently bestowed upon Seward. According to CP’s “Best of” issue, we’ve got the “lumberjack look” down, the “bike obsession” big time, the co-op thing going on, plus a hipper than hip music and theatre scene. A sample of their tongue-in-cheek assessment: “The Seward Co-Op is always a hotbed for dudes in flannel shopping for pomegranate seeds and hummus. And how do they get there? This is the Seward, not the Wedge, so they come by bike, not by gas-guzzling SUV.”
Seward is home to almost 250 artists (Twin Cities Daily Planet) and numerous annual art festivals. When I drove through Seward, I noticed most buildings and shops had art painted on the side. No, I’m not talking about trashy graffiti vandalism, I’m talking intricate murals and designs.
Seward is also renowned for the mass quantities of bike/pedestrian trials, particularly the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway that runs along the gorge of the Mississippi River. According to Byways.org, Grand Rounds Scenic Byway is the country’s largest continuous bike path that runs over 52 miles around the river, parks, lakes and numerous trails. The Grand Rounds Scenic Byway has been prominent attraction in Seward for over a Century.
Being one of the oldest neighborhoods in Minneapolis, Seward is also home to one of the first neighborhood committees called “Seward Neighborhood Group”. This group was created to ensure the communities safety, regulation, repairs and overall moral of the neighborhood. The website include numerous amount of information from weekly news and announcements, to plans of restoration and everything in between.
When I googled “Seward Neighborhood news” I couldn’t find anything that was worth writing about; there were no violence stories, robberies, nothing really that put Seward on the radar for news coverage. With that said, it proved to me that everything I have learned so far is very much so true- the members of the community take care of one another. The fact that even Dinkytown and campus have weekly alerts of crime and Seward, being not protected by campus security, has very minimal. I found vast amounts of coverage on their annual art festivals and the Seward co-op, making Seward extremely appealing to me. I came across a quote when being asked about how it was to live in Seward from LIVE MPLS:
“If Seward were to secede from its surrounding neighborhoods, we would not only survive – without question – we would thrive. Seward has everything it needs to allow for all residents to fulfill every wish and every essential need – and will continue to develop in this direction!”– Annie
After all the research I’ve done on this little neighborhood, I couldn’t agree more with Annie. LIVE MPLS also described Seward as:
“Live MSP” describes Seward as a, “diverse, vibrant neighborhood… [with a] mix of residential, commercial, and industrial areas [giving] the neighborhood the feel of an urban village within a large metropolitan area.”
It definitely has the characteristics of a suburban town inside a big city. I am a big fan of Seward and I don’t see this neighborhood going anywhere, anytime soon!
TC Daily Planet retrieved from http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/neighborhood/minneapolis/seward
Seward neighborhood group. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://sng.org/
Live msp: Seward. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.livemsp.org/neighborhoods/minneapolis-neighborhoods/111-seward/206-seward
Seward Profile Blog. Retrieved from http://sewardprofile.posterous.com/