On our second trip to Seward, my partner, Courtney, and I brought my friend with who grew up in a neighborhood close to Seward. Funny thing is, he came with at first purely because we had a work meeting to go to after. It great surprise to find out that he knew the area and could help us with our research.
With that said, the exact wording to the interviews may be altered since we were unable to record all of it.
Our first interview was with a young woman named Deidra, who recently moved to Seward from Cross Lake, MN. We spotted her wearing a University of Minnesota shirt at the Seward Co-Op, this was an easy person to approach.
Q: Why did you and your family decide to move to Seward?
A: My Dad got a job offer last year that required him to move to Minneapolis. I had to finish one more year of high school so my Mom, siblings and I were finally able to move down with him. I am going to the University of Minnesota in the fall so the location is perfect.
Q: Do you know why your Dad chose Seward?
A: He told us when he was looking for places to live he stumbled upon this neighborhood. Being from a relatively small town, the big city is a huge change for my family. He always had the assumption that Minneapolis was gang oriented and I wouldn’t be able to walk the streets without a gun (haha). He chose this neighborhood because the crime rate was a lot lower than the other areas of Minneapolis. Plus, he thinks the prices of housing in Minneapolis are ridiculous and Seward was close to the price we paid up north.
Q: Do you feel that Seward is diverse or do you think there is a predominate ethnicity?
A: Oh my goodness, Seward is incredibly diverse. Coming from a small town I am definitely not used to so much diversity. My parents had a hard time with it at first but now they are friends with all of our neighbors on the block! Only one other family on our street is white, it’s really awesome to see my parents adapt so much. Since I’m going to the U of M soon, I expected this and know that this is the same way the University is.
Q: Do you feel safe walking alone in Seward?
A: I typically don’t walk; I usually ride my bike everywhere like most people here do. I do feel safe; since I’ve been here I haven’t heard or seen anything strange or dangerous. Like I said, my Dad chose this neighborhood based on safety and everyone has been so welcoming and nice to me that I find it hard to believe anyone in the neighborhood will do any harm to me.
Q: Will you live with your parents’ here still when you go to school in the fall?
A: Absolutely not. Don’t get me wrong, I love Seward. It reminds me a bit of home, just extremely close to the city. But I have been excited about college and being on my own since before my Dad even got his job offer. I plan to live on campus like most freshmen do. It will be nice to be so close that I can go home for food and laundry though!
Q: Have you met a lot of people here your age yet?
A: Well, I’ve only been here for a little over a month. I have seen people my own age on the bike paths and usually here in the co-op, but I haven’t really had time to meet people or explore more of Seward. I look forward to doing that this summer. I also can’t wait to bike the full Grand Rounds bike path- I’ve had so many people tell me how beautiful it is!
-We then wrapped up the conversation talking a little bit about the University and what to expect then we thanked her for her time!
The other interview we conducted was a young Asian family- a husband, wife and a little baby. We approached them when they were sitting on the bench at Matthews Park. Obviously our initial questions entailed asking if we could ask them questions, etc. The bulk of the interview is as follows (the English was a little hard to understand keep in mind):
Q: How long have you lived in the Seward neighborhood?
A: We’ve lived here for almost 8 years now.
Q: What do you feel about the neighborhood?
A: We love it. We love all of our neighbors and all of the events that go on. It never gets boring and it is very safe for our baby.
Q: What is your favorite part of Seward?
A: We really like the art festivals and all of the people are always in action. There is never a dull moment here.
Q: Has Seward changed a lot since you moved in 8 years ago?
A: Not at all. Seward is pretty much the same as it was back then, very friendly and neighborly
Q: Do you feel there is a divide within people because of the diversity?
A: No. We all get along very well and take care of one another like family.
Q: Would you recommend Seward for people to live?
A: Yes. It is for both people who like small towns and also the big city. It is very nice having the city so close to us. The neighborhood is very safe and fun too!
-The interview was cut short because the baby started to cry and they had to go. Jake (the friend I brought with) gave us a little insight on things in Seward. He said the Co-op is one of the best places to go grocery shopping because of the variety and prices. He explained some of the ethnic restaurants that lined the streets, included what Halal meant (Kosher for Muslims). He showed us where the Grand Rounds Biway started and told us some of the reputations Seward has. He said it’s very hipster and artistic. He also noted that there is a high foreign population and also the neighborhood isn’t very expensive to live. He said he hasn’t heard bad things about it either and he grew up 5 minutes away from Seward.