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Analysis #1- Identities of Northeast Minneapolis

I would like to say the identity of St. Anthony West and Logan Park as a whole is more likely to be a dynamic site. An official website of the Northeast Minneapolis described its own area like “industrial and immigrant heritage”, which I also found it so true. Most of interviewees I had met in At. Anthony West said this area has gone through the expansion of industrialization in the past also known as “revitalization” or “refoundation” which was the direct quotes from neighbors. It is hard to say, in addition, the Northeast Minneapolis (St. Anthony West and Logan Park, in this case) has distinctive history with omitting the history of immigrants.

When it comes to the industrial development in St. Anthony, the Mississippi River and St. Anthony Falls played an important role. Industrial demand for a huge resource of power for a few industries came since the late nineteenth century, (partly) according to Northeast River District. One interviewee, who is working in St. Anthony West for 20 years, named Rosen from Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church- this, technically, is a part of Marcy-Holmes- gave a testimony that businesses grew and especially, this area developed along the river, which brings more people hoping to live there. Of course, there were more people that said the same regarding to industries other than Rosen. From this kind of research, I could be aware of how come people I met in this neighborhood saw St. Anthony urban area despite it doesn’t have many tall buildings and cars.

Surprisingly, plans for ‘revitalization’ are still going on exactly in St. Anthony West as a Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program (MNRP) in order to improve housing and environment and reinforce community development other than industries as time passed. I believe these sorts of efforts contribute to St. Anthony West area in connecting old and new; past, present, and future; 19th century and 21th century.

I think a mix of immigrants is more important identity than industry in both St. Anthony and Logan Park. Thinking in relation to industry, these two parts of Northeast Minneapolis have a rich history as working class immigrant neighborhoods with most of its population, historically, came from Eastern Europe. Regarding this, a manager from Lebanese Deli, who introduced himself as a generation of immigration, said the majority of blue-collar workers are immigrant. They are well known for diversity that includes architecture influenced by Eastern European and immigrants of Polish, Lebanese, Ukrainian, and so on. The legacy of immigration is also shown in the design of the church. I found it interesting that all churches like Lebanese and Ukrainian have domes which are unusual characteristics in Western churches.

Image

                             Architecture of the Ukrainian Catholic Church

By observing the demographics from Northeaster, main media in St. Anthony West, I was able to find a huge shift in the racial demographics. The Whites dominantly made up to 97 percent and 94 percent of its population by 1980 in Logan Park and St. Anthony West respectively; however, 61 percent and 80 percent by 2010. It clearly shows both areas have become a dynamic community embracing people of color- I don’t like to use this term that much but can’t help it- and new immigrants from Latin America and East Africa.

When it comes to more about identities of Logan Park, the ‘art’ needs to be added. An official website of Logan Park neighborhood illustrates itself as “the heart of the area’s Art District” as well as a center of the Northeast Minneapolis. As found in an interview at Lebanese Deli, young artists and urban professions are moving into this area, with over 170 artists and small business that offer more opportunities to shop for arts, furniture, and apparel to all residents.

I wrote the first paragraph saying both St. Anthony and Logan Park has an identity of dynamic site, on the other hand, they also represent pretty different identities despite both belong to the Northeast Minneapolis. St. Anthony particularly has an identity of industry heritage, but there are many things in common with Logan Park neighborhood as well. Overall, St. Anthony and Logan Park is a dynamic site even though it seems that a new desire to form reinforced community is required.

References

Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/www/groups/public/@council/documents/webcontent/convert_270101.pdf

Demographics in St. Anthony

http://www.nrp.org/r2/neighborhoods/orgs/SAWcensus.pdf

Northeast River District

http://www.northeastminneapolis.com/history-2/

St. Anthony 1857

http://www1.umn.edu/marp/dig/site3.html

Live MSP- Logan Park

http://www.livemsp.org/neighborhoods/minneapolis-neighborhoods/105-logan-park-/192-logan-park-

Facing race idea challenge

http://www.incommons.org/node/4114

Northeaster Census

http://nenorthnews.com/CurrentNews.asp?view=1681&paperID=1&month=

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Final Reflection on the Northeast Minneapolis

When assigned to Northeast Minneapolis for Twin Cities Neighborhood Project (TNCP) three weeks ago, I knew nothing of it, seriously; however, after done with this project, everything changed. I can confidently say that I have learned a lot about parts of Northeast Minneapolis, especially St. Anthony West and Logan Park by going out to meet ‘real’ neighborhood in person! I have written a few research papers during my college life so far, but it was my first time to participate in collecting information and doing interviews outside the school.

Honestly, Intercultural Communication class was not what I expected at all since I thought there would be just a lot of conversations back and forth between Americans and International students and expected more discussions on race ethnicity. However, I was wrong. When it comes to ‘culture’, I used to come up with things about nations, but culture starts from our families and further neighborhoods. Moreover, I learned how intercultural communications, which often requires sophisticated skills, are formed in terms of identity and power as well as history.

Before unpacking the stories of Northeast Minneapolis, we need to address the definition of intercultural communication. According to uslegal.com, intercultural communication often refers to the wide range of communication issues that inevitably arise within an organization composed of individuals from a variety of religious, social, ethnic, and educational backgrounds.

Understanding of certain culture means understanding of its contexts including history, politics, economy, and society. When I first stepped into the research on St. Anthony West and Logan Park, for example, nothing would have meant to me if I was unaware of its own history. St. Anthony was established by in 1849, which is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Minneapolis, and its name was given by St. Anthony Falls found by Father Louis Hennepin. With this one sentence of information, a well-known fact among residents here, I can easily understand one of the important characteristics in this area – there are a number of Catholic churches in the Northeast, which is relatively uncommon in the United States, originally a “Christianity” nation.

As mentioned above, I was also surprised to see cultural diversity with my eyes like Polish, Ukrainian, Lebanese, etc because it was really uncommon to meet people from those countries even in Minneapolis, the biggest city in Minnesota. Yet the history of their immigration in this area traces back to over 100 years ago, which means diverse cultures accumulated for a century shows represent current appearances of St. Anthony and Logan Park. St. Anthony was referred to as “First Wave” of Eastern European immigrants to the Midwest. Generally, Logan Park neighborhood has similar history to St. Anthony West, but it was named for Civil War General and U.S. Senator, John A. Logan.

 Contemporary contexts matters in intercultural interaction. Knowing of issues or concerns that people in the neighborhood care about; interactions between residents and its media publications provide profound understanding of culture as well. I found people in St. Anthony and Logan Park have been concerned with the crimes, traffics, and economy (unemployment). Moreover, what is most commonly found in media or neighborhood was there are a number of events that help people gather altogether for a sense of belonging.

As described above, after I became aware of these contexts of this neighborhood, everything mattered from architecture of the Catholic Church which came to me different from others I saw in my neighborhood and services provided in diverse language at church to the Mississippi River flowing from the side – great realization and founding to me during my research.

In brief, having a conversation without considering historical and contemporary context might not bring any profound understanding of a culture. I want to say culture is the sum of past (history) and now.

By seeing other students presenting on various neighborhoods like Marcy-Holmes, I found it interesting that space is constructed and boundaries are demarcated in ways that impact identity and power dynamics despite it is not that far from one another regarding to physical distance. All communities, generally, have in common with ethnic diversity, but it is shown in different ways. In case of St. Anthony West, for instance, I think it has the most distinctive ethnic or racial diversity owing to the earlier history of immigration from the Eastern European. I saw St. Constantine Ukrainian Catholic Church and could get information there that there is hundreds of Ukrainian coming to this church every Sunday and also met a Lebanese who is going to the Lebanese church across the Ukrainian one. Furthermore,

Especially, the Marcy-Holmes so close that I got confused a little bit with Northeast Minneapolis at first but it was pretty different. A culture of “Hipsters” or many college students are easily found in that area unlike St. Anthony West and Logan Park.

Overall, as newer immigrants and younger professions including artists are coming into here, St. Anthony and Logan Park is like a model of harmony of “oldtimer and newcomer” (Martin & Nakayama, 11). At first, I didn’t realize how this neighborhood is beautiful with Mississippi River and vibrant with young people, which I found it to be at second visit. It must be pleasing experience to hang out with friends and try some authentic cuisines from diverse immigration nations here. Plus, Logan Park in Logan Park neighborhood also has wonderful view and makes feel a peace as a resident named Maynard strongly said – this is such a good place to live and raise a family. I love it.

Twin Cities Neighborhood Project (TCNP) at the University of Minnesota was such a precious challenge and teach me how to do well on this kind of research project even though it was pretty tough for me. It deserves to be taken by more students in order to make them jump in and experience in person what intercultural communication is.

Intercultural communication will be a fresh challenge to everyone, I believe.

References

Retrieved from http://definitions.uslegal.com/i/intercultural-communication/

Martin, J., & Nakayama, T. (2010). Intercultural communication in contexts.

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Second Conversation in Northeast Minneapolis

As mentioned in the past two background reports on history and contemporary contexts, it is not too much say that the Northeast Minneapolis is such a multicultural spot. Walking down the University Avenue in St. Anthony, for instance, I came across many churches that provide services and worship in diverse languages; such as French, Ukrainian, and Polish. When deciding a place to have an interview with someone from a different country other than the United States, a person from Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church recommended going this place- Emily’s Lebanese Deli.

Upon opening the door to enter the Lebanese Deli, smells unfamiliar came to me as encounter with new culture! All foods are new for me besides the dessert of crispy pastry with nuts and honey which is known as a baklava. I was kind of nervous of starting a conversation, but said “hi” to manager with a smiling face.

How long have you worked here?

for 38 years.

Wow, then you must be proud of operating this restaurant for such a long time.

(Proudly) This is a family-owned restaurant and we provide authentic Lebanese food.

I really want to try some! I will buy one of them for sure after this interview! Haha

Yeah, of course.

So you have lived in this area in the past decades?

I have but my parents are actually the first generation of immigration.

Do you think this area changed a lot since you’ve been here?

Yeah it did, I guess. Population has changed a lot. Many young artists moved into this area and urban professions are also living in this area , I believe. This area has been a quite industrialized part of the Northeast Minneapolis.

Your parents immigrated to the United States…(like talking to myself)

Yes. When I was young, a long time ago, I grew up living close to a toxic waste plant.

Oh, you did? I see… Do you have anything else to share that you think it’s different from now?

Many buildings were constructed nearby or along the river…people working there, actually, were blue-collar workers that consisted of mostly immigrants. A lot of differences exist…I don’t remember them all though…two minutes more, just two minutes!

(It was about lunch-time, so a couple group of people started coming in. The interviewee wanted me to wrap it up quickly for business)

I’m sorry! Okay. Are there any major issues or concerns that people in the St. Anthony care about?

Issues? Like political or economic issues?

Yeah any issue or concern people in this area consider it important…

Well, definitely crimes matter. A suburban might have lower rates of crimes comparing to urban area. More crimes occurred in here, this urban area, but it’s not bad, I think. And traffic maybe. Especially the University 2nd and Main Street are busy area, you know.

That’s kind of good news…that’s probably because the security system in this Northeast area works on it. Okay, here is the last question! Do you have a religion? I’m just wondering since I saw quite a few churches while walking down here…Just 10 minute-walk?

I go to Catholic Church near here. I’ve got involved in Lebanese community for over 40 years so we sometimes go to church together…

I see. I will wrap it up here and thank you so much for your time. And can I get a baklava? I’ve tried this dessert once before and it was really good.

This is sweet and delicious.

Thank you again!

Many people came into a restaurant while he was doing an interview so I could also have a very short conversation with a group of people. Speaking of which, they-Dennis, Carla, and Rebecca- considered themselves regular customers who visit here a couple of times a month. One of them also said this Lebanese Deli is the best restaurant in this area when they were asked if there is a good place to go other than this.

It was very special experience for me to have a conversation with an immigrant from Lebanon. After an interview, I reached a conclusion like he is definitely a contributor to cultural diversity of Northeast Minneapolis, especially the St. Anthony neighborhood. Furthermore, all things taken together, it looks like he positions himself, at least in Northeast Minneapolis, a successful businessman or entrepreneur, though it would have been tough for him to adjust himself and settle here as a generation of immigration. It was lucky for me to have this kind of conversation which would have never done without Twin Cities Neighborhood Project, I believe.

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Background Report #2- Contemporary Contexts

After last visit to the part of Northeast Minneapolis, especially St. Anthony West and Logan Park area for research in order to feature the voices, knowledge, and experiences of residents, I made it to there again so as to get to know that area a little more if possible. The weather was so nice that I forgot for a moment that I came here to do a project.

It was about only a week ago that I visited this area but it looks fairly different for some reasons. As if I were a resident, I met and have short conversations with a few people- around 7 or 8-besides a couple of interviews. Northeast Farmers Market was open in St. Anthony West and a group of people that was seen to be an athletic team at school was playing baseball in Logan Park.

St. Anthony

Waiting for a traffic signal in a car in St. Anthony West which is an urban area, I found there were a lot of people in the streets. It looked pretty busy. Fortunately, Northeast Farmers Market, which was 9th season, was open near Ukrainian Catholic Church-University and 7th Ave. NE-so I could get a chance to see many residents when I got there. People from different area were selling diverse locally grown products, pasture-raised beef and pork, eggs, and other farm fresh foods, plus there were special visits from guest artists, non-profit organizations. People are interacting and communicating with one another while looking around within the market and it was really like a living community. I didn’t get any chance to talk with market-visitors since they were so busy shopping there but I figured out that many sellers are not residents of St. Anthony West.

NE Farmers Market was advertised in Northeaster, a newspaper for several areas including Northeast Minneapolis, and this market event seems to make a success annually. In this newspaper online, moreover, a bunch of local events are posted for neighborhoods other than this one. Nevertheless, by interviewing a couple of neighbors in part of this area, I found out they have similar concerns or issues that they care about- crimes; traffic; economy like jobs. Despite this area would try to establish more intimate community, it is hard to find any societal articles in the newspaper regarding real concerns of the residents. Instead, residents living in the neighborhood have access to write their any kind of comments or thoughts they would like to share with in Opinion section of a newspaper.

One thing all interviewees mentioned in common in terms of major concerns was ‘crime’ things. Even though a manager of one Lebanese Deli said a rate of crime here is not that bad, St. Anthony area is kind of urban which means it needs to guarantee more security. For similar reasons, Northeast Citizens Patrol (NECP) was founded in 2005 so as to keep residents secured and encourage them to report suspicious criminal activities to the police. According to NECP, Northeast crime rate is growing so fast that more donations and volunteers needed.

Logan Park

After a very short-time moving, I arrived in Logan Park neighborhood. As a part of Logan Park area, I spent some time in Logan park (within a neighborhood) and had an interview also. Near the entrance of the park, you’ll find it was established in the late 1880s, which was surprising since it doesn’t look like that old at all. It is small one but playground, a pool which seems to be built quite currently, plus recreation center for camping.

Just one word is enough to explain this small community- peace- since not many people are living there compared to St. Anthony West and a majority of people were either riding a bike or jogging or walking with dogs. One Native American I came across strongly said that he loves Logan Park so much and doesn’t have any complaints against this area even though he has been living there for 20 years. Furthermore, he wanted many people to move into here so that they can feel peaceful wind.

It was really interesting to see and look around Northeast Minneapolis with taking more time and also had fun there by myself. This Northeast area, especially St. Anthony West is well known for immigrants from Eastern Europe or Middle East. That’s why several Catholic churches with domes were easily found during research. Northeast Minneapolis is such a blend of historical and modern aspects. You’ll see how dynamic this area contemporary is and will experience diverse cultures by intercultural food, events, etc.

 References:

NE Farmers Market

http://www.nenorthnews.com/Events.asp?view=9610&paperID=1&month=

NECP

http://nepatrol.org/

Local-Farmers-Markets.com

http://www.local-farmers-markets.com/market/2589/minneapolis/northeast-minneapolis-farmers-market

Northeast River District

http://www.northeastminneapolis.com/

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Reading Reflection #2- History and Power

History is the discipline that studies chronological events, as affecting a nation or people, based on critical examination of source materials and usually presenting an explanation of their causes (Encyclopedia-Britannica Online). Both teaching and learning history is important to be aware of an existence of something also known as an identity and furthermore culture.

When I studied at University of Minnesota-Duluth, there was a class titled ‘Education in Modern Society’ that nearly 200 students are taking every year, but I can confidently say this was almost like a history class of the United States because this covered “Black and White” issue a lot in terms of education as well as philosophies of education .

Most interesting part of this class was about ‘equity’, as illustrated in the textbook, Intercultural Communication in Contexts by Martin and Nakayama, mentioned above. In the United States, historically, racial segregation in using facilities had been a controversial issue for a long time under the segregation policies like “separate but equal”, for example. When it comes to education, this kind of situation seems to be worse. If equal opportunities to history education are not provided to all the students at school, this will prevent them from interacting and communicating with one another more in depth.  

    Another example also shows what I just said above. The Precious Knowledge documentary that portrays controversial Mexican American Studies Program at Tucson High School in Arizona was screened in my Intercultural Communication class, which was very impressing video for me. This program is definitely for Latino students but they also learn American history, literature, and culture; however, it was abolished by the government force (power) of the U.S. and the fight against such racism still continues in the nationwide.

    I believe students, Mexican-American in this case, ought to know the history of nation they came from so that they can be aware of their identities and furthermore culture. This kind of education can surely be provided by educators and politicians (or lawmakers) who have power in society rather than not letting students prevent from those educations. Described in the Precious Knowledge, we can often find that someone‘s histories and stories are, honestly, determined to get told or not by others who have much more power in “reality”.

    The textbook explains how histories impact intercultural communication, which is one of the most important parts in this writing. It isn’t deniable that history plays an important role in our identities and that all people bring their own histories to interaction; such as family histories, national histories, political histories and even everyday life experiences. I think, especially, cultural-group history that includes like where the group originated and why the people migrated explains well an impact of history on intercultural communication regarding to the Cherokees or the Creole culture (M&N 127).

It should be a primary step to recognize a person’s history in establishing intercultural relationships. These histories that affect communication help us understand their identities with more respects. We should be aware of one fact in terms of history and power: there is neither inferiority nor superiority in history in the world.

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Reading Reflection #3- Race Conversation

Race: the idea that the human species is divided into distinct groups on the basis of inherited physical and behavioral differences.

Looking back to my past classes at school, I guess “race” is one of the most selected but controversial topic for discussion or any group activities in class, especially in the United States. I clearly remembered my professor emphasized a lot on “race” in Cultural Anthropology class last year and he said this term is culturally generated not biologically, which means, based on race, there is no either superiority or inferiority to one another.

I recently read a book titled “Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria?” by Beverly Daniel Tatum. Upon looking at this title, I came up with very similar scenes from my previous college in Duluth, MN. I have no idea how other cities are but Duluth is definitely a Whites-dominant city so there are very few black students which makes them more recognizable. In cafeteria at school, it was difficult to find a mixed table with black and white students, instead, a table of a group of black students easily found.

Even if this kind of racial issue have been brought about from ‘black and white’ issue historically, it is more than that. I mean that is not just all about black and white problem but also includes all of the races like Asians, Hispanics, etc. In Tatums’s book, I found a part which is exactly same as what I have been thinking about race- “White people have color, too” (Tatum 15) Well, this might sound silly, but seriously I once wondered why [almost] all people became to fall into a category of ‘people of color’.

Honestly, I have never thought about race that much when I lived in Korea. Of course, extremely high rate of common ethnicity- 99 percent of population in Korea same- has contributed to this kind of idea of mine. When I applied to University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, it was first time in my memory that I realized I would belong to ‘people of color’ category in the United States. Likewise, many people refer to descents of Asian Americans, Latin Americans, and African Americans collectively as non-Whites. (Tatum 15)

Children have been already exposed to overwhelming sources of information such as media and movies, which might influence on founding their prejudices. Looking back on it now, I found myself, very seldom, to see and judge a person based on race especially when it comes to black person. I believe this happened largely due to media and movies things like that that I was exposed to in the past.

Race conversation is what we can’t avoid and also consider as a taboo. We all have responsibilities to come out and talk about this before any tragic accident occurred like in the past. If there is a problem using specific terms or language in terms of race, we should talk together to figure it out; if a problem with media and commercial, we should talk together how to regulate them and create new ones. Living in a society regardless of the race should be pursued ultimatley for peace for everyone.

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Northeast Minneapolis

St. Anthony West

 

The first area I visited for research was St. Anthony West where I relatively spent most time. When I looked around at a glance at first sitting in a car, it didn’t seem to be that different from other areas in Minneapolis; however, as time goes by, my thought has changed. It is definitely as good as downtown Minneapolis to live. When it comes to historic information of this town, it can be described as industrial and immigrant heritage area.

A number of arts influenced by European culture can be found in Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (NEMAA) Artist Guide Book. As mentioned above, this part of Minneapolis has been famous for industrial area and an example includes Graco, a leading company in fluid-handling systems worldwide which was founded in 1926. This explains how its industry was prosperous at that time and also it is pretty impressing to have its world headquarter here in St. Anthony West.

According to the interview with Rosen who has been in charge of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, which is the oldest church in the city, for 20 years; however, this town went through decline of industries. Due to this, St. Anthony has changed a lot for 20 years in regard to the demographics as well. What I can say confidently is this town becomes more diverse so that’s why there are churches“built by own nationalities like French Canadian Catholic Church” according to Rosen. The founding that Catholic churches are more commonly found than any other church is also impressing.

This area was traditionally populated by European immigrants such as Polish (the most); Lebanese; Finnish; German; Russian; Ukrainian, but this trend is getting replaced by Somalis; African Americans; Latin-Americans in recent days. What is more interesting is four of five historical Polish churches in Minneapolis are located in Northeast. Many historical examples exist in terms of historical relationship between Europe and St. Anthony other than this.

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church is also a clear example of European legacy, which is an Eastern European influenced church whose history is traced back to 1849. Rosen said in an interview, “St. Anthony was also named by Father Louis Hennepin in 1680.” He is a Catholic friar of Belgium birth. Street names in French are also found here such as Hennepin and Nicollet.

Speaking of its history further, St. Anthony developed along the Mississippi river which has been an important source of residential life for people. Rosen mentioned “revitalization” a couple of times putting a high emphasize on how important the river was in history. There were so many people hoping to live near the river that refoundation occurred upfront of the river with housing development.

Overall, Downtown Northeast is formed like a dividing line with lying both South-East and North-East Minneapolis. Along the downtown are there various old architectures, classic housings, clustered commercial stores, and churches. People in St. Anthony West seemed very satisfied and peaceful and many are enjoying light meal outside the restaurant with parties. Some are jogging in the streets but not many people in the park at that time. I really became aware of how St. Anthony has developed over the years through the interview and research.

 

Logan Park

 

Logan Park is a small community that not many people are living this part of Minneapolis. I visited Logan Recreation Center which is part of Recreation & Park Activities.

Before it was officially named, Logan Park was known as First Ward Park. In 1887, it became known as Ninth Ward Park and in May of that year, one of the Civil War veterans proposed naming Logan Park which named after John Logan, major general of Union Army volunteers during the Civil War. (Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board 122.2008.Smith, David) Actually, there were historically a couple of times more that altered the name of the park after that, but it was chosen to follow Logan’s name in the end, which was in 1893. Logan Park, generally, seems to have highly related history to the Civil War as illustrated in the introduction

At first, I was really surprised to see how many years Logan Park has embraced the environment around this park. According to the report written by MPRB, it was the most developed of the land and, moreover, became the first park that equipped an ice-skating link on dry land, which means very developed technology. 

Again, it was such a great and first experience in my life to do research in this way and the interviews are also really helpful.

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