In anticipation of the new US Bank Stadium, the East Downtown Council has selected the name “East Town” to rebrand the conglomerate of neighborhoods from Elliot Park up to Downtown East and ending at the Mississippi.
Makes sense since these n’hoods don’t seem all too popular. Elliot Park is mostly a great alternative bicycling route during rush hour, and Downtown East might as well have been PaLoLa (Parking Lot Land). The Mill District’s retail and food hasn’t been quite so hot.
Of course, MSP has a funny history of trying to subvert Downtown create retail destinations with ol’e ‘towney names.
There’s Southtown in Bloomington, which was way better when they had Southtown Lanes and Montgomery Wards. There’s Yorktown in Edina, which has probably the longest running Wendy’s in the state. The Shop’s at West End in St. Louis Park probably should have been called West Town. And Northtown Mall, I mean… we won’t ever speak of that place again (RIP).
Instead of hiring a fancy consultant firm, the City could have saved some money by just asking regular people what to replace their perceptively unpopular neighborhood with a name that will take maybe 50 years to take hold.
If we’re now in the game of needing to rebrand existing parts of the city to make Twin Citians flock back to the City, here’s some that should happen now:
SoLa – South of Lake Street. South Minneapolis? No further south, like south-south Minneapolis, south of Lake Street at least. Nobody really cares about streets after 32nd until you hit 50th. Legend foretells of popular restaurants like Hola Arepa, Blackbird, and Revival. SoLa has a rather Latin vibe to it too. Alternative names considered: NoCo – North of Crosstown, and EaLaCe – East Lakewood Cemetery.
Rivertown. Everything that touches Lake/Marshall and the river should basically be one. The St. Paul hipsters hitting local brews at Craftsman while sipping lattes at the new Dogwood. Minneapolitans sneaking out to Izzy’s and tackling St. Paul’s drunk version of a river trail. Plus that bridge that no one can decide which street name to call it. Alternative names: TwoMi, Two Mississippis, and West Mac.
NoBro, North of Broadway. Northeast has been mad ever since some realtors decided to take the NoMi name for North Minneapolis. The irony of this name is bros are clearly taking over Northeast given all the new breweries up there. It was only a matter of time before athletic students from Como flop houses migrated northward. But for now, the artists and hipsters declare, NoBro for us!
Frogtown. Yes Frogtown already “exists” but the point is the name has spread to nearly every neighborhood around it. Do you even know where South of Maryland, Mt. Airy, and Thomas-Dale is and what they’re popular for? Let’s just name everything North of Downtown St. Paul (NoDoStPa), East of Snelling Midway (EaSnelMid), and South of Como (SoCo), Frogtown.