National Night (Rain) Out

August 6, 2013

Macalester-Groveland, Merriam Park, Hamline-Midway    10.4 miles

It was a delightful start to National Night Out, mostly sunny with the temperature in the mid-80s. However, uncertainty hung in the air, literally, in the form of menacing grey storm clouds to the north and west of Saint Paul. If the threat of storms put a damper on National Night Out celebrations, I saw no hints.

Barricades of various material, size and construction announced block parties from Mac-Grovland to Merriam Park to Hamline-Midway.

“Chair-icades” in Mac-Groveland

“Chair-icades” block a street in Mac-Groveland

An official City of Saint Paul barricade!

An official City of Saint Paul barricade.

Cones and ‘cades on Finn between Portland and the alley south of Portland.

Cones and ‘cades on Wilder between Portland and the alley south of Portland.

A cheery welcome sign greeted neighbors.

This welcome sign greeted neighbors.

A “stair-icade” and another chair-icade. Not pretty but it worked.

A “stair-icade” and another chair-icade. Not pretty but hey, it worked.

Power cords and speaker stands blocked this street.

Power cords, speaker stands and colored flags marked this National Night Out event.

A grand assortment of neighbors came out for the first National Night Out block party around Edmund and Syndicate in Frogtown.

Neighbors mingle at the first National Night Out block party around Edmund and Syndicate in Hamline-Midway.

The block party at Edmund and Syndicate in Hamline-Midway drew a lively assortment of neighbors of all ages. Co-organizers Shawna Klatt and Kristin Howatt told me this is the first time there’s been a National Night Out block party in their neighborhood. As Kristin, Shawna and I conversed, Kristin seemed to realize they threw a really successful block party, “You know what? I think this is an awesome kickoff party. I think we’re going to do this every year now!”

Neighbors Shawna Klatt (left) and Kristin Howatt (right) planned and hosted the block party.

Neighbors Shawna Klatt (left) and Kristin Howatt (right) planned and hosted the block party.

“We just share with everybody – it’s a total traditional pot luck.”

Kristin went on to tell me about the food. “We brought the hamburgers and hot dogs, Shawna brought a bunch of salads and she got a bunch of all those chips and drinks and then everybody else brought a dish to share. We all did it together!”

nno 4

Neighbors hang out and enjoy food and beverages in front of Shawna Klatt’s house at 1283 Edmund.

nno4

Meeting at the water cooler.

Shawna mentioned that many of the neighbors have met but don’t know each other well, “We’ll do events like Paint the Pavement and then just kind of retreat back into our houses. It’s a good reminder that our neighbors need to be aware of each other and know each other and know each other’s kids and watch out for each other too.”

Shawna attends to the buffet line at the Edmund/Syndicate block party.

Shawna attends to the buffet line at the Edmund/Syndicate block party. (Yes, those are Rice Krispie Bars!)

As we finished the interview, Kristin and Shawna kindly offered me dinner. However, a light drizzle began to fall so I finished picture taking, jumped on my bike and made a bee line home. As you likely remember, the rains came in earnest shortly before 8, when I was a couple of miles from home. By the time I got there I was soaked head-to-toe but was much more disappointed what the weather had done to all the block parties.

Click on the link to see the National Night Out route: http://www.mapmyride.com/workout/348612891

One thought on “National Night (Rain) Out

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