Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Newest restaurant in NoMi

Kurtis reviews Victory 44.

You should really check it out for yourself...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Because I am such a lazy blogger these days...

... I am just going to link to info about the party tomorrow night. (I mean, why duplicate the effort, right?)

If any blog-o-friends want to come and see the new house, just send me an email for the address.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Discoveries on the Boulevard

So, I'm a city person.

While I do know a few things about commonly cultivated flowers and shrubs, my naturalist tendencies terminate at the garden edge. I can barely tell one tree from another, and I certainly don't know anything about mushrooms.

So I have to ask...

Is it just me or do these look sorta like Morels?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

2515 3rd St. North

Well now, THIS sure looks safe.
Also, I wonder why their plumbing permit costs more than twice the rear-demo permit?
And doesn't excavation require its own permit too...?
This is all very interesting.

2519 3rd St. North



Tuesday, March 24, 2009

On the new-house front...

I just realized that I left everyone hanging here with regard to the Hawthorne house.

We did finally close! And the insurance inspector* comes today (shiver.)

Pictures to follow shortly.

*Properties in distressed condition often do not qualify for market insurance, and therefore need "MN Fair Plan" coverage, which is not only more expensive, but also requires an inspection.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thinking about buying a foreclosure?

Come to my seminar at the Housing and Home Improvement Fair! I'll be there from about noon to 2, and the seminar is at 12:30PM. Check in at the NoMi booth for info.


Join us at the 4th Annual North Housing & Home Improvement Fair!
Saturday, March 21, 2009
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
North High School -
1400 Knox Ave N
Your one stop shop!

Financial Counselors available all day!
How-to Seminars Resources for prospective home buyers
Talk with Contractors
Financial resources and education Resources for Home Improvement and Maintenance Resources for Re-Financing
Resources for Mortgage Foreclosure
Preventing Equity Stripping
Special Financing offers for those living in zip codes 55405, 55411, 55412 and 55430

Vendor displays will be available with reputable contractors, real estate agents, lenders and community resources to neighborhood residents.

This event is free and open to the public.

JOIN us for the following seminars presented by The NOMI Project:

Seminar #1 - Purchase Renovation:

~Imagine the future of YOUR home – overlook the “shortcomings” with a plan~ONE time YOUR loan; don’t charge the home improvement projects~Setting the stage; a timeline start to finish Purchase Renovation will be presented by Nicole Doran at 2:00pm -

Nicole Doran has been working in real estate for a total of 11 years. One of her passions is renovation financing. Nicole lived out her dream of renovating a home in the city; she knew before her real estate career that there is great power in community and economic development.

Nicole’s first home in the Jordan neighborhood of North Minneapolis was a purchase renovation. Not only has she been part of the revitalization of her community but, now she has a passion for empowering others to contribute in a similar way, through purchase renovation. She now lives in Willard-Hay.

Nicole is a Home Mortgage Consultant for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and specialized in community lending including purchase renovation financing. Nicole is involved in North Minneapolis community and economic development projects. In addition, she is a masters candidate at Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs enrolled in the Executive program, “Community Economic Development”.

Seminar #2 - Buying a Foreclosed Property

~PREPARE-PREPARE-PREPARE! Assembling a team and marshalling resources
~EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED! What you will see and experience while shopping foreclosures
~NOW WHAT? Closing, technical issues, and what happens once you\'ve got the keys to your new palace.

Buying a Foreclose Property will be presented by Constance Nompelis at 12:30pm -

Constance Nompelis has been investing in real estate since 2000, when she bought her first vacant and foreclosed duplex in the Ventura Village Neighborhood. She has since bought and renovated both single and multi-family properties in Phillips West, Powderhorn, Central and Willard-Hay, and will soon begin a new project in Hawthorne.

Constance is also a Realtor with Century 21 Luger Realty, where she specializes in selling distressed, foreclosed and/or historic properties in Minneapolis. Five of the properties she purchased for her own investment were foreclosures, and she has sold numerous other foreclosed homes to her clients.

Constance has long been a proponent of connecting homebuyers to communities, and keeps up with activities, programs and individuals in a variety of neighborhoods across the city. She also serves as Housing Committee Chair in the Central Neighborhood, and is a board member of the Minneapolis Historic Homeowner Association.Constance blogs about renovation, preservation, and other local happenings and experiences both at http://thehealyhouse.blogspot.com and http://overnorth.blogspot.com. She currently lives in one of her renovation-project houses in the Willard-Hay neighborhood.

Hope to see you there!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Or not...

Closing delayed, due to lack of a code compliance inspection report.


Hopefully it will happen by the end of the month...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

De-carpeting the world, one house at a time

Alllllllllmost there... ALMOST!

God I cannot wait to be rid of the nasty stench from this filthy junk.

All that's left now is hauling out the bags and yanking a bit more tack strip and staples.

My hands are blistered.

And in other news, I'm closing on this house on Tuesday! Huzzah!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Boiler

It looks a little scary... but I'm pleased to report that the hulk is working like a dream.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

On returning to Honduras

When I think of Honduras...

I think of Baleadas – thick, tasteless wraps sold on the street and in convenience stores, stacked in tinfoil pyramids – cold, with beans and salty quesillo of unknown age and origin.

I think of lychees, hawked by children in 10-piece bags, their blood-red hairs crushed into plastic submission, looking like sea-urchins… purveyed by street urchins.

I think of flooded streets, market lean-tos painted watery green with amorphous figures huddled underneath against the driving rain, chewing tiny bananas and looking at me as I cower too, below a store awning across the street: drenched, myopic, alien.

I think of internet cafes with no connection, hotels with mildewed walls, sullen staff, and the smell of a hurricane on its way.

Broken-up sidewalks.


Chickens roaming dirt roads, pecking at old chewing gum and fruit pits.

El Pico Bonito.

Rainbows at Golosón Airport.

Miles and miles of pineapples... sprouting prodigiously up out of the clay, bound for everywhere else in the world.

Men who cut the pineapples - their heads wrapped in t-shirts under the violent sun.

I think of my grandmother frying maduros and eggs (the smell of heaven) and of my aunt shelling garbanzo beans, fanning herself intermittently, a chunk of ice bobbing in a glass of South American wine at her elbow.

I think of driftwood and trash and seaweed, of cheap rum and unwashed gringos, and of Sopa de Mariscos with a whole crab claw in the center, served with a plastic spoon.

I think of greasy paper napkins and glittering Garifuna waiters, in bowties.

And the smell of the sea.

I think of tilting, stinking streets, blaring music, and a sun which burns my forehead in seconds. Pouty little girls beckoning me into the air-condition shops: “Pase(n) joven!”

I can barely hear their voices.

I think of homes on stilts which pose -like rabbits frozen in fear- along a blustering beachfront, and of my dying grandfather’s words:

“Oh, just leave Honduras to the Hondurans!

But Papá… ¿Cómo?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Greasy Kitchen Ceiling

I have a pretty tough eye when it comes to houses. I've seen a lot of disgusting stuff in my day, and I like to think that I'm able to look past it. Indeed, I can tour at a home with caved ceilings, dead animals, frozen puke and yanked pipes, and STILL squeal with glee at a buffet or stained-glass transom... you see, I am an optimist.

And I like to transform things.

However, I am here to tell you that new house 1.0 (aka the next-door house) was NASTY... even to me.


I'll spare you photographic documentation of the worst. It's really too gross for mass consumption. (Let's just say it involves excrement.)

However, I will show you the ceiling which I had to wash this afternoon, prior to painting:

(Unlike your average slumlord, I DO wash before I paint. That way my paint will actually stick!)

But never fear, this too shall be rectified.

And this house will become sweet even if I have to carry a barf bag along as I work on it.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Moving right along...

Carpet-ripping was the only task I could think of which didn't require water, so that's what I've been doing at the house next door.

But yesterday was dewinterization day! Huzzah! Brown water and spraying radiators aside, I think it all worked out quite well.

Now I just have to babysit the 10,000-year-old boiler to make sure it doesn't quit.

Time to start cleaning...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I'm just sayin...

This kind of stuff makes my heart palpitate:

(Thanks to JN for the photos.)

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I made an offer on another house today.

I'm not sure which scares me more: getting it or not getting it...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Even more ugly

This actually kinda makes me want to puke.

(But I will transform it, don't worry.)

Ugly Duckling

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Okay, I'm back.

No pics yet, but for those of you who remember that this blog started out as a tale of my purchase/restoration of the cottage, I am pleased to announce that I am now also the proud owner of the dump next door!

(You can see a thin slice of its decrepitastic-ness in the picture linked above.)

And now for the surprising news: I am moving there - at least for a while.

By myself.

I am actually quite pleased to finally become a real Northsider!