Additional Information About 5700 Xerxes Ave S, Edina, MN 55410

5700 Xerxes Ave S, Edina, MN 55410
5700 Xerxes Ave S, Edina, MN 55410

5700 Xerxes Ave S, Edina, MN 55410 is a single family home for sale, and has been listed on the market for 13 days. 5700 Xerxes Ave S is in the Chowen Park neighborhood, which has a median listing price of $425,000. The median listing price for Chowen Park is 0% less than Edina at $599,000, and 130% greater than MN at $259,900. Nearby neighborhoods like have a median listing price of $599,500. The schools near 5700 Xerxes Ave S include Concord Elementary School, South View Middle School, and Edina Senior High School, which are all in the School District: Edina. There are similar and nearby single family homes for sale include 5732 Upton Ave S, 4517 Beard Ave S, and 5913 Drew Ave S.

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Minneapolis/St. Paul Luxury Real Estate for Sale: 5113 Bedford Avenue – Brookside Heights – Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal

Coldwell Banker Burnet Contributing Real Estate Firm

By Nick Leyendecker, Agent


Home of the Day is presented by the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal with Coldwell Banker Burnet. This is your invitation to view some of Minneapolis/St. Paul’s most-luxurious properties. Come inside and take a look around. Click on the gallery image to view today’s featured property.

Brookside Heights
5113 Bedford Avenue, Edina, MN 55436 | $599,900

This elegant, cottage style home was completely remodeled in 2004 with a bright, open floor plan and upgraded finishes. There are 3 bedrooms up including a large master suite with walk in closet and private bath. Features include hardwood floors, enameled woodwork, granite counters, zoned heating & cooling, a fireplace, a fully fenced backyard, a pavers patio, an oversized garage with wired bonus room and so much more. Walk to parks or gain easy access to Highway 100 from this prime location.

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Minneapolis Institute Of Art Celebrates Spring With Art In Bloom

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — The Minneapolis Institute of Art will celebrate the arrival of spring at its perennial Art in Bloom festival, during which talented volunteer and commercial floral artists will interpret artworks in the collection.

Patch will cover Art in Bloom live from the Minneapolis Institute of Art Thursday

Presented by Friends of the Institute and now in its 35th year, Art in Bloom takes place April 26–29.

The four-day festival will showcase 165 fresh floral arrangements inspired by works of art in Mia’s collection and more than a dozen large-scale installations by Twin Cities florists throughout the museum.

Highlights this year include speakers, parties, a spring-themed fashion show, hands-on floral workshops, family activities, and a mixology class. Art in Bloom is Mia’s most popular fundraiser, last year drawing a record-breaking 50,000 visitors.

This festive rite of spring kicks off to the public with Flowers After Hours on Thursday, April 26, 5:30–9 p.m. General admission to Art in Bloom is free.

Jason DeRusha of WCCO will host a fashion show of floral couture. The evening also offers a first look at the art-inspired floral works—with free admission and refreshments for sale.

Friday, April 27, brings the dazzling Art in Bloom Fashion Show and Formal Luncheon at 11:30 a.m. After gathering with a Champagne social, guests will enjoy a spring-trends fashion show presented by Galleria Edina and independent designers, with commentary by stylist Grant Whittaker.

A multi-course French meal in the spirit of Julia Child follows. Tickets are $85.

Mia continues its tradition of inviting distinguished speakers to lead lectures and demonstrations during Art in Bloom. Tickets are $25.

This year’s speakers include:

Eric Haskell, PhD, Scripps College (Claremont, CA)

Presenting “Parterres of Perfection: The French Formal Garden and Its Lasting Influence” on Thursday, April 26, 10 a.m. Haskell, knighted twice by the French government, will discuss France’s greatest contribution to garden history: the French formal garden and its migration across Europe, all the way to America.

Designer and author Steven Stolman,

Presenting “Confessions of a Serial Entertainer” and his eponymous book on Friday, April 27, 10 a.m. Stolman is a consummate host who loves a good party—from his own cocktail parties to galas. Attendees will be inspired by his self-deprecating humor and common-sense good taste. Twin Cities floral designer Mickey O’Kane will provide the floral accoutrements to complement Stolman’s tablescapes.

Other programming includes special events, tours, workshops, and the Art in Bloom Shop, located in Cargill Gallery, next to General Mills Lobby.

Master Class: Creating French Garden Gathered Bouquets—Thursday, April 26, 2 p.m. Tickets: $75, materials included.Mixology Workshop: Art et Boisson (Art & Drinking)—Thursday, April 26, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $75, ingredients, materials, and light appetizers included.Friday Night Live—Friday, April 27, 5:30–9 p.m.—with viewing of floral displays, cash bar, and a musical surprise by the Minnesota Opera. Free admission.Make-and-Take Workshop: Parisian Wreath from the City of Love—Friday, April 27, 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $30, materials included.

Proceeds from the ticketed lectures, demonstrations, and luncheons, as well as sales from the Art in Bloom Shop, provide the Friends of the Institute with funds to bring more than 81,000 school-aged children to the museum each year, and provide off-site arts education to nearly 93,000 pre-K–Grade 12 students.

Visit the Art in Bloom page on Mia’s website for the complete 2018 Art in Bloom program and ticket information.

Image via Minneapolis Institute of Art

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Developer Plans New Apartment Complex Near Southdale Center

Lennar Multifamily, a Miami-based developer, is expected to submit plans this week for a wooden apartment complex up to six stories high near Edina’s Southdale Shopping Center.

The apartment building would be built on the 3.4 acre Borofka’s Furniture site and include first-floor retail space, according to Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal.

A Borofka’s store manager told Edina Patch that the furniture store would likely move to another location, possibly in Edina, though the manager said that discussions have not been finalized with the owner.

The site is located nearby to a 232-unit York Avenue apartment complex that StuartCo is building in the Southdale parking lot and to a 239-unit complex being built next to Byerly’s.

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Arcanum Consulting, Inc.’s Accolade for Workplace Excellence

The President of Arcanum Consulting, Inc. announced that the firm received a prestigious award for its dynamic office culture. He also explained how team-building activities contribute to the overall company atmosphere.

EDINA, MN , March 30, 2018 ( – “Arcanum Consulting, Inc. is Fair Business Report Verified 2018!” said Mitchell, the firm’s President. “This recognition is quite an honor. It comes in response to our vibrant workplace environment. The Fair Business Report (FBR) bestows the Top Places to Work badge on businesses that receive at least 10 favorable reviews on the FBR website for the year.”

According to Mitchell, the badge affirms a company’s adherence to core values as well as the professional development opportunities available to its people. Charitable work is considered too. These are concepts Team Arcanum Consulting, Inc. embraces daily. Members act with professionalism and integrity. They learn and grow consistently. They also give back to the community on a regular basis.

“Other criteria are factored into the FBR award as well,” stated Mitchell. “Team outings, coaching, and fair advancement are indicators of healthy office culture. They just happen to play huge roles in keeping our people productive and happy! Our newest hires are paired with experienced managers, for instance. These leaders give the colleagues support and direction every step of the way. What’s more, our promotions rely on individual merit. We’re clear about what team members must do to move forward, so they can take their careers in their own hands. All these qualities make our firm a great place to work!”

President of Arcanum Consulting, Inc. Describes Team-Building Philosophy

Mitchell also highlighted the Arcanum Consulting, Inc. approach to team building as a source of the FBR recognition. People throughout the organization bond on both professional and personal levels. They attend conferences and trainings together, and the shared experience of gaining valuable knowledge strengthens their relationships. Not only do they learn more, they can better collaborate with one another as a result.

“Our group outings are perhaps the biggest sources of excitement throughout our team,” Mitchell concluded. “Sometimes we have opportunities to attend big events like exotic retreats and national industry gatherings. More frequently, we organize activities like team dinners and bowling nights. No matter where we go, we always have fun. By shedding our professional duties for a while, we can kick back and simply enjoy each other’s company. We bond as friends, learning about one another’s talents and interests. The enhanced insights and camaraderie make a big impact on our success.”

About Arcanum Consulting Inc.:

Arcanum Consulting is a leader in dynamic marketing research and development. The team’s innovative approach focuses on collecting key consumer data. Using customized analytics, they achieve valuable insights that reveal brand trends. With this knowledge, the firm’s public relations experts recommend product positioning that achieves optimum exposure. This method results in fast sales and high ROIs for brands of all sizes. Arcanum Consulting creates impact in evolving marketplaces. Learn more about their techniques by visiting

Source: Arcanum Consulting Inc

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Joyce Elizabeth Bronson

Joyce Elizabeth Bronson, nee Wagner (previously Grace), 85, died peacefully March 9, 2018 from complications of stroke. She now rests in peace and comfort with those who loved her and have gone before her.

Joyce was born in Millerville, MN and grew up there and in Alexandria, MN. She joined TWA as a stewardess in 1955 and moved to Kansas City, MO. She married William James Grace in 1958. They had 2 children, Therese and Paul, and the family lived in Kansas City, Chicago area and Edina, MN. Wm Grace passed in 1974. Joyce married George Bronson in 1978 and lived in Elmhurst and Lombard, IL. After George’s passing in 2003 Joyce returned to Edina, MN.

Joyce was an avid traveler and reader and had an enduring love of music throughout her life. She was a skilled pianist, loved jazz and classical music, and regularly attended concerts and performances.

Joyce had a wealth of close friends from all phases of her life. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, and aunt to her many nephews and nieces.

In addition to her husbands, she was predeceased by her parents George and Pauline Wagner, and brother Maurice Wagner. She is survived by Therese Maxwell (Greg), Paul Grace (Liz Hannan), grandchildren Margaret, Mary and Michael Grace, and brother Gordon Wagner (Mary Kay).

The family wishes to extend their profound thanks to the staffs of Yorkshire of Edina, Interim Hospice Care, and Bluestone Physician Services who cared for her with patience, dignity and love and made the last months of her life a gift for Joyce and her family. They were Joyce’s angels.

A Mass and celebration of life will be held at her parish, Our Lady of Grace, on April 13, 2018, 9:30 a.m. visitation, 10:30 a.m. service, followed by luncheon. Memorials preferred to Special Olympics Minnesota, Catholic Charities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, or preferred charity.

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Wisconsin divorce camp helps women navigate the split

EDINA, Minn. (AP) — The life of Barbara Klas seemed perfect — a 21-year marriage, two children, a posh home in Woodbury and a career as an attorney.

Then came the perfect disaster. Her husband announced he was moving to Duluth, buying a company and dating a new girlfriend “half his age,” recalled Klas.

It felt like being pushed out of an airplane.

But she was able to find a parachute — Daisy Camp. The Edina nonprofit group runs a series of divorce camps for women enduring one of the worst periods of their lives.

Klas has been to several of the camps, which range from two hours to two days in length. The sessions have different themes, such as child custody, finances or legal rights. But each one addresses the fundamental need for women going through divorce — dealing with their emotions.

“Divorce is 70 percent emotional, 30 percent legal,” said Angela Heart, divorce attorney and a presenter at a Daisy Camp in January.

There is a long list of legal concerns for any divorced woman to navigate, she told the group. But those are all secondary.

“The No. 1 thing you need to do,” Heart said, “is take care of yourself.”

Daisy Camp was formed in 2006 by Jennifer Morris, 48, of Excelsior, who was going through a divorce of her own.

She found herself conducting an autopsy on her marriage, dealing with all the separate pieces — children, money, the house, cars and divorce law. She felt powerless, foolish, depressed.

She designed Daisy Camp to be what she never had — an affordable one-stop shop for women facing divorce. For a low cost, it serves as an ongoing divorce academy and support group for women — whether they or their spouse initiated the divorce.

“They support one another, educate themselves and make wise choices,” said Morris. “We aren’t sitting in a circle singing ‘Kumbaya.'”

The cost is $25 for the two-hour evening meetings, and $60 for all-day sessions. Scholarships are available for those who can’t afford the fees.

That’s when she happened to glance at her husband’s computer screen — and instantly knew her marriage was over. Staring back at her was a series of messages from his new girlfriend.

“I was blown away. I was scared. It still makes me emotional,” she said, her voice cracking.

At her first Daisy Camp session, she found the information and camaraderie she needed.

Jessica Benson, 37, felt besieged when living in Lino Lakes in 2011. She was going through the death of her sister, and was adopting her niece in a bitter legal battle. On top of it all, her husband began to drift away from her.

“When things got tough, it was too much for him,” she said. “I was terrified. I had no job, no income. Part of me felt like a failure. I could not make this work.”

“That was super-huge for me,” said Benson. “Daisy Camp is the best thing I ever did.”

At a meeting Jan. 24 in Woodbury, divorced mom Klas wore a “Warrior” T-shirt as she took a seat at a table laden with Kleenex and cookies.

Attorney Heart patiently explained the legal aspects of divorce — the deadlines, the options, the obligations. She acknowledged their ongoing pain and confusion.

“You might look at this as negative and terrible,” Heart told them, “but we are here to reframe it.”

Attorney Klas said advice from lawyers was a lifesaver for her. She said that often women are so emotionally paralyzed that they can’t think clearly.

“They sometimes don’t even appreciate the need to get a lawyer,” said Klas. “When women are stunned, their spouses can sometimes get them to sign their rights away, just to be done with it. Women need to know their rights. You are responsible for finding your own joy.”

As she walked out at the end of the meeting, Klas grabbed Daisy Camp founder Morris by the arm.

“I just want to tell you,” said Klas, “there is a huge amount that you have done for me.”

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When Malls Saved the Suburbs From Despair

The Garden Court at Southdale Shopping Center, Edina, Minnesota, circa 1965

“Okay, we’ll see you in two-and-a-half hours,” the clerk tells me, taking the iPhone from my hand. I’m at the Apple Store, availing myself of a cheap smartphone battery replacement, an offer the company made after taking heat for deliberately slowing down devices. A test run by a young woman typing at a feverish, unnatural pace on an iPad confirms that mine desperately needed the swap. As she typed, I panicked. What will I do in the mall for so long, and without a phone? How far the mall has fallen that I rack my brain for something to do here.

The Apple Store captures everything I don’t like about today’s mall. A trip here is never easy—the place is packed and chaotic, even on weekdays. It runs by its own private logic, cashier and help desks replaced by roving youths in seasonally changing, colored T-shirts holding iPads, directing traffic.

Technology is transforming city life, for better and worse.

Apple operates some stand-alone retail locations, including a glass cube entrance in midtown Manhattan and a laptop-shaped location on Chicago’s Michigan Avenue. But a lot of the stores are located in shopping malls. The Apple Store is one of the only reasons I go to the mall anymore. Usually I get in and out as fast as I can. But today I’m stuck.

When all is said and done, it turns out to be a strange relief. Contrary to popular opinion, malls are great, and they always were.

The tragic story of the American shopping mall is well-known by now. Victor Gruen, an Austrian-born architect, emigrated to the United States after Germany’s annexation of Austria in 1938. In 1954 he designed the first outdoor suburban shopping plaza, near Detroit. Two years later, in 1956, the Gruen-designed Southdale Center opened in Edina, Minnesota. It was the first enclosed shopping mall in America. In the six decades since, up to 1,500 malls were erected across the country. Then people stopped building them.

None have been erected in the last decade, but plenty have been shuttered, and as many as half of the remaining could close within the next 10 years. The reasons are many, including economic downturn, the rise of internet commerce, the decline of the suburbs—even just the opening of newer malls, which cannibalize older ones.

Americans loved malls, then they loved to hate them. Good riddance to these cathedrals to capitalism, many think, as they pore over apocalyptic photos of shuttered mall in ruins. This trope runs so deep that it’s begun feeding on itself. The latest example: Bloomberg recently published a bizarre video game, styled like bad 1980s computer entertainment, about the glorious desperation of managing a dying American mall.

Gruen had meant well. He wanted to import the pedestrian experience of modernist, European cities like Vienna and Paris into America, where the automobile was king. By creating places for community in the deserts of suburbia, he hoped to lure people from their cars and into contact with one another. The malls would be for shopping, yes, but also offer food, relaxation, and green space. In his original conception, malls would also connect to residential and commercial space, medical care, libraries, and other public spaces. Even though unrealized, this idea was not that different from today’s New Urbanists, who advocate denser, more walkable mixed-use development in cities broken up by the dominance of the automobile.

Gruen would eventually disavow his creation, expressing disgust for how malls had exacerbated rather than ameliorated urban sprawl—not to mention exporting it globally, infecting the Old World with this land-use virus of the New.

But Gruen never renounced commerce itself. He was a master of commercial design. Before malls, Gruen designed retail shops and storefronts in New York—gorgeous, lithe, glass-fronted facades that renounced the ornate and busy complexity that had preceded them. These shops, designed during the Great Depression when retail sales were hardly easy, were meant to draw customers in, tempt them to stay, and then to make purchases. The Gruen effect, it came to be called. The mall might have turned out to be bad urban planning, but it was never bad mercantilism.

Such is the magic of the mall. Gruen got it right in the 1930s in New York, and in 1956 in Edina, Minnesota, and in the decades after, too, in Dayton, Ohio, and San Bernardino, California, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and everywhere else malls appeared. The mall is for shopping. It sounds idiotic to say, or tautological at least. Of course the mall is for shopping. But more specifically, it gives shopping a specific place. The mall separated commerce into its own, private lair, and it did so just as commercialism was running rampant and out of control in the progress-fueled mid-century.

Since I’ve given up my iPhone to Apple, my attention is freed to notice the mall. This one, Lenox Square in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood, counts itself among the survivors. Anchored by Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Neiman Marcus, the mall features upscale shops like Fendi, Prada, and Cartier, along with more accessible ones like American Eagle Outfitters and Foot Locker.

I was a youth in the 1980s and early ’90s, the heyday of the mall as a cultural symbol and a commercial powerhouse. In those days, mall-going really did offer some of the social benefits Gruen had imagined. The American suburbs lack the density of daily encounters that characterizes the modernist cities of Europe, and the mall provided a space where people could amble in thick proximity.

For one part, malls put products in places where they otherwise might not have been accessible. The model for density and walkability is hardly free of commerce, after all, even in the arcades of Paris or the side streets of Vienna. There, flâneurs would be just as likely to acquire a handkerchief or take an apfelstrudel as they would be to bask in the anonymous energy of the crowd.

But America’s vastness made distribution and access to goods more difficult, and just as mass production and consumer discretionary spending were increasing in tandem. Downtown department stores and local general and speciality shops offered primary access to goods and services. Discount stores wouldn’t arrive until later—Walmart’s first shop opened in Arkansas in 1962, and Target’s in Minnesota the same year, but neither spanned the nation until the 1990s. Target grew out of department stores (its parent company owned Dayton’s), and Walmart from a local general store. In that context, shopping malls were way ahead of their time. They offered local access to national or international products and trends that might otherwise have been unavailable.

It may seem odious to call consumerism a kind of cosmopolitanism, but like it or not, after the middle class rose from the soot of industrialism, the spread of ideas became attached to goods. Some of these were questionable, of course. In the 1970s and 1980s, for example, retailers like Chess King and Merry-Go-Round capitalized on short-lived trends for profit, not for culture. But others demand more circumspection. As a teenager during that same period, a philosopher friend of mine bought his first copy of Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time in an Iowa mall’s Waldenbooks, with money earned from a summer of corn detasseling. Like it or not, the mall offered access to a broader world than flyover country could easily access. And unlike the Sears catalog, it did so directly and immediately, live and in person.

These features of mall-going persist today, even as Walmart and Amazon capture the lion’s share of consumer purchasing. Without my iPhone to distract me, I inspect the La Cornue ovens in the Williams-Sonoma and the haute horology in the display outside the Tourneau. I’m not going to buy them, nor any of the goods at the Fendi or Prada boutiques, either. But here they are anyway, occupying physical space alongside my actual body, not just symbolic space online or on television. Others are having similar experiences with goods that are familiar to me to the point of banality, but wholly novel to them. In a clearing outside the Microsoft Store, people try out virtual-reality goggles; nearby, in a strange little Amazon shanty, they try to summon Alexa from inside the Echo devices on display.

The mall makes things real, even if their realness is inevitably yoked to capitalism. That bond is both tragic and liberating, as is all of free enterprise. Goods shackle people in some ways even as they free them in others. As I inspect the Vacheron Constantin timepieces, which can cost $100,000 or more, I wonder how the masses who have abandoned wristwatches will know when their two-and-a-half-hour wait for an iPhone battery replacement has elapsed.

Strange as it may sound, the mall also allowed people to leave commercialism behind, for a time at least, after they were through with it. Consumerism might have run rampant, but it had a safe haven in which to do so. The grotesque design of the mall—low, solid facades surrounded by the dead of asphalt for parking lots—always suggested hazard. It lurked low and threatening. Malls are prisons for commerce, but at least the commerce stays inside them. You can leave again. Like a casino is designed to contain and focus risk, so a mall is designed to do so for expenditure.

Eventually, your own humanity forces you to leave, in fact. Forty-five minutes into my iPhone wait, the familiar dizziness of mall-going sets in. “Mall head,” I’ve always called it. The wooziness of disorientation and recycled air is a design feature of malls and casinos alike; it keeps people around, but it also presses them out. It’s different from the machine zone, the anthropologist Natasha Dow Schüll’s name for the hypnotic, compulsive loop of casino slot machines—or of social-media apps. Unlike the smartphone, eventually, despite it all, the mall spits you out again.

The mall also discretizes commerce, breaking it up into segments. Whether purchases are necessary or not isn’t the point. Rather, the mall classifies human commerce and, thanks to capitalism, thereby human life. Look around in a mall. It’s a taxonomic chart of market segmentation. Pandora for bracelet charms. Payless for discount shoes, but Vans for skate shoes. Sephora for cosmetics. Victoria’s Secret for underthings, and American Eagle for what goes atop. These are the diverse apartment blocks of commerce. Dense but separated, they contrast with the slurry of online shopping at or Online, you don’t ever really know what something is, or what size might be in stock, or whether the item displayed even matches the one you will receive.

Alas, it’s become harder to use the mall this way. Back at Lenox Sqaure, commerce leaks from its boundaries. Almost every shop boasts a sale: 20, or 40, or even 60 percent off. It’s not clear if this is a function of the changing fashion season or of the tenuous mall economy. No matter the case, the message is the same: Nothing here is worth the price on the tag. Comparison shopping with smartphones has become so easy, and pricing and availability seem so arbitrary, it’s easy to feel like you’re getting screwed all the time. Not to mention the incessant badgering of online shopping, with emails from every vendor with whom you’ve ever transacted arriving daily.

Worse, capitalism has shifted commercial activity from the material to the symbolic. People still buy plenty of goods, of course, from books to clothing to makeup. But thanks to the internet, they also trade in ideas, signs, and symbols with increasing frequency and importance. They hope to buy and sell attention. The notion becomes a tweet. The scene becomes an Instagram post. The shopping trip itself becomes a YouTube haul video. The only reason I am not producing similar intangible goods right now is because Apple is in possession of my iPhone.

The mall itself is grappling with the matter. Madewell, a women’s clothing shop, has posted a café-style folding sign in its entrance. “Hot new fits = hot new fitting-room selfies,” it reads. When I open my laptop at the Starbucks, it joins the nearby Abercrombie and Fitch free Wi-Fi, and a terms-of-use screen appears: in big, bold letters, “because we understand the need to ’gram in the fitting room.” Buying is now optional—it’s sufficient to simulate a purchase in order to create an image of its concept, for exchange in the marketplace of ideas.

It’s an understandable quandary. The mall cannot fight material goods’ slow creep into the universe of information. Doing so spells only doom. Across town, the decidedly downmarket North DeKalb Mall has been failing slowly for years. It’s one of the half that are sure to be shuttered; local rumors suggest a Costco might replace it. Among North DeKalb’s many flaws, the entire place has been a cellular-coverage dead zone. Even before its anchor stores and interior shops started shuttering, the lack of connectivity put the writing on the wall.

The Great Thing About Apple Christening Their Stores ‘Town Squares’

At last, the two-and-a-half-hour separation from my rectangle is ending. I amble past the Henri Bendel and the J.Crew and the Adidas store to fetch the phone—recharged and ready to fuel my own obsession with symbol-making. Even Apple itself has started to realize that its knowledge-economy machines are incompatible with the manufacturing-economy host of its stores. The new Chicago store is among the first of a new design Apple has dubbed “Town Squares,” where people are meant to gather for meetings in “boardrooms” and peruse goods along “avenues.” It’s an offensive idea, of course; the public sphere is so much more than just a shop in which to buy one company’s wares.

And yet, the concept is not all that different from Victor Gruen’s original vision for the shopping mall. A place to gather, a place to shop, a place to relax, a place to live. The mall was and remains horrible in some ways, but useful and even magical in others. It yoked people to commerce, but it also gave them tools with which to manage that harness, to loosen it enough to live somewhat peacefully, even while collared to capitalism.

I can’t help but think that Americans’ days of hating the mall are numbered. When it gets replaced by Apple Town Squares, Walmart Supercenters, and the online-offline slurry of an ever-rising Amazon, we will miss these zoos of capitalism, these prisons of commerce, where consumerism roared and swelled but, inevitably, remained contained.

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Good government

In 1949 I stayed in an old Litchfield hotel with my father. I was very impressed with the town as a young boy. Main street was active, and small-town farming was prosperous. Many shops to choose from as my eyes lit up walking down their blocks, just looking in the windows. Never had I seen a town like this during our 13-state, summer-long travels with my salesman father.

Bernie Berman, the many-time University of Minnesota football coach was from here, and everyone had heard about him while listening to the Saturday afternoon Gopher games. That fall, all Minnesotans were hopeful for another national championship, the “Gopher 49s” schedule soon to be played. Like our Vikings, that just wasn’t to be for Bud Grant and other great players of that day.

We would soon be moving to a small farming village just west of Minneapolis. The village of 3,000 had just built a new high school with its neighboring community of Morningside. The village was small, nothing like the Litchfield I had experienced, and the land to the west was just open farm fields.

Soon, that land started breaking up for new housing. We were the third home built just west of our village. Most of my friends lived two or three miles away in an area with just one block of shopping. With excellent government and community management, that land exploded, with Southdale being built on the Schultz farm in 1956. Then, an industrial development started on the Danen’s farm, which is now the Braemar area. Today, that community of 3,000 people grew into a very successful city of 50,000.

That didn’t happen by accident. Some still say it was just its location; it simply wasn’t. It was because of very good community citizen involvement and qualified elected officials who had long-term vision of running the village. That allowed good development that benefited all its citizens. With the new growth, the village soon incorporated into a city.

Like the famous Litchfield writer Stan Roeser, our local writer was Cedric Adams. He wrote often about this new village in the Star Tribune, and his rural home was just two blocks away from us on Spit Lake.

George Mikan then moved in two blocks the other direction. The kids played daily in the driveway of the future five-time Laker star and national champion’s backyard. (Hours of playing “horse,” and I don’t recall winning a single game, but I do remember getting several free tickets from him to the Laker games.)

People like Curt Carlson (Radisson Hotels), Al and Art Erickson (Holiday stations), Carl Pohlad (Minnesota Twins) and Carl Hansen, a poor carpenter and Norwegian immigrant who may never have been a U.S. citizen, developed a sense of community.

Today, President Donald Trump would have deported that Norwegian, who, over the years, built more than half of the large homes in Edina that are still among the most prized.

All them were just ordinary people, with very ordinary kids, working very hard with vision that built that area. Most residents moved into those two villages of Morningside and Edina because of well-managed schools and government, which became Edina’s foundation. With that growth, Morningside and Edina villages then incorporated into the city of Edina.

I thought recently, after a conversation I had with a council member, that had Mr. Eitel, with his wonderful talent, been the mayor of Edina, would that growth have ever happened to that little farming community? We all have different God-given talents, but some of us have very linear thinking, and that worked well for Mr. Eitel’s running a great “championship band.”

Edina city and government grew because it had more business-orientated, long-term visionaries who were suited in the running of government. It takes openness to bring the best of these qualities to a community. I feel Litchfield and Meeker County need younger and more progressive citizen involvement in government. We need internal and external financial investment in small business to bring “main street” back to the prosperity of its past. Good local growth, beyond farming or agriculture-related businesses is needed today, as farming will never again be what it was for this community.

Litchfield has wonderful opportunities, but it will take banks with far more than “billboard slogans” arguing about “branches and roots” for that to happen. Large agriculture is financially just fine — look at who has the wealth — but small and medium farmers do need help. If not, they, too, will continue to decline in numbers, and spending in this community will vanish.

When the best jobs within this community are government related, teaching, social/community services, law enforcement or retirement from them, there isn’t much government spending left for the good financial growth of our community. The good news is, with our proximity to Minneapolis, a better highway system coming soon — a faster commute to the Twin Cities area — we will find new growth. But, only if we find a way to welcome and embrace it.

Many lessons are learned by our children and grandchildren from the policies and treatment of its citizens by the policies and spending our government puts in place. Those choices will determine our young people’s future quality of life.

Great nations, cities and villages are built by the communities that provide for the best investment opportunities and living conditions for all people. Government must respect, protect and provide for those adequate living situations for the immigrants on whose backs some of the greatest wealth in Litchfield was built.

We all deserve a government that serves — old and young, rich and poor, healthy and ill, citizen and immigrant. That’s how our government, good or bad, will be judged by future generations in the world that we all live in. If we show that, we will have hope for lasting peace in the world … community of mankind!

Stay well and do more in making your purpose in life matter.

Richard Carlson

Birdwing preserve, Litchfield

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