About a year ago I sold a charming tudor along the parkway in the Victory neighborhood in the northwest corner of Minneapolis bordering Robbinsdale to a delightful buyer as a new home for him and his two children. He was initially looking in South Minneapolis, but has loved living in this North Minneapolis neighborhood named for the WWI memorial at the end of Victory Memorial Drive so much that I invited him to share his experience below.
Victory has been quite fabulous and very much has exceeded my expectations. Here are some of my favorite things...
The welcoming/friendly nature of the neighborhood: I think I told you once how many of my neighbors from the immediate two blocks came out to introduce themselves almost the moment we arrived with the moving truck. Well, this welcoming nature has continued. We know our entire block by first name and often have spontaneous conversations. We get together for impromptu and planned parties as a block. This may sound cheesy but it's the type of neighborhood I remember from my childhood and wasn't sure still existed. It does in Victory... :)
The activity: The parkway itself was definitely a draw from the beginning and it hasn't disappointed as we are often out riding, walking, and working out on the parkway (part of the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byways trail system). There's something quite healthy about living in an area where when looking out your front windows you are constantly seeing people being active and enjoying the outdoors. It's contagious actually, and there have been a number of days where the strangers running on the parkway spurred me into getting out for yet another run.
Fabulous mix of ages: I'm not sure if the other blocks are switching over as much as ours, but our immediate neighborhood is now a fabulous mix of ages (in the adults) and lots of kids. In the two houses immediately to our west, there are five kids, and somehow those five and my two get along famously. I used to think of Victory (when I lived in Crystal and S Mpls) as an older community and certainly there are still many retired individuals and couples, but that is definitely shifting. Children are always out playing in the area. Plus, I've never seen anything like Halloween night on the parkway......soooooo many kids and so many adults outside with campfires inviting the adults walking by to stop and enjoy themselves.
Scheduled fun-activities: The city definitely does a nice job scheduling all sorts of diverse things on the parkway. We attended many concerts this summer at varying points on the parkway, and actually one of the things we loved (and were surprised by) this summer was the number of bike and running races on the parkway. The kids were out cheering and giving away lemonade and just having a great time.
Cost-effectiveness: I'm still amazed we have Amberdise (what his kids named their home). While I may complain about the cost on mortgage day, being able to have the space we do for the price we got it for is really amazing. Though there are times living in S Mpls would be easier (in terms of driving and gas), we'd never have the amount and quality of space we have minus being in Victory.
Diversity: So much of the metro area is homogenized by race and ethnicity. I didn't want my children growing up in a world that is incredibly diverse and yet their immediate living circumstances were not. So between their diverse schooling experience and then Victory, they really do live in a more 'real' world of their peers.
From the kids: Oh, and I asked the kids on the way to school today the best part about Victory. Olivia (age 5) said "we have an ice cream truck that comes all the time!" Elijah (age 9): "We have more grass to play on (with the parkway) than most of my friends!" (who often live in the suburbs).