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Old 06-24-2011, 09:57 AM
 
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Hi,

As we continue to explore possibilities of areas to live around Minneapolis, we are wondering about the longfellow neighborhood.

It seems like it could be nicely located for us since my wife is a nurse and we think the Hiawatha line could connect her to University of MN hospital or maybe even Abbot Northwestern hospital. Is it true that the light rail line connects to those two hospitals? I work in IT and I work contracts so therefore I need to live somewhat centrally, and I think this area would be close to downtown and not too far to the southwest suburbs where there are a lot of IT jobs. Could someone give us an estimate on how long would it take by car to go from the Longfellow area to Edina, Eden Prairie and also from Longfellow to downtown St Paul if needed?

We have young kids. Is the neighborhood safe and family friendly? Are there sectors to avoid ? How are the elementary schools rated?

Thanks again! This forum is immensely helpful.
Fab
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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The light rail doesn't connect directly to Abbot Northwestern but it could connect her to a nearby bus route that would take her there. If the U of M hospital you're speaking of is the one I'm thinking of on the West Bank the closest light rail stop would be Cedar-Riverside....that'd probably have her walking like 8 blocks to get there but it's do-able.
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:15 AM
 
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The light rail doesn't connect to either of the hospitals. Depending on where you are, you might take the light rail to a bus to the get to the UM hospital. Not sure about Abbot Northwestern.

If you're in the southern suburbs, you're clear on the other side of town. Depending on the routes, it could get a bit long, so you might also want to consider other neighborhoods farther west, perhaps on the other side of I-35?
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:18 AM
 
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Light Rail - currently, the Hiawatha line will get you to the Cedar-Riverside stop or Metrodome stop. Cedar-Riverside sometimes seems "sketchier" because it's somewhat isloated from the main streets with the big apartment buildings. However, I'm not sure how much of that is perception vs. reality. C-R stop is probably a 10-15 minute walk to the University's Riverside campus, so you'll have to decide if that's close enough (if that's where she will be).

If the wife is on the Harvard Street Hospital campus, realistically she would need to transfer and catch a bus. That said, with the expansion of the line, there may be some difficulties for the bus to get exactly to the East Bank and campus where she will want to be. It might be a bit messy and detoured. However, once the line is done in 1-2 years, she should be able to transfer from the Hiawatha line to the Central Corridor line and be dropped off about 1 block away.

On the neighborhood itself - many on this forum will have more recent experience and speak with more authority. Generally, when I lived in the city I was more a Lyn-Lake/Uptown or NE Minneapolis guy. My general perception of Longfellow is I would lean away from right on Lake Street. Would Nokomis area be okay for you? Still accessible to the Light Rail and in my perception more kid-friendly. However, that is also said with the caveat that neighborhood isn't my cup of tea. Hopefully those with more recent experience can give you a better idea.

As far as driving (all times assume no traffic): Edina - estimate 20-25 minutes ; Eden Prairie - 25-35 minutes; downtown St. Paul - 15 minutes.
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Old 06-24-2011, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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My biggest complaint about the Seward/Longfellow neighborhoods is the overall lack of life on that stretch of Lake St (from Hiawatha Ave to the river). It's like a ghost town there besides the small signs of life on both edges. If you don't know what I'm talking about, try driving from one end to the other and count how many abandoned/empty storefronts you can find. It feels downright depressing in spots.

The neighborhoods themselves seem pretty quiet and friendly. When you walk around you see commonly see people on bikes and in their yards doing yardwork, etc. The homes seem larger in Seward and pretty modest, but pretty well kept in most of Longfellow. There is no argument that both neighborhoods are more quaint and quiet than the neighborhoods on the other side of Hiawatha (my neck of the woods) and there are times where my wife and I would prefer the more quiet setting there. However, we also immensely enjoy alot of the restaurants and businesses found on the Powderhorn/Midtown side. Plus the lightrail stations are on our side of the Highway (boo ya!)

If you're set on the Longfellow neighborhood, check out the area around the Riverview Movie Theater (38th St and 42nd Ave I believe), and if you have deep pockets check out the homes along the river parkway.
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:29 PM
 
Location: St Paul
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Longfellow is a nice area for families, imo.

Schools: Seward Montessori (K-8) is not far from there and it's EXCELLENT. South High scores high for academics as well. You have to apply to get in to Seward, but that's what you'll probably want to do because the public schools in the area aren't great.

Neighborhood: Nice, quiet, plenty of parks & the Riverview Theater is great for families ($2 movies & cheap refreshments) or grown ups + has a nice wine/beer bar across the street & does fun off beat movies and such like this weekend at 11:30pm they're showing "Fast times at Ridgemont High".

Shopping/Entertainment: You sort of have two choices. 1) Lake/Hiawatha is close by & they have supermarkets/Target/restaurants etc. But the area is a little rough around the edges and while I go there I don't really like it. Also along Lake St I go to O'Reilly Auto Parts, Dairy Queen, Longfellow Grill & Merlin's Pub (35th Ave/E Lake which just won "best new bar" in the City Pages "best of" edition). Make no mistake I'm not arguing that there's a LOT of vacant storefronts on E Lake St because there are! Or 2) You can hop right across the bridges into St Paul's Merriam Park (From Lake St.) & Highland Park (From 46th St) areas which are both VERY nice and have lot's of shopping/dining/bars, etc. Those St Paul areas may actually be closer than Lake/Hiawatha depending on where in Longfellow you're looking at.
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason3000 View Post
Longfellow is a nice area for families, imo.
Based on what I have seen of the neighborhood I would not disagree with this assessment. In the Corcoran neighborhood we are also currently assigned to Seward Montessori for K-8 and South High School 9-12 and I've heard alot of good things about both schools.

I'm not trying to downplay the area due to the lack of life on that part of Lake St. It's just the only drawback of the area if I was going to consider living there. I've also heard that complaint from other people who live or spend alot of time in those two neighborhoods as makes it less walkable than other parts of the city. It definitely doesn't help that Blockbuster, Denny's and Manny's Tortas all closed on the same block, McMahon's burned down, the Taco Bell closed, etc. etc.
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Old 06-25-2011, 04:24 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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Are you certain your wife will be working at one of those two hospitals? Longfellow is a nice choice, as is Seward, and they are certainly centrally located, but if your wife ends up at North Memorial as a for-instance, there are just as nice areas for young families close by it that would actually be better for you commute-wise if you need easy access to downtown and the SW suburbs (a common misconception people have is that South Mpls is easily accessible to the SW suburbs, but you are much better off living in an area of Minneapolis that is closer to Hwy 100 whether this is on the southwest or north/northwest sides of town).
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Old 06-25-2011, 11:29 PM
 
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I can answer your commuter question. I go from Eden Prairie to Minneapolis (longfellow/Nokomis area) every day.

It's okay when it's not snowing, about 35 minutes. But in the snow...nightmarish. I usually take 50th through Edina and SW MInneapolis all the way up until it turns into Minnehaha Parkway. That way, I'm guaranteed to actually arrive at work in about an hour.

The commute heading TOWARDS Eden Prairie from the cities seems to me to be worse than going to the cities...but I don't do that commute, so I'm not certain on that.

Good luck! I would try looking into St. Louis Park...in fact, I am personally going to look into that neighborhood for my own family.
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