Boundaries: North: University Avenue; West: Marion Street, Irvine Avenue; South: Kellogg Boulevard, Mississippi River; East: 1-94, Lafayette Road
The beauty of living downtown is that most everything is within walking distance- although, since St. Paul is built on hills, people sometimes opt to take the bus up and then walk down. Bus service is convenient; you can take the bus anywhere within downtown for twenty-five cents (fifty cents during rush hour). Or, use it to get to downtown Minneapolis, the Mall of America or the Rosedale Shopping Mall. In fact, immediate amenities are so accessible many downtown St. Paul residents don't own a car.
Downtown is dotted with high-rise apartment buildings containing both moderate-rent and luxury apartments. The State Capitol building and state offices are here, as are headquarters for a few large companies. Many of these offices are connected by skyways (enclosed breezeways that connect building to building). On weekdays these skyways bustle with restaurants and food courts, coffee shops, grocery stores, a fresh fruit and vegetable stand, video rentals, a branch library and branch post office. Most of the shops are closed in the evenings and on weekends and holidays.
Downtown St. Paul is not a world-class shopping destination, but that may change. New street-level shopping will soon join the downtown Dayton's, and the city is landscaping the walkways and street corners, enhancing the charm of Old St. Paul.
In the 1970s, developers completed several high-rise apartments and renovations, including an overhaul of Lowertown, the city's unique artists' colony, located near the river, between Robert Street and Broadway, on the east side of downtown. With over 500 sculptors, potters, painters and performance artists, it's one of the largest concentrations of working artists of any city in the Midwest. Each April and October, the members of the Artists Collective open their studio doors for the St. Paul Art Crawls. Check www.lowertown.org or www.stpaul-artcrawl.org for more Information. It is the site of one of St. Paul's two early river landings, this neighborhood contains large, old brick buildings that have been converted into offices, artists' lofts and apartments. This neighborhood also features a weekend farmers' market, from spring through fall. (See Shopping for the Home.) Open space, while not as plentiful as elsewhere in the Twin Cities, is available in three small city parks tucked In amid the tall buildings, and a regional park on Harriet Island in the river. Rice Park is a formal square bordered by the Ordway Music Theatre, Landmark Center, and the grand old St. Paul Hotel. The ice sculpture contest is held here during the St. Paul Winter Carnival. Kellogg Park is a narrow strip of green space that runs between the edge of the river bluff and Kellogg Boulevard, from the Robert Street Bridge to the Wabasha Street Bridge. A popular setting for weddings, it includes sculptures depicting St. Paul's history. Mears Park is a beautifully landscaped square at 5th and Sibley that features a band shell and is summer home to Shakespeare in the Park. Visit In the spring for a stunning display of thousands of tulips. Harriet Island Regional Park is a short walk across the Wabasha Bridge. The St. Paul Yacht Club is located here, as is the famous No Wake Cafe.
Historic and cultural sites and annual events abound in downtown, making it easy to entertain out-of-town visitors. People flock to events at the RiverCentre auditorium and convention center, the Ordway and Fitzgerald Theaters, the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Children's Museum, the Minnesota History Museum and to numerous festivals throughout the year. During the summer, on Friday and Saturday evenings, Kellogg Boulevard is closed off between Robert and Wabasha for antique car shows, complete with food vendors and live music. The car shows are an intimate tete-a-tete compared to the serious food-fest, the Taste of Minnesota, which is held over the Fourth of July weekend. Restaurants from all over the Twin Cities set up booths in front of the Capitol, live bands play throughout the park, and each evening ends In fireworks. There are more fireworks in January during the century-old St Paul Winter Carnival, a major event that includes sled dog races, parades, and a treasure hunt.
Web Sites: www.ci.stpaul.mn.us, www.tcfreenet.org
Area Code: 651
Zip Codes: 55101, 55102, 55107
Post Offices: Main Office, 180 East Kellogg Boulevard; Pioneer Station, 141 East 4th Street; Uptown-Skyway, 415 West Wabasha Street; Riverview Station, 292 Eva Street (all post office branches can be reached at 800-275-8777).
Police: Central District Patrol Team, 651-292-3563
Emergency Hospitals: St Paul-Ramsey Medical Center, 640 Jackson
Street, 651-221-3456; HealthEast Street Joseph's Hospital, 69 West Exchange Street, 651-232-3000
Library: Central, 90 West 4th Street, 651-266-7000
Public School: St. Paul, District Office: 651-632-3701, www.stpaul. k12.mn.us
Community Resources: Capitol River Council, 445 Minnesota Street, Suite 524, 651-221-0488; Kellogg Park; Mears Park; Harriet Island Regional Park
Community Publications: St. Paul Grand Gazette, 651-699-1462; St Paul Pioneer Press, 651-222-5011, www.pioneerplanetcom; Minneapolis/ St Paul Skyway News, 612-843-5226, www.skywaynews.com
Transportation: Bus Lines: numerous city bus lines run through downtown, and you can get around downtown by bus on most major streets. Check a transit map (an MCTO store in the American National Bank building at 5th and Minnesota streets gives them out) or call 612-373-3333. Also, the Capital City Trolley runs shuttles around downtown; call 651-223-5600. Local Routes: 54 Express: 6th Street/International Airport/Mall of America; 948, C, D Express: 6th Street/1-94/Downtown Minneapolis
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