Walking West down Lake Street from Midtown Global Market, I observed many different cultural establishments, primarily Latino and what I think is Somalian. This picture demonstrates this. On one of side of the street is a Somalian (I think) meat market. On the other side of the street is a supermarket, marked “supermercado”. I also observed that this area seems poorer than other parts of the city. This correlates with trend that racially and/or ethnically diverse areas are typically lower-income.
The field study asks us to analyze how accessible Midtown Global Market is to people of all classes. I posted all three of these images in the same blog post because they all indicate that it is fairly accessible. The existence of free parking and free, all-inclusive programs like Bingo Night suggest that the exchange is indeed designed to welcome and include everyone. The existence of the bus depot right next to the exchange also makes it highly accessible. While in Midtown Global Market, I also observed people from seemingly many different walks of life.
I had just arrived at the front of Midtown Global Market when a woman walked up to me and told me that she was two months pregnant, fleeing an abusive relationship, and because of her work, she had missed her bus, and would not be able to make the feeding at the shelter. I gave her some money, a hug, and some encouraging words, and she started crying. It was quite an experience. Geographically speaking, this led me to two conclusions: First, that the area around the exchange might be lower-income, and second, that the bus station right next to the exchange makes this area highly accessible to people of all socioeconomic classes. The monumental, art deco architecture of the building visible in this picture also made me consider the history and purpose of this building as a central node of commerce, travel, and social intermingling for the city.
I saw evidence of gentrification in this street running parallel to the Minnesota College of Art and Design Campus, right next to MIA. One can see the older houses, many of which are in somewhat poor condition, while farther down the street is an condo complex similar to others found throughout the Twin Cities. We were asked in our field study to consider the socioeconomic status of the area around MIA. I saw many lower-income apartment blocks and older houses, but the apartment complex in this picture is an example of newer buildings that seem to be creeping into the area. This is evidence of gentrification, likely resulting from the presence of MIA and the college campus.