Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Year of Buying into NoMi

The Teachouts enjoying a meal at Good Sports Bar & Grill on Jim Wentzell Day
You can always find a hearty meal at the Bangkok Market in the EcoVillage.
Or a cup of coffee at 42nd Avenue Station

Post by the Hawthorne Hawkman, photos from

My post about needing a bike shop got me thinking about NoMi, and how my blogging might continue to make an impact. For the next few months, the North High Polars' football team will be prominently featured here, but what comes next?

I started to ponder where my money goes, and how I could best use what little I have to make an impact in my own neighborhood. What would happen if I spent an entire year buying things only in NoMi or from a business with a connection to north Minneapolis? For instance, organic foods are hard to find in NoMi, but Local D'Lish in downtown is owned by a Ann Loyd, a NoMi homeowner.

There would be exceptions, of course. I can't very well go on vacation and spend money back home. Then there are some things that I just can't find or connect to NoMi, like...
...comic books.  Well, books, CD's, and DVD's are all pretty scarce here - unless I want to buy something bootlegged from the dude who wanders around Hawthorn(sic) Crossings.  But this venture would force me to at least TRY to find some connection to my community even in rather mundane purchases.

Here's another hypothetical scenario.  Imagine, if you will, that I am on a hot date.  Or if you're having trouble picturing that, then just a regular date.  No!  This is MY blog and MY hypothetical scenario, so a hot date it is.  What happens if we're not in NoMi, but still enjoying a fine evening?

"Ah, waiter?  Yes, I'll have the filet mignon with a glass of your finest '98 Frere Jacques pinot noir.  And for the lady, shrimp scampi with a sonnez les matines chardonnay."  By this point in the evening, she's so overwhelmed by my inordinate amounts of savoir faire that she's thinking to herself, "Catherine Zeta-Skrenes...I like the sound of it."  This would be the perfect time for me to Pop The Question.

"Would you mind paying for this?"


"You see, I'm doing this kind of social experiment where everything I buy has some connection to north Minneapolis, and--oh, you've read about it on my blog already?  Great, you understand!  Um, no, the comic book thing is different...I had to buy that issue because they're making Daredevil into a villain and he just fought Ghost Rider, who's like this flaming skull dude who rides a motorcycle that is also on fire and he's the spirit of vengeance...I can tell by your facial expression that you're thinking about vengeance right now too.  Did I mention there were ninjas?  I'm not even getting a goodnight kiss, am I?  No, no, I'll pay for this.  Yes, I can ask for a doggy bag.  Good night.  Call me, ok?"

Clearly, I see challenges in the year ahead, and this is BEFORE I put geographical restrictions on my spending habits.

So, over the next few months I'll be watching my spending habits, and for everything I buy that has no connection to NoMi, I'll try and find a way to change that.  Then, the day after the end of the Polars' football season, I will begin this undertaking.  In the meantime, does anyone know where I can get comic books?  Or a hot date?  Catherine Zeta-Jones won't return my calls.


  1. I will have your framing estimate for you any day now.

  2. I like the sound of this idea, Mr. Hawkman.

  3. Jeff - great plan. I volunteer to buy you things outside of NoMi as needed and then Brian can re-sell them to you with a slight import tariff. We'll use the tariff to pay our NoMi property taxes.

    Oh, and no woman on a hot date would eat shrimp scampi! Garlic/seafood breath? With parsley between ones teeth? I think not! :)

  4. I like the idea of being aware, and trying to spend locally. However, just as I would like people from other parts of the city to experience Vic44, Tooties, Goddess of Glass, etc, I won't feel bad for spending some funds a little less locally.

    It is also the responsibility of merchants to provide services and products we want, with the added value of service which helps us justify the slightly higher prices. Two contrasting examples: I will go to North End Hardware because of the knowledgeable staff and helpful service, and they always seem to have what I need. I leave the neighborhood to buy liquor because the local stores are unpleasant to visit and they don't carry the variety I am used to.

  5. Chriss, thanks for the advice and the idea. And ClevelandGuy, I don't expect to be in full compliance with spending absolutely every penny in NoMi for the year. That's one of the things that I will wind up blogging about: what is it that I either needed to or simply wanted to forsake community connections in order to purchase? And might that mean that there is a market for such goods or services within our community?

    I'm still deciding how I might address the issue of money spent with no connection to NoMi. I had actually thought of Crhiss's idea of having a friend procure such things and then paying them a slight overage. That felt too much like cheating.

    What I'm leaning towards at this point is tallying such purchases and then at the end of the year, donating a certain percentage of those dollars to a charity that serves NoMi. I'm just not sure what that percentage should be; it ought to be significant enough to be a real sacrifice, but I don't want to promise a dollar amount that I ultimately can't afford.

    This is why I've posted the idea a few months ahead of time. I can examine my spending patterns beforehand and readers can offer their suggestions, both of how to structure things and what businesses are in or connected to NoMi.

  6. Here's a Hawthorne owned business for computer repair and services to share and support:


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