The Victory neighborhood is located in north Minneapolis west of Penn and Newton avenues, east of Xerxes Avenue, between Dowling Avenue on the south and the Humboldt Industrial Area on the north. The neighborhood was named after Victory Memorial, a memorial to World War I veterans and fallen soldiers. Victory Memorial Drive is part of the Grand Rounds parkway and bike path circuit. The neighborhood contains vintage homes from the 1920s and 1930s through the 1960s, some which are being rehabilitated today. There are many first-time homebuyers in Victory.
Source: City of Minneapolis Profile Page
Nick and Melena Gasper and their 9 month-old, Josephine along with their two Shiba Inu dogs, Pj and Kitsune. Nick purchased his home in Victory in 2004 at the age of 23. Melena joined him in the home in 2008. Melena is an artist and Nick is a system administrator for an ISP. Nick and Melena like that people in the neighborhood are invested in their community.
Alicia Adams joined us for our tour of the Victory neighborhood. Alicia was Program Outreach Coordinator for Bike Walk Twin Cities at the time of our tour. She is now working with Venture North Bike Walk & Coffee in the Harrison neighborhood.
Melena and Nick suggested we meet at Victory 44, the newest restaurant in the neighborhood located at 2201 North 44th Avenue.
I had the house made iced chai latte; served via shaker at the table and the devils on horseback which are bacon wrapped dates with a side of blue cheese whiz and cherries.
While sitting on the patio, I took photos of John, 6 and Sam, 2 who live on the Victory Memorial Parkway and frequent the Camden Farmers Market.
One of the cutest buildings I've seen on my tours is at 2208 44th Avenue North. We were not sure if this is a private residence or a business. If you happen to know, please leave a comment.
This private residence had quite a display of Tiffany lamps on their patio. Many people are expanding the living space by creating outdoor rooms. This may be the first time I've seen this done with the use of lamps!
Of their neighborhood's culture, Nick and Melena said:
Victory is almost entirely residential, so it's fairly quiet. There are a lot of young families here, as well as older couples, and a diverse population. We have one of the largest (if not the largest) percentage of gay couples and families as well.
We stopped at Loring Community Elementary School where I could have spent the entire duration of our tour taking photos of the Loring Schoolyard Garden which is part of the Kids Cook program. The colorful signs, vegetables and flowers make are a day brightener and worth a special trip in late spring/early summer.
Next to Loring Community Elementary School is Victory Park. It was full of families and teens playing in the playground and competing in a basketball game and riding their bikes in the tennis courts.
Within Victory neighborhood is the Victory Memorial Drive Historic District commemorating fallen World War I soldiers from Hennepin County. Part of the Ground Rounds, Victory Memorial Drive is a 3.8 mile landscaped boulevard featuring many sculptures, bronze markers dedicated to soldiers, a flagpole and a statue of Abraham Lincoln.
Along the drive, people use the expansive green space for recreation - volleyball, frisbee, and occasionally inflatable bounce houses for kids' birthday parties. In the summer, there is a multi-day music festival called "Live on the Drive" which takes place in neighboring Cleveland at 34th Avenue North and Victory Memorial Parkway.
Along the Parkway, there are more than 500 markers commemorating the fallen soldiers during WWI.
Every neighborhood should have at least property where the homeowner expresses their character and playful sense of humor. The above home and garden is cared for by Gaia Fenna. I can't wait to visit her garden again next summer.
I was taking photos of The Warren sign outside of Duane Atter's home when he came outside to talk with us. Duane is Managing Director of The Warren, a multi-purpose artist space in Victory. The purpose of the space is for artists to be able to exhibit their work, perform, educate, network and hang out. I have not yet visited The Warren but hope Duane will help me feature it in the near future.
Nick and Melena highly recommended eating a meal at Papa's Restaurant & Deli [now closed] which asks the neighborhood to "come often, eat well, stay long". Scott and I were able to experience the welcoming atmosphere for ourselves this past week. Scott was immediately impressed because Papa's offers a wide selection of available Surly beers. We were told that Papa was an early supporter of the local brewery since it is currently located in nearby Brooklyn Center. We tried all of the recommended dishes: artichoke dip, East Coast Tomato Pie and cannoli for dessert. Seemed like we had to for the sake of research! Everything was delicious and we felt right at home. I echo my tour guides' advice and recommend you visit Victory for a meal at Papa's!
Noble Academy strives to provide relevant, quality, multicultural education that incorporates Hmong language and culture.
Michael Anschel of Otogawa-Anschel led the movement to allow Minneapolis homeowners use native Prairie grasses in their landscape. His passion to change the law was sparked after his native grasses were mowed by the City because it violated a former 8-inch limit. Read more about his success in this Star Tribune article, Yards can go au naturel in Minneapolis.
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I'd love to hear from you, please leave a comment. What was your favorite part of this tour? What places do you plan on visiting? Do you live and/or work in the neighborhood? If so, do you have additional information on any of our tour highlights?