Saturday, April 30, 2005

my urban superiority complex: st. louis park is NOT minneapolis

after an inspiring conversation with a professor yesterday i believe i have solved my course conundrum for next year. why should i suffer through estates and trusts when: a) allegedly i've already learned some of the material in California Marital Property; b) the class is from 6:00-9:00pm - an ungodly time to be at school; c) the course will be taught for the bar exam; and d) it sounds ridiculously boring? at first, estates & trusts seemed like a great idea because it would be a class that entailed little work and would allow me to devote more time to intense classes like tax. now i've realized that i have only two semesters left in school. i'm going to take classes that actually interest me. hah! i can indulge my interests, get a JD, and (God willing) pass the bar.
hopefully, in line with this plan, i'll get into a new class on the suburbs. i have grown up as such an "urban" snob. although minneapolis is by no means a bustling (or unsegregated) metropolis, i took great pride in the fact that i grew up "in the city" instead of in a suburb. i still really value my childhood home because i had the benefit of living in a neighborhood with great public schools, very few chain & big box stores, and convenient public transportation. i still resent when people ask me where i'm from and when i reply "minneapolis," they say, "oh, i know someone from minneapolis. they live in [roseville, edina, st. cloud]. where exactly are you from?"
although i have this lingering superiority complex about being from a city - my thoughts have changed some in recent years. for one thing, i live in a suburb now. also, it's common knowledge that in minneapolis, and elsewhere, inner cities are rapidly gentrifying. renovated and refurbished lofts are cropping up everywhere. warehouse districts are hot. this trend is pushing poor folks out to the first and second ring suburbs and beyond. for some statistics on point check out this article. i want to learn more about how this has impacted voting, affordable housing, the environment, and service delivery. how have non-profits (especially legal non-profits outside of the bay area) responded to this shift in localized poverty? my hunch (and observation) is that direct service agencies have been slow to catch up.

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