“In the Zone”

You’re “In the Zone” when you see the “Dave Ray Avenue” sign.  The street is a renamed portion of Franklin Ave. in St. Paul, honoring Minnesota folk and blues legend Dave “Snaker” Ray of Koerner, Ray and Glover. On our first date Suzi and I watched Tony Glover fall off the stage at Carleton College during a KR&G set.  We were set as a couple.

You might think that Dave Ray Street would be more appropriate in Minneapolis on the University’s West Bank, where the group played, or along the Minneapolis portion of Franklin. But Dave was from St. Paul, and his dad’s insurance agency near the corner of St. Paul’s Franklin and Curfew Street (I wish I knew the story behind that name) was where the band practiced.

We drove along Dave Ray Avenue toward the Egg and I Restaurant for breakfast two week ago.  The Egg and I is in a repurposed Willys Motor Company Factory located on University Avenue in the Midway District between St. Paul and Minneapolis. It was a factory, warehouse and railroad district accessible from both cities by streetcar, now light rail.  Dave Ray Street leads you into St. Paul’s “Creative Enterprise Zone.” 

Many of the buildings in the zone remain industrial but others are becoming residential, office, or studios and lofts for artists and musicians.  There is public space and a music festival at the right time of year.  Nonprofits have offices as well.  Dave Ray Street is an appropriate gateway.

The zone is turning from industrial dull to, what St. Paul calls “the Chroma Zone,” an area of colorful murals that range from abstract to socialist realist (which fits, given Minnesota’s Farmer Labor Party history.”)  These are a few shots from Brian’s car driving through the zone.

One thought on ““In the Zone”

  1. Impressive art work there, not to mention great pictures you share. Thanks as always for your generosity in doing so.

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