The SpaceThe main room - bed, sitting area and eating area - is a large, but cozy 12.5' x 25' with a slightly lower than standard 6'6" high ceiling with a 6'2" beam running through the center. The south-facing egress window lets in plenty of light, and the door on the landing leads out to a fenced-in yard. The kitchenette is an expanded walk-through area between the main room and the private bath. You can hunker-in for privacy, or feel free to hang out in the main floor kitchen, dining room and living room for a change of space when I am not myself cooking or entertaining. No hood over the stove, though, so frying is limited to covered pans and moderate heat. Guest AccessThe house is equipped with high speed wireless internet. There is also a local phone, "a landline," available for use by guests. Long distance calls are possible with a calling card.
The main floor shared space includes a fully equipped kitchen, featuring a shared spice rack with seasonings from all over the world, a formal dining room with adjoining living room and foyer - all three connected with the original 100-year-old wooden archways.
When I am not myself cooking or entertaining, guests are free to use the main floor, including a fully equipped kitchen, dining room, living room and foyer and the fenced in back yard. There is no hood over the kitchen stove, however, so frying is limited to covered pans and moderate temperatures.
The shared bathroom is located upstairs, with an additional private bath for the guests in the basement room. The backyard has some nice sunning possibilities with comfy chaise lounge chairs or, if you prefer a little shade, a nice rocker ideal for lazy summer days and a good book. Interaction with GuestsI'm a school teacher on hiatus, working on home improvement projects while looking for the next big career move. I am more than happy to share any tips on great things to do while visiting the Twin Cities. I love sharing my joy of living in the Twin Cities and am great at scouting out free and inexpensive art, cultural and entertainment options.
For visitors with time on their hands, I can get free or reduced-price tickets to the MN Science Museum, the historic houses, museums and sites of the MN Historical Society, and possibly other events and venues in town. I am also occasionally available for trips to the grocery store, providing you pitch in for the gas. The NeighborhoodComo Park is one of the city's jewels. In addition to the lake and surrounding park there's a free zoo and conservatory, open year-round. I can also get discounted or free passes to the MN Historical Society sites and events and the MN Science Museum for my guests. Downtown Saint Paul is only 3 miles away. Getting AroundWe're a few blocks from great public transit. The #3 bus line runs east to west between both downtown Saint Paul and downtown Minneapolis. You can connect with a number of north/south lines along the way.
From the airport - I heartily endorse SuperShuttle. Many of my guests have used it, and I've never heard a complaint. You can reserve online. They ask for your flight information, and they're there at the airport for you, no matter what time your flight arrives, day or night, whether your plane is on time or late.
Of course, if you're traveling on a slimmer budget, just catch the #54 bus to downtown Saint Paul and transfer to the #3. Just check to see if you're on the #3A or the #3B, as the stops are different once you get to my neighborhood.
BUSSES - East or west, the #3 bus will take you there. Connect to the Snelling Avenue bus north or south for unlimited shopping and dining choices. North-south busses are also available on Lexington Avenue and Dale Street - an 8-10 minute walk in either direction. For more information on bussing, the G... Maps website is quite useful. Just enter your starting point and your destination, and G... Maps will figure the rest. You can also go directly to the MetroTransit website for specifics on routes and route maps.
You can order bus passes online or purchase them at various kiosks around town (check locations in advance). Or, if you prefer to pay as you go - $1.75 for non-rush hour, or $2.25 for a rush hour ticket - good for 2.5 hours, any number of busses, any direction. Be advised, you'll need exact change. Unlike the lightrail stations, the busses don't have ticket machines. You either drop your money in the slot or swipe your bus pass. If you slip in a $20 bill by mistake, the bus company will have to mail you the change!
BIKES - I do have a number of bicycles available for my house guests to use. I have some random bike helmets, reflectors and lights, an air pump and an inner tube repair kit. It's strictly "as is." If it works, you're free to use it. Some locks are also available.
ON FOOT - In addition to Como Park, you'll find a number of fun and interesting things within walking distance to the house:
TO THE EAST - Conny's Creamy Cones, open April through October, has over 24 flavors of soft serve; Toasted, a fun little neighborhood liquor store with make-your-own 6-pack beers. My personal favorites include the Banana Beer and the Ginger Beer. This is a great way to sample the local micro-breweries. John's Pizza, with real ingredients that actually taste like they should (nothing plastic about their cheese), Ace Hardware - when you just have to have that little courtesy bag of popcorn, and Speedy Market, for the emergency milk and cookies run.
TO THE WEST - Half-time Rec, with their newly resurfaced bocce ball lanes in the basement, and pool tables and darts on the main floor. Be prepared for loud music and a cover charge on the weekends. Across the street - Gabe's On the Park, for your sports tv hangout.
Larpenteur (to the north), Snelling (to the west) and University Avenue (to the south) meet all of your shopping needs. There are north/south bus lines that connect with the #3 on Snelling, Lexington, and Dale. You can take the bus all the way to the Mall of America, but our own beautiful Rosedale Shopping Center has many of the same shops at ½ the distance, and ¼ of the crowds.
The #3 bus line has some interesting shopping/restaurant venues as well - Hmongtown Market to the east where you can get freshly prepared papaya salad and bubble tea, or fresh produce from the farmers' market out back. Just to the west of the Saint Paul campus, you'll find a quaint little main street in St. Anthony Village. Stop by the Finnish Bistro for some really fresh, really tasty baked goods, a delectable salad, sandwich or quiche, and some of the best coffee brewed in town at the adjoining Dunn Brothers' cafe. The Speedy Market on main street really serves as a local grocer, with fresh produce and other real food. Or, stop on your way home at Snelling and Como Avenues. Hop off the bus for a sub sandwich or some deli meats at Nelson's Cheese Factory and pick up some tofu at Shanghai Market. Then hop back on the bus and you're home in a flash! Other Things to NoteThere's plenty of street parking, or, if you prefer 2 wheels, a selection of bikes to choose from. The city bus stop is nearby.
This room is in phase two of a multi-year remodel. Totally livable and clean, just not quite done. If you don't mind the unpainted walls and the temporary ceiling in the bathroom and walk-through "kitchenette" (microwave, fridge and coffee pot), this room is a very good deal.