The City Space

Cultivating Urban Understanding

Summer City Goals—Revisited



At the end of May, I shared my list of goals for this summer in the city. I was surprised to find that writing them down here actually helped me work towards them, instead of my usual pattern of making a list on a random piece of paper that eventually gets lost and forgotten halfway through the summer. Here’s a quick run-down of the goals I set at the start of the summer, followed by my actual accomplishments over the last three months in Minneapolis.

  1. Read at least five books about urban development or planning. Unfortunately I’ve only read three books about cities this summer, Makeshift Metropolis, The Company Town and Community: The Structure of Belonging by Peter Block. I might be able to sneak in one more before summer’s end.
  2. Take more photos in the city. I definitely did this. Having it on my list reminded me to pull out my camera (or at least the camera on my phone) when I went somewhere new or saw something beautiful. I’ve shared a lot of those photos here.
  3. Spend time in new neighborhoods. I made an effort towards this goal by driving new routes through Minneapolis, exploring a bit of St. Paul while training for a half marathon, and setting aside time each weekend to try out a new cafe or park.
  4. Travel to see family in Houston, TX and Salt Lake City, UT. My visit to Houston was one of the highlights of summer. I talked a bit about the city here. On the other hand, the fact that I didn’t make it to Salt Lake is one of my biggest regrets so that’ll be top on my list of places to check out soon.
  5. Go for lots of after-dinner walks with my family in our neighborhood. Done.
  6. Visit a farmer’s market every week (and try new ones). Okay, I didn’t make it every week, but I probably averaged every other week, and I enjoyed my time at some new markets.
  7. Become confident driving stick-shift on city streets and highways. Over the past eight years, I’ve had at least four different people teach me the basics of stick. I thought for sure I’d master it this summer, but I’m sorry to say that my insecurities got the better of me once again.
  8. Run a half marathon in my city. This was without a doubt, another high point of summer. [See photo up top.] My friend Ashley and I enjoyed a glorious morning race along the river in St. Paul a couple weeks ago, plus several weeks of training leading up to it. I felt great, ran faster than I thought I would,  and I finished the race with an anticipation for my next event.
  9. Send letters to friends and family in other cities. Friends, if you’re reading this and you didn’t get a letter from me, I apologize. I made an effort to send letters to people across the country (and even one to Canada). Letter-writing is something I try to keep up with fairly regularly, so there are surely more to come. If you want to be pen pals, definitely hit me up.
  10. Volunteer with the Minneapolis nonprofit that made me who I am. This was one of my greatest joys during the second half of summer. I spent several days editing together some television specials that compile previous work from TVbyGIRLS, the nonprofit film organization that I have been part of for the last decade. Expect to see our segments on local access TV in the Minneapolis area soon.

3 thoughts on “Summer City Goals—Revisited

  1. Pingback: Summer City Goals | The City Space

  2. Pingback: A List of Adventures | The City Space

  3. Pingback: Looking Forward | The City Space

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