By Jason Elyea-Wheeler // (4/23/2024)

I moved to the Midway when COVID was beginning to loosen its grip on daily life.

It was three years ago I started at Hamline University, where we were kept in the safety bubble of our dorm rooms, and carefully walked the boundaries of campus. Rarely did I step into the neighborhood to explore, because of some invisible fear of the streets of Hamline Midway.

Vacant lots, boarded up storefronts, my new neighbors masked faces I couldn’t recognize or find community in. Warnings that the streets are not safe, and to never walk down Snelling. It was all foreign to me. It wasn’t home. That was three years ago. Now I am a renter, and I have the privilege of serving as the Communications Specialist for the Hamline Midway Coalition. These fears, and the warnings I received do not ring true today.

But what has changed? I stepped outside the borders of the University and began to engage with my community through local businesses, public parks, and local organizations and events. It is through the neighborhood, the people and groups that make it special, that I was able to feel welcomed.

But who is the Midway Neighborhood? What are our stories? What are our troubles and our dreams? What makes us want to live our lives here? From renters, to homeowners, students, to parents; we are the Hamline Midway Neighborhood, and our story is not one that begins and ends, but forever changes. The one constant, however, is our collective desire to be a force for positive change in our community.

With our neighbors, for our neighbors, we are committed to working together and showing up for one another.  In the first couple of months in 2024, we have shown up to discuss key concerns and issues within the community. We showed up for a conversation with heads of Metro Transit about our fears and hopes for public transportation. We gathered at Allianz Field and showed up with our joys and concerns of what is ahead with United Village. Hundreds of pounds of trash has been collected and removed from our streets & we are showing up again later this month to clean up litter around the neighborhood (Citywide Clean up April 20th)! 

All of this has been possible because we showed up with a shared love for our neighborhood. At HMC, we want to continue showing up to address the challenges we face while also celebrating the amazing businesses, organization, artists, and initiatives that make Hamline-Midway home. 

That is why we’ve launched Neighborhood Notes. It is a place for us to share our love for Hamline-Midway. To tell the untold stories. To better understand local initiatives. To support and promote our local businesses, organizations, and artists. 

Do you have a story to tell? We invite you to write with us. Together, let’s narrate the ongoing story of the Hamline Midway neighborhood — a story of growth, resilience, and a community that shows up for each other. 

To contribute your story or to learn more about how you can get involved, please send an email to 

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