My wife and I always look forward to our St. Paul neighborhood’s block party on National Night Out in August — and never more so than this year after the heartbreaking shooting of St. Paulite Philando Castile during a police traffic stop.
Philando worked at the J.J. Hill Montessori school, which is less than a block from my house, and less than two blocks from the section of street where our block party is always staged.
Because of the shooting, our neighborhood is continually erupting in antipolice protests. As I write this, another demonstration is about to start at J.J. Hill. The governor’s mansion, a site of sometimes-violent protests, is just a few blocks away.
It has been a trying time, which made our party all the more important. It was therapeutic.
This bizarre-looking trophy is the St. Paul Pioneer Press newsroom’s “News Hero” award.
It is awarded weekly to a news worker or workers — such as reporters or copy editors — for awesome journalism.
I hadn’t been anointed thusly until recently, when I jumped on the Pokémon Go craze and wrote a series of stories about it.
Philando Castile, the St. Paul man shot by a cop during a traffic stop, won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
I’ll be reminded of him every time I walk onto my porch, look to the left and see the J.J. Hill Montessori school where he worked, less than a block from my home.
All is quiet now in my ‘hood after many memorials and protests — including those in front of the governor’s mansion, which is just a few blocks away.
I am left with the many pictures I took during all the tumult. The three shown here are the ones that will stay with me the most.
I often refer to my house’s roomy front porch as my “third office” because I do a lot of work out there during Minnesota’s all-too-brief summers.
It seems criminal to hole up in my Pioneer Press cubicle, or in my home office, when I can do my work amidst fresh breezes, whispering trees, tweeting birdies and alluring odors from my wife’s nearby gardens.
For years, however, I couldn’t get my porch-workstation arrangement exactly right.
The Pioneer Press’ shiny-new HQ across the river from downtown St. Paul has many sweet amenities, including an outdoor patio with a spectacular view of the city skyline.
So, when KARE 11 asked to interview me, I thought the patio would be the perfect place to do this. I was right.
Cameraman Nicholas Petersen did an awesome job of capturing the the patio’s visual allure using his two cameras.