Dinkytown area convenient but costly

by Fabiana Torreao

Standing across from campus, the Dinkydome is synonymous with its neighborhood — known for student roamers and a small-town atmosphere.
From Falafel King to the Loring Pasta Bar, Dinkytown appeals to all tastes.
Dinkytown, extending from 15th Avenue to Oak Street along Fourth Street and University Avenue, attracts students for its campus proximity.
Housing varies from fraternity houses in a row along University Avenue, to small apartments and rooming houses.
Rent is often expensive for students, ranging from $550 to $700 for a one-bedroom apartment, to $200 to $350 for a room in a rooming house.
Besides the budgetary constraints, availability in Dinkytown is low.
Jenny White, for example, will begin her University graduate studies in the fall, so far without a home.
“It’s terrible. We’ve been up here three times already,” White said. “And it’s so expensive.”
The 22-year-old music therapy student said she was looking to spend $400 to $500 in rent monthly, but is now forced to look for at least $600.
Coming from a small college of 800 students in Wisconsin, White has no doubt housing has been her biggest challenge at the 50,000-plus student campus.
As in every neighborhood, there are advantages and disadvantages to Dinkytown. For Grant Carter, who has lived in the area for two years, parking is a major disadvantage.
“It’s hectic,” Carter said. “If you get a good parking spot, you don’t want to move your car for a week.”
Many of the area residential buildings offer garages for a monthly fee of about $50. But most Dinkytown residents rely on off-street parking.
Carter said the only Dinkytown advantage is the convenience. Besides campus proximity, the neighborhood is flooded with businesses. Restaurants, coffee shops, music and video stores, travel agencies and beauty salons are everywhere.
Safety is another positive aspect. The area’s biggest safety problem is the masses of students running to class and violating red pedestrian lights, said Minneapolis police officer Robert Patrick.
Patrick, who has been the Dinkytown beat officer for three years, said the area is very safe and its crimes are generally thefts of unlocked houses and bikes.
Although most residents are University students, some have lived there for a long time, such as Maya Zniewski. She moved to Dinkytown when she was five and still lives there, 21 years later.
“This is the one area of the city that cars don’t rule,” Zniewski said, adding that drivers stop for pedestrians and bikers on Dinkytown streets.
— This article originally appeared in the July 17 edition of the Daily.
Fabiana Torreao welcomes comments at [email protected] She can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3212.