Debra Keefer Ramage

Debra Keefer Ramage began writing freelance for Southside Pride in 2012, shortly after returning from a 13-year sojourn in England. She covers progressive politics, education, co-ops and neighborhoods. In 2017 she started doing Southside Pride’s restaurant review column, The Dish.


Some inspirational folks who are aging gracefully; plus, explosion of senior workouts online

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE First, let us consider the staggering array of online workouts available these days, especially those geared toward seniors who might have mobility issues. Chair workouts and zero-impact aerobics (ZIP) dominate the list. There are stand-alone companies like GrowYoung Fitness (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQn6LXA4_2c), along with the Ys, private health…

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How to observe holidays in the 2020 Weirds

DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE I just finished reading “The Plague” (in translation) by Albert Camus. I didn’t consciously do it as a preparation for writing this, but it had that salutary effect. I say salutary because it’s not an easy or pleasurable read, whether you happen to be in a pandemic…

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Dinkytown in the 2020 Weirds

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Dinkytown, as you know, is not like other neighborhoods. It’s not even like other college campus-adjacent neighborhoods such as those in St. Paul, or in smaller college towns. So Dinkytown’s response to things like the COVID pandemic is also a little bit different. Dinkytown, with its…

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East 42nd Street in the 2020 Weirds

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Although there have been few major disruptions to businesses and organizations along 42nd Street due to either COVID-19 or civil unrest, nowhere has been immune. Business models, hours and other things have changed, and there’s often not the additional capacity to keep the public informed. Southside…

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Midtown Global Market changing with the times

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Midtown Global Market’s vendors are having a tough 2020 for the most part. Like most food halls, food courts and dine-in restaurants, the whole market shut down in March. But that was just the beginning. By the start of April, a few eating and drinking establishments,…

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Minneapolis Schools’ other issues on the back burner, but not CDD!

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE It’s a complex landscape. You have the institutions—district public schools, public-private charter schools, alternative, private and parochial schools, as well as the districts themselves and some contractors that fill in essential services, like food preparation or bus transportation. Then you have the stakeholders—students, families, teachers, other…

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Selby Avenue St. Paul in the 2020 Weirds

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE   The western origin point of Selby Avenue in St. Paul is only three blocks west of the river, but the avenue doesn’t start to get interesting until it crosses Fairview (going east) with a tricky-to-maneuver dogleg. It rambles on straightly eastward to Cathedral Hill and…

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Chicago and 48th Street area in the 2020 Weirds

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Fortunes on the part of Chicago Avenue south of 44th Street have been varied during the COVID-19 pandemic and the period of civil unrest in late May through mid-June. This area is mainly residential, with a concentrated commercial hub between 46th and 49th Streets. There is…

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Chicago Avenue bears the brunt of the storm 2020

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Since May 25, 2020, Chicago Avenue in South Minneapolis will forever be associated in history with the “George Floyd uprising.” In fact, the exact location where the murder of Floyd occurred, 38th Street and Chicago Avenue South, is unofficially renamed George Floyd Square (and making that…

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Grand Avenue St. Paul in the 2020 Weirds

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Similar to Highland Park, the Grand Avenue environs of St. Paul were less affected by the property violence associated with the uprisings about Justice for George Floyd. But not totally unaffected. One of our featured businesses had their much-anticipated reopening delayed because their windows were smashed…

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Lyndale Avenue South in the 2020 Weirds

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Lyndale Avenue South seems to be doing pretty well, all things considered. Lyndale is a long avenue, stretching from Brooklyn Center to Bloomington (the city, not the avenue). We are focusing on the segment from Franklin Avenue southward to about 60th Street. I found myself being…

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Highland Park and St. Paul in COVID times

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE As we have been doing since March, this week’s focus on St. Paul’s Highland Park will be a geographical guide to services available and businesses open (or not) due to COVID-19. In addition, we will talk a bit about libraries, and a bit about homelessness in…

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Richfield’s 66th Street in COVID-19 and beyond

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE Compared to the parts of South Minneapolis I usually frequent, the area around Lake Nokomis and southward into Richfield looks placid and untouched. I’m sure there is trauma there too, but at least there weren’t as many fires or as much looting. If you get to…

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Cedar Avenue and environs during the 2020 weirds

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE I encountered the above description of this time of this year and I … couldn’t really do better, so I’m “borrowing” it. Actually, things look a lot more normal on Cedar Avenue than most places in South Minneapolis, although nowhere is immune to the changes. Which…

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