Julie Swenson

Content writer and PR pro in Minneapolis - always looking for something new to learn

Downtown: where luxury is cheaper than it seems: | The Journal

I'm sick of conning the check out boy at Lund's into selling me a roll of quarters every week for laundry. I'm sick of washing dishes by hand. I'm sick of the guy downstairs who smokes so much that the smell wafts up through my closed windows in January. I'm sick of drunken caretakers who smoke with the guy downstairs. I'm sick of dodging over-achieving mommies who gave up the partner track to run marathons while pushing a stroller full of triplets around Lake Harriet. Most of all though, I'm si

Discovering my inner groupie | The Journal

I always think I can slow it down, but the last patch of summer between the Fourth of July and the first day of school is a blur. It's the end of so many great summer things -- roasted corn on the cob, cheap blueberries and raspberries, wearing shorts to the office on Fridays (only if there are no client meetings) -- that I miss so much in January. This year, I've had one of the best summers of my adult life because of two discoveries: a) Scooters, need I say more? and b) my inner groupie. You

USATODAY.com - Top 10 things to do after you've been laid off

Top 10 things to do after you've been laid off Laid off? Let's face it, there are only so many hours a day you can spend searching for jobs and writing cover letters. While finding a new job is your first priority, you'll be happier in the meantime if you have a secondary goal to accomplish during your time off. Doing so will help relieve some of the pressure of finding a job, and could offer new networking opportunities, fill gaps on your resume or even lead to an entirely new career. Many peop

Meet the domestic, single mole | The Journal

Known for shuffling through skyways and running from all things "couple-y" These are the mole days Downtown. I leave my underground heated garage at home, park in one at the office, then drive to another to go to Target, then home again. Everything -- the work, errands, client meetings, evening class at St. Thomas and dinner at home then a little Larry King -- is done indoors via skyway and heated car. There's one piece of skyway between the Campbell Mithun Tower and the TCF Tower that's so m

Downtown is cookin'! | The Journal

From the torrid expectation of LRT to a literally hot date Have you seen the light-rail trains being tested? Last week, one went by and it was a little bit of a thrill and a tease at the same time. A thrill because it's essentially a new ride made just for grown-ups, like a new Valleyfair roller coaster just for us. And it was a tease because no one can get on it yet. The whole idea of a train in the city reminded me of the tidy and efficient Metro -- a $5 word for subway -- in Washington, D.C

Office Space

In today's market, it's easier to sell condos or rent apartments than it is to lease office space—and multifamily developers are taking note. So are commercial property owners, tired of empty office suites. “Any underutilized building is a candidate for adaptive reuse,” according to Paul Ticher, a partner at Cox, Castle & Nicholson, a Los Angeles law firm that has advised numerous adaptive reuse projects. “Commercial owners think like commercial owners, but they need to think of other alternati

After-School Activities

Going to the principal's office in Atlanta's Bass High School isn't what it used to be. In the same place where students would sit in anticipation and dread, a lucky renter now enjoys a one-of-a-kind Bass Lofts apartment suite, complete with the original bank vault that once held valuables for the school. "The people who choose to live here relish it. It's still an old school. We left up several chalkboards and teachers' bookcases," says Dennis Hertlein, principal of Surber, Barber, Choate, Her

Downtown comfort stuff | The Journal

In tough times, roasted squash in your tummy and free moisturizer on your face can chase a bit of the blues away There's no getting around it, these have been sad days in our country and especially here in Minnesota. snipers, Russian hostages, and plane crashes have produced a cloud cover that's tough to shake. My productivity is laughable. My clients all wonder where I am, and I'm surviving on a steady diet of Zoloft and large iced lattes. These are the days when you wake up and, for a second,

From Downtown to Nigeria in three short weeks | The Journal

How an ad in a St. Thomas newsletter took one columnist halfway around the world I've taken a break from the shoes at Off Fifth, and I'm writing to you from an Internet Caf in Kaduna, Nigeria. Don't get any visions of me kicked back with an iced latt and a wireless keyboard balanced on my lap under a mango tree. No, dear reader, an Internet Caf in Nigeria is a plain affair. There's no coffee in sight, the equipment is ancient, and needless to say, Saks is nothing but a distant memory to me now

The three Amigos | Southwest Journal

Forsaking Sebastian Joe's for boiled bananas, three Southwest students find satisfaction working with Central and South Americans for a summer Last summer, Peter Hepburn, Brian Ignaut and Emily Kerben, all 17 years old and seniors at Southwest High School, traded Lake Harriet, Sebastian Joe's and a reliable supply of hot water for a few weeks of worrying about amoebic dysentery, wild monkeys and a house with a dirt floor. Do they regret it? Kerben, who lives in Armatage, speaks for all three w