No longer a Northfielder? What do you miss/not miss about it?

Julie Bixby and Becky TofteFormer NAG Executive Director Rebecca Tofte (AKA Becky Bazan) was visiting with Contented Cow manager Julie Bixby on the Cow’s upper deck on Wed. eve. She’s been living in Burnsville for the 18 months or so (see the Dec. 2006 goodbye party blog post/photos) and working at the MN Zoo Foundation.

I asked her what she missed most about Northfield.

Always running into people I knew.

I asked her what she didn’t miss about Northfield.

Always running into people I knew.

Google Analytics stats A glance at our Google Analytics stats for April shows that we had visitors from over 1,600 cities.


So if you used to live in Northfield, what do you miss/not miss most about it?


  1. Jerry Bilek said:

    Judging from the map Griff, you have some big opportunities in South America, Russia, and Greenland.

    May 30, 2008
  2. Gabriel Rholl said:

    I’m the little dot in Berlin!

    I haven’t really moved away from Northfield, but I am studying here until August. I’ve been using Locally Grown to check up on the news around town ever since I left, and I’ve been dedicatedly checking the headlines and reading the comments every day. I suppose I count as a bit of a lurker, though, because I don’t comment very often (if at all).

    What I’ve noticed so far is that I used to complain far too much about how far it is walk to get places in Northfield: it’s not at all. Even though there’s a dedicated system for public transportation here, I still find myself walking approximately the distance from St. Olaf to downtown (and back) every day. I miss being able to hop on my bike and get anywhere in 5-15 minutes. I miss the downtown’s extensive amounts of free Wi-Fi. (You’d think it’d be easier here- not so. The one free place I’ve found is a Haagen-Dazs hotspot that has a Starbucks right next door; I pick one of the two businesses and I camp there to check my email.) I also miss how nice the people are in the shops.

    When I was asked to do a presentation in my German language class, I ended up doing it on small-town America, with a focus on Northfield. (Yes, those kids did get to see a reenactment of Jesse James Days on video.) I like to think that I gave a good impression, but it’s hard not to make Northfield seem hillbillyish when you’re comparing it to the “sexy” heart of Germany.

    I suppose I’m going to come back and say the complete opposite, like how small it seems and how I will feel suffocated. Right now, though, I’ve got a bit of nostalgia going on.

    May 30, 2008
  3. Gabriel Rholl said:

    However, after thinking further about it, I suppose you could also tack on that I have a lot of complaints about Northfield’s transit system. The few scheduled stops and a 24-hour call ahead for “dial-a-ride” services don’t impress me at all. Nor does the lack of usable weekend hours (10am-2pm Sat: 4 hours?? And a complete lack of Sunday hours- I would use the bus to get to work but the bus just isn’t available when I need it). That’s why I bike around in both freezing cold and oppressively hot weather.

    May 30, 2008
  4. Megan Prichard said:

    I was born in Northfield and lived there for 23 years til I moved to South FL last year. Out of all the things that I miss (believe me, there’s a laundry list), I think the biggest one would be Northfield’s downtown. As long as I can remember, I could go down to Division St and run into at least 10 people I knew, as well as going to the library and my coffee shop of choice, all within the same 3-block area. To a certain extent this is because of Northfield’s size and the community dynamic, but it’s something that I think about often, and miss dearly.

    There is one thing I don’t miss about Northfield, and that is the lack of things to do after about 10pm. Blue Monday fills up pretty quickly at night, and unless you’re able to get down to Perkins or one of the fast food places, you’re pretty much restricted to aimlessly wandering downtown – unless you feel like heading to a bar, and when I lived up in Nfld that wasn’t an option for my peers and I.

    All things considered, Northfield was an amazing place to grow up. Once I start missing the winters again, I may head back up there 🙂

    May 31, 2008
  5. Griff Wigley said:

    Gabriel and Megan, thanks so much for commenting. Good to hear you’ve both got a bit of nostalgia going for Northfield. Do let us know when you return, if even just for a short visit.

    May 31, 2008
  6. John George said:

    Megan- I always knew you were a “fair weather” friend! Glad you are enjoying Florida, and the Crown Vic. David is enjoying Fargo, too. Quite the extremes! I get the updates form your folks regularly. Glad to see you stay in touch with the blog. I’ll have to be very warey of what I post, now!

    May 31, 2008

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