What Woodbury Really Needs

Why should we just be satisfied with the repuation of being "Edina East"?

There are a group of people, both inside and outside of our fair city of Woodbury, who seem to believe that this community is “Edina East.” 

Really, if you look at the demographics, it’s not really that close. We’re more like “Maple Grove East” (or are they “Woodbury West?”). Now, don’t look down your monacle at me and send your butler out to knee-cap me with your polo mallet, this is strictly by the numbers here, folks.

If you really want to find Edina East, it would be a place like Dellwood or North Oaks…but the residents of those communities would see that designation as a downgrade of their financial status.

Still, this has not stopped many from having pretentions or aspirations of someday becoming the eastern cake-eating champions.  I was once a planner in a community that billed itself as “The Fastest Growing Community in Missouri,” so I guess I should be used to this sort of thing.

But it all led me to ponder… what does Woodbury need not only to put itself on par with, but exceed Edina. Well, we can’t compete with them in terms of “old money.”  We’re behind in state hockey championships. We’re about $30,000 behind in terms of average family income. We lack a historic indoor shopping mall like Southdale.

So, what DO we need? 

What will put us in that exalted plateau? Will it be more sit-down restaurants? Frozen yogurt? Mattress stores? How about an auto parts store? Booze at Bielenberg? The mall era is seemingly going through its death throes, so we’ll let Edina deal with the uncertain future of where one goes to get gigantic pretzels and guzzle liters upon liters of Orange Julius.

The Answer

In my mind, the first step toward greatness is miniature golf.

Not the Astroturf over plywood indoor variety. That’s fine for your second- or third-tier communities, or as a fundraiser in an open space in a shopping center, but, my friends, that is not what defines elite. We’re talking real water hazards, real grass, real dirt, course marshals, maybe even cart rentals. 

We’re not thinking of a skimpy 18 holes, either. No sir. 18 holes of the traditional putt-it-through-the-windmill obstacle-type course PLUS 18 holes of the undulating terrain with geometry requiring the valedictorian of the Math and Science Academy to act as your caddy. 

You may be asking yourself, “How does this increase the prestige of Woodbury?”  Well, truthfully, I’m not sure that it does, but: 

1.)  I’ve always wanted a really cool miniature golf course within cycling distance, and; 

2.)  It would be a great replacement for a certain hotel chain whose name has graced many a Patch page.

And Then...

Second step: Put up a wall and turn Woodbury into a completely gated community.

Most of the retail is concentrated in a quadrant of town, so I suppose that you could leave that part open for the folks who only have cake on birthdays, anniversaries, and Arbor Day. Clearly there’s no need to prevent them from enriching our merchants.

But the rest, let’s lock it down behind walls. You’d get a little radio transmitter that you would place within your vehicle that your chauffeur or other servant would press to unlock the gate. 

The rest? Well, they’d have to be buzzed in and met after the police had completed a thorough background check, along with a medical check, and a satisfactory credit check.    To enter, they would have to also pay a substantial deposit, much of which might be refunded if they leave without incident.  The older the vehicle driven to the gate, the greater the deposit…unless, of course, it is deemed to be a mint-condition collector vehicle of a luxury variety.

The final step toward not just local, but interstellar greatness is a backronym.  Not insulting ones like Iowa’s “Idiots Out Walking Around,” or cutesy ones like Ohio’s “Our Home Is Ohio,” but one that really seems to fit.  Edina has “Every Day I Need Attention.” Some might say that’s insulting, but, it’s one that has been embraced by not only the metro community, but some Edinans as well.

Here’s my first backronym attempt:

Boulevard or
Road names

Okay, so it needs some work. But that’s why I’m putting this forward. I’m depending on you, good Woodburians, to embrace these concepts and push them forward (well, at least the miniature golf one). We can become the envy of not only the entire world, but all intergalactic space.

That’s the (thoroughly tongue-in-cheek) view from the old, steel drafting table.

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Kris Janisch February 07, 2013 at 07:48 PM
This is an epic post Eric. Love it.
Dan February 07, 2013 at 11:26 PM
Nice job. I rather enjoyed that.
Kris Janisch February 07, 2013 at 11:29 PM
Maybe we can get one at the urban village?
Sue Freed Pape February 07, 2013 at 11:59 PM
I have been telling my husband that for years! We don't have an outdoor pool so, we need a miniature golf for the summers here. There was a GREAT one that was very busy and well-maintained when I was a kid. It was on the corner of Hwy 7 and Hwy 101 in Minnetonka. It was called Lilli Putt. It was fabulous and great entertainment! It was taken out about 6 years ago, but wonderful until the end of its life! I recommend something like that!
Kris Janisch February 08, 2013 at 05:29 PM
Where is the nearest one Sue? I'm not sure.
Vicki Strong February 08, 2013 at 07:58 PM
There was one at the Raceway to Fun in Newport. There is an Adventure Golf and Snack Shop at Veteran's Park in Richfield. Could be a good model for a public course in Woodbury, although I would like a little more variety in the holes than they offer. More than half of their holes are handicapped accessible, which is a cool concept and fits into Woodbury's model for handicapped accessible recreation.
Kris Janisch February 08, 2013 at 08:14 PM
Thanks for the information Vicki! But this still only counts as one latte.
Chris Soukup February 08, 2013 at 09:19 PM
I think I know what my Plan B is if the city rejects my offer on Eagle Valley.
Kris Janisch February 08, 2013 at 10:19 PM
Ha! Pretty good Chris. http://patch.com/A-1wKL
Vicki Strong February 08, 2013 at 10:55 PM
I wasn't aiming for two, but now that you mention it...
Vicki Strong February 08, 2013 at 10:57 PM
Chris: Combine it with a little-kid-friendly water play area similar to the one they have in Kingston Park in Cottage Grove (but find a way to heat the water -- Brrrrrrr...) and we can get really excited!
Kris Janisch February 08, 2013 at 10:57 PM
Well, you can make it a double shot of espresso.
Ross Davis February 11, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Eric, Edina already has a classy mini-golf course as part of Centennial Lakes Park. It would be hard to top it. The park also has a pond with paddle boats and a croquette field. I think we would feel ashamed trying to keep up with the Joneses.
Kris Janisch February 19, 2013 at 02:08 PM
Got this in a press release: MINNEAPOLIS (February 18, 2013) – “Imagining 2025: Minneapolis in the Future” is the theme of the Downtown Network’s 7th Annual U.S. Bank Skyway Open to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities (BGCTC), February 22 -24. For the first time, the world’s only skyway mini-golf tournament has been expanded to include Sunday and will feature futuristic holes designed by local architects and designers.


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