“Lady Gaga’s Meat Suit”

“Lady Gaga’s Meat Suit” – Now that I have your attention!

I want to share a podcast that I have listened regularly for some time now. One episode is literally called Lady Gaga’s Meat Suit because they are discussion architecture and facades in towns like Hopkins.

The comparison is to a bride, you never want to upstage the bride by wearing Lady Gaga’s Meat Suit to a wedding. Focusing on every building being “the bride” is not a symbiotic way to manage town development.


Great Intro, but what is your point?

So the reason I am putting¬†Strong Towns into my blog, is to share a little bit more about myself & what I do to continuously keep up to date on the latest ideas. Now, I don’t always agree with the analysis, but it always makes me take pause. Charles Marohn is a Brainerd, MN resident who addresses issues around building strong towns. Often times he has experts such as urban planners and civil engineers.


One of the things I love about listening to Charles Marohn is that he doesn’t ask you to agree, just to listen. He doesn’t think his opinion applies to every situation & welcomes other experts to have a healthy debate.


Now what about Hopkins, MN?

Through meeting with residents in the last few weeks, I continue to be reminded how involved you all are in our community. Charles Marohn would be very proud. We need to continue having conversations as a community to continue being a strong town. That does not mean we all need to agree on everything. It does mean we need to have respectful conversations, listen to each other & make decisions that look to our future needs.


Is every idea actionable?

simple answer no. But that shouldn’t be discouraging, in fact it should inspire you to come up with more ideas. Recently at a Park Valley get together I spoke with some amazing residents & they asked me how do I go about taking my idea to the city.

Ha! Well done engaged residents. We talked through what their idea was & started thinking about next steps. I shared that first just putting your idea into a simple business plan is the best way to organize your thoughts to present. There are easy to follow outlines from the SBA online. I looked up the space they were interested in, found out what it is zoned for & then connected them to someone in St Louis Park with a similar business.


This is how we are able to accomplish things at a local level. You will continue hearing me talk about the fact that We Lean Local. My conversation in the Park embodies my dedication.

Show Up that is what I do that is what I will continue to do. In addition to listening, welcoming ideas because I encourage all Hopkins residence to Show Up.

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