My apartment is less than a block from MIA, MCAD, Fallout Arts Initiative and the Children's Theatre Company. This means not only can I see art for free any time I feel the itch, there are also great murals and little artsy bits around the neighborhood. (Below are a few murals and whatnot from the neighborhood. There are a lot more.)
There is also Hibachi Buffet down the street, but they already got a full post out of me.
I'm a huge fan of Jabbok Family Services, where I volunteer. Jabbok offers daycare, an after school program, and a summer program to neighborhood families at ridiculously reasonable prices. (It costs $0.50 an hour per family for daycare.) Jabbok has a small full-time staff and a few part-timers. The program has a large volunteer base of people passionate about people.
There are wonderful shopping opportunities in The Whittier Neighborhood. Buffalo Exchange is a nation-wide thrift store that carries a large range of brandname clothing. (I purchased True Religion jeans for $20.00.) Blacklist Vintage is closer to a specialty store. They carry vintage clothing sorted by waist size. It makes finding interesting clothing a little bit easier, because you aren't forced to juggle sizes. Lost and Found is another thrift store off of Nicollet. They carry both vintage pieces as well as modern pieces. Lost and Found is worth a visit just to check out the interior mural by a local artist.
Whittier is home to several great parks. I especially like Whittier Park and Clinton Field for child-friendly parks. Whittier Park has a wading pool which is great for kids who are not strong swimmers.
Music stores in my neighborhood include the Electric Fetus, Treehouse Records. Electric Fetus has a full-sized store front that is very organized. There is a gift shop with clothing, jewelry, gifts and music paraphernalia. Treehouse Records is a smaller store that is owner operated. It has better prices on older records, but you better be in the mood to dig.
Here are more photos of my neighborhood: