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People consider re-branding of Minneapolis' oldest neighborhood

The neighborhood wedged between the Northeast and Marcy Holmes neighborhood is technically referred to as Nicollet Island-East Bank Neighborhood. Residents of this area have been working to re-brand their home, with a catchier name.

MINNEAPOLIS - When it comes to the unofficial re-branding of a neighborhood, you can't be surprised to find there are a lot of opinions on the table.

It's safe to call what the Nicollet Island-East Bank Neighborhood is going through an identity crisis.

"The issue is that we aren't in Northeast, we're in Southeast," Resident Barry Rubin said. "We're in Marcy Holmes."

Sandwiched between the Northeast and Marcy Holmes neighborhoods, folks like Rubin have been wanting to find a cohesive name to call themselves.

"People are sensitive to what you call their neighborhood," Rubin said. "I understand that. I'm amused by it."

He's specifically amused by the heated discussion that's currently going on the neighborhood app Nextdoor. Scott Parkin, a long-time Nicollet Island-East Bank realtor was the spark behind the lengthy back-and-forth online.

Parkin said he's pushing for that slice of town to be known as "Old Town."

"It's the oldest part of Minneapolis, it's got tons of old businesses and storefronts," Parkin said. "It's got the oldest church in the state. I think it's catchy. Minneapolis has an Uptown, Downtown, Dinkytown, now we have Old Town."

He explained that the change isn't official. Without changing it on paper from Nicollet Island-East Bank, he said he's just trying to get Old Town to catch on, conversationally.

"Word of mouth, grassroots," Parkin explained. "Just trying to get people excited. Once they say it a few times, it's just natural."

However, in the hip and ever-changing area, there's one man who believes the name should be just as funky.

"UBETCHA. The advertising speaks for itself," George Carlson said. "Dining? UBETCHA. Apartments? UBETCHA!"

Other than "UBETCHA" being a Fargo reference, Carlson's UBETCHA is a locator.

"Stands for University BETween Central and Hennepin Avenue," Carlson explained.

However, both Rubin and Parkin favor something else, each. There's one thing that the three gentlemen can agree on though.

"The neighborhood is just the best neighborhood," Rubin said.

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