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#FrontStepProject: Katie & Peter

Welcome to another #columbiaheights#frontstepproject brought to you by MarKei Photo & Video. I began this initiative to facilitate connecting the humans in my city, to celebrate our diversity, and share our challenges during this pandemic and beyond. If you’re enjoying this series, please share. To support my photography, like & follow MarKei (on FB, IG, Twitter, &/or YouTube). To be notified of new posts, subscribe at markeiphoto.com. We are still offering socially distant photography in MN, so feel free to reach out!

Katie and Peter have been together for 10 years and lived in NE Minneapolis for 6 years before buying their home in Columbia Heights in December 2018. Immediately after buying their house, they got engaged with a wedding date of 10/10/20 in Wisconsin. They LOVE Columbia Heights and especially LOVE being near Kordiak Park. Their neighborhood is very welcoming and their neighbors are outstanding.


Both Katie and Peter were laid off as a result of the economic impact of COVID19. Katie recently worked in IT staffing and recruiting but she was laid off in early April with a two weeks severance. Peter worked in third party logistics, negotiating with carriers and drivers to buy cargo space on trucks for freight. In late March he was buying a LOT of space for toilet paper. However, when California executed a strict shelter-in-place order, China sheltered in place, and retailers became less functional, there were much less shipments all around and he was also laid off at the end of April. Fortunately, they are faring well financially due to unemployment income, some savings, and a program offered through their mortgage loan which helps them manage their payments.


I asked them if they were secretly happy about being laid off (doesn’t everyone kind of hate their job to an extent?)? But they both had really liked their jobs. They know that many people have lost jobs they loved - or simply needed - and so they acknowledge the narrative they are a part of.


Since they’re both out of work, they’ve been spending a lot of time at home with their 4 cats (two of whom are newly adopted Bengals). They’ve been spending a lot of time working on their yard, taking walks, biking, and mushroom hunting. Katie called it their “adult summer vacation”. Like many other folx I’ve spoken with, they deeply appreciate the seasonal timing of this event with the weather being pretty ideal. They admit they have mixed feelings about this whole situation but they’re trying to enjoy it the best they can. And, at times, they get pretty bored, mumbling to themselves at night, “Well,... I guess I’ll go to bed now…?” They’re considering how they might add some more structure to their days (I discouraged that).


Katie and Peter are actively looking for jobs and have even had a few interviews. However, they say the market is pretty dead when it comes to their fields. Peter says, “you can’t bang your heads against the wall every day.” They’re grateful that, for the interim, they will be alright even if they don’t land something immediately.


Katie says that it helps to have their wedding to focus on. They are working on getting all the addresses organized to send out the invites. At the moment, they don’t have any concerns about the pandemic affecting their wedding plans. For them, they say it’s premature to be nervous. Their wedding will be at a resort on Lake Superior in Wisconsin and it will be reopening next week, so Katie and Peter expect things should be good to go by October.


They also have been supporting our local businesses by dutifully purchasing and consuming food. Katie admits she misses going out for fancy meals at places like The Sample Room. But they have no complaints about ordering from Pho 400 in New Brighton (yup, this photographer LOVES Pho 400!!). In the Before Times, they frequently went to The Unofficial but haven’t gone yet during COVID19. Katie also has very high praises for Nolo’s Kitchen in Minneapolis. She and Peter celebrated her birthday eating their delicious victuals.


This photographer also really enjoyed meeting this couple in person because of their bountiful collection of cats and their liberal use of profanity. This is a fun job.


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#FRONTSTEPPROJECT: If YOU want to be featured, message me! It is free for Columbia Heights residents. Donations to SACA Food Shelf & Thrift Store are encouraged. Special priority for residents who are members of a disenfranchised community, essential workers (particularly healthcare) or local businesses. Please share this opportunity with your neighbor who may not be on social media.

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#COVIDHIGHLIGHT: If you know an essential worker, immunocompromised individual, or otherwise marginalized/impacted individual whose story you want to elevate (with their consent), consider hiring MarKei for a #COVIDHighlight photoshoot & interview for $175. Reach out for more details! Available to any metro resident.

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¡Se habla español!

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