Posted on November 6,2018
In this week’s #MyDowntownRochMN blog you’ll meet Rashid Fehmi, a 19-year Rochester resident and Mayo employee. Keep reading to learn about why he enjoys living in Rochester and what events are his favorites.
Samantha: Hi Rashid, I’m glad you were able to chat with me today about your Downtown experience! Can you please start off by telling us a little about you?
Rashid: I am a Senior Financial Analyst at Mayo Clinic. My wife Sheba and I have been happily married for over 27 years. Together we have lived in different parts of the world and even traveled a bit. I was born and raised in Delhi, which has a population of 18 million people with around 1,000 new births each day. Rochester’s population of 110,000 is only .05% of Delhi’s which makes things a lot quieter, but we like it! When we moved to Rochester 19 winters ago, we didn’t think we would survive, but now, a small town with everything and close proximity to the cities is ideal.
Samantha: Wow, Rochester is quite a change of pace from a city of that size! What do you enjoy most about working Downtown?
Rashid: It’s amazing how connected and close by everything is. Whenever people talk to me about Rochester winters they always ask, “How do you survive the freezing temperatures?”, and my answer is that most days I don’t even feel it—which is true! I am lucky to have Downtown parking and a network of skyways and subways to help me get almost anywhere Downtown.
Samantha: Outside of work, what types of events and activities bring you Downtown?
Rashid: I enjoy spending time at the Rochester Public Library because of their many free events; just yesterday I met several Minnesota authors there! Events at the Mayo Civic Center are always an attraction and although it may sound crazy to some, I always try and get to SocialICE. Even though it’s cold, the Peace Plaza is always filled with so many people at that event.
Samantha: I’m sure all those activities make you hungry, what are some of your favorite places to grab a bite to eat Downtown?
Rashid: I generally stick to seafood when I’m eating out and there are so many choices for that Downtown. The Pescara Fish Tacos are great and so is the Terza Salmon cooked in their special sauce! I think we’ve been to almost all the Downtown restaurants and whether it’s The Half Barrel, take the stairs to Newt’s, or walk down the street to Mango Thai, we enjoy them all.
Samantha: What services do you or your wife utilize Downtown?
Rashid: Well, being in Finance, banking is at the top of my list. I bank with Mayo Employees Credit Union, US Bank and Bremer Bank, and the tellers at all three are great—always smiling and greeting you when you come in! For shopping, Counterpoint always has a great selection. Plus, you also can’t forget the International Spices grocery store, especially the owner. While you’re there you can hear him speaking multiple languages; one customer in English, greeting another in Arabic, answering the phone in Punjabi, and talking to me in Urdu! There are only two grocery stores in Rochester that sell spices from the subcontinent, so it’s very convenient to have one right Downtown.
The International Spice Grocery Store does have some great options and a great story to tell, learn more by clicking here.
Samantha: That is convenient, now that you’ve lived in Rochester for 19 years, it sounds like you’ve almost experienced it all! But, if only had 24 hours to plan the perfect day Downtown, what would you do?
Rashid: During the spring time, my perfect day would be to sit outside, have some hot tea with my breakfast and then walk around a bit to take some pictures of the Plummer Building. I then might take a trolley tour, have lunch at Pescara (fish tacos of course!), and then burn some calories by walking to the Rochester Art Center or check out what is playing at the Civic Theater. I’d end the day by taking a long river walk ending at the Peace Plaza fountain to relax.
Samantha: That day sounds wonderful! Thank you for sharing your Downtown with me today!
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Disclaimer: the views, comments, and opinions located within this blog are those of the community individual, not those of the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA).