I’m back from my short and sweet visit to Minneapolis, Minnesota.
While my cousin was sitting in a classroom for three days, I was walking the city.
Here are eleven marvelous things about Minneapolis:
Sun Country Airlines – This Minnesota based airline had the cheapest air fare on direct flights to the city. Also, while many airlines charge for snacks and beverages, Sun Country offers a complementary “picnic in the sky” of hotdogs, potato chips and a beverage. While they may nickel and dime you on fees for checked luggage; for a short trip and for a careful packer this won’t be an issue.
Metro Transit – Minneapolis has a useful and user-friendly transit system of buses and a light rail line. I like to explore at ground level so, I did a lot of walking but, when my feet couldn’t take me the distance, public transportation did just fine. At $1.25 off-peak and $2.25 during rush hours; it was an economical and environmentally sound way to get around.
Nicollet Mall – The wide sidewalks are pedestrian friendly and the street is open only to buses and bicyclists. Office workers spilled out onto the streets to enjoy the excellent weather and to have a leisurely lunch at one of the many sidewalk cafes. Also, the food truck vendor craze is here – turkey, tacos, you name it; you can have it on wheels. It’s a great shopping and socializing destination. It’s what Fulton Street Mall in Brooklyn hoped to be but, failed to become.
A Plethora of Parks, Plazas and Atriums – When you walk a lot you will eventually need some place to sit. Minneapolis has to be one of the most hospitable cities in that regard. You can rest your tired feet and people watch with ease. It is so different from New York where it’s all about “keeping it moving”.
Color – Summer in Minneapolis, Minnesota seemed really colorful. People wore colors (not the NYC uniform of black), the buildings were bedecked in color (thanks to the public art and the many glass buildings that let day light into lobbies and reflected and intensified the azure sky), and there were flowers all over downtown.
Water – Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes and of course the Mississippi River meanders through the state but, if you didn’t know that; you could tell there is a fondness for water. There is a lot of landscaping punctuated with water features. The fountains, ponds, and water sculptures create a sound scape of rushing water that helps to muffle city noises and mellows the vibe of the place. It’s like one huge white noise machine; very cool.
Minneapolis Institute of Art – Diverse, interactive, photo friendly and free; Amen to that!
A Music Scene Beyond Prince – Lots of places claim to have a happening music scene but, for me it’s not a scene if the offerings are narrow, the venues are expensive and availability is limited to Thursday through Saturday nights. In Minneapolis you can listen to Makossa on Monday, Trance on Tuesday, and Western Swing on Wednesday, etc., etc. If smooth and soulful is your thing, you will find a little “sumpthin, sumpthin”; with little or no cover charge. The jingle of extra change in my pocket is a very nice tune, indeed.
Hell’s Kitchen – The hellish decor of this bar & grill/music venue is fairly bad ass at night. The macabre holographic pictures in the restroom made me both regret my cocktails and want to have a few more. That same dark decor is less welcomed at 8:00 am but, don’t let that deter you from coming back for breakfast. The heavenly lemon ricotta pancakes and the wholesome homemade peanut butter, works as well as a crucifix and holy water to exorcise the demonic.
Lotus to Go Go – Yelp helped me find this great “cheap eats” Vietnamese restaurant near Loring Park. It’s not fancy but, service was welcoming and the food was aromatic and fresh. The juicy mango bubble tea was good to the last drop. I just hope I didn’t disturb the other patrons with my rude slurping sounds.
Mall of America – Sure you have some of the same stores in your home town but, not all of them; and not all in one place. It’s the mega church of consumerism and we all need to get our praise on every now and again. Can I get a “Charge it!!” from the congregation?
Here is a slideshow of my Minneapolis Minnesota trip. Also, there are a lot of photos; you may want to grab some popcorn. 🙂