Monday, May 17, 2010


As I mentioned, our first morning in Minneapolis was a little disconcerting. Maria had an early seminar to attend and after getting up with her I headed out to the street. It was raining some and was pretty early but the streets seemed empty, except for the type of people your usually wouldn't want to be around. Sure, I am a little more skittish since the stroke, but I am usually quite comfortable in cities. But something didn't add up too. Here was a downtown with no people or business people.

The mystery was solved when I discovered the Skyway or skyways. Here you have a city where it gets down to -45 in the winter and they want to stay warm and I just picked the morning they wanted to stay dry also. We had talked about stores in the downtown and it turned out there was a plethora and very high quality ones also. And, of course, Target is everywhere. There is Target Field, Target Center, Target Headquarters and the Target store with the shopping cart escalator, perhaps the coolest part of the Target empire. How do they think these things up? Below our hotel was a Target training center with mini marketers running around testing marketing strategies. It was almost exciting.

Sadly, the Twin had just left to play first in New York and then Toronto, and I believe the Timberwolves are out of contention with Kevin Garnett elsewhere. But there was no shortage of things to do. My visit to Northern Lights Timber Framing was fun and informative and Clark turned me on to some new area's of the skyway. The food was excellent where ever we went, from the sandwiches to the sit down meals.

Saturday evening we ventured out deciding to see the river. The city was built by the flour mills and sawmill along the Mississippi. We had grabbed a couple beers and appetizers on the Nicolette Mall, a street closed to traffic except taxis, buses or human powered. It was early so we walked to the river and across the Hennepin Bridge, and ended up at Nye's Polonaise, a world famous bar featuring the World's Most Dangerous Polka Band. We managed to escape several hours later, after discovering Grain Belt Nordeast but not having the famous Polish Sampler, a mere 5 or 10 pounds of food.

Clark had told me that each corner of the Northeast area had a church and one or two bars on the corner. We probably could have found other examples but this turned out to be a fun one. We'll have to go back and explore more on the next trip. In all, everyone seemed friendly and wholesome. There was much to see and do and we couldn't do enough. There is great shopping and food and we never go near the Mall of America. We found a deli on the fourth floor of Gaviidea Commons that served an unbelievable Gazpacho. I ate Walleye, liked it and could have tried it thirty different ways. If you are bored in Minneapolis, you are doing something wrong.

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