Coming into Minneapolis yesterday, I couldn’t help but notice that the skyline is very similar to those in Toronto and Winnipeg — tall modern buildings with some lower, older buildings of some architectural note, especially the turrets, tower, and green copper roof of City Hall. There is a whole strip of factories, mills, etc. alongside the railway like Toronto has along its waterfront area. The roads and highways weaving alongside the downtown area were very reminiscent of the Gardiner Expressway area of TO. It all seemed very familiar.
Today I was able to pick up a day pass for $3.00 at the light rail station that is a 2 min. walk from my motel. (I got dollar coins for change from the machine that I didn’t know the US had — pretty cool.) The trains are every ten minutes and are very like our old trolley buses in Toronto and Hamilton (although our Hamilton ones didn’t run on tracks) but very sleek and modern-looking. It was very simple and dropped me off exactly where I wanted downtown, right at the Nicollet Mall which consists of many blocks of shopping and businesses all connected by skywalks like in downtown Calgary and Toronto. The first building I encountered was a visitor’s information and it is currently housing the Mary Tyler Moore statue because of construction along the mall. I took my picture and picked up a map. I looked at souvenir sweatshirts and T-shirts but didn’t see anything I liked in my size. It was early in the day so I kept going.
In a short time, I came across the mall where Mary and Bess shopped and where she did a restaurant scene with Grant Tinker. I got lots of photos, looked in shops, and picked up a menu for the first floor restaurant called Mission. There’s a Nordstrom’s Rack there, a huge food court, and a souvenir shop all in the IDS Crystal Court. Second floor had a Banana Republic and more fast food outlets. I finally found where Basil’s Restaurant was but it was part of a hotel and had closed just a few weeks earlier. Still didn’t see anything I wanted to purchase.
I had no trouble finding the Wells Fargo Museum as I only had to use a couple of skywalks to get to the Wells Fargo Mall and it was right there. It is not very large and can be seen easily in 45 min. to an hour. There are several interactive exhibits and an ATM which will print your photo out on money and email it to you as well. You can also get a receipt for shipping an item using Wells Fargo. Some of the old machines on display, like the copier they used to transfer ink and make a clear copy, were really interesting.
I did have lunch at The Mission, American Kitchen and Bar and it had a very relaxing atmosphere even though it was quite busy. There was a patio area on the courtyard but I was seated inside. I had a Salmon BLT with their home-made potato chips and it was delicious. The salmon was very tender and lightly charred, the dressing had thyme in it, and the bacon was peppered. It was a lovely meal and the service was pretty good.
I hopped on the light rail again and got off at Government Plaza and got some nice pictures of City Hall — back and front — the Court House, the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, and some other art deco architecture. The government buildings all have their flags half staff because of the shootings in Las Vegas. There’s a nice bridge the LRT goes over that has some lovely deco stonework on it, too.
After I got back to the motel, I did a bit of research and drove off to some suburban malls. I ended up at a place called Mall of America which is huge and has an indoor theme park for kids and tons of fast food and fine dining places. I ended up buying a hooded sweatshirt that says Land of Lakes — very plain — but I couldn’t see anything I liked better. I wasn’t interested in any Minnesota shirts that had moose on them — I’m from Canada — we’ve got moose, too.
So back now, getting set for an early start for my 7 1/2 hr drive tomorrow to South Bend, Indiana and I’m pretty sure I lose an hour. I leave you with some photos I shot today. Cheers from Minneapolis!