Recently the Wall Street Journal ran a story about Minneapolis, outlining a potential Twin Cities vacation for its readers. My friend Amy was visiting for the past week, and I felt like I was living my own version of this article. The week of her visit just happened to be packed with cool Minneapolis events. This group of college friends took full advantage.
Step 1: Uptown Art Fair. I grew up with the Fargo Street Fair, so it felt like the quintessential summer activity. The Uptown Air Fair is on a comparable scale, closing down a few blocks of Hennepin Avenue and stretching down a wide street called the Mall. Aside from the thrill of walking down streets usually populated by cars, it’s rare to see such a wide variety of art in the same place. We saw everything from photography to glass blowing to ceramics to booths that appeared to specialize in paintings of robots. Mixed media art is my personal favorite to peruse in this setting. And of course, the food vendors were out in force. Sweet corn and cheese curds, anyone?
Step 2: Nice Ride bikes. One of my roommates is a frequent biker, but Amy and I were without rides. Minneapolis is ideal for biking, with trails around the lakes and the Greenway running east and west. We decided to try out the bike share stations that are prevalent in Uptown. After two years of walking and driving around the lakes, it was fun to finally join the folks on the bike path. Not to mention the lakes are gorgeous in the summer. I’m not in peak bike-riding shape, but the experience made me want to own one. Badly.
Step 3: Mill City Live. The Mill City Museum is a beautiful downtown spot with a view of the Mississippi River. Every Wednesday in August they host concerts in their outdoor space. Why not listen to music in the open-air ruins of a flour mill? We got a perfect evening for weather, and I may have discovered a new musical obsession. The headliner was Alison Scott, a soulful, bluesy singer with a powerful alto voice. The highlight was her cover of TLC’s “Waterfalls,” which I have already purchased on iTunes. We also amused ourselves looking for Vincent Kartheiser, the Mad Men actor currently in town to perform at the Guthrie Theater. There was one false alarm but no confirmed sightings.
Between every step: Eat. Yes, there was plenty of eating out this week. We hit up Kopplin’s, the best coffee house in the Twin Cities according to Vita.mn. We dined on Indian, Greek, Thai, and organic food. The best part is that most of this was done within walking distance of our apartment. In fact, most of these activities didn’t involve driving. I’m so grateful to live in a city and a neighborhood with so much to do. And for reuniting with college friends.