Minneapolis is a great city

I’ve been in a funny gray mood lately. 

It’s not anything you would notice if you saw me; it’s just an increase in the underlying noise or static – one of those little funks that everyone seems to have now and then. 

For the most part I feel great – my daily mood is happy and forward-looking.  This grayness really only strikes me when I’m by myself and undistracted by some pursuit or another.  Maybe it’s a seasonal biochemical change or just some issue or combination of issues with which I’m not satisfied. 

I’m a very optimistic person, and I really believe in the effect that forcing a smile and positive thinking can have in making me feel good about myself and the world around me.  It’s really been an odd week; between feeling down and trying to make myself feel up I’ve been having these odd jumps between elation – real, true joy – and meh-ness.

I went for a bicycle ride after work yesterday because I find that physical exercise is a good way to get the endorphins going and to clear my mind.  I went biking around Lake Calhoun and was once again amazed that I live in such a beautiful area of town.  I live less than a mile away from this gorgeous lake that offers bike and walking trails and canoe/kayak/paddleboat rentals.  Awesome!

My view of the downtown Minneapolis skyline from Lake Calhoun at dusk last night.

I wasn’t as enamored of Minneapolis when I first saw it as I am now.  First, I remember being shocked that downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul were about 10 miles away from each other.  I was bummed out because I had this image in my head of one large metro area, not two smaller cities with a bunch of residential and suburb-like areas between the two.

Second, I was taken aback by how small Minneapolis was.  I grew up near Chicago; you could see the city from all the way out in Tinley Park – the suburb in which I grew up –  and that was 30 miles away from downtown!  When I was little and we drove on the highway toward Chicago, I would watch from the backseat as the skyline would grow to fill more and more of the windshield until we arrived in the city and I had to start craning my neck up to see the tops of the buildings.

I was reminded again of how small Minneapolis is when I visited New York City.  When we got off the plane at JFK I was struck by how buildings filled the horizon.  I didn’t just have to crane my neck up in NYC, I had to crane my head from left-to-right just to see the entire skyline.

From a distance I can stretch out my arm, hold my thumb up and close one eye to “hide” Minneapolis.  In Chicago, I have to hold up both hands, and in New York I couldn’t hide the skyline at all.

Minneapolis skyline

Chicago skyline

New York skyline

But being in a smaller urban city definitely has its advantages:  Rent is affordable – even right downtown, parking is reasonable, and traffic is tame.  Most events and festivals aren’t exorbitantly priced or over-crowded.  It’s pretty easy to get involved in community planning and local politics.  I have the culture and variety that inevitably pops up when you cram a lot of very different people together in a small space.  If I want to get away to the country all I have to do is drive 20 miles in any direction and I’m in prime motorcyle riding land, pumpkin patches, state parks, etc. 

There’s a lot to love in Minneapolis. 

At least for another month or so until the blizzards start. 

Photo source 

I found this photo at Nokohaha – it looks like an awesome Minneapolis blog with a lot of other Minneapolis sites in it’s blogroll!

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2 Responses to “Minneapolis is a great city”

  1. Madeline Says:

    I didn’t know you grew up near Chicago! My dad still lives in Palatine, and I went to high school in Mt Prospect.

  2. Agatha82 Says:

    Chicago is my second fave city in the US, No.1 is New Orleans (I know, two totally different places with totally different weather!)
    Anyway, never been to Minneapolis but it looks nice and how cool you’ve got that lake so close to you. How your mey-ness mood passes soon.

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