Minneapolis’ East Bank stairways lead to quiet riverside solitude
The river in this part of the city can seem almost subterranean, separated and buffered from the flat, gridded, concrete expanses of southeast Minneapolis above it by sheer wooded bluffs. Descending the stairways, one gets the sense of traveling underground. The path down by the river is, on a Sunday morning, almost wholly deserted, and the roar of vehicular traffic over Franklin and 94 sound like it’s coming from some distant point overheard.
via Andy Sturdevant on MinnPost
Dinkytown has a clear sense of its history
People are protective of Dinkytown, and for good reason. Few neighborhoods outside Summit Avenue have as clear a sense of their own history. Within a one block radius around 4th Street and 14th Avenue last weekend, I came across no fewer than four public markers commemorating very specific aspects of the neighborhood’s history. Not official markers dreamt up by a bureaucrat somewhere, either, but markers put up by local storeowners and residents of their own accord. I defy you to tell me any neighborhood in Minneapolis or St. Paul with a similar density of homemade historical markers. I can’t think of any.
The best part is, these markers commemorate not dull historic events or great statesmen, but the most mundane aspects of everyday life around the margins of a major university: Coffee shops! Restaurants! Student hangouts!
via Andy Sturdevant at MinnPost
Tangletown: a neighborhood that feels like its name
I’m hoping I won’t receive a bunch of nasty emails for making such a heartless observation, but I generally find the vast majority of Minneapolis neighborhoods to be largely indistinguishable from one another.
This isn’t to say that they don’t have their individual charms and identities, because obviously they do — no one would mistake Kingfield for Whittier, because everyone knows Kingfield is full of bungalows and precocious children and wine bars, and Whittier is full of old mansions and storefront restaurants and art students. But the majority of Minneapolis is so flat and so mercilessly gridded, and the style of the architecture changes so gradually from block to block, that for large swaths of the city, there isn’t much in the way of physical cues to indicate that you’ve passed from one neighborhood into another.
Tangletown is one of the few neighborhoods that completely steps off the grid and throws off the alphabetical-numerical nomenclature of the rest of Minneapolis.
via Andy Sturdevant on MinnPost.
Trying to make sense of the eight million square foot capitalist fever dream that is the Mall of America has been a favorite of locals since it opened in 1992. What do we do with such a place? What does it say about Minnesota? Is the MOA something to be proud of and awed by, or something to be ashamed of? Andy Sturdevant, who will admit to never liking the Mall very much, will lead a sympathetic, in-depth tour of the MOA’s history, inner workings, secret highlights, notable attractions, and complex, enduring influence on the state’s self-image.
Tour on foot and via light rail - participants must bring money for their fare
All tours will depart from the Common Room sign at The Soap Factory’s front dock at precisely 6:30 p.m.
I will be here tonight, and the cool thing is I gave Andy Sturdevant a tour of the mall last week. Little known fact: he helped launch Stuff about Minneapolis over three years ago with my first reblogged post, and a cheery note of, “Follow this guy!”.
If you don’t take the train and are driving down to the mall, it sounds like we will be meeting on the fourth floor by the MOA Wall Of Fame around 7:15-7:30.
Like those of most people who didn’t grow up here — and probably many who did — a lot of my earliest perceptions of what life in this snowy, mysterious northern region of the country must be like were informed by “A Prairie Home Companion,” which my family listened to fairly regularly. I remember being genuinely shocked, in fact, in my first year in Minneapolis that I never seemed to hear people on the street speaking Norwegian.
by Andy Sturdevant on MinnPost
‘Ex-town’ Jonathan still has distinct touches of its futuristic beginnings
Jonathan is vaguely futuristic, because the history of Jonathan is utterly unlike that of any other place in the state. Utopian futurism is Jonathan’s heritage, and it’s a heritage that’s easy to spot once you park your car, get out and have a walk around.
By Andy Sturdevant of MinnPost
‘Flour power’ art project pays tribute to Minneapolis’ milling history
there is no other city in America where the industrial structures of milling and grain so dominate the physical landscape. To see mills and grain elevators and storage bins against the skyline is to know you’re in Minneapolis. The falls still churn away.
Exploring Mary McCarthy’s Whittier by Andy Sturdevant