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Travels alongside the Mississippi
The Twin Cities of Minneapolis, and St. Paul, have as much to offer as any metro area in the country, as well as clean government, a dynamic population, and abundant natural wonders. They also have that great combination of practicality, friendliness, and basic values, which is characteristic of the Midwest, and pervades the countryside, but is sadly becoming less a part of the culture of the larger metro areas.
    Minneapolis is the larger of the two, by a considerable margin, and is seen as being somewhat more cosmopolitan. The two cities, though adjacent, are in different counties.Both cities were offshoots of the origonal Fort Snelling, which was built here to guard what was at that time, the frontier.Minneapolis began as a settlement called St Anthonies Falls, while St. Paul began as a group of disgruntled, and displaced farmers, who called their little settlement Pig's Eye.

An early morning view down Nicolet Mall. The reason for the sparse traffic, on this well traveled street, is that it is forbidden for anything other than busses, bikes, and cabs to travel this road.

A view up Nicolet Mall, showing the narrowness of the street, and some of the sculpture that lines its length.

A look in the other direction. Nicolet mall functions as a large plaza, during the warmer months, and is cross connected by a series of skywalks for winter shoppers.

Lots to do, at Nicolet mall, and many things going on. This was only one, of several street musicians, that I saw here.

A vertical view, showing some of the larger buildings in this very vertical city. The tall building is the IDS Tower.

Towards the end of Nicolet Mall, stands a reflecting pool in a little park, and an impressive old church. This is Peavy Plaza.

The city erected a statue in front of Marshall fields, to mark the spot where Mary Tyler Moore threw her hat up in the air during the theme to her seventies hit show. The show was set in the Twin Cities.

This had been a men's store, and was vacant at my most recent visit. I expect something will spring up here. The setback makes a neat, and quiet little alcove.

Looking up towards the end of the Mall. Eventually, this street winds it's way towards Hennipen, which is the other big main street in downtown Minneapolis.

A look under one of the many skywalks here, shows yet another sculpture.

The birds in front of the Crate and Barrel store.

A look up Nicolet Mall.

A look the other way, past the birds, and under the skywalk,  towards the reflecting pool, the old church, and  the Loring park area.

Another skywalk joins one of the street's skyscrapers to the other buildings along the mall. A vendor takes advantage of the wide sidewalk to set fruit and vegetables.

A look down a line of masonry buildings, with one glass and steel structure in the foreground. The newer structure pays tribute to the traditional stone buildings, with a series of columns, set as a shield, and a sculpture.This is the street level face of the US Bancorp Center.

The narrow streets allow for wide, busy sidewalks. There is room, in some places for sculpture, shelter, and the occasional fountain.

These granite columns are cut as if they had been part of a large structure, which stood here millennia ago.

A set of trolleys, perform local transit duties, up and down Nicolet Mall.

This is The Local, one of a number of restaurants which offer dining out on the mall.

Outdoor dining fills part of the plaza style sidewalks. The sidewalks here are so wide, that pedestrians are little inconvenienced.

The News Room stands at the corner, another restaurant, offering theme dining, and outdoor seating.

People fill the wide sidewalks. There is much to do here at the mall. One of the attractions may be that there is no local tax charged here, as there is at the outlying shopping malls.

A more deserted view, taken early in the morning.
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