For all intensive purposes, one usually does not think of downtown Minneapolis as a bastion of a wild and good time. One simply cannot fall into a good time, one has to set out and explore, which is very unique. My travels took me up to the Land of Lakes and provided me ample opportunities to explore an area I have never ventured. Granted being on a business trip provided a short window of leisure activities. The first thing that captured my attention was the stark contrast between Minneapolis and other cities I have visited in the Midwest. First and foremost, it smelled fresh and clean. I could go into a diatribe about the reasons, but I will hold off. The Twin Cities, and the concept, were also refreshing. The Midwest is not known for large metropolitan areas being in close proximity.
Minneapolis was the focal point of my socializing as it was closer to the University of Minnesota and groups of people my coworkers and I associated with. Thursday night saw a sampling of “the best pizza in town,” according to some of the locals, and of course living in Chicago we had to check it out.
Pizza Luce, located within walking distance of Target Field and Target Center, offered a wide selection of pizzeria favorites, salad, pasta, sandwiches and of course pizza. Being in a large crowd provided us an opportunity to sample a variety of pies. The Bear, amply named because a bear would love a slice, topped with Italian sausage, chicken, pepperoni, ground beef, and Canadian bacon. The Rustler, an almost Hawaiian style pizza, topped with mock-duck, pineapple, banana peppers, onion, and bbq sauce, garnished with melted cheddar and mozzarella. The Pizza Athena topped with fresh spinach, tomato, feta cheese, Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, red onions, Greek oregano and toasted garlic with light mozzarella and a Bianca sauce. All three were solid choices, paired with great service and great esthetic, it was no surprise to me that this was not only a favorite for families but for those still up at 3am.
After a particularly long Friday it was time to go out to the ball park to watch a baseball match between the Chicago Cubs and the Minnesota Twins. I made it a goal to attend this game, not because both teams are in contention right now, but because my bucket list includes attending a game at every Major League Baseball stadium. To be honest, outside of Wrigley, Target Field may be my favorite. Very modern amenities, a flashing Minnesota sign, urinals, big screen, combined really well with the downtown skyline view. Along with not urinating in a trough another perk was the price, a smaller market team with a 2 year old stadium, I spent less than I originally thought I would. I sat in between Cubs and Twins fans, and it was nice to see some civility between apposing fan bases, we both agreed that the White Sox were far worse. After a nail bitter of 10 innings, I had to say goodbye to Target Field, head down as the Cubs lost, of course.
In review Minneapolis’ cleanliness, the absence of millions of people, and proximity of everything, made me dismiss my previous mind set that was Minneapolis and Minnesota. That’s the beauty of the Midwest in my opinion. The majority of the cities I’ve worked in or visited provides similar values and people. If you ever have a chance visit Minneapolis.