Minneapolis has never held much mystique for me. Even the name — Minneapolis — suggests that the founding fathers didn’t expect much of their little mill town on the Mississippi. But as I’ve been working on some tourism materials over the past two weeks, I’ve found myself growing more curious about Minnesota’s biggest city.
With the pretext of doing research, last week I went for a couple of strolls on the beautiful Stone Arch Bridge. Begun in 1882 by railroad baron James J. Hill, it’s the only arched bridge made of stone on the entire length of Mississippi River — and also the second-oldest.
Photo via StorytellerMN
In its heyday the Stone Arch Bridge carried thousands of boxcars full of grain and flour, ready for export around the world. But since 1994 it has carried only bicyclists and pedestrians.
In spite of the great location and well-marked paths, it can feel a little deserted on a foggy weekday morning …
… and ditto at 7 a.m. on a Saturday.
But the lack of people-watching had an unintended side-effect: I noticed how many of the old, historic buildings still exist — and maybe for the first time ever, I was truly curious about their history and lore.
With that in mind, I’ve started work on a self-guided walking tour (much like the one I did for photographers in Paris). But that will take a few weeks. So, for now, greetings from Minneapolis!