Love Is All Around

Minneapolis

If the first thing you thought when you read this title was the eponymous song from Sonny Curtis, you are in the right track about what I’m gonna talk about in the return of the blog. Sonny Curtis’ song was the opening theme from Mary Tyler Moore, the groundbreaking seventies sitcom that was set in Minneapolis. (By the way Sonny Curtis also wrote “I Fought The Law”, later immortalized by The Clash and Joan Jett also recorded a brilliant version of “Love Is All Around”, but those are other stories).

What matters today is Minneapolis. I’m fortunate enough to have been to a lot of places in my life and very few impressed me the way Minneapolis did. I can safely say that the city is a hidden gem in the America Midwest.

First of all, many thanks to the girl from Minneapolis that I met in San Diego and told me that the best time to visit the city were in September. She was right on the money. The city was so beautiful, full of flowers and with a lot of green. And the weather was great: mid-sixties to low seventies every day.

The parks are wonderful. You can start by walking down Nicollete Mall to the Mississippi bank and walk along it until you reach the Mill Ruins Park. It’s such a pleasant walk and the place is wonderful. Getting to the Mills Park go make visit to the Mill Ruins and the Stone Arch Bridge. You might wanna go on Saturday so you can catch a nice Farmer’s Market a short walk from the ruins. Take the opportunity to also visit the gorgeous Guthrie Theatre right beside it. It is open for visitation and really worth it. The decoration inside the theater is modern and flabbergasting and you can go to the top and have a breathtaking view of the park, the river and the bridge.

Another unmissable park is the Sculpture Park. A few minutes walk from downtown, and you’ll be in a beautiful place with the classic sculpture of Spoonbridge and Cherry. Just the path going there is worth the visit.

However, as far as parks go, you cannot miss the Minnehaha Park. It’s just nine Light Rail stations and I can state that it is the most wonderful park I’ve ever seen. It’s huge and there’s the great Minnehaha Falls. Yes, there is a waterfall quite near downtown! And there’s the path along the river that comes from the waterfall. This is like a fairytale. You can imagine Little Red Riding Hood walking there going to his granny’s place. And at this time of the year, you’ll be able to see the leaves starting to fall from the trees. It’s really like a dream scenario.

For shopping, you can have a good time downtown on Nicollete Mall, but it’s mandatory that you visit the Mall Of America. It is the greatest mall in the United States. There are five hundred stores, an aquarium and an amusement park inside the mall. And I do mean an amusement park, with a rollercoaster and whatnot. Two days are NOT enough to know the mall. I only went two days and I can recommend eating at Twin Cities Grill and Cadillac Ranch and have two great gastronomic experiences.

Speaking of which, great restaurants are not lacking in Minneapolis. Besides the usual suspects: McCormick and Schmick’s and Rock Bottom to name but two, there are great places: Britt’s Pub (a wonderful place), The News Room (great food and one of the most original decorations I ever saw), 8th Steer Grill and American Burger. However, if your budget allows you cannot miss the greatest of them all: Murray’s. A grill in the tradition of Ruth’s Chris and Morton’s is one of the most traditional restaurants in the city. And I can tell you: their Silver Butter Knife Steak it is to die for. And there’s the dessert with a magnificent raspberry tart. The place is so traditional that on the wall in the entrance you’ll see pictures of people like Gene Simons and Tommy Thayer (Kiss) and baseball stars like Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter with the owner.

It is also mandatory to take a picture at the Mary Tyler Moore statue at the corner of Nicollete Mall and 7th street, where she made the most famous hat tossing ever in the opening of her show.

If you’re person who only cares for buying records and books (like myself) there’s a good Barnes and Noble downtown and at the Mall Of America. There are several more bookshops but I didn’t have the time to visit. For records, the traditional Electric Fetus is a short 15 minute walk from downtown.

All in all, if you’re looking for some good vacations, you can do a lot worse than going to Minneapolis. I’m definitely going back soon.

Be sure to check out my book “Straight And Lethal”.

You can contact me at: carloantico666@gmail.com

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