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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

On The Road Again

I am up north in the Twin Cities for work from today until Friday.

Tonight we got to the hotel and checked in and I did a little bit of work for about an hour and then it was out to hit the town. First stop was supper.

We drove out to Menneehaha park where there was this pretty cool little seafood place that you could choose to either dine indoors or outside on the terrace. There were families eating, kids playing, loads of people riding their bikes. The scenery was really cool and the atmosphere just felt very lively.

When we were finished there we went with a former co-worker to check out his digs. He had purchased a house not too long ago in Minneapolis and he wanted to show it off to us. It was a very nice place, much like many of the houses in the area. Both Minneapolis and St. Paul have tons of older homes from the Victorian style. It was fun just driving around and looking at all of the rich architecture that was poured into these various communities.

The thing that I love about the Twin Cities is that everywhere you go you find people. There are parks everywhere and many of the streets have designated lanes for bicycles. I also love the quaint feeling of driving down the streets of these mature neighborhoods and seeing all of the local businesses that thrive. While there are certainly big corporations that are located here there is still a sense of community and supporting the local small business. This is what truly makes for a good sense of community and economy.

The last stop was this place in St. Paul that was on Grand Ave. It was a creamery that made both their own cones and ice cream. I had been told that it was good, but it was more affirming to see the line of people waiting to receive their cold treats. The line started in the store...and wrapped around and out the door to the sidewalk outside. We probably waited 15 minutes or so to get served but it was well worth it.

Grand Ave in St. Paul is known for its small business and shops along the strip. Four or 5 miles of storefronts and houses that have been converted into businesses keep alive into the evenings with people either shopping or walking around. I love the fact that they didn't come in and bulldoze the homes out of the neighborhood; they recycled them.

Although I probably wouldn't want to live here, it is a great place to visit.

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