Familiar with downtown Minneapolis?

Woo hoo! Wild weekend coming up!

Actually, it’s my first outing (not counting work and the grocery store) since last summer! Not even a movie in all that time. Geez. What a lump.

Daughter and I are going to see the Flatlanders in Minneapolis on Friday, the 3rd.

Been doing some on-line checking and found a bookstore to visit on Saturday, but I’d appreciate any ideas for places to go (good food, unique shopping) in the downtown area, so as to avoid aimless wandering (which is okay, but we don’t have a lot of time).

If Mpls’ downtown area is anything like other cities I’ve been in, we’re thinking it might be kinda barren, unless one knows where to go.


I actually live there, although I haven’t been here too long. What kind of activities do you generally enjoy? How old is your daughter? I can give you some great recommends on restaurants and the like.

The Art Museum is hosting a Star Wars exhibit – it opened last weekend and sold out! (I tried to go). Anyway it has original props and stuff, and looks to be pretty cool. A new science center just opened over in St. Paul, too. For shopping, be sure to hit Uptown. There is ALWAYS tons of stuff going on there, and lots of great independent shops.

Feel free to email me if you’d like more info.

“It says, I choo-choo-choose you. And it’s got a picture of a train.”
– Ralph Wiggum

For bookstores, be sure to visit Uncle Hugo’s (science fiction) and Uncle Edgar’s (mystery), they’re adjoining, although it’s a slight ride from downtown, about 24th St.

Frankly, if you want a bizarre experience, hit the Mall of America, although that’s about 20 min drive from downtown.

There’s a cute little area called Riverwalk, I think.

SHouldn’t this be in MPSIMS?

I would highly suggest going to a play on Saturday night–it’s call “Theatre 101” and is at the Phoenix Playhouse (1819 Nicollet Ave, just south of downtown). I think it’s a comedy riot (of course, I’m biased, since I wrote it). $12 tickets, although I could arrange a two-for-one for a SDMBer.

Other than that, Hugo’s is indeed great, Loring Park is pretty, Murray’s is upscale food, the Town Hall at Washington and Cedar is a lovely brewpub. IMO St. Paul is a prettier downtown, but hell to naviagate.


Oh, well. We can always make more killbots.

I don’t know if this is considered “downtown,” but in my opinion, one thing in Minneapolis that must not be missed is The Museum of Questionable Medical Devices. Great fun!

Chaim Mattis Keller

“Sherlock Holmes once said that once you have eliminated the
impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be
the answer. I, however, do not like to eliminate the impossible.
The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it that the merely improbable lacks.”
– Douglas Adams’s Dirk Gently, Holistic Detective

Hey, I’ll be in Minneapolis this weekend too!
IF the weather stays nice, the riverwalk is pretty. Also, I think the Science Museum just did some refurbishing or something - it’s still small, but it’s supposed to be cool.

Also, the capital is in St. Paul (right across the river) which might be interesting… ?

Sucks to your assmar.

The Science Museum is in St. Paul. It’s pretty good size and well worth a visit (see the 3-D laser show). It’s quite a ways away from Mpls, though.

Uncle Hugo’s bookstore is in an area of town (near Lake St. on Chicago Ave.) that isn’t too nice. In fact, it’s pretty bad.

Let’s see…downtown. There’s the skyway system that links almost all of the buildings so you can shop and nosh all you would ever want. You might want to see the Crystal Court (a glass-topped atrium of sorts). Tony and Tina’s Wedding (a sort-of audience participation play) is still showing.

The Mall of Hysteria is an interesting diversion. Bring alot of money and wear comfortable walking shoes. Plenty of food, bars, a comedy club, specialty shops, and, of course, stores.

Loring Park would be pretty bland this time of year. It ain’t that much at any time of year, really.

The Uptown (Lake St. and Hennepin Ave.) area is the “bohemian” zone: bookstores, coffee shops, new age papaphernalia, non-mainstream theaters (not porn), and restaurants. It’s about a 10-minute cab ride from downtown.

That’s all I can think of for now. Hope you have fun.

Be sure to check out the House Of Balls in the warehouse district. There is some really funky art for sale in there.

“He love people, all of them, washed and unwashed; he loves his wretched pack of sponging relatives. He shoots people, arrests people, but he doesn’t like it.”

CKDextHavn – well, I pondered where to put it, but it is a question, so …

I’d forgotten about the skywalks!

Thanks everyone – now I wish we were staying the whole weekend!

And if any of you ever want to know about the high spots in Eagle Grove, Iowa, I’m your gal!

Now I know it’s not really in Minneapolis, but just about 30 minutes south is a small town called Northfield, which has some interesting things to do. For instance, Jesse James’ last bank robbery was in Northfield(it failed when the citizenry banded together and chased him off). There is a museum, and a really, well, quaint sort of down town. It’s a nice little town, I should know, living there and all.

I grew up in the Twin Cities…Try the Mall of America for some laughs - it’s good for kids too. The Rainbow is a great place to eat (on Nicollett I think), inexpensive and lively; it’s part of a mini China-town of sorts (it’s actually Vietnamese). Ruby’s is a great place for breakfast or brunch. It’s in Loring Park near the Basilica, on the same block as the Loring Cafe and the Amazon Bookstore. Oh, and I noticed that someone already mentioned the museum of questionable medical devices…never been there but everyone talks about it :slight_smile:

In St. Paul, you can try the No Wake Cafe for lunch. It’s on Harriet Island on a boat docked on the river; it’s really small and you may want to call ahead because it’s not always open every Saturday, but I think your daughter would love it. Also Punch in Highland Park (St. Paul neighborhood) is nice…the only place in the Twin Cities for gourmet Napolese pizza - it’s the best place to eat in St. Paul!

Oy, PLEASE! I’m a transplant, living in the Twin Cities some 5 years now and if there’s one thing I’ve learned about most Twin Citians, it’s that they wouldn’t know a bad neighborhood if it came up and bit them in the ass. Lake & Chicago is fine, don’t worry about it.

The Star Wars exhibit is at the Minneapolis Art Institute, on 3rd Avenue, several blocks south of downtown. Admission is $10, kind of pricey for a museum show. Check out the Walker Art Center, they usually have something worthwhile going on.

Of course you can’t swing a dead ferret without hitting a theater venue in Minneapolis; pick up a copy of City Pages…that’s probably your best guide for what’s going on this weekend. Nightclubs abound as well, the First Avenue & 7th Street Entry being the most historic (known as “First Ave” to locals).

If you’re a cinemaphile, try to catch the restored “Lawrence of Arabia”, showing in 70mm at the Heights Theatre (not downtown, but in NE Minneapolis…easy enough to get to if you’ve got a car).

The Mall of America is an experience…not necessarily a good one. For true despair be sure to check out the Disney store and the deadened eyes of the people who slave away in there.

Uptown is swell, club and restaurant-wise. Try to avoid the teenage panhandlers in front of the McDonald’s on Hennepin and Lagoon.

“My hovercraft is full of eels.”

No one’s mentioned the Walker Art Center? Or did I just miss it?

Is there still an Indian Restaurant in the pancake house in the motel kiddy-corner from the Art Museum?

The Bell Museum of Natural History is charming in a quaint sort of way.

And, as I don my flame-resistant underwear, I just have to opine that downtown Minneapolis is the single ugliest city in North America, and I’ve seen most of the biggies. At least, it was in the early '90s, when I was there last.

“The dawn of a new era is felt and not measured.” Walter Lord

We did it, we’re back, it was great, we’re going again.

We couldn’t help comparing Minneapolis to Seattle, since we lived in Seattle for 25 years.

Tracy was glad to smell bus fumes again, and constantly searched out street people to give money too. (She used to put money, cigarettes and food in the pockets of sleeping drunks in Seattle.)

But nobody asked for any, and she was getting downright disappointed til she found some Goth-looking kids and gave them $5. I was waiting for her to walk up to somebody and ask if they needed any change!

We had a good time. Minneapolis is almost too clean though, the skywalks are handy but sterile (felt like being in an endless airline terminal). The Lake neighborhood was the best part – reminded us of a similar neighborhood in West Seattle, and the U District.

Found an awesome bookstore on Lake Street, Dream Haven Books, came home with bargains. Will check out Hugo’s next time, as well as Bucky’s play, cuz we walked right by that theater!

Got turned around and ended up by a lake (Harriett?) and oooh’d and aaaaah’d at the fancy houses.

Next time we go, we’ll do more of the Lake District and the Warehouse area, and stay longer. And that Basilica! That was awesome.

We liked it. It’s as close to a Seattle feel as we’ll get, without going there.