Grace Wu

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Stop #3: Minneapolis, MN

This past weekend, I drove up to Minneapolis to visit Brenna. We had been roommates in NYC a few years back and when I realized Hollandale wasn’t too far away, I thought I’d come for a visit!

When I arrived Friday afternoon, I checked out the Walker Art Center. I liked how the Sculpture Garden was free to go into and that they made sure the landscaping was filled with native plants and also recycled rainwater. The exhibits inside were interesting, with a wide range of contemporary art. The architecture of the building itself was also pretty neat.

Loved the angles of this hallway. (And the signage too!)

Loved the angles of this hallway. (And the signage too!)

Afterwards, I found a Vietnamese Restaurant called Lotus Restaurant. I was missing all of the food I used to eat in NYC so I definitely needed a Pho pick-me-up. Even though it was hot outside, nothing tasted more delicious right then.

I decided last minute to check out a bouldering gym nearby called Minneapolis Bouldering Project. It was so large and spacious, compared to NYC gyms (and way cheaper too). It was great to climb again after a few weeks off.

Saturday morning I borrowed one of Brenna’s bikes and went to the Mill City Farmer’s Market. It’s in an area that used to be a huge complex of flour mills, most notably, Gold Metal flour and Pilsbury Flour. They have repurposed the area into a museum, apartments and an area for the farmer’s market. I took a quick peek into the Mill City Museum. Nearby there was a Lock and Dam system built on the St. Anthony Falls. The Visitor Center, run by the National Park Service had some great information about the history of the locks, and how they were built. They currently aren’t in use now.

The view of St. Anthony Falls from the NPS Visitor Center. The historic Stone Arch Bridge is in the background.

The view of St. Anthony Falls from the NPS Visitor Center. The historic Stone Arch Bridge is in the background.

For lunch, I met Brenna at a cute restaurant called Aster Cafe. We biked around on the bike trails before heading back to her apartment. It’s pretty cool how Minneapolis is so bike-friendly, with many bike trails and overpasses, making it easy to get around on two wheels.

That evening we went to Lake Harriet, where they had a concert in the bandshell on the lakeshore. It turned out to be an opera, something Brenna and I weren’t the biggest fans of. We left after the first act, but it was still nice to eat out in the park and enjoy the warm weather.

Sunday morning we woke up and packed up for the beach! We grabbed sandwiches and biked to Lake of the Isles and rented a double kayak. We first went to a hidden beach (not really that hidden, but just not right next to a parking lot like the others.) The lake water was cold, but refreshing.

We kayaked back, going under a few bridges, and passing many people on the lake, including a dog paddling along with it’s owner in a kayak.

We got back on our bikes and went to another beach on the same lake. By then it was about 91°! Whew, so glad we could jump back in the lake. By the time we got back home, I was beat and definitely a little sun burnt.

Thanks to Brenna for a great weekend seeing Minneapolis!

View of Cedar Lake South Beach

View of Cedar Lake South Beach