Saturday, May 26, 2007

May 26 -- Minneapolis and St. Paul -- The Twin Cities

The first thing we learned on our tour of the Twin Cities was that they do not get along and they have very different cultures. Minneapolis is constantly tearing down its old structures and building new. St. Paul preserves its historic buildings and has strict codes regarding their rehabilitation. St. Paul thinks Minneapolis gets all the States perks. (Minneapolis has the major leagues athletic teams, the State Theater and the State Opera House. ) St. Paul has the Capitol Building and St. Paul's Cathedral. They both have sky walks that allow you to walk around the downtown area without ever going outside. They are heated in the Winter and cooled in the Summer even though our guide said they only have two seasons in Minnesota -- Winter and road repair time. The sky walks in St. Paul are owned by the city and are all uniform. The ones in Minneapolis are privately owned and are all different. St. Paul was originally called Pig's Eye after the scoundrel who was kicked out of the military and stayed in the area near Ft. Snelling. Fortunately, a French Roman Catholic missionary showed up and built a Church called St. Paul. He was subsequently successful in getting the name of the city changed to St. Paul. Since then a new St. Paul's Church has been built and it is the 4th largest Church in the United States.

We drove past many of the Twin Cities' highlights, but it was hard getting pictures from the bus. Later, when we went back to some by car, our camera battery died. We saw Hubert Humphrey's grave; Walter Mondale's home; the house used in the Mary Tyler Moore show; the Governor's Mansion where no one has lived since Jesse Ventura was Governor three years ago; MANY statues of the characters from the Peanuts cartoon strip (Charles Schultz was from St. Paul); several of the city parks (1/6th of the land area of Minneapolis is dedicated to city parks); Minnehaha Falls where Minnehaha and Hiawatha were going to plunge to their death until Hiawatha's Father gave them permission to marry; the house where F. Scott Fitzgerald lived with his parents (after flunking out of Princeton) until This Side of Paradise was published and he had enough money to move away from St. Paul, marry the glamorous Zelda Sayre and never return (now the City honors him and named the Theater where Garrison Keillor of Lake Wobegon and Prairie House Companion fame broadcasts from); and several other things that escape our mind at the moment.

Key to pictures: 1) State Capitol Building (presumably it has the largest unsupported dome in the world. 2) The house used in the Mary Tyler Moore show on TV. Apparently, she never saw the house until the series was off the air, but the owners showed her around when she did come for a visit. They have a statue of her downtown on a street throwing up her tam like she did on the show, but again, she never walked these streets in the show. 3) Schroeder and Lucy in a St. Paul park that is dedicated to Charles Schultz. 4) A house on Summit Avenue, which is the snob hill street for St. Paul. The Governor's Mansion is on this street. 5) Minnehaha Falls, supposedly the highest urban water fall in the country. 6) Sky walks in downtown Minneapolis, 7) The spoon with a cherry (water runs over the cherry) in sculpture park. The Basilica of St. Mary's is in the background. It was designed by the same person who did St. Paul's Cathedral, but it is not as large.


Jenn K said...

This makes me want to move to Minneapolis. What a neat city!

jeanine said...

I want to move here, too! I can't convince Bryan. He's really stuck on the weather.