Sky Walker

Last week, I travelled to the USA’s 16th largest metro area – Minneapolis/St Paul.  As I walked through the city center to my hotel, it was like walking through a ghost town – a pleasant, dense, wealthy ghost town with tall buildings and concrete everywhere, but noticeably void of rubbish and people.  I wondered, was everyone asleep?  Do packs of werewolves patrol the center after dark?  Do council workers spend the evening picking up every last cigarette butt?

The next day I found the answer – the Sky Walk.  It’s like a network of covered walkways all over the city connecting the buildings on their 1st floor (aka 2nd floor if you’re a Yank).  It’s like a little underground city, but raised above the ground.  The effect is that you feel like you’re in a long, winding tunnel full of coffee shops and fashion outlets interspersed with entrances to the real companies that reside in the office buildings.  The main reason for the sky walk is to keep out the Canadians during winter (or at least to keep out the snowy, chilly winds that they send down), but it also seems to double as a nifty protector from heat and rain.

There’s more to Minneapolis than its Sky Walk; the people have a unique reputation, too.  Minnesota-nice is the term that the rest of America uses to describe their courteous, reserved, and mild-mannered ways – quite unlike the world’s general consensus of American behaviour.  It’s hard to explain it but they just felt “normal” instead of “American”.  I really liked their style and they felt about as British as an American could ever hope to be.

My most interesting moment was having a woman with no pants knock at my hotel door at midnight.  This wasn’t quite the fantasy that it sounds like.  She was elderly and it seems she’d woken up for a wee and stumbled out into the corridor and was quite confused.  She kept telling me the hotel was her own house but for some reason she just couldn’t figure out where her bathroom was.  Her husband eventually found her and she finally got to have her wee.

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Comments
4 Responses to “Sky Walker”
  1. amberleroux says:

    Thanks for saying such nice things about the people of my city. :)

  2. kdisleaze says:

    That’s fascinating (the Sky Walk, not the peeing story!) ;)

    *You know when Nato’s been in America too long, ‘center’ instead of ‘centre’!* He he!

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