Adventure in the everyday passageway

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When crossing the Minneapolis skyways, the complete window coverage on either side and the signs with an image of water as their background give off the feeling that one is walking through an aquarium tunnel or a river. For corporate workers walking through these corridors on their way to lunch or their car, I would imagine that this would attach a sense of adventure and grandeur to what could be just a routine convenience.

Seasonality of open spaces is for wimps

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In many open spaces, such as Macalester’s Bateman Plaza, the free and publically-available furniture is removed for the winter. This is understandable, considering that Minnesota has rather uninviting weather for its very long winter. However, on sunny days or earlier-than-expected spring weather days, Macalester students are left without a place to congregate with their friends outside. I find it both amusing and admirable that the city of Minneapolis has decided to leave this furniture out despite the inclement weather, in case anyone decides it’s a nice day to sit outside.

Continuing success of a growth machine

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When trying to justify the expense and disruption of megaprojects, many point to large events that draw outside visitors and capital. The costly and visually imposing US Bank Stadium was celebrated for drawing tens of thousands of visitors to attend the 2018 Super Bowl, and, according to the large sign on the side of the stadium, many more spectators can be expected next year at the NCAA Final Four.

An acceptable use of public space?

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We have discussed extensively how “public” actual public spaces are in class. In the Commons in Downtown Minneapolis, there is a sculpture that clearly resembles something one would find children climbing on at a playground. Without a sign to guide us, it was entirely possible that we were scaling something that was meant to be art, not a play structure. However, there was no indication that this was an inappropriate use of public space, so was this an acceptable way to interact with this object? We may never know…

Appropriate use of public space?

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We have discussed extensively how “public” actual public spaces are in class. In the Commons in Downtown Minneapolis, there is a sculpture that clearly resembles something one would find children climbing on at a playground. Without a sign to guide us, it was entirely possible that we were scaling something that was meant to be art, not a play structure. However, there was no indication that this was an inappropriate use of public space, so was this an acceptable way to interact with this object? We may never know…

Not in my backyard

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When compared to the adjacent Carlton Lofts, the Lyric at Carlton Place does not strike an overly imposing figure. However, it feels somewhat out of place with the low structures of the industrial complex/office park that is across the street. Was the installation of these self-proclaimed “luxury apartments” an attempt to transform the image of this neighborhood? If so, the multiple vacant storefronts across the street have not yet received the memo.

Relic of a former market

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There is something especially melancholy about a vacant building with such a beautiful facade. This mural on the outside of the former Spiro’s Mediterranean Market will likely either be taken down by the next developer of this spot or fall into disrepair due to neglect if it stays vacant for a long time.

Ripples of Development

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Are nearby businesses feeling the ripples of investment and development from the Selby and Snelling intersection? After the completion of a combined Whole Foods and upscale apartment complex, several other lots in the vicinity are getting a facelift as well. A long-vacant former Starbucks was recently transformed into a new bakery, and within days of each other, two building projects sprung up within spitting distance from each other on opposite sides of Snelling and Hague intersection.

Gentrification Consolation Prize

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After weeks of disruption from construction related to the Allianz Field, this sign was erected to very kindly direct passersby to the nearby businesses that are still open throughout this process. (Until they are displaced by businesses that are more complimentary to the vision of the Allianz Field project than the current slew of immigrant- and minority-owned businesses, which currently line much of the University Avenue corridor.)

Inaccessible Green Space

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These benches can be found in the park adjacent to Bloomington Central Station. While the presence of benches and tree cover seemed initially inviting, I noticed that there are gravel paths connecting the benches that are opposite one another, but there is nothing that connects these to one another, and there is no path that connects them to the sidewalk. That begs the question – was this designed with the intention that people would repeatedly trample the grass to get to these benches? Personally, I felt as though I was supposed to appreciate the presence of the benches while also feeling as though I did not belong sitting on them.