Minneapolis 2015...I

Minneapolis...officially the City of Minneapolis, is the county seat of Hennepin County and larger of the Twin Cities. It is the 14th largest metropolitan area in the United States, containing approximately 3.8 million residents. As of 2014, Minneapolis is the largest city in the state of Minnesota and 46th largest in the United States with 407,207 residents. Minneapolis and St. Paul anchor the second largest economic center in the Midwest behind Chicago.

Minneapolis lies on both banks of the Mississippi River, just north of the river's confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins St. Paul, the state's capital. The city is abundantly rich in water, with twenty lakes and wetlands, the Mississippi River, creeks and waterfalls, many connected by parkways in the Chain of Lakes and the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway. It was once the world's flour milling capital and a hub for timber, and today is the primary business center between Chicago and Seattle, with Minneapolis proper containing America's fifth-highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies. As an integral link to the global economy, Minneapolis is categorized as a global city. Minneapolis' name is attributed to the city's first schoolteacher who combined mini, a Dakota Sioux word for water, and polis, the Greek word for city.

During this trip, I was ready eo explore Minneapolis...a historic city with great architectural structures, the mighty Mississippi River and some of the finest eateries around. On my first day, I didn't do too much since I arrived a bit later than expected. After checking into the Le Meridien, unpacking and grabbing a snack, I walked around to get familiar with the downtown area, and to see what I wanted to photograph first. Up the block, I came across the famous Orpheum Theatre...an old structure, yet grande! It is one of four restored theaters on Hennepin Avenue, along with the Pantages Theatre, the State Theatre and the Shubert Theatre(now The Cowles Center). Not far from there were a row of Nice Ride bicycles...Minnesota's growing bike share program, which other cities have adopted as well. First Avenue at 7th Street Entry was my next stop. Music fans know this venue was made famous by hometown, superstar musician Prince, who filmed scenes from his calssic movie "Purple Rain" here. I next went to Target Center, home of the Minnesota Timberwolves basketball team and Minnesota Lynx WNBA team. A few feet away was Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins baseball team. On the grounds of Target Field were banners and statues of former players Harmon Killebrew and Kirby Puckett. Later that afternoon after coming from Roseville, I couldn't help but pull over and snap photos of the view of the Minneapolis skyline, with the Stone Arch Bridge, Mississippi River and locks in the foreground. From the 35 West Bridge, that view was spectacular! From there, I ventured over to the University of Minnesota campus to photograph Frank Gehry's Weisman Art Museum, with its curving and angular brushed steel sheets. I have been eyeing this building for about two years, and now I finally get to photograph it. From the student walkway and bike path that overlooks the Mississippi River and Washington Avenue Bridge, you see a nice sweping view of the skyline in the distance. Another artsy-looking building is the Robert H. Bruininks Hall, formerly the Science Teaching and Student Services building. Next, I went over on 5th Street where construction has begun on the new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings football team. The current "working title" is New Minnesota Stadium. The new domed stadium is expected to be finished in time for the 2016 season. Closing out this day took me out for some night shooting. I walked down Hennepin Avenue back over to Target Center and Target Field. And as I steady walked up Hennepin, I had to photograph the Hennepin Avenue bridge, which kind of reminded me of New York's Brooklyn Bridge. Another building I found very interesting was the Voya Financial Building, which reminded me of the Kennedy Center in Washington. In all of its whiteness and leading lines, it made for great night photos as well as capturing the reflection in the water. Heading back to the hotel, I photographed the newly renovated Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts.