Minneapolis

Do a trip report here....go to another city and want to relate it to what KC is doing right or could do better? Give us a summary in here.
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KCPowercat
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Post by KCPowercat »

I don't feel like writing out a whole trip report right now, I'll do it later but


WOW


Great city with a very well done downtown. It's a little too new and not gritty enough but what a great city. Way too cold for me but I can see how it's growing so well. So many things a growing downtown KC would take from this more mature downtown MPLS.
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DTO
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Post by DTO »

Mpls would be my 2nd choice if I couldn't live in Omaha. Many of my friends moved up their after college and I had even considered it. Did you get a chance to visit DT St. Paul? It's not Mpls but it's worth the visit.

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Post by KCLofts »

I spent about 6 months in downtown MPLS for work. It really is a great town. Summers are nice, but the winter absolutely sucked - never above 0 degrees for the whole month January when I was there.

But the Minneapolitans (??) have combated the bad weather pretty well. I was able to walk from my apartment to the office entirely via the enclosed skywalk system that connects most downtown buildings. Also heated parking garages underneath most buildings.

They have a pretty good, walkable entertainment area around the Target center, not to mention the shopping on that famous street whose name alludes me right now (where Marshall Field's is).

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Post by trailerkid »

KCLofts wrote: They have a pretty good, walkable entertainment area around the Target center, not to mention the shopping on that famous street whose name alludes me right now (where Marshall Field's is).
Nicollet Mall

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Post by KCPowercat »

Let's see, it's late but want to get some thoughts out there.

Overall MPLS' downtown.....city market & westport & plaza all together....their urban treasures are all downtown. Very clean. Homeless around but not a lot. Probably having to do with how damn cold it is :) Almost too clean...felt like a brand new downtown that nobody has used....the damn light rail felt like I was going to Disneyworld. The wife loved it....I felt it to be not gritty enough although I'd take this 100x over too nasty and dirty for anybody to enjoy.

Nicollet Mall....take the plaza and throw it downtown. Great shopping but I really did expect more. Saturday afternoon the street was much more dead than I expected...especially after pulling into the city Friday night. Some foot traffic but I really expected more. Great variety of stores including some great restaurants with a lot of sidewalk dining and a 2 story target. that would be nice.

Warehouse district....very close to Nicollet mall. This is what I imagine P&L district being. Good mix of bars, chain and local...some restaurants. Cool bars...some college beer drinking bars, some chill places. Le Meridien hotel is the most awesome hotel I've seen. Very modern and pimped out.

Metrodome...saw a game there....sucked. Not as bad as I imagined but I see why MPLS people come to KC to watch a game. Totally no atmosphere.

little day by day of what we did....post this on a MPLS site later.

Friday: get into town and check into hotel. Meet friend at a big time steakhouse....Manny's. Great food. Great service. Inside Hyatt. Out to Warehouse District to "Brothers" to knock back a few beers. Cheap and a lots of scenery. Got to see Block E which looks succesful. Area was PACKED. Target Center looks very well done.

Saturday: Up and walk around Nicollet Mall. Expected to see more foot traffic but 10x more than normal day in KC so who am I to judge? I just expected more of a plaza type foot traffic with some of the same type of plaza stores. Head to Twins game....Metrodome does suck...hopefully get a new stadium soon. Ride the train to the game....damn clean...felt like a trip to disneyworld. I think I could have walked faster but had to experience the light rail....jealous to be sure. After half the game leave and eat lunch at Local. Great place with outdoor seating...love that. Head to the target downtown just to see how it's laid out....hopefully these are successful and rolled out in other cities. Dinner at Zelo. Great food. Check out the lawn on the roof of Brit's just to see it. Head back to Warehouse District to chill at Como's in the hotel Meridien. Awesome hotel and awesome bar....if I were from MPLS, would take every visitor to this bar....very modern and great place to chill out. A DJ spinning would have made it complete but who care argue with that vibe?

Sunday: Head south to stay one more night in Bloomington (don't ask). Check out MOA...hated it, knew I would. But to my surprise, MPLS now has an IKEA, so I was in heaven. Loaded up the car with awesome cheap stuff and my condo is now even more furnished so thank you swedes. That night attempt 10 places to find some beer...finally did at some grocery store...I was dying.

Monday: Head home. Great weekend MPLS....if you weren't so cold I would seriously think of a relocation. Oh other than I couldn't leave my KC.

Sorry such random thoughts, it's late and the Chiefs game tonight took it out of me...hopefully it makes SOME sense.
http://downtownkcmo.blogspot.com

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Post by GRID »

Did you get over to St Paul?, they have a really nice Downtown as well. Also, did you use the Light Rail? I have not used it yet.

But I agree, that is a great metro area with awesome urban areas in both cities.

Just wait till they build that new ballpark.

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Post by KCPowercat »

yeah I used the rail just downtown....slower than walking I think. Very clean...probably because it's brand new.

I didn't go over to St. Paul.


Their downtown is a true model of what can be done and KC should be looking up to them as a guide.
http://downtownkcmo.blogspot.com

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Post by DTO »

One thing I heard about DTMpls is that since they have all of those skywalks that it can sometimes look a little deserted on the streets. That's why it's probably so clean is because people would be inside to throw their trash away instead of on the ground outside.

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Post by Maitre D »

Thanks for the tips, guys. The wife and I are headed up on 9-17. One city that I've never been to.....
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Post by trailerkid »

KCPowercat wrote: Their downtown is a true model of what can be done and KC should be looking up to them as a guide.
I wholeheartedly disagree with this...

I would rather take our "dead downtown" than their shiny, yet 60% alive downtown. I don't know why, but something about downtown Mpls rubs me the wrong way...too many downtown malls, too new of buildings or something, it felt like a city, but just a bizarre city with nothing truly interesting or dynamic...sort of bland.

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Post by KCPowercat »

I would rather take our "dead downtown" than their shiny, yet 60% alive downtown. I don't know why, but something about downtown Mpls rubs me the wrong way...too many downtown malls, too new of buildings or something, it felt like a city, but just a bizarre city with nothing truly interesting or dynamic...sort of bland.

I know I'm going against my own comments but I agree with this. Good point TK.
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Post by DMRyan »

I wholeheartedly disagree with this...

I would rather take our "dead downtown" than their shiny, yet 60% alive downtown. I don't know why, but something about downtown Mpls rubs me the wrong way...too many downtown malls, too new of buildings or something, it felt like a city, but just a bizarre city with nothing truly interesting or dynamic...sort of bland.
And I would have to disagree with that. What good does a dead downtown with little streetlife and virtually abanonded buildings do for a city, regardless of how much soul/brick/character/grit, etc. they may be dripping with?

I can see what you're saying about parts of Minneapolis' downtown being somewhat sterile, too clean and too new to be 'real'. However, this isn't the case throughout the entire CBD. You can't deny that Minneapolis has the more well rounded downtown, complete with an already renovated warehouse district, including the mill history along the riverfront. The area near the U of M on Hennepin Avenue is also quite historic and vibrant and the Loring Park area has plenty of old charm too. Don't let travels along Nicollet or the shiny new attractions on 1st Avenue give you an impression of the entire downtown core.

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Post by DMRyan »

Double Post
Last edited by DMRyan on Thu Aug 26, 2004 11:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by dangerboy »

Sounds like a larger version of Des Moines, which also has a significant downtown skywalk system. If you don't know to go up in the sky, you don't see many pedestrians and you miss a lot of shops, restaurants, delis, etc.

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Post by DMRyan »

The skywalks defintely take a lot of street vibrancy out of the two cities.

All intelligent urban planning talk aside, you can't ignore the convienence of skywalks during bad weather, but I would rather have the urban experience on the streets personally...somehow, I feel I'm in the minority on that one though.

The skywalks are an interesting tangent, but I was getting at the fact that I personally would rather have a vibrant downtown, even if it is a little more sterile, than a dead downtown filled with all the brick buildings you could muster. Of course, if you can find a nice mix between old and new, classic architecture and vibrancy, then you have yourself a nice downtown.

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Post by KCPowercat »

DM is right....MPLS has a lot more than just Nicollet mall and the warehouse district...the area by Loring park is awesome and more "real" feeling.

I really have no problem with the mall and warehouse district areas....they are just new...as they age they will get even better.

MPLS streetlife even with the walkways is really good, I just expected more at Nicollet mall on Saturday.
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Post by trailerkid »

KCPowercat wrote: MPLS streetlife even with the walkways is really good, I just expected more at Nicollet mall on Saturday.
I may be wrong about this, if any Mpls forumers can help, but I don't believe the Nicollet Mall area is as close to the hearts and pocketbooks as the Plaza is to KC. Edina has a very upscale mall and shopping area-- Southdale and the Galleria-- as does Minnetonka with Ridgedale...and don't forget the Mall from Hell. Although downtown Mpls is the only place to find Neiman's, Saks and the flagship Dayton's (now Marshall Field's)...I'm not sure people from the 'burbs and exurbs in Mpls go shopping downtown with the same frequency as people here go to the Plaza shopping. I haven't been downtown Mpls in years, but I wouldn't consider their downtown bustling with shoppers by any stretch.

Re: Comments about abandoned old buildings
I personally do not care for the modern, glass, anywhere aesthetics that I get in downtown Mpls. I don't know everything about the entire CBD, I'm just talking about the areas around the Target Center, Marriott, Metrodome, B&N, etc.-- nothing there really stayed with me. I have no desire to come back...I really don't have any feelings-- positive or negative about downtown Mpls. It just sort of is...

I am not making this a KC vs. MPLS thing and I regret if you thought I was slamming Mpls. I just think that we should build with more bravado, style and spunk in our "dead downtown" than many of the "role model cities" that often offer very dull examples (Block E, Target Center, Metrodome, City Center Mall).

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Post by KCPowercat »

here's the few pictures I took

Didn't get any of the loring park/uptown area but that was probably my favorite neighborhood in the city

Image

Does every city have a Bloch cancer surivors park?
Image

Love the flared top of this building
Image

metrodome
Image

Train coming
Image

Building reminded me of City Center Square (obviously without the taller building on the right)
Image
http://downtownkcmo.blogspot.com

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Post by GRID »

That IS City Center Square!

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Post by KCPowercat »

well it needs to be taller but they were both built by SOM, 3 years apart.
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