On Sunday afternoon, I braved the hot and sticky conditions to check out another great event I had not yet experienced, the Northeast iteration of Open Streets Mpls, a series of events throughout Minneapolis intended to allow citizens to explore and interact with the city in a much more intimate, collaborative way. Closing a few streets to traffic to allow bikes, pedestrians, skateboarders, and other non-motorized traffic to take to the streets for community engagement. Participation is free for all of these events, not counting the myriad food trucks, breweries, and boutiques along the way, of course! I discovered some really cool stuff and I’m looking forward to future Open Streets events as well.
Starting out on 13th street, I paused to write down a wish to add to a wishing tree, and then pedaled down the marked streets people watching, checking out local groups, and hoping that it wouldn’t rain (then again, a few drops might have cooled things off a bit!). Pausing for some of the Anchor’s finest fish and chips, I grabbed a few delicious beer selections at Dangerous Man Brewing (the rich peanut butter porter and some cardamon infused Scottish Ale. I had been craving some fish and chips and the Anchor is my local favorite; Dangerous Man’s brews went down very well after the satisfying meal of fried goodness. Refreshed, I browsed used books across the street at Eat My Words!, while listening to local bands perform on the street outside. A Northeast bookstore I’d never been to before, it had a great selection of books, including a really cool selection of zines! I wish I had thought to bring a bag to carry back some finds, I shall have to return.
Heading up towards central, past Northeast branch library, I visited the wonderful Cycling Museum of Minnesota, a brand new volunteer run museum devoted to the history of bicycles in the Twin Cities. Located above the Recovery Bike Shop on Central, the museum had an interesting collection of historical bikes, from the 1880s to the 1990s, including some cool Norwegian and British bicycles. It looks like tehy have the start for a really interesting, dynamic new institution in Minneapolis. I am definitely looking forward to see what they do next.
Central Avenue was alive with bicycles, pedestrian, puppet shows, and community groups. The Friends of the Northeast Library had a few tables set up with withdrawn and donated books to peruse- of course, I couldn’t resist. Nor could I leave without grabbing some gourmet hand crafted ice cream from Cranky’s. It was a hard choice, but I decided to go with the Doughnut Ice Cream, I rich vanilla filled with chunks of actual cake doughnut. I’ll go for the beer ice cream next time. By this point, I was really starting to feel the heat as the sun began to pierce the clouds and beat down upon the streets of Northeast Minneapolis, so I pedaled back through Northeast Minneapolis to relax at home and cool off. In any case, I was quite impressed with Open Streets Mpls and will attend later events, it was a great way to explore different areas of the city close up, in a laid back way. The next one will be East Lake Street on Sunday, August 2nd, which definitely looks to be an interesting one as well! See you there!