Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Minneapolis: A Guide For Iggles Fans

Although the Iggles may have beaten the Minneapolis Vikings, the Super Bowl game will still be held in Minneapolis. That's a given.
And soon, Minneapolis will be teeming with Iggles fans.
The contrast between the larger of the Twin Cities and Philadelphia could not be more stark.
Seeing as most Iggles fans have probably never been to Minneapolis, here are some tips and observations from someone who's been there many times:
  • Minnesota prides itself on its "niceness".  In fact, natives call their unwritten code of conduct "Minnesota nice". It means that for the most part you treat people the way you would want to be treated. You act courteously. You usually say "please" and "thank you" and you hold doors open for others, etc. Mostly, you aim at being pleasant. For the most part, rudeness is looked upon with disdain. If you're rude to people, they won't answer in kind. Instead, they'll just ignore you and stop hanging out with you. 
  • Minneapolis is a bright, clean, livable and generally safe city. The downtown area is spacious but also cozy and inviting. In the winter, you can walk all over the city without your feet ever touching the ground. You accomplish this by traversing many blocks via enclosed overhead walkways or skyways. You don't even need a coat because the skyways are heated and allow you to move from building to building. They're also bright and tidy.
  • For the most part you won't see a lot of litter or trash around anywhere. Minnesotans like to keep things neat and they've been known to be quite vigilant about it. If you trash their town, they will not be amused.
  • The city of Minneapolis has a crisp, dry, frosty sense of humor, much like the air on a frigid winter day. Minneapolis never takes itself too seriously. In fact, the town calls itself The MiniApple.
  • They say that St. Paul is where the east ends and Minneapolis is where the west begins. St. Paul (on the east side of the Mississippi) is more staid and traditional. It's also smaller, but since it's the state capital, it carries its own cachet.  St. Paul is more bounded by tradition and steeped in history as well. Across the Mississippi, Minneapolis is a bit freer and (by comparison) trendier.
  • If the notion of two significant neighboring cities actually cooperating with one another and enhancing each other seems alien to you, it may be because you've never experienced the Twin Cities. The towns are truly complementary in every sense of the word. While they certainly don't mirror one another in the same way that identical twins do, the two cities are nonetheless bonded, like caring and helpful siblings. They really do look out for one another.
  • Don't try to out drink or out endure Minnesotans. You won't succeed. They're used to enduring snow and ice and all kinds of onslaughts by the elements. They are also hearty eaters and quite heavy drinkers -- two indoor sports that they cherish.
  • If you think the King of Prussia Mall is big you haven't been to the Mall of America, Minnesota's mammoth, indoor shopping city and playground. If you don't know where you entered and how you'll exit, you may never, ever find your way out. It's a veritable biosphere.
  • Outside of the U. S. Bank Stadium and similar venues, you won't hear a lot of voices raised. People in the Twin Cities don't usually feel a need to raise their voices and they rarely make a spectacle of themselves. Boisterousness is generally frowned upon. 
  • Methodical Minneapolis will take the Super Bowl in stride. Thanks in part to their Scandinavian heritage, Minnesotans approach most events of this type with careful and thorough planning. It's likely that very little will be left to chance and that (even with visiting Philadelphians around) things will remain pretty much under control. 
  • Don't get the impression that people in the Twin Cities don't like to party. They do! And they party to the hilt. But unlike New Orleanians, they don't feel the need to turn life into one endless party. Parties are for special occasions (like the Super Bowl) and every party comes to an end.
  • Bottom line: It really is a nice town (two nice towns, actually) with nice people. If you're lucky, some of all this may rub off on you.
As for us, by the time the Super Bowl arrives we'll be well south of all the hoopla. And we won't be back till way after it's over.

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