I recently went to Minneapolis to help my brother-in-law. He was on his bicycle returning from doing some volunteer work when he was hit by a car. His leg was broken, and the ambulance took him to the Hennepin County Medical Center, a huge facility, where he had surgery on the leg. There he was, in the hospital then in a nice rehab facility, immobile.
I traveled from Denver to serve as legs. He need his mail and things from his place and the police report for starters. The mail and things was no problem. He lives in one of Minneapolis’ hip neighborhoods. Lots of bicycle shops and pizza joints. The police report was another matter.
The City website gave a wrong address. I asked around, and was sent to City Hall next door. It is quite an edifice, a big pile of brown brick meant to be in some architectural style. There is nothing on the outside of the building to identify it as City Hall. I found the right office and was told I had to have written permission from Jim to obtain the report. So, back to the rehab center for the note, and back downtown. A little later in the day, I had to park a few blocks from City Hall. I said the location out loud to myself so I would remember.
I got the report ($0.40) and headed back to the car. I couldn’t remember where I parked the damn thing. I walked around for three hours with no luck. I even had to stop for something to eat as I was getting tired. I asked for help at a police station and got nothing but sympathy.
I finally got a cab and we found the car in ten minutes. I was looking on north-south streets and the car was on an east-west street. Later it dawned on me I could have pinned the location on the GPS in my phone. I guess I will have to learn how to use the thing after three years. I was as stressed out as at any time in my life. I just felt old and clueless.
I stayed in a hotel down by Mall of America and the airport, not wanting to stay downtown. It is easy to go back and forth if it is not rush hour. Minneapolis highways seem more congested than Denver, and the streets are in worse shape. It’s an older city and the winters are worse.
The hotel restaurant was an Outback Steak House. It was entirely too much noise for me. I ended up at the Denny’s (!) down the street. After running around an unfamiliar city, I was too tired every evening to even turn the TV on.
Lots of years ago I spent some time in Minneapolis Searching For Truth. I don’t know if I found truth, but I came to appreciate the city. It is also where Carol went to high school and the University of Minnesota, so there are connections other than the one with Jim.
As in every big city, downtown emphasizes the diversity of the population. In Minneapolis, I expect to see blonde Scandinavians. Nope, African Americans and Somalis. The city has the largest Somali population in the country. I don’t think they are Lutherans.
The only complaint I have about Minneapolis is the climate. It rained. Several times. Once, a lot. This child of the desert can tolerate some rain, but not much. What happened in Denver when I got home? It rained. Where is the justice?