Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Magnificent Minneapolis

I didn't have much time to see the city as there were three games and lots of roadtrippers in town too. But I found a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon to walk around and check out Foshay Tower (below) and its observation deck.

The tower was built in 1929 just before the big stock market crash. It is similar in structure to the Washington Monument in that it narrows as you move to the top. Although it is now the W Hotel, the observation deck on the 32nd floor is still open to the public. There is also a small museum that provides a detailed history of the tower and it's builder, Wilbur Foshay, who was famously ruined in the crash. It's a very interesting story and worth the $8 admission price. The observation deck has free telescopes at each corner which seem to be 100x magnifcation; structures that are 30 miles away can be seen clearly. You can even track airplanes landing at MSP. It's not a well-known attraction either, I spent 15 minutes there by myself.

As an aside, the White Sox were staying in the hotel and on the way down, Brent Lillibridge got in the elevator. I had a feeling he was a player but didn't know who and am not one for asking. You would never guess to look at him that he is a pro ball player; he's 5'11, 185 and looks even smaller than that. Outside the hotel there were a few autograph seekers and Lillibridge stopped to sign for all of them (below) before hopping in a cab to go to the ballpark.

Below are some pictures of downtown Minneapolis.

Joe Mauer statue - there's several of these around town, probably one for each of the 50 years of the Twins' existence. I only saw a few but they are all similar. Neat idea though.

One of many enclosed pedestrian bridges that allow you to stay warm when walking between buildings.

Target Field and Target Center from the Foshay

The Wells Fargo Center

Reflection of the Foshay in a building across the street

Looking down from the Foshay

The observation deck

I really need to come back here and spend some serious time in the city; it's a lively place with lots to see and do. With direct flights from Japan and 3 teams playing here in the winter, there's no excuse not to stop by again soon.



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