March 26, 2023

A Quiet Evening in Downtown Minneapolis


A Quiet Evening in Downtown Minneapolis
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for March 26, 2023

Miss Sheri stumbled across this little lady a block away from our house this week.  We're in a pretty crowded neighborhood, so we don't see a lot of deer wander through but sure do find it pleasant when they do.

My old buddy, Ron "Sugarman" Myers, came up from Iowa to spend the day with me on Saturday.  He bought a new car for the trip which I thought seemed a little excessive, but he said he was planning on buying it anyways.  Just a coincidence I guess.

The first stop on his visit was to go see Luke & Avery's place and then we all went out to lunch afterwards.  They like to see Ron when he comes to town.

Ron and I had plans to spend the night in Minneapolis and were excited to go exploring.  It wasn't nearly as busy as I remembered.  Our waitress at the hotel told us they've really struggled to get people to come back since Covid.  She even said their owners had listed the hotel for sale because they weren't expecting things to change.  She also explained there was a shooting a block away a week ago and another 2 blocks away 2 weeks ago.  I can't imagine that's helping bring back the people.

  We walked over to the Foshay Building which has a rich history.  It was completed in 1929 and was modeled after the Washington Monument.  I also recently discovered there's an observation deck on the 30th floor that is open to the public.  I worked across the street from this building for 2 years and never knew about it, so figured this would be a great time to visit.

When we first arrived, we entered the elevator and went straight up to the highest floor.  We then proceeded to get a bit lost scaling random staircases trying to find an exit.  We then went down to the lobby and discovered we had to pay $10 each to go on the observation deck.  It's a pretty neat place to visit.  They have a small museum dedicated to the Foshay that you go through before you can get outside.  The deck is covered all around by these iron bars so you can't jump off I guess.  I thought I could squeeze through them if I really needed to, but couldn't think of a good reason to do that.

 When I started at Oracle back in 2015, I worked with 800 other employees in the building on the left.  Covid killed that office and everyone who is still with the company now works from home.  That's just one company.  When you multiply that by all the companies who had offices down here pre-pandemic, you can start to get a feel for why all the hospitality businesses that still remain here are having such a struggle.  Pretty sad.

 The IDS Center is the tallest building in the state of Minnesota and we had a nice view of it from the Foshay.   You can see Target Field tucked away behind it in the lower left hand corner.  The observation deck was a fun way to get a different view of the city.  We didn't stay for long, but for $10 I thought it was well worth the visit.

   We walked by this mural of Bob Dylan.  I couldn't think of anything good to say about it, so I asked Chat-GPT to give it a shot:  
The colossal Bob Dylan mural, a mesmerizing masterpiece by the globally acclaimed street artist Eduardo Kobra, stands as his most significant public art contribution in the United States. Capturing the essence of Minnesota, it has soared to the top as the state's most Instagrammed image. This awe-inspiring, five-story homage to the legendary Bob Dylan emerged in autumn 2015 as a private commission, swiftly transforming into an emblematic symbol of downtown Minneapolis and the pulsating heart of the Hennepin Theatre District.  That's a lot, Chat-GPT.

Ron and I finished off the evening with visits to Manny's, Cowboy Jacks and dinner at Fogo De Chao.  Fogo was bursting at the seams with people, so I guess they've figured out a way to keep the crowds coming.  Here's hoping the other businesses have similar success soon!   

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