Earlier this month I went to Minneapolis in Minnesota for AWP 2015, the world's biggest creative writing conference. I knew next to nothing about my destination before arriving, aside from limited exposure via a handful of films and TV shows ostensibly set in the city or the state [Purple Rain, Fargo, The Mary Tyler Moore Show].
As a longtime devotee of Prince, a pilgrimage to First Avenue was essential [above]. En route I nearly collided with a statue of Mary Tyler Moore outside Macy's [below], depicting an iconic moment from her eponymous sitcom's title sequence.
Thanks to Fargo, I knew Scandinavian people had settled in the state. That was proven by a specialist Swedish shop [see above] near the AirBNB place where I stayed. I didn't know Minneapolis had a considerable Somali community [see below].
The street where I stayed was also popular with Hispanic families, and numerous shops stocked amazing variations on cowboy clothes and boots. I'm fond of pointy shoes, but even I might struggle with the footwear shown above.
Minneapolis is an incredibly bicycle-friendly city, with special cycle-only roads and pathways. Like many a metropolis, it has racks of low-cost bicycles available for rent on street corners. Minneapolis is home to the Walker Art Centre, which has a striking sculpture garden nearby.
When I visited, the Walker was celebrating its 75th anniversary with a selection of 75 donated pieces. Below are just a few of the gems that were on display...
But in case it was all too lovely, I couldn't help noticing the sign below on my way out. Every time I turned on the TV in Minneapolis, all the news shows were showing shocking footage of an unarmed black man being shot in the back and killed by a policeman.