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Minneapolis and St Paul

8519 Views 40 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  ikops
I thought I would do a serial thread for my Minneapolis and St Paul photos. In the past I have usually done individual photothreads of about 80 shots but I want to change it up. I am going to start with my photos from the beginning of the year because that is when I figured out some stuff about photography that made my photos better. I have posted some of them before but I will try to say a bit about each photo to make it more interesting. I also have a bunch of new photos to post, I'll get to those in a bit. Once I have have caught up I will post shots as I take them. I have shot Minneapolis and St Paul intensively over the last 3 years so my new photos won't really be a proper tour of the city. I have already shot most of the landmarks so now I am focusing on parts of the city I passed over, details, and more arty shots. I will continue to keep my people shots in the thread dedicated to that.

First some links, these are my other serial threads:

The people of Minneapolis part II
The Wisconsin file

Minneapolis has had a fertile music scene for the last 30 years. Most of our musicians don't play pop music and as a result don't become stars. Because of that the rest of the world doesn't know what we do here, but we know. Local music is well supported and is a big part of our local culture. I am going to post a song at the top of each page to be the soundtrack for the photos. You can listen to it if you want but if you don't that's ok too.

I will start in January and post the photos in chronological order (as much as possible).

Edit: I though I should post these, they are maps of the neighborhood councils in Minneapolis and St Paul. They don't exactly correspond with the neighborhoods in the cities but they are pretty close.


St Paul:

This first shot is from the Standish neighborhood. It is one of the outer areas of the south side. A lot of the outer neighborhoods in Minneapolis look kind of like this, they tend to be made up of modest single family houses built in the early 20th century in the craftsman bungalow style:

mplsjan201209 by afsmps, on Flickr

Some crow visitation shots - once there is snow on the ground crows form flocks at dusk and roost together. They do this because owls, who are their main predators around here, hunt at night and have an easier time seeing them against a snowy background. They find safety in numbers. The flock in south Minneapolis is massive, I would guess it is over 10,000 birds at times. They roost in different locations each night. These photos are from the night they came to my block. It is creepy but also cool to see so many crows in one place.

mplsjan201213 by afsmps, on Flickr

mplsjan201214 by afsmps, on Flickr

mplsjan201216 by afsmps, on Flickr

mplsjan201217 by afsmps, on Flickr

mplsjan201218 by afsmps, on Flickr
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In early January I got a tripod and took some shots to work out the technical details of night photography. I like the way this one turned out:

mplsjan201211 by afsmps, on Flickr

Lake St is not particularly pretty but it is perhaps the most iconic street in the city. It is a social cross section of the community, every culture in Minneapolis is represented somewhere on the street. It runs all the way through the south side. East Lake Street starts at the Mississippi River in a solidly middle class area. As it heads west it then goes into a white working class area, then through a mixed area that used to be the south side's traditional black area but also had Native Americans, poor whites and hippies (Phillips and Powderhorn Park). In recent decades Latin American, Southeast Asian and Somali immigrants have also moved in. As you move west you get to West Lake Street where you have the same mix as before but also a large bohemian community of artists, musicians and the like (Whittier and Lynlake). Eventually that transitions into a gentrified area of mixed yuppies, hipsters and douchebags (Uptown). After Uptown Lake Street hits Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles which is where the rich live. Anyway this photo comes from the downscale area of the street where East Lake turns into West Lake. There will be a lot more photos of Lake St.

mplsjan201225 by afsmps, on Flickr

Minneapolis has a large number of art cars, I photograph them when I can.

mplsjan201227 by afsmps, on Flickr
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The original division of labor in the Twin Cities had Minneapolis as the milling center because of St Anthony Falls while St Paul was the port because the falls made navigation upstream impossible. In the early days both cities were relatively equal but by the beginning of the 20th century Minneapolis established primacy over the region and St Paul was left in a distant second place. As a result downtown St Paul has developed a slightly forlorn quality. While it is full of the sort of old buildings other American cities tore down to build modern skyscrapers, it tends to be rather lifeless and empty - the spare downtown sitting mothballed in case it is ever needed.

Because of the general prosperity of the region downtown St Paul hasn't decayed the way rust belt downtowns have but it hasn't had much development over the last half century either. It may be a blessing in disguise because it missed out on one of the worst periods of American design. It if ever comes back all the way it will be a glorious place.

stpjan201201 by afsmps, on Flickr

stpjan201202 by afsmps, on Flickr

stpjan201204 by afsmps, on Flickr

stpjan201205 by afsmps, on Flickr
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stpjan201206b by afsmps, on Flickr

All of downtown St Paul is powered, heated and air conditioned by this power plant which burns waste wood - generally leftovers from the region's construction industry and blown down trees from storms.

stpjan201210 by afsmps, on Flickr

stpjan201211b by afsmps, on Flickr

stpjan201207 by afsmps, on Flickr

Ice sculptures from the winter carnival:

stpjan201208 by afsmps, on Flickr

stpjan201212 by afsmps, on Flickr
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Back to Minneapolis, and now we are in February. Here is another shot from Lake St. This is the intersection of east Lake and Chicago Ave. Twenty years ago this was a place you didn't want to be, it was one of the most dangerous spots in the city. It is still poor but crime isn't nearly as bad as it used to be.

Robert's Shoes has been there for ever, its' storefront reminds me of an Edward Hopper painting. The taller building behind it is an old Sears retail store and mail order center from 1928. It was recently converted into condos, the ground floor is Midtown Global Market which is full of small scale food stalls.

mplsfeb201201 by afsmps, on Flickr

These photos are from the Powderhorn neighborhood a couple blocks south of Lake St:

mplsfeb201202 by afsmps, on Flickr

mplsfeb201203 by afsmps, on Flickr

mplsfeb201207 by afsmps, on Flickr
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In the mid 90s tagging became big in Minneapolis. The city has encouraged (and paid for) a large number of murals because people usually don't tag murals (and if they do it is often not very noticable). These are from Powderhorn:

mplsfeb201205 by afsmps, on Flickr

I don't know who this artist is but they have a number of works throughout the city. I am a big fan.

mplsfeb201208 by afsmps, on Flickr

mplsfeb201209 by afsmps, on Flickr

In the winter, when daytime temperatures are warm enough to melt snow we usually have fog at night. This is about the only time we get fog in the Twin Cities.

mplsfeb201210 by afsmps, on Flickr
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Along the same line as the murals, the city is also encourging the painting of transformer boxes to prevent tagging. This shot is from downtown:

mplsfeb201212 by afsmps, on Flickr

Here are some shots from Dinkytown and Marcy Holmes. These areas are around the campus of the University of Minnesota which is across the river from downtown Minneapolis. It is one of the largest universities in North America so the surrounding neighborhoods are a vast student ghetto but they also has some light industrial and abandoned grain silos.

mplsfeb201216 by afsmps, on Flickr

mplsfeb201217 by afsmps, on Flickr

mplsfeb201218 by afsmps, on Flickr

mplsfeb201219b by afsmps, on Flickr

mplsfeb201220 by afsmps, on Flickr

A few people shots from Uptown:

mplsfeb201224 by afsmps, on Flickr

mplsfeb201225 by afsmps, on Flickr

mplsfeb201226 by afsmps, on Flickr
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Loring Park is a residential neighborhood on the edge of downtown Minneapolis. By some measures it is a part of downtown itself. It has a winning combination of buildings with character, a central location and low rents. It has just enough weirdos walking the streets to keep the yuppies from moving in en masse. In the '70s and '80s this was the city gayborhood. By the early '90s the gay population started to disperse so Loring Park evolved into an eclectic everything neighborhood.

mplsfeb201227 by afsmps, on Flickr

mplsfeb201229 by afsmps, on Flickr

mplsfeb201231 by afsmps, on Flickr

mplsfeb201233 by afsmps, on Flickr
See less See more kind of city :) Thanks for sharing, my friend :cheers:
Thanks. I have about 100 more photos to post but it may take me a while to get them up. The next couple weeks of my life are rather daunting.
great thread for Minneapolis and St. Paul...thanks for the effort.:cheers:
This house looks very scandinavian to me^^

This building could fit into any swedish city nowadays.
I think it is safe to say that Scandinavia has had a significant influence on Minnesota, although obviously there are other influences as well.
Somnifor said:
Thanks. I have about 100 more photos to post but it may take me a while to get them up. The next couple weeks of my life are rather daunting.
Daunting in a good way I hope!

Minneapolis looks like an interesting and cool city, pretty much off the radar I think for tourists from this side of the Atlantic. Your photos are great, hope to see more soon.

How far is Minneapolis from the sea?
Great, very nice photos from Minneapolis and St. Paul :)
Daunting in a good way I hope!
I am two weeks into a new head chef position. The first couple months are always hard in general but we are also changing the dinner menu and starting lunch next week so I have lots of planning and to do.

Daunting in a good way I hope!

Minneapolis looks like an interesting and cool city, pretty much off the radar I think for tourists from this side of the Atlantic. Your photos are great, hope to see more soon.

How far is Minneapolis from the sea?
Thanks, I am glad you like the photos. I actually met a lot of Europeans at my last job because there was a hotel concierge who sent them to us. They were usually here on business, or for some serendipitous reason, came with low expectations and were generally surprised by the city they found. Minneapolis has a low profile so people usually don't know what to expect unless they have been here.

It is very far from the sea. I am not sure the exact distance but it is about a 22 hour drive from here to New York City. We are about as far from both coasts as you can get, I think we might actually be closest to James Bay. However we are only about 150 miles from Duluth, which is an ocean going port on Lake Superior. I did a photo tour of Duluth last winter, if you want to see it, it is here:
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^^Just to add to Som's post, the Twin Cities is about 1,000 miles (1,600km) from the Atlantic Ocean, 1,500 miles (2,400km) from the Pacific Ocean, 1,200 miles (1,900 km) from the Gulf of Mexico, and about 700 miles (1,126 km) from James Bay if you want to count that as "the sea".

Minnesota is near the geographical center of North America, so like Som said, we're very far inland, and it's at least a couple hour plane ride to get to any of the coasts.
Here are a few more pictures from Dinkytown. There has been a ton of residential construction over the last 15 years. Most of it is aimed at students so the new buildings are not exactly architectual masterpieces but they are adding density to this part of the city.

mplsfeb201237 by afsmps, on Flickr

mplsfeb201238 by afsmps, on Flickr

The Universities' new football stadium is also in the neighborhood.

mplsfeb201239b by afsmps, on Flickr
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Here are some pictures of Whitter which is the neighborhood I live in. It is a pretty eclectic area south of downtown. Parts of it used to be an old mansion district, other parts of it were middle class houses from the early 20th century. After World War II some of the houses and mansions were torn down and replaced with cheap apartment buildings. The result of this is that you have rich people, poor people and the middle class living next to each other. In cultural and socioeconomic terms Whittier is like all of Minneapolis put into a blender, it has a little bit of everything.

mplsfeb201240b by afsmps, on Flickr

mplsfeb201241 by afsmps, on Flickr

The main commercial street in Whitter is Nicollet Avenue. It is also known as Eat Street because it has a strong array of ethnic mom and pop restaurants.

mplsfeb201244 by afsmps, on Flickr

This is the intersection of west Lake Street and Lyndale Avenue. The area around this intersection is known as Lynlake. Lynlake is on the edge of both Whittier and Uptown. This part of Lake St is the buffer between the poorer parts to the east and the more upscale areas to the west. On the weekends when the weather in nice this is a great spot for people watching. You see a lot of freaks on this corner. This shot was taken on a Monday in February though, so there is nobody out.

mplsfeb201250 by afsmps, on Flickr
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Fantastic photos!!! truth, the best photos in life:banana::banana::banana:
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