Could you live where -60 degrees isn't out of the question?

 
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When I lived in Montana, I was surprised at how many Minnesotans had relocated there. Montana winters are serious, but Minnesota’s are even more so. But when you land in Minneapolis on a sunny Spring day and head straight to an 11-acre sculpture garden, you start to think, well, maybe I could live here…

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The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is right in the city, not far from downtown. The scale of its pieces fit nicely with the cityscape in the background.

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I got a kick out of watching this couple play with the mirrors on this piece. You can just see her faint outline from the other side in the shot below.

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Next to the garden is the Walker Art Center, which is a fantastic contemporary art museum with free admission on Thursdays. I arrived a little early for the free entry, but lucky for me, they had a beautifully done, full-stocked bar near the entrance, so I had a drink while I waited for the free art.

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The tree below is entirely filled with wind chimes.

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The city seems to be thoughtfully planned, and smaller green spaces are tucked in among office buildings and large-scale developments like Target Field, where the Twins play.

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Given the reality of those long, cold winters, it comes as no surprise that the Minnesotans can make some beer. I found this guide before I went, and stopped by Fulton Beer (yum) after the sculpture garden. Lakes and Legends was near the hotel hosting my conference, so I popped in there as well. They have a decent IPA, an open, modern look, and you can bring your dog. I always think that’s the mark of a good spot.

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I never can get enough of all the textures and patterns that come out of fitting a bunch of large, mirrored buildings into a tight space.

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On my last day there, I walked to the Stone Arch Bridge, which is the only such bridge on the entire Mississippi River. It’s now exclusively used by pedestrians and cyclists, and the surrounding area is beautiful. The whole city reminds me a bit of Toronto and Montreal, but especially this section—the Gold Medal Flour sign echoes Montreal’s Farine Five Roses.

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According to a new study, beautiful cities may have an economic advantage, which I see as just one more reason to design and improve with aesthetics and quality of life in mind (while being careful to make provisions for people displaced by gentrification).

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I couldn’t find the path down to this green space, but what a nice way to escape the city for a bit.

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I only had a few hours to get out and about with my camera, and I know there is much more to explore. I think any place that can make you consider living where -60 is a thing deserves a second visit, albeit carefully planned in the Springtime.