Like many photographers, I have a SmugMug gallery, hooked to Google Analytics (GA) for hit tracking. My photos have keywords and descriptions, in the hope that they turn up in Google searches like “Minneapolis photography” or “Minnesota birds”.
And for well over a year, GA consistently told me I’m seen less often than Bigfoot. Basically, it’s crickets. SmugMug is a solid operation but like any gallery site, it has pros and cons; one of the cons is that you’re not likely to come in view of Google’s all-seeing eye.
A cold day in November, walking the skyways, crossing over 5th Street and heading into the Soo Line building, I look up at this great downtown view. Not all Minneapolis “skyways” live up to the name and actually let in the sky like this one. An 8mm fisheye lens takes it all in.
I’m on the bank of the Mississippi, at the north end of the Stone Arch Bridge, right down at the water’s edge.
The Stone Arch is an old railroad bridge in Minneapolis, at Saint Anthony Falls. It was built in 1883 by legendary fat cat and robber baron James J. Hill, at a cost of $650,000, a nosebleed figure in 1883 ($17.5 milllion in today’s dollars), and to his undoubted displeasure it was referred to as “Hill’s Folly” until its commercial value as a railroad link became clear.
The railroad stopped using it in the 1970s and in the 1990s it was repaired, redecorated and put back into service as a pedestrian and bicycle crossing.
You can still get to this spot but it’s a bit dodgy these days. There’s no trail leading to it, you have to sort of go where you’re not supposed to, and climb down from the road up above. Empty bottles laying around tell you you’re not the first. My future challenge is to get here late in the evening when downtown is lit up.