Foshay Tower

Foshay Tower, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Foshay Tower, in Minneapolis Minnesota, officially opened in September of 1929, with a blowout party that included Hollywood stars and national political figures, each of whom reportedly received a gold watch just for showing up. John Philip Sousa had been commissioned to write a march; his fee was $20,000.

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I don’t know this guy.

Minneapolis Lake Street Rail Station

I did this a couple of years ago – it’s the elevated platform of the Lake Street light rail station here in Minneapolis. I’d done a photo here long before, and had returned to get a different viewpoint, looking north towards downtown. It’s geometry and tinted glass; a strangely cool piece of urban design, standing over a couple of desolate city blocks where you don’t hang around after dark.

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Minneapolis from the Guthrie Theater

Minneapolis Minnesota downtown photography black and white city urban

This shiny view of downtown Minneapolis can be had from a spot near the windows in the coffee shop on the 5th floor of the Guthrie Theater, on First Avenue by the river. It’s a place where you can kick back, gaze out of some big glass and feel like you’re a part of the city, but a bit detached.

The current Guthrie was completed in 2006 and is hands down the coolest building in town.

SmugMug and SEO: crickets chirping

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. 

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North End of the Stone Arch bridge

Minneapolis Stone Arch Bridge, a landmark

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.