Last night was the one night a year when people are free to climb into the tower (witches hat) atop Prospect Park. When I pulled the pedicab up the hill the scene was packed with people engaged in fundraising and family friendly merriment. The neighborhood engaged in a Ice Cream Social to raise money for something or other. The main draw was the view, the retreating ice glaciers have left a Moraine in the area just east of the University of Minnesota.
These are wonderful high points in a rather flat city and offer a spectacular view or both Minneapolis and St. Paul. People lined up for hours to get a peek. The line reminded me of an Amusement park thrill ride without the stanchions and rails to help the weave of people. My friend and I sock wrestled to fill the time and perhaps hope the line would move faster when everyone say the violent discontent it was causing.
The line did not move further or faster. We gave up as our other compatriot had seen the view and said that while a good view, not a hour and a half wait view. There were perhaps throughout the night a thousand or so if not more spectators for this beautiful scene. Nature creates these high points and we are subconsciously attracted to them like earthly tourists. This is our cities Grand Canyon and it only is open one night a year.
The high points of the city are also great for property value, as many affluent neighborhood spring up on such sights like Prospect Park, Lowry Hill, Linden Hills and the old Whittier neighborhood of where the MIA now sits.There is also a correlation to proximity to water in many affluent areas, something our ancestors may have had a better understanding of, a more primal instinct of where to set up living quarters. Water hold a spiritual place in the soul of humanity, in the baptismal font, in the tidal flood plains where sea faring animals will nest. We feel it sitting on a beach or watching a waterfall sometimes, and in our daily lives there are tinges of it speckled through our day.
The trinkets of running water that people keep bedside on upon their desk, purchased at 'peir 1' or Sharper Image perhaps reflect a hangover from this instinct. Curvy roads also help detract from non residents moseying through the high altitude areas, this can be seen in low areas where property values are also high like Brynn Mar and Tangletown neighborhoods. These are the place you show out of towner's, where prospective emigrants my want to come live.
The beauty of our natural world is there, but the beauty of it's people I find in the grunge of where I live near. the places you don't show prospective movers.
You don't show them Chicago Lake intersection, or Broadway Avenue as it streaks through Northwest Minneapolis. The boulevards of litter and chicken bones from a nearby KFC. The empty Newport Cigarette packs and Funyun bags that I kick around before walking up the front steps. Places where an occasional gunshot rings out the realities and struggles of urban living, that all is not well with humanity, but their is beauty there as well. In the poetry of strife and hope for a better tomorrow.
I digress, the night went swimmingly and I ate my fill of Ice Cream. We coasted down the moraine to quieter streets of Seward, and filled up on conversation and fellowship.
Later though I took a birthday drive along Calhoun for a co-worker celebrating their day of coming into existence. It reflected well the hub bub of the uptown drunkenness that I encountered after in picking up rides. A bit near Two AM I picked up some longtime residents of Mpls, and the asked for a stroll along Lake of the isles, I though why not two lake rides in one night. The day was filled with nature, these lakes more man made, not the original swamp land that had existed when the St Anthony Falls started to be exploited and created a metropolis around it. These lakes are the workmanship of dredging and molding, a vision of both Theo Wirth and Charles Loring.
These two gents behind me smoked and conversed in pure merriment as the peacefulness of such a last night. The recommended DJ smirks as a local hip hop talent that I should check out.
All in all a good evening.
This is Uptown on a Friday in summer.