Monday, July 21, 2014

What Do You Know About......Minneapolis?

  • The Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St Paul combined), if viewed as one metropolitan area, rank the 14th largest in the country.
  • Minneapolis is the 46th largest city in the country.
  • It covers 58.4 square miles.
  • There are 20 lakes in the city limits of Minneapolis, including Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles, Lake Harriet, Cedar Lake, and Lake Nokomis. There is a bike/walking trail of over 13 miles winding around this 'Chain of Lakes' so you can enjoy them all.
              Lake Calhoun

         Lake Harriet Bandshell

Minneapolis' summer celebration, the Aquatennial, also makes use of its lakes with lots of activities, including the milk carton boat races: all boats are made of empty milk cartons...

Read more about the Aquatennial at:

And there are plenty of winter activities as well....
 Pond Hockey tournament January 2014, Lake Nokomis: 
It's a long winter: you have to embrace the cold.

Other waterways include the Mississippi River, creeks, and waterfalls-all within the city limits
                                      St Anthony Falls

                                              Minnehaha Falls

                          Minneapolis and the Mississippi River, sunset

  • Minneapolis has the 5th highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies* including Medtronic, Target, University of Minnesota, Allina Health, General Foods, 3M, Wells Fargo, and Bancorp.
                   3M Headquarters, Cottage Grove, MN; there are over 30 3M locations in the U.S.
  • The name "Minneapolis" means water city; it was coined by a teacher.
  • The Sioux tribe of Native Americans were the major inhabitants of Minnesota until about 1680, when French settlers arrived.
  • Flour mills were one of the first large businesses in the state, including Minneapolis.

*a  Fortune 500 company is one of the 500 largest companies in the United States as listed by Fortune Magazine.

The average annual temperature in Minneapolis is 45.4 degrees Fahrenheit (7.4 degrees Celsius). It is 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17 degrees Celsius) about 30 days out of the year.

In terms of rain and snow, the average precipitation in Minneapolis is 30.64" and average snowfall about 50". The winter of 2013-14 brought well over 60" of snow. The city has over 100 days a year with an inch or more of snow on the ground.

A narrow city street after a snow. But the trees are pretty, right???

In an attempt to make the city more 'walkable,' skyways were built so people can walk from building to building and not need to go outside in bad weather.

If you're interested in attending college in the Twin City area, you have lots to choose from-among the choices:
  • University of Minnesota
  • Macalester College
  • Hamline University
  • Augsburg College
  • Minneapolis Community & Technical College (MCTC)
  • St Thomas University
  • College of St. Catherine
  • Bethel College
  • Concordia College
  • McNally-Smith School of Music
  • Minneapolis Community & Technical College
  • Anoka-Ramsey Community College
  • Anoka Technical College
  • Dakota Technical College
  • Hennepin Technical College
  • North Hennepin Community College
  • Inver Hills Community College

There is a very busy cultural scene in Minneapolis--it is second only to New York City in theaters, and the third largest theater market (ticket sales) after New York and Chicago. Here is just a partial list of Minneapolis Theaters:

The Guthrie Theatre

Ordway Center for Performing Arts, which is also home to the Minnesota Opera
Illusion Theatre
Mixed Blood Theatre   
Penumbra Theatre
Cowles Center for Dance and Performing Arts
Minnesota Performing Arts
In The Heart of the Beast Theatre
Childrens Theatre Company     
Hennepin Theatre Trust, including the State, Orpheum, and Pantages theatres, which host touring Broadway plays

                                                   State Theater

And these music venues:

First Avenue 

7th Street Entry
Minnesota Orchestra at Orchestra Hall
The Cabooze
Fine Line
Dakota Jazz Club

And these museums:

Walker Arts
                                               Walker Art Center

Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Weisman Museum
Museum of Russian Art
Bakken Museum

Into dance? Minneapolis has....

Cowles Theatre
James Sewell Ballet    
Minnesota Dance Theatre          
Minnesota Ballet

Up for some comedy? Here are a few places you can enjoy a laugh:

Acme Comedy Club
Comedy Sportz
Stevie Ray's Improv
Brave New Workshop  

  • Minneapolis is the 3rd most literate city in the U.S.
  • More than 40% of all adults in Minneapolis volunteer in some way, the highest percentage of any metropolitan area in the U.S.

The ethnicity of Minneapolis is mostly white, and those people are largely of German and Scandinavian descent: 20% of all white people in the city are either Norwegian, Swedish, or Danish in heritage.

Minneapolis' other cultures include
Black 18%
Hispanic  10.5%
Asian 5.6%
Native American 2%

                                 Cherry Spoon Bridge-Sculpture Garden, Walker Arts
  There are over 40 works of sculpture in this display located across from the museum

Monday, July 7, 2014

I Volunteer!

Are you restless this summer? Do you feel bored? Are you tired of watching the grass grow and the bugs crawling around on your sidewalk?

Here are a number of volunteer opportunities that might interest you:

Do you love the outdoors? The Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources could use your help doing things like monitoring loons, building portable field desks, and the Adopt a River program:

The Children's Home Society of Minnesota can use people to help with daycare, mentoring, and assisting at events:
Do you like running? Here's an opportunity for you with Twin Cities in Motion:

Computer savvy? This place needs mentors to teach computer programming to elementary age kids:

 More into acting? At the Twin Cities Film Fest, they'll need volunteers as well---some prep before will be needed, the Film Fest is happening in October:

 At the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering, they need volunteers:

Want easier ways to give of yourself? Here are some ideas:

How about collecting something?
Coats, shoes, gloves, or T shirts: have you gotten T shirts for events that you never wore?
Sports equipment: things needed to play soccer, for instance, including clothing needed like cleats and socks. Or just outdoor toys.

Personal hygiene items: shampoo, soap, lotion, deodorant, tissues

School supplies
Water bottles
Children's books

Collect a bunch, then donate them to a shelter--you might call an organization and see what  they are always in need of. All it will 'cost' you is a place to keep these things and the process of taking them to be donated.

Consider cleaning out things you don't want or need and donating them, traditionally to Goodwill or Salvation Army, but if you contact Vietnam Vets or the Lupus Foundation, (only two examples) they will actually come to your house and pick up your stuff. You just package it up and leave it out for them, you don't even have to be at home.

Or, you could clean out your house and have a sale, and donate your profits to a group of your choice.

What do you know that you could teach someone? Do you play an instrument, dance hip-hop, or could you teach someone how to sew? What about your knowledge of Facebook? Can you show someone how to set up a budget? Can you teach cooking to someone? Think of something you'd like to share, and find a connection to people who want to learn: Senior Centers, daycare providers, or just a friend who wants to learn.

Volunteer: you never know how you can impact someone else's life.