Wednesday, August 6, 2014
My former co-worker and friend, Erin and I often take walks together since we both work at the University of Minnesota. Fun fact: Erin has the exact same job I held from 2002-2006. We catch up on all of the people we know in common while exploring all that has changed around campus which is a lot. I'm glad she was up for a journey to Van Cleve Park on this lovely August afternoon.
When Erin and I walk together, I meet up with her at the Science Teaching and Student Services (STSS) Building because I love the view of the Mississippi River and downtown Minneapolis. I also think STSS is pretty cool looking. In the past I've taken photos of the interior sculpture and lights. We headed north through campus and walked along 15th Avenue SE. Since I didn't go to school at the University of Minnesota, many parts of the perimeter of campus are new to me. Erin is an alum so she shared with me many popular (with questionable safety) walking routes to and from parties!
It's an interesting time at the University of Minnesota and the surrounding neighborhoods. There is an influx of tear-downs and new construction. There is a great variety of opinions on this development. A common concern is that many students are being priced out of housing near campus. Preservationists are against tearing down existing buildings and replacing them with cookie cutter architecture while many urbanists are pro-density and support smart development that factors in walkability and other things that make living in a city appealing. No matter your opinion of this redevelopment's merit, there is no question that the University of Minnesota is a completely different place than when I first arrived in 2002. Alumni who haven't stepped foot on campus since leaving likely wouldn't recognize it with exception of the core of campus.
I know next to nothing about Gopher athletics and didn't realize that the football team's practice space was in this area of campus. Erin has reviewed resumes for the football team which I think would be a mix of entertaining and exasperating and definitely well worth the free sweatshirt she got out of the deal.
When I was a Career Counselor at Northern Arizona University, an athlete who showed up for a resume review as part of a course requirement, he said to me while rubbing his shoulder, "I'm going to have to sit this one out coach. You'll have to type for me." Ummmmmmm, no. I realize that this is a terrible stereotype but it's what I think of every time I think of helping students with resume reviews.
My favorite discovery on this walk is a mural which the Minnesota Daily tells me started in 2011 and was a student led public art project and recently made the list of 30 hottest murals by the Twin Cities Daily Planet.
It didn't take as long as I thought it would to walk to Van Cleve Park. It is a big park with a great playground. There were a bunch of kids in daycare playing on the train and other equipment so I didn't take many photos (not a great idea to take photos of other people's children, you know). Erin was missing her kiddos because they would have had a great time on the playground. Apparently the train would have been a big hit with her son.
I have an extensive restaurants to try list and now that I know that Black Coffee and Waffle Bar (it makes me a bit crazy that they haven't updated their Facebook page to match the new name) is so close to where I work, I may make it a weekday outing!
This was a great walk over lunch and I'll definitely add this to my frequent routes list. I think the next work walk destination will be Holmes Park and Horatio and Charlotte Van Cleve House as a work break.
Inspiration & Goals
The Nivens Family