Friday, March 23, 2007

What's in a name?

A logical and appropriate first major post would be an explanation of why I picked Minnehaha Falls as my inspiration for a name. A little background...

I grew up in suburban Minneapolis and fled for DC as soon as I could. After 7 fun-filled years out East, I felt the pull of the Midwest and family, and perhaps more than a little wanderlust. I found an environmental engineering company that sounded exactly like what my dream job would entail, and made a deal with myself that if they hired me, I'd move back. And thankfully they did (and I love my job, but that's a whole other future post I'm sure).

Well, I moved back almost 3 years ago, and while I was looking for places to live, I ran into a problem. While I had lived for my first 18 years in the "Cities" as we call them here, I didn't really know anything about Minneapolis or St. Paul, or their neighborhoods. I picked a few factors that would help me narrow my search, and began looking for a place to live, all while still living in DC. As an avid runner and sometime biker, I wanted to live near running trails. As I soon discovered to my astonishment, Minneapolis is a Mecca for that sort of activity and as long as I lived anywhere in South Minneapolis, I'd be set. I also wanted to live near good public transit, after having lived on the Metro for so long. I soon discovered that Minneapolis was nearing completion of the Hiawatha LRT (light rail). So then I knew I wanted to live in South Mpls near a train station. I then noticed that there was this biking/running trail called the Minnehaha Parkway, and that looked cool (and I vaguely remembered running on that during the marathon the previous year), so I decided I would live anywhere from 38th St to 50th St, preferably 46th St because of all the shops near that LRT station.

So with that info in hand, I found a real estate agent, and he found 12 properties for me to look at in that area. The day after I moved back we went to work looking at the properties. On the 2nd day of searching for a house, I arrived quite early and decided to walk around. I stumbled across Minnehaha Park, and eventually the Falls. As a suburbanite, I had vaguely heard of the falls growing up, but had never seen them. I was completely blown away and that's when I realized that I could fall in love with this city. I knew that I wanted to live as close to the falls as possible, so I bought a house 2 blocks from the park on 52nd St.

I stop by the falls on average 4 days out of 7. Part of this is because I use it as a starting point for most of my runs, but I find excuses to walk by there all the time, regardless of weather. I love watching the falls change from high flows to low flows, from low flows to a sheet of ice, and back again. I mark the seasons by the falls. Whenever I go there, I always stop for a minute or two just to reflect on nature's beauty and God's creation.

Anyways, so the falls obviously have held a very special spot in my heart since day 1, and represent my love of Minneapolis. I have enjoyed taking friends and family there. Anyone who knows me knows that I love being tour guide, and for the out-of-town visitor, that is always stop #1.

If you have never seen the falls for yourself, or haven't seen them in all seasons, I would really recommend making the trip. 50th St Station on the LRT. And pretty soon Sea Salt (the seasonal restaurant at the falls) will be opening up for oysters on the half shell and Sebastian Joe's ice cream!


Tyler said...

I think the falls was stop #1 on my visit to the Cities! And they were nice and frozen then also.

Rocco said...

welcome to the internets