Recently I came across this reader submitted content in the Savage Pacer which talks about one man’s interpretation of life South of the River. An interesting read and one which may bring some head nods and overall disagreement.
From the article:
My first contact with Minnesota was over 30 years ago when I came to Minneapolis to interview with a large retail corporation. I recall walking down Nicollet Mall trying to find the IDS building. It was late November and I noticed something unusual as I passed my fellow pedestrians. Why, they actually looked me in the eye.
This was unlike anything I had ever experienced. “Out East” you walk with your head down or stare at an object in the distance — anything but actually looking at other people.
Years passed. And as I battled the traffic from Edina or Bloomington to downtown Minneapolis, there were no longer many waves or nods from my fellow commuters. They seemed to be replaced by a dirty look or a raised middle finger. What happened? It seemed that the Minnesota I first knew was turning into … OH NO! New York City.
Fast-forward another few years. The kids have grown and moved out of the house (Thank God). Time to downsize, but where to? My wife suggests Savage.
Then a funny thing happened. The Minnesota that I knew so many years ago suddenly reappeared. I noticed that the people waved as they drove by. Neighbors stopped and visited during my walks with our three dogs. People helped each other during giant snowstorms and even nodded you through a four-way-stop intersection.
Personally I came from out East and perhaps the 30 year time difference from when this individual lived there and I lived in the area made a world of difference. People would wave, nod, and *gasp* even say hello to complete strangers–right there in Times Square! Any area I traveled to up and down the East Coast and even as far as Ohio would bring me a similar experience…and then I moved to Burnsville. Yes, the same Burnsville that sits adjacent to this man’s beloved Savage. The same one where I felt alienated, never once saw someone wave, and most definitely didn’t have anyone look me in the eye, even if you attempted to goad them into doing it by saying hello first.
I continue to live South of the River and still don’t see what this man sees. No one looks at you, few people even come out of their houses especially during the winter, and those who do are so busy keeping their eyes averted I’m surprised they don’t walk into the numerous decorative street lamps which adorn our colored concrete covered sidewalks which no one uses.
What am I missing?