There are 11 miles in the Minneapolis Skyway, covering 69 city blocks. It is a self-contained world with every thing you need – restaurants, clothing stores, nail salons, banks – inside warm protected tunnels. Before I moved here, these tunnels reminded me of hamster habitats but now I love to walk the skyways, throwing my headphones on at lunch, cranking a little classic rock and doing a lot of people watching.
The first time that I ventured out was a disaster. What seemed like a logical and easy grid to walk between the buildings quickly became confusing because I didn’t recognize the lobbies or stores around me. Standing at one of the skyway windows, I couldn’t see any of the street signs below and as a recent transplant, none of the buildings or landmarks were recognizable.
Feeling foolish and panicked, I stopped in the middle of a bridge and thought about asking for directions. What was I, some lost little kid who needed someone to hold my hand and page my parents? No, I would keep going.
Looking up from my newly downloaded Minneapolis Skyway app on my iPhone (which didn’t help at all because I needed a big red dot saying “you are here” rather than a listing of stores), I realized I was in front of an art gallery, Drew Beeson. A friend referred us to it a few weeks before but we had yet to visit. Kismet, right? I took a look around at the gallery, checking out the vibrant modern paintings, and took a few deep breaths to relax.
Stepping back into the throngs walking by, I downloaded another navigation app, Falcon, which was just what I needed. Whipping my iPhone around in the air in a awkward gesture to set the app’s compass with my current location, I got what I needed – a big fat red arrow to point me back to my office.