Walking the North Loop

May 3, 2010

If you’re looking for Fast Horse World Headquarters, you’ll find us in Minneapolis’ wonderful North Loop neighborhood. Home to Club Jager, Cuzzy’s and, now, the Minnesota Twins, this part of town has all the things you like about being in the heart of the city while still having parking spots available when you need them.

A few days ago, I had a hankerin’ to take the camera out and shoot a bit. I love the history that oozes out the old warehouse buildings in this neck of the woods — some converted to offices, some abandoned, some still warehouses. The painted walls, the engraved names of original tenants and the fallout-shelter signs make me think about what this city was like before Starbucks and interactive marketing moved in.

Now that Target Field, the home of the Minnesota Twins, is open for business (I predict no fewer than 92 wins for our boys this summer), the neighborhood is full of a completely fresh burst of energy. The buzz on game days is incredible. It feels like the last day of school, when the only thing that mattered is how loud you were going to start screaming in just about 15 more minutes…

The North Loop still has a gritty edge to it, as well, but that’s where much of its character comes from. From the run-down buildings to the sex shops to the bustling traffic to the busted glass, you’re sure to see the good and the bad if you get out of your car and take in what the streets and sidewalks have to offer.

Of course, no walk around Fast Horse’s neighborhood would be complete without a jaunt across the lovely (lovelier at night) Hennepin Avenue bridge…

…to Nordeast. I had the pleasure of living in Northeast Minneapolis for a couple of years, and it made appreciate the city as a whole more than I had before (I’m a St. Paul boy at heart, and I don’t care what anyone says, the Nook kicks the ass of Matt’s or the 5-8 Club any day of the week and twice on Sundays). But back to Northeast…

The neighborhood is home to Punch Pizza, Chipotle and many other great lunch-time stops, but Surdyk’s tends to attract the Fast Horse crew with disproportionate frequency. Not for the booze (well, OK, for the booze, too) but for the deli counter inside the separate-but-attached Surdyk’s Cheese Shop. Try the chicken avocado BLT, and while you’re there, take in the nifty wine-bottle “plants” bordering the parking lot.

I couldn’t begin to capture all these neighborhoods have to offer, but I might try in a couple of future posts. For now, check out the other photos I have here.

What are some of your favorite haunts in the North Loop and Northeast?