Downtown Life

Downtown Life

Changing jobs is hard enough. New faces. New duties. New rules. Tack on a whole new lifestyle? Shock.

My brilliant photographer husband took this photo of
Minneapolis when he was working Downtown 

You see, I have had a cozy job in the suburbs for the last decade. I could see Downtown off in the distance, but it was a life I had no idea about other than random trips to MN Twins games and the plethora of concerts I attend every year. I could get in my car and drive off on a moment’s notice. I could easily schedule doctor’s appointments, Weight Watchers & Medifast weigh ins and probably my favorite part: shop at the mall. Those who grew up in the burbs, you get my fascination and love for malls.

Starting a new job in Downtown Minneapolis has been a bit of a culture shock for me. I take the bus nearly every day which I find… interesting. There is definitely a set of rules to be followed:

  • You can sit where you want, but always move in towards the window so others don’t have to climb over you and so everyone can have a seat as the bus starts getting full. 
  • Ladies first. Most of the professional men I bus with will give up their place in line to get on the bus and even there seat if it means giving one to a lady. 
  • Keep your shit out of the isle. It’s a violation and the bus driver will stop the bus and make you move your crap before he starts going again. 
  • Don’t talk to strangers. It’s weird, but unless you are long time co-workers or friends, nobody talks on the bus.
  • Breath mints or gum people. Please spare your neighbors on the bus by having good hygiene. 
  • Probably the #1 rule: have your bus fare/bus card ready. Nothing pisses off a crabby bus of commuters than the unorganized fool holding everyone up. 
I have also noticed some things about behaviors both in commuting and around Downtown: 
  • Only a handful of people jaywalk. It is against the law and you can get a ticket. Why is it that people refuse to wait the extra minute for the sign to change to cross the dumb street?! 
  • The majority of people walk around with ear buds/headphones on. Not only do they wear them on the bus, but they wear them virtually everywhere while walking around. 
  • Some people are genuinely rude. They will walk right the hell into you if you get in their way with zero apology. 
  • Many sleep on the bus. Like full on, head-bobbin nap time. It’s very tempting. 
I’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of all things awesomely available in Minneapolis. Yes, there is shopping, but on a very large scale. The Macy’s in Downtown Minneapolis is astonishing. I physically got lost when attempting a lunch break shopping trip. I am thankful there is an Ann Taylor in my building, expensive, yes, but you can usually find some goodies on the clearance rack. There is also a Gap & Banana Republic just a couple skyways away. The food in Downtown Minneapolis is something to be reckoned with. There is no lack of originality or options. Or temptations. I made a deal with myself that I would only eat out once a week and my rule is that I have to try something new and it must be healthy. I have had a delicious salad at D’Amico, a club sandwich from an amazing little Mediterranean deli and I wandered the Farmer’s Market only to discover the phenomenal deliciousness that is Cindy’s Cinnamon Roasted Almonds. I am allowed only a small pouch of them because a large? They would never make it home to my husband. 
The Farmer’s Market is total treat and it is probably one of my favorite things about working Downtown. Every Thursday it is a sight to be scene. Nicollet Mall filled with vendors selling amazing farm fresh produce, stunning flowers and even bread and honey. It is a total people watching spectacle. I love it. 
If there is anything I have learned in my first few weeks of working in the city it is this: 
  1. Don’t make any assumptions– give something a try before you rule it out. I never thought in a million years I would prefer the bus to the comfort of my car, but I do. I love my 30 minutes of relaxation. I love whizzing by the bumper to bumper traffic. I love catching up on Facebook, Twitter, and all my With Friends games with zero distraction. I love listening to my workout music to get me pumped up for the evening exercise yet to come. I’m so glad I gave it a shot. 
  2. Buy comfortable shoes! I think the reasons are obvious but Downtown is no place for uncomfortable shoes. 

Taking this job was a decision that was way outside the box for me. I am proud that I made this choice! I am really loving my new job and my company so far and hope that I will continue to feel that way five, even ten years from now.

2 Comments on "Downtown Life"

    I have the same commute pretty much, except I'm going the other direction. I live in Uptown and work in Burnsville. I also take the bus, and I love it. I would much rather read or check my facebook, etc. on my way home than drive.

    I would loooove to work downtown though. 🙂

    So funny! I lived in Uptown about 11 years ago and commuted from Uptown to Coon Rapids. At least the traffic seemed to be going in the other direction. I MISS living in Uptown. Sooooo much fun.

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