Saturday, August 11, 2007

Stone Arch Night Market?



If you read this blog regularly, you know I'm a big fan of the Stone Arch bridge. It's a beautiful piece of engineering, and has lasted more than 100 years (more than I can say for other bridges in the neighborhood!). On sunny afternoons, it's swamped with people: families, couples, singles, retirees, joggers, runners, bikers, dog-walkers, and so on. Last month, I wandered out for my usual afternoon walk and was stunned to find myself in the middle of a Mississippi river celebration performance, featuring red-garbed dancers scattered all across the area with ethereal music wafting up from under the bridge. Quite an experience!

Anyway, I've been exploring the bridge at night. It's really a different feel: quieter, yet more alive. The crickets chirp. The late-night runners are bathed in surreal light. The downtown buildings are more visible by their window lights and outline lighting than by anything else. The wind blows cooler. It's like being part of some secret society.

I've been thinking that we here in Minneapolis could better capitalize on this resource (the bridge, that is). When I visited Taipei last year, I got to check out their night markets, which were really cool. The basic idea is that they take a stretch of road in the city, line up stalls (mostly food vendors) cheek-by-jowl all along the road, and close off all traffic to cars. The market opens at night and stays open late. How about a night market on the Stone Arch bridge? Perhaps, one evening every month? What kind of vendors could we line up? How could we ensure that it stays lively but safe and not too noisy for the locals? Let me know if you think it's feasible...

3 Comments:

Blogger Josh @ Bungalow '23 said...

Cool idea! Vendors lining the edges the bridge would be like the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, but without the fine jewelry and leather goods. With a growing residential population near both ends of the bridge, this may be an idea whose time has come.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Generalissimo said...

Interesting how things can come full circle. In many ways, local vendors have an edge over Internet businesses. At a local store, person can ogle, handle, visualize him/herself with a certain product. Plus, there's no shipping involved. You take it home that night.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Jessi said...

That would be a wonderful idea. It's easy biking from where I live, and like you, I absolutely love the Stone Arch Bridge.

7:21 AM  

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