A Different Take On Mainstream

STRANDED IN MINNEAPOLIS FOR 11 HOURS

I confess. I have been a horrible blogger as of late. the last time I posted was July 4th, and I didn’t even warn you guys that this month long hiatus would be a thing. Trust me, it felt like a part of me went missing when I couldn’t blog, but seriously, I had so much idiotic work this month that I could barely even keep up my Instagram. And do you know why? Because I was so busy running to work, and school, and homework, that there weren’t even any places to photograph because I WENT NOWHERE. Don’t believe my Instagram photos. They lie. They were from 2 years ago. However, I am now officially back on schedule, with an awesome lineup of posts for the coming weeks. If I do say so myself.

But I am sure you are wondering, why was I stranded in Minneapolis?

It’s very simple: I was stranded in Minneapolis for 11 hours because of my own sheer idiocy. Ok fine, I wasn’t actually stranded, it was a stopover to get from NYC to LA (which is where I am this summer)–but I just need to ask a question. Who in their right minds, looks at all the possible flight combinations, and chooses one with an 11 HOUR LAYOVER IN MINNEAPOLIS? WHO??? Me. That’s who.

Even so, being stranded in Minneapolis for 11 hours ended up being one of the most wondrous experiences of this summer. Minneapolis had never been on my radar before this, but because of what we shall call My Sheer Idiocy, I got lucky enough to explore a city brimming with so much culture, fascinating people, and an excellent urban charm. Plus I got to meet some awesome people. But more on that later. ONWARD.

 

MALL OF AMERICA

The first place I went to literally the minute I got out of the airport, was the famed Mall of America. They weren’t lying folks, the place is a monstrosity. I didn’t even know where to begin there were so many little crannies and quirky shops to go through. I even found a store called Alpaca Connection that only sold alpaca fur products made in Peru. Apparently, a certain percentage of the earnings in that store go straight back to all the workers and designers in Peru. I bought two sweaters so as to support the Peruvians. Also because it gets really cold in Boston, which is where I’m moving to this fall :). No this is not sponsored. I just really liked the store.

I even found, tucked away next to a mirror maze attraction, and some nondescript clothing store, what I can only label as a weeaboo shop. Hello Kitty paraphernalia, as well as little stuffed bears with cutsey, gigantic circular eyes, sat behind glass cases as if they were the lost artifacts of the ancient kingdom of Japania. Or something. Also, high up on the shelves, spaced evenly like expensive boutique shoes, were a minor selection of Japanese junk food. The stuff looked so sacred sitting up on the shelves, like Tiffany purses. I almost offered the cashier to go to Little Tokyo and ship them a wider selection of products, if they were so rare and sacred in Minneapolis. But I didn’t. Instead I just secretly took some photos so I could laugh at them later. (None of them came out too well so I’m not posting them).

And then I found this store. It was called–wait for it– Sox Appeal. I’m sorry, maybe I am just immature, but I can’t stop giggling every time I hear that name. The entire store dedicated itself to socks– any kind you can imagine. I bought a pair with a puppy on each ankle, which will be great for fall booties, as well as a black and white pair with an illustration from the Wizard of Oz on them. We’ll see how long those last. 😐

And as I was stumbling along, oggling all the various Minnesotans, (they were probably all tourists), I came across a book signing for Bethany Mota. For some reason, this little moment really reminded me of home, as LA brims with various book signings and meet ups for every type of celebrity– if you know where to look for them. It just made my heart melt a little, watching all the tweenagers waiting in line to get their books signed–it felt extremely LA.

Oh yah–and then they had this thing. Just your average theme park in your average mall. Yaknow, nothing special. Just a flipping Nickelodeon World in the middle of the Mall Of America.

 

STONE ARCH BRIDGE FESTIVAL

After I wasted enough money in the Mall Of America, I decided to ask some actual Minnesotans where would be a good place to spend the next five hours in Minneapolis. So I ducked into the nearest Starbucks and made friends with the baristas. They then directed me to the Stone Arch Bridge Festival–which is exactly where I explored next.

I have no idea what this festival was for, so don’t even ask me. However, what I do know is that the Stone Arch Bridge festival was an excellent way to taste the flavor of Minneapolis.

There were so many different stalls, and attractions, and musicians everywhere– this little snippet was a section dedicated to various health food companies giving out free samples. I made sure to stalk up on tons of mini larabars for the connecting flight back to LA. I mean come on, free food.

My favorite bits though, were these guys– just three kids who played some of the best Irish fiddle I had heard in a long time. They were playing their way to the Dublin Celtic Festival, which is extremely brave and proactive at their age. I mean– what were you guys doing at 14? I personally, was busy comparing myself to my friends and wishing I had straighter hair. The other bit that I loved, was meeting a fellow singer named Savanna Dadon. I first noticed her as I was taking a break in one of the artsy warehouses, charging my laptop while listening to her sing with 2 other musicians. After she finished singing, I decided I wanted to get to know her. So I did. And she is pretty awesome. Her Instagram is filled with various creative photoshoots and snapshots, which you can check out HERE!

Honestly, taking that 11 hour layover in Minneapolis was one of the best mistakes of my life. My friends may have laughed at me for booking such a long stopover, but I got the last laugh after showing them all the cool places I had photographed, while they stayed home and babysat cats, or something. Ok now I’m just being mean, so I will stop talking now.

PEACE,

Cynical Duchess.

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What’s the coolest stopover you’ve ever done?

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