About a year ago today, as you all know, the Interstate 35-W Bridge fell into the Mississippi in Downtown Minneapolis. When that happened, I got kind of pissed off, and ended up re-kindling this blog that had been neglected and lain mostly fallow for about a year or so, writing my mind about the bridge disaster, and how important it is to think about our shared urban landscape.
As it turned out, my blog post on the 35-W bridge brought me a lot of positive feedback, and really motivated me to keep blogging, and writing, and thinking about all the wonderful sidewalks in Minnesota.
I started Twin City Sidewalks back in 2005, partly because I was frustrated at the atrophy of my previous website, but mostly because I had a real interest in looking more closely at the built environment of Minneapolis and Saint Paul... all the sidewalks, streets, bike paths, parks, fire hydrants, lamp posts, mailboxes, water fountains, shop windows, elm trees, schools, public parks, and everything else that we use nearly every day. What is that stuff? How does it work? If, as it turns out, these things are important, and all of these real bits and pieces shape our lives every day, then maybe it's worth kicking the tires, and looking at how the kinds of choices we can make are embedded in a rich set of structures that extends far back into history.
I'm not sure how successful this blog has actually been, but it's certainly exceeded my expectations. Through the website, I've met a bunch of new people who share a love of streetlife and sidewalk culture, and what little writing I've ended up doing has opened up a few new doors, and I've ended up learning about new issues all through Minnesota.
So, on this one-year anniversary of the bridge collapse I want to say a very real Thank You to everyone who reads this blog. I really value the feedback I've received. Thanks.