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Jan 14, 2018
The Minnesota Vikings are hosting a playoff game this weekend against the New Orleans Saints. To spark up some Viking pride, the city lit up its icons and buildings in purple and gold. Since I am a lover of all things Purple, and the Vikings, and Prince, I obviously had to go take photos with my favorite city lit up in my favorite colors, right? Well, the temperature was zero. That's right. Zero.
So, I bundled up and went out to brave the cold, and I went to five of the areas that would have a little extra Purple in them.
The first stop was the Lowry Bridge. This is the arched bridge that spans the Mississippi River just north of downtown Minneapolis. It gives great views of the arch surrounding the skyline. It was supposed to be lit up in Purple and Gold for the weekend, and it was lit up on Friday. However, I showed up and it was lit up in its normal blue. It is a beautiful shade of blue, but that wasn't what I was out looking for. Someone forgot to flip a switch somewhere.
My next stop was to drive down under the 35W bridge. To get there you get to drive down a road that has mirrors on it so that you can see if anyone is coming from around the sharp corners. You don't often get to drive down roads with mirrors on it. Anyway, going under the 35W bridge has a fantastic view of the 35W bridge spanning the Mississippi River with the Minneapolis Skyline underneath it.
After that stop, it was a very short drive to the nearby pedestrian bridge. This pedestrian bridge used to be a train bridge. It spans the Mississippi just west of the 35W bridge. On a day like this evening, when the temperature has now reached -1 (yes, that says negative 1), crossing that bridge can be bitterly cold. So I took a shortcut and parked in a spot reserved for University of Minnesota officers. This way I only had a very short walk to my preferred photo spot.
My next stop was at the Witches Hat water tower. This place is also known as Tower Hill Park. The Witches Hat name comes from the shape of the water tower. It really does look like a witches hat. This water tower stands on top of the highest spot in Minneapolis and gives a great view of downtown Minneapolis. The US Bank Stadium where the Minnesota Vikings play was lit up in a darker shade of purple than normal. You can also see the top of the Target Corporation building lit up in Purple and Gold, and the top of the IDS is also lit up in Purple.
For my final stop, I went to the Hennepin Avenue Bridge. This bridge also spans the Mississippi River, connecting downtown Minneapolis with the Northeast neighborhood. The bridge isn't what was lit up in purple, it was actually the Grain Belt sign. This sign had been dark for nearly 30 years and was only re-lit in the past couple of weeks. It was one of the items they fixed to beautify the city for the upcoming Super Bowl LII. The sign is usually red and green, but they changed it o support the Vikings playoff game.
I took two photos of this sign, from both sides of the bridge, and after that, I headed home to warm from the winter chill.
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