Monday, June 30, 2014

From Farm to City


I grew up on a farm nestled in central Iowa. When I was looking for colleges, I was ready for another kind of adventure—a city! Of course there were some adjustments. For example, during Orientation week, while we were visiting the Minnesota State Fair, all my new friends complained about the animal smells, which I thought were mild and rather clean and smelling. Nevertheless, I soon adjusted and fell in love with Macalester’s urban location.
Of course, getting out and about in the Twin Cities requires transportation, which for most of my time at Macalester has been buses, biking, and walking. The Twin Cities public transportation infrastructure has recently developed into something even easier and more accessible with the opening of the new intercity light rail—the Green Line.  
During the grand opening of the Green Line on June 14 there were celebrations across the Twin Cities. A few of my friends and I were planning to ride the Green Line to the downtown St. Paul farmer’s market for our weekly vegetable run. We took a combination of bikes and bus to downtown St. Paul (having left too early in the day to ride the Green Rail on opening day). While we waited for the light rail to start running we strolled through the farmer’s market, picking up broccoli, green onions, and cheese.
Soon we wandered over to the light rail station. Each of the light rail stations had some sort of celebration going on—artists, music, dance, games, and food! Unfortunately, the weather was quickly turning cold and rainy.
But we live in Minnesota! We can deal with wet and cold, no problem!

Here are the beautiful brand new light rail cars waiting at Union Depot in downtown St. Paul.

And of course, we had to have a selfie on the new light rail! It was so exciting to be a part of this special day, even though we got soaked!  According to Metro Transit, more than 45,000 people rode the light rail on opening day.
Since the light rail opened, getting around St. Paul and Minneapolis has become so much easier. I’ve been able to move between the cities so much faster to attend art festivals, baseball games, music festivals, and more. I plan on taking full advantage of light rail all summer, which will really enhance my enjoyment of these months in the Twin Cities. I’m confident that my summer will be full of all sorts of adventures—ones completely different from those I had on the farm. 

- Claire '14