BEST PLACE TO PEOPLE-WATCH (2001)
Much of downtown Minneapolis is prime real estate for people-watching. Nicollet Mall has an edge, thanks to its office towers, hotels, and posh shops, not to mention its status as a major bus hub. And if the mall has a center, it's the Crystal Court. Downtown workers of every stripe pass through here: fast-moving business types in suits, slower-moving business types in nicer suits who must be their bosses, suburban shoppers in sensible shoes, out-of-towners in dorky shoes. In the warmer months, if you venture outside, you can spot farmers, planted on the mall selling produce. Close your eyes and try to count how many languages you can discern. On a more somber note, the IDS tower seems to lure the irretrievably unhappy: In 1996 and again this year, someone chose this most public of places to bring a permanent end to his suffering. Perhaps it's the court's glass roof that beckons; or perhaps it's the prospect of such a diverse audience of passersby.