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BEST PLACE TO ICE-SKATE Minneapolis 2002 -

Readers' Choice: Milwaukee Road Depot Ice Rink

Most people might choose to skate in the warmish, comfyish confines of your typical indoor skating rink. But, we wonder, why should one have to pay to skate when it means dealing with all the piped schlock-pop, those crazy kids in their floppy hockey gear, and the creepily primped, five-year-old future Tara Lipinskis? Truth is, skating is best done at night, under the light of the moon, with the nearby trees flocked in a nebula of holiday lights. You feel like anything can happen out by the statue of old Nathan Hale (whoever he was), amid the gothic mansions built of prairie granite and slate. This is the St. Paul of your dreams. The land where Fitzgerald frolics with Keillor (who supposedly lives nearby), and where the clack-clack of trolley cars can still be heard echoing off the Cathedral's copper dome. Sure, there's no warming hut, no overpriced popcorn and warmed-over pizza. This is real-world skating, the way it was meant to be--with woolen mittens and trailing scarf and your breath hovering in the air.

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