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BEST PLACE FOR A FIRST DATE Minneapolis 2003 -

Readers' Choice: Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

There are so many reasons not to go to the bars on a first date. You're too young to get in; or you're too broke to buy drinks; or you're old and rich but more and more often find you have to catch your breath before you blurt "I love you" to the stranger sitting next to you. Why let the bartender witness that breathless sensation when you can get the same feeling (for free!) while biking over to the Soo Line Railroad Bridge? Pedaling down the path toward the bridge, you feel like you're in the musical montage section from some date movie: The sky looks enormous, the wind is blowing through your hair, and Meg Ryan is sitting on the tandem seat behind you. Okay, so maybe that last part is just your imagination fueled by pure Lance Armstrong adrenaline. Even so, it's best not to let that endorphin rush go to waste. After all, biking is good preparation for a make-out session: Your heart is already racing, your palms are already sweaty, and, in a matter of minutes, you can park your Schwinn and walk out onto the bridge for one of the best views the Twin Cities have to offer, with the Mississippi River reflecting the stars like an oasis of Christmas lights. If your date won't kiss you then and there, she's obviously defective.

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