People & Places

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BEST PLACE TO PEOPLE-WATCH Minneapolis 2003 -

Readers' Choice: Mall of America

Let's start with the obvious: Calhoun brings out the hardbodies. As soon as our temperamental weather changes from teeth-chattering to merely goosebumpy, rollerbladers, joggers, bikers, walkers, and people in convertibles, many of them quite attractive, come out in droves. All summer long this lake provides the best place in the city to get an outdoor glimpse of the beautiful people. But hot as they may be, those athletic types get boring after a while, so we include Calhoun's immediate neighbors as co-winners in this category. A stroll around Harriet provides a more family-friendly variety of folks to observe: binoculars-bearing couples heading into the bird sanctuary, the elderly resting among roses and Japanese-style rocks, teenagers on ice-cream-cart bicycles, cute faces in strollers. If your people-watching proclivities are on the more adventurous side, head north. Take in the canoers traversing Lake of the Isles, or try to spot signs of life around the seemingly unoccupied mansions. Keep going, to the more sparsely populated but ever-interesting Cedar Lake, where you'll find that rare spot in the Cities where you can spy naked people who won't charge you for the pleasure. In addition to the infamous Hidden Beach, Cedar's peaceful dirt walking trails offer occasional but rewarding glimpses of humanity--whole families out catching fish, groups of kids running away from babysitters, couples hoping for some time alone.

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