BEST PLACE TO PEOPLE-WATCH Minneapolis 2004 - Perkins
Many of us city folk don't realize that much like the adventures of squid and jellyfish at the bottom of the ocean, sometimes there's some wacky stuff going on in the 'burbs. So whether it's the cheap eats available at the most ungodly hours or the way that the cool hangouts in the outer metro areas tend to overlap and appeal to multiple cliques, late night at Perkins is always hopping. On any given night you can see a slice of each niche of the city, all in one place. You watch a 300-pound trucker hit on giggly-drunk college girls sharing a plate of chicken fingers in the next booth. Or a group of high school marching band members munching on a plate of fries while occasionally checking their watches between laughs to ensure they make curfew. In the next table a group of leather-clad goths discuss the virtues of graphic novels such as Johnny the Homicidal Maniac over banana cream pie. Another booth contains a pair of thirtysomething professionals typing away in Excel programs on their laptops, occasionally stopping to slurp coffee or stare blankly at something distant. At one of those claw-game machines, two kids, up way past their bedtime, plunk quarters into a gambit destined to take their money. There's a pack of friendly midnight stoners buying more food than they could ever hope to eat, and a cop stopping in for a cookie. The gazing possibilities are limitless...and are you being watched?