Last night I took the 6 home and got off (no, not that way) at Lake and Hennepin so I could go to the bank and run some other errands on my way home. After the bank, I stopped in to Cheapo looking for a CD for a friend. Then it was off to Rainbow to pick up supplies for the baking I'm doing tonight.
As I was walking the last bit of my eight-block jaunt from the grocery store, bags in hand, I just had this image of myself as a city dweller. It feels weird, because even though I've lived in Minneapolis for the bulk of the 14 years since I left home, I never really felt like I was a part of the city.
I think all that changed when I moved back to Minneapolis after two years in Mankato. I'd never really lived in a neighborhood (save for Dinkytown) that felt like a neighborhood. And Dinkytown didn't even feel like that much of a neighborhood; more like an extension of campus. When I moved back, though, I was in Uptown. I lived on a major street with tons of bars, restaurants and shops within a few blocks. I got into the habit of walking up the street for groceries or to grab a bite to eat. Why drive my car and lose a good parking spot? And now that I live on Lyndale, I basically just traded the more trendy spots on Hennepin for a more blue collar set of establishments. I like that.
I run into friends on the bus or on the street. I see my neighbors at the grocery store. I see people who ride my bus when I get coffee. My neighbors and fellow bus-riders were at all the summer block parties I attended. I recognize people at shows that I've seen at other venues watching different bands. I really feel like I've made a place for myself. Maybe that's why in the two-plus years that I've been back, I finally feel like Minneapolis is my home. And I'm really, really happy about it.