What do you see? Endless shots of glowing skylines. The downtown towers jut futuristically into a moody sky. The cars blur into fiber-optic wisps – the city appears to be an orgy of commerce and excitement!
But it’s an illusion!
What you’re seeing is middle managers and accountants on their way back to the suburbs after an uneventful day at the office. They had Chipotle for lunch and it’s not sitting right – probably about to be in the toilet along with their 401k.
I’m tired of this particular genre of skyline photography. It’s usually the first thing to show up when you search for images of a city, and it’s commonly used to illustrate linkbait listicles (the 20 metros with the hottest singles!)
It tells you nothing. It’s not iconic, it’s generic. Downtown towers at dusk generally all look pretty much the same. But what really gets me about the ones from Minneapolis, a significant number of which are taken from the 24th st. pedestrian overpass, is that the photographers have had to physically alter the environment in order to get their gleaming, aggrandized photos. There are about a dozen holes along the North side of the chainlink, most of which have been patched and then reopened again.
It’s kind of like how these days you can check a box to have your braces airbrushed out of your high school yearbook photo. So in case you’ve been wondering what the Minneapolis skyline really looks like, here it is.