|Weisman Art Museum|
Minneapolis/St. Paul, known as the "Twin Cities," have the attributes of both a major urban center and a small town. The area has all of the cultural advantages of a city such as access to museums, theater, dance, music, art fairs, zoos, major league sports, as well as restaurants, nightclubs and neighborhood cafes. The two downtown areas, neighborhood retail districts, and the malls, especially the Mall of America, provide extraordinary shopping opportunities. The airport is the headquarters hub for a major airline, which facilitates both national and international travel. At the same time there is a small town atmosphere with farmers' markets, a minor league baseball team, and in late summer, the State Fair.
The Twin Cities are the headquarters of numerous Fortune 500 companies. St. Paul is the state capital, and the metropolitan area is the largest commercial center between Chicago and Seattle.
Minneapolis is called the "City of Lakes," Minnesota is the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" and Garrison Keillor hails from the fictional town of "Lake Wobegon." All this fresh water provides opportunities for swimming and boating in the summer, skating in the winter and fishing year round. The Twin Cities sprang up around natural wonders such as Minnehaha Falls and have integrated these landmarks into the extensive park system.
The Minneapolis Campus, where the Tate Laboratory of Physics is located, is divided in two by the Mississippi River and is connected by a pedestrian bridge. A casual summer's day stroll across this bridge gazing at the water, sandstone cliffs and barges is an experience that we take for granted.
Winter is the most widely known season in Minnesota, but embracing it is part of our shared culture, something we wear as a badge of honor. A local love of neighborhood hockey rinks, cross-country skiing and the St. Paul Winter Carnival help take the sting out of the season. There is downhill skiing within forty-five minutes of the campus, at a level that allows practice for skiing in the mountains. For those who prefer indoor activities, there is the indoor amusement park at the Mall of America, many local live theaters and the Minnesota Orchestra.
Student life offers a huge variety of choices from Big 10 and intra-mural sports to "hanging out" in coffee shops listening to local bands. That there's more to Minnesota than the stereotypical Midwest of the movie Fargo (which was filmed primarily in the area) is evident by walking around campus hearing students conversing in a cacophony of languages other than English. The campus also hosts one of the best international film festivals in the country each spring, and is the host for many lectures, concerts and dance performances during the year.