Sushi, new phone, Skyway Tour app, crap weather – Days 2 & 3 – Two weeks in the Minneapolis Skyway

If this is your first “Two weeks in the Skyway” post, you might like to start here.

A nice walk: Day 2 of my Skyway confinement was largely spent holed up in my condo, cranking out some looming work and reacquainting myself with the stationary bike that’s been occasionally getting my heart-rate above 80 this winter. I took a stroll after 7pm though, when the Skyway goes into its eerie Twilight Zone-esque emptiness and silence. I actually love this part of the day, because all the dithering idjits that are fixtures during business hours, blocking high traffic intersections of the Skyway while talking to friends or struggling to make their phones do something pointless, have all gone home and I can walk at an even pace, in a straight line without a care in the world.

I took this opportunity to get thoroughly lost in the North Star and One Financial buildings, sections of Skyway I’ve never explored. I tell ya, there’s food courts in some really unexpected places.

Skyway sushi: On Wednesday I was far more active. Now one wouldn’t instinctively get excited about sushi when one lives in Minneapolis, approximately 157,846 miles (or 427,484,836 kilometers) from the nearest tuna spawning grounds. And one would be well advised to question any form of food that’s served in the many lackluster Skyway fast food joints, which, for the most part, are barely edible versions of the stuff you’d send back to the kitchen if it was served to you in a restaurant. So when the words ‘Skyway’ and ‘sushi’ appear side-by-side, one would not be blamed for throwing up a bit in their mouth.

Well, I’m happy to say Sushi Do in the Baker Building, where I had lunch yesterday, is perfectly passable and their dishes are fairly priced. The spicy tuna/California roll combo ($7.75) was very satisfying and the cabaret-caliber people watching from their precious few stools is priceless. I’ll be going back.

Smartphone shopping: As I mentioned previously, my search for the perfect smartphone has limped on for something like three months. Seriously. With the quality of life of my ancient Blackberry Curve bottoming out, I finally pulled the trigger yesterday, walking purposefully into the T-Mobile shop in the IDS, pointing at the Google G2 Android phone and confidently saying “That one? I think? What do you think?”

Twenty hours later, I’m still not sure I bought the right phone. While the G2 does things that would have caused the 2001 me to wet myself lavishly, there’s a bunch of what I consider to be minor, requisite tweaks and personalized settings that the G2 seemingly doesn’t have. Or I’m too dumb to figure out how to access the 17th sub-menu that allows me to change them. I’m still in the trial and error period. If I don’t answer your call or email in the next few weeks it’s because G2 and I decided to have a trial separation period and go live with our parents.

And while the IDS T-Mobile shop employs several very helpful, charming people, the overwhelming majority of the staff either doesn’t give two shits about the best interests of the customers or, in a few cases, are simply full-on asshats. I saw not one, not two, but THREE altercations between staff and customers yesterday that actually make me, Captain Cantankerous, look like a compassionate, sparkling, customer service wizard.

Skyway tour app: In the afternoon, I met with Ed Smelser, the designer of the Twin Cities Skyway Tour app. The Minneapolis app is already done and for sale (iPhone and Android phones only), with St Paul and Duluth Skyway apps coming soon. Ed demonstrated the app’s Skyway map for me, which currently has 21 tour stops where users can punch up informational/historical videos. The videos are very well researched, enlightening and intermittently witty. In the near future, added functionality will include “plain English” directions, like a proper GPS device in your car, audibly directing users to their destination through the Skyway with nary a wrong turn. For the time being, the GPS function does not work on Android phones.

Crap weather: I privately decided not to gloat about all the crap weather I’m dodging during my two week Skyway confinement, but holy hell, have you seen the forecast? The wind-chill in the Twin Cities is supposed to get near -30 tonight and into tomorrow. Who’s the goofball now, huh?

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Two weeks in the Skyway | 20.01.2011 11:11 | 2 Comments

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