~20~ Blogger Behind The Screen (Part 2)

A few weeks ago, I started to interject some posts about me amidst the crafting posts. If you missed Part 1, you can find it HERE.

Lake Harriet & the Bandshell
As you might remember from my first "Blogger behind the screen" post, I grew up in Minneapolis, MN.  And when I say that, I really and truly mean the city of Minneapolis, and not a suburb (like Edina, Fridley, Chaska, Burnsville, Woodbury).   I may be a little bit biased, but I honestly think that Minneapolis is one of the best cities to live in.  I love everything about it: the lakes, the parks, the lakes, the restaurants, the lakes, the theater and the arts, oh-and did I mention the lakes?  Some of my fondest memories growing up occurred at or around the lakes.  The house that I grew up in was only about a mile from Lake Harriet and every summer, my dad and I would go for bike rides around the lake together.  Summers were also spent down at the lake where we'd go swimming, visit the gnome who lived in the tree by the outhouses-leave him a letter and come back a few weeks later to see if he'd written back, buy ice cream cones at the bandshell and listen to live, free concerts.  And of course, we'd ride the trolley, one of the old historical street cars that would run throughout Minneapolis back in the day.  When Jake and I got engaged and were planning our wedding, I knew that I wanted to make Lake Harriet a part of our day-and be able to show our out-of-town friends why I love my hometown so much.  As it would happen, some of my favorite pictures from our wedding were taken at the lake.
Wedding Party Picture on the Trolley

Aside from the lakes and the great parks that Minneapolis has to offer, they also have a great art scene.  Love and support for the arts is very evident in Minneapolis culture, and I'm extremely grateful to have been exposed to and influenced by this!  In Minneapolis, public schools are organized by magnets in which each school specializes in a certain educational philosophy or program.  From kindergarten through 3rd grade, I attended an International Fine Arts magnet school, that emphasized language, music, dance, and theater.  Starting in 1st grade, all students are required to learn how to play a stringed instrument.  My instrument of choice: the violin. (weird, an Asian playing the violin, I know).  This little nuance of the school however, led me to continue playing the violin into my adult life.  Shortly after I started playing the violin at school, my parents enrolled me in private lessons, which led me to play in a city-wide, reputable orchestra, to receiving a music scholarship in college, and now playing as a member of an amateur adult orchestra in Iowa.   In addition to playing the violin, I also dabbled in piano, ballet, and was given a lot of exposure to great theater.  In high school, a city-wide program gave me the opportunity to attend several high quality, professional play performances at well known theater companies such as The Guthrie Theater, Theater in the Round, and The Jungle Theater for free with family and friends.  I honestly believe that had I not grown up in Minneapolis, I would not have the fortitude and fondness for arts that I do today.

Minneapolis is such a beautiful city that offers so much to anyone and everyone.  It is so much more than just the Mall of America, funny accents, and cold winters.  Minneapolis boasts diversity, Minnesota nice, architecture, a large business hub (did you know we're home to Target, Best Buy, 3M, General Mills, Gold Medal Flour, Kelloggs, and several other HUGE national companies??), and of course, we cannot forget, stunning nature.  Minneapolis is home.  It always has been and always will be for me.  One of my absolute favorite things is when I drive home from IA and come up over the hill on I-35 and see downtown Minneapolis all lit up.  It's then that I know I'm home.

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