The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

My Bittersweet Ode to MetroTransit

By Emily Smith

First years, in case you haven’t figured this out yet, I want to be the first to tell you: get the hell off campus.

Macalester may be wonderful, but having adventures in the Twin Cities improves your mental health and sex appeal.

I’ll be the first to admit that the buses can be a total pain. I’ve gotten myself completely lost in downtown-ish parts of Minneapolis. I routinely trudge down Snelling from University late at night after concerts because the 84 stops running at a geriatric’s bedtime. I’ve also had run-ins with the creepy half-crazy men who slump into nearby seats and stare at what would be my breasts if they weren’t buried under three sweaters and a coat.

As an Atlanta native, Minneapolis’s crime rates have never intimidated me. My roommate, a New Yorker, felt the same way until, clad in a red sweatshirt and lost somewhere along a bus route, she asked a man for directions.

His response was, “You should be careful. Red is a gang color around here.”

I was once told by a stranger that I resembled her dead boyfriend’s daughter.

Last spring, a man interrupted my friend and me to tell us that if the United States doesn’t deport all of its illegal immigrants right away, they’ll “start a civil war against us.”

We were so confused by his logic that we didn’t even know what to say when he started spouting racist criticism of the Twin Cities’ Somalian population.

All that being said, you shouldn’t be afraid to take the buses. It’s always less convenient than driving, but the 84 and 63 buses are Macalester students’ gateways to the liberation and fresh air of off-campus life.

Take advantage of the Saturdays that you either have little homework or simply don’t feel like doing it. Stop by the Info Desk for a discounted bus pass and take yourself out on the town.

Here are some adventures to start with:

Downtown Minneapolis: You can catch the 84H by the Campus Center and get on the Light Rail at the 46th Street Station, but I prefer to catch the 84 in front of Fed Ex/Kinko’s, get off at St. Anthony, and cross Snelling to catch the 94 Express. It costs a whole 50 cents more, but it’s definitely the fastest way to get downtown.

Uptown: Catch the 84 in front of Fed Ex/Kinko’s. Get off at Carroll, dash across Snelling, and catch the 21. It takes forever but it’s easy; you can’t miss the stop because the Uptown station is the end of the route. A bonus: the 21 runs pretty late at night, so if you feel like catching an indie movie at the Lagoon Theater, you won’t be stranded there.

Mall of America: MOA is a total waste of resources. The blind consumerism of the hordes of people that fill it makes me sick. The roller coasters in the middle are obnoxious. The stores are exactly the same as the chain stores that you can find in any smaller and more manageable mall. Nevertheless, visitors always want to see it and there’s no other place to buy cheap, trendy clothes at H&M. You can take the 84 to the Light Rail, but it’s quicker to take the 84D to the 54. Just get off at the shopping center with a SuperValu store and catch the 54 at the exact same stop.

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