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Issue Seven / Essay
“This is a place where we feel at ease to gather and explore, to relax and play”

Life on the Lakes

Words & styling by Jill Livingston Photographs by Ashley Camper

Every urban center needs a place to escape to: Minneapolis loves to relax and meet at its Chain of Lakes, which offers a place to walk trails, pick fruit or go boating. 

Amid the dynamic energy of a modern city, the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes remains a quiet and verdant core. This is a place where we feel at ease to gather and explore, to relax and play. Lakeside and water trails are an engaging alternative to concrete paths and roads. Boats are platforms from which to dive and swim far from the shoreline. The middle of the lakes offer a unique vantage point from which to view the growing city. Young couples push off at dusk to drift off into the darkness alone on their crafts and in the night. Life on the lakes is one of novelty and freedom, and Minneapolitans embrace it.

In the earliest days of spring, we are eager to come together once again on the water. With woolen blankets and Thermoses full to fight off the spring dawn chill, we portage our canoes from car roof to shoreline. A short paddle brings our flotilla to a favorite spot along a canal where we anchor and enjoy the first fruits of the season. Wild mushrooms and ramps give a distinctly earthly tone to quiche, and rhubarb jam brightens brioche. We have been here before but each time feels exciting and new. Even the simplest acts of life experienced on the lakes makes each movement more acute and each moment sweeter.

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