As a native of a small town in Wisconsin, I hadn't gotten much exposure to different cultures before I came to the Twin Cities. One of the reasons I came here was so that I could experience different cultures and ways of life through both direct and indirect means. I was pretty excited when I was told that I had to go to a place like the Midtown Market.
There was a sense of continual motion in the Market. The torrents of people, in addition to the various banners and flags hanging all over the place, created a flow that was hard to break away from. This flow of energy brought each person past the different cultures/booths at a pace slow enough for them to take them in as separate entities; however, the pace was also quick enough that each booth seemed to meld into the next, creating a continuity and a sense of unity within the entire complex. Once you step out of the flow of people the energy created by it is still evident. You can still hear the chatter of the individuals walking by, but it's a bit subdued as your concentration shifts to each individual booth. You feel separated from, yet connected to, the people outside.
The general atmosphere in the Market was one of unity and friendship. Everyone that I encountered was cheerful and friendly. Everyone was open to the experience and the people involved. Friendly chatter filled the air and music drifted in and out of the booths.
The vibrant colors made me wish I had brought a sketchbook or a camera along.
I also wish that I would have brought more money so that I could have sampled more of the foods and wares offered at the Market.
I look forward to going there again some time in the future.