It's over. We're still waiting for barricades and ice castles to come down, streets and parking lots to reopen and what's left of the snow to get hauled off Nicollet Mall. For the most part, however, it's done.

We either nailed it or fumbled it — the pundits surely will let us know. But why wait for them? How was Minnesota's Super Bowl experience?

Well, for starters, it was a thrill to see our streets come alive, not just in winter, but during a subzero week in February. We loved the smiling, blue-jacketed Crew 52 and having our cities awash in the color purple. Of course, having J.T. all over town didn't hurt. (Word is he dined at Manny's and Meritage. We'd like him to stay for Murray's, Mucci's and Monello, then work his way through our alphabet of restaurants.)

But there are things we're more than ready to say buh-bye to, including the interminable traffic jams, footballfootballfootball, bus rerouting roulette and having to pretend like we weren't still sulking over the Vikings' crushing loss — not to mention our previous Super Bowl experiences.

Hosting the Big Game was exciting, no doubt, but it also was disruptive. As a people, we Minnesotans like our routine. But even we recognize the Super Bowl brought us some things we'd like to hang on to. Of course, there are a few things we'd be more than willing to let go of. Here are our top picks and pans.


City kitties: Let the Kitten Bowl stay in the Dayton's Project permanently (even if health inspectors have to look the other way when it becomes a food hall).

The snow bridge: Borrowing the 200-foot-long bridge from the American Birkebeiner and plopping it on the Nicollet Mall was a crazy idea — that worked.

Sip and stroll: Being able to sip an adult beverage while walking down Nicollet Mall brought a little bit of New Orleans to Minneapolis. Laissez les bon temps rouler in L'Étoile du Nord!

The zipline: London has its Ferris wheel. St. Louis has its Arch. Minneapolis should have its Bold North Zipline. Tiptoeing across the trickle that is the Mississippi in Itasca State Park is sweet, but ziplining high over the mighty river? Now, that's a rush.

Those cheery skyway guides: Dressed in easy-to-spot blue and plum, holding maps and eager to assist, they could help locals who have worked downtown for decades but still get lost trying to find Target.


Being on good behavior: Yeah, we're a little bit passive-aggressive. Yeah, this is the way we merge on highways. So what?

Our smug obsession with the cold: The false bravado of smirking "Cold enough for ya?" is wearing thin.

Celebrity sightings: If we were into movie stars, we'd live on the West Coast. Besides, how can you tell who's who when everyone has wool scarves wrapped up to their eyebrows?

Crowds of lost tourists: This is what it must be like to be a Parisian. Too bad we can't pretend we don't speak English.

Philadelphia football fans: Enough said.

Military Minneapolis: Thanks for your help, but we no longer need members of the National Guard toting automatic rifles, wearing combat fatigues and driving Humvees on the mall.