Northern Spark 2013 is just around the corner. Here's my advice for getting the most out of it.
- Have a smart phone (or bring a friend that does).
- Make sure said phone is fully changed that evening. If you, like me, usually charge your phone overnight, you'll have to plan ahead.
- On said smart phone install the Northern Spark Phone App.
- On said smart phone install Voxer, Glympse, or some other app that allows you to easily share you location with other people. Odds you and your friends will want to split up to get food, go to the bathroom, look at different exhibits, whatever. You will spend way too much time talking on the phone or sending SMSs saying things like "where are you?", "we are at such and such an intersection, you know, in the middle of a crowd of people","I don't see you", "I'm waving my hands", etc. Waist of time. Just make sure your phone is charged though, if your phone dies after you've been out for one hour, what's the point.
- Bring cash for food. There will be food trucks.
- Biking is a good way to get around. I recommend `NiceRide <https://www.niceridemn.org>`__ bikes, even if you have a bike of your own, this way you do not have to worry about locking it up. It does limit you a little to riding from station to station but most of the art has a Nice Ride station near by. If you're going the NiceRide route, make sure your smart phone also has the Spotcyle app on it. And just a reminder, try to ride straight from station to station with out a lot of logy gagging, so you do not get charged extra and the bikes are available for everyone.
As an aside, this year it's only in "Lower Town" in St. Paul for some reason. What's up with that? I don't really have anything against St. Paul, but I don't live there, and it is not going to be as simple as hopping on a Nice Ride and biking for 5 minutes. I'm still going to go, but Northern Spark with out the Walker, MIA or Stone Arch Bridge? Really? Seems like a bad idea to me. Also, it looks like it's all in one place, lame, part of the fun was traveling from place to place. If the turn out is anything like the past there are going to be way too many people.