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‘Passion for the Hole’: The Uptown Sinkhole Has Become a Social Hotspot

A gaping Minneapolis sinkhole emerged over the weekend. It's already bringing gawkers and partyers together.

Jessica Armbruster|


“We have it all here: We have lakes; we have the Greenway; we have sinkholes,” a man proclaims to the group that has gathered at 27th & Girard.

It’s Wednesday night and people are out and about, making the most of the suddenly summer-like weather. About a dozen folks are hanging out at Uptown’s new hotspot. It’s not a club, bar, or restaurant. It’s a sinkhole, and it’s bringing people together. 

“Monday night I came out here and there were people just hanging out in the pit,” explains Jack, who lives in the area and is celebrating his birthday with a stroll by the hole. “Like, 30 people were just hanging out and taking pictures. It’s like that shopping cart on top of the snow pile.”

It’s not quite as crowded on Wednesday, but there’s definitely a steady stream of people stopping by, taking selfies with the eight-foot-deep pit and sharing stories of faraway sinkholes in places like Florida and Texas that managed to consume cars, houses, and, terrifyingly, people.

The Uptown sinkhole isn't ravenous, though it is growing. In order to address the pipe that’s causing the street to cave in, construction crews had to rip up even more asphalt. The intersection has been barricaded off in all four directions, creating space for sinkhole fans to assemble.

“It’s so much bigger than it was on Monday!” a woman exclaims as she peers over the edge. Ann walks by the sinkhole every day on her way to yoga. Today she’s brought her husband, who is solemnly taking pics with his camera phone. 

“We got a sinkhole. Might as well have a couple of beers and go see it,” says Mike, who’s from the neighborhood. “I’m just here to see what’s going on.” 

Later that night...

Another couple arrives, holding hands. “Just passion for the hole,” she tells me when I ask what brought her here. “It’s a special place.” 

While many visit the sinkhole because they’re drunk and curious, it’s also a family destination. John, for example, brought his daughter and son to the site earlier this week on their day off from school. 

“We decided to swing by and check out the sinkhole as it’s only three blocks from our house,” he says. “Once the kids saw it, they had tons of questions: ‘Did a car fall in?’ ‘How did it get there?’ ‘Is that going to happen on our street?’... I told them that our block was probably safe, since all last summer the street was torn up to repair the pipes. They seemed to like it and were happy to have their picture taken with it.”

Not everyone who visits the hole seeks it out, however. Some come upon it by chance. “What the hell?” a woman in scrubs carrying groceries exclaims. “What is this?” The group of friends, neighbors, and strangers welcome her to the sinkhole. She peers in, shakes her head, and is quickly on her way.

Like Mount Eden Prairie or Lake Chipotle before it, the sinkhole is not long for this world. It might take two weeks to repair, Minneapolis Council Member Aisha Chughtai reported Monday. But the memories of it will remain, if not in our minds at least in our hearts. Be sure to visit the hole while you still can.

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