Minneapolis Warehouse District: At one time the Minneapolis Warehouse District consisted of commercial and industrial warehouses that played an important role in shipping along the Mississippi River. Today the warehouse district has been extensively remodeled into clubs, restaurants, and theaters and is a nice destination for a night out on the town. Above street level many of the warehouse buildings have been converted into lofts or condominiums, so the area can also be a nice place to live.
There is no “Morpheus Nightclub” in the warehouse district and there never was, but the club described in the novel is based on an amalgam of various nightclubs and restaurants in the area occupying buildings that were once commercial or industrial. I envisioned it as a smaller, shorter warehouse of perhaps two or three storeys just because the club fills the entire building and there are no condominiums or lofts built above it.
Como Park Neighborhood, Saint Paul: The Como Park neighborhood in Saint Paul is where Michael lives. Como is an older park that dates back to the early days of the city, the land having been purchased in 1873. The park was originally connected to both Minneapolis and Saint Paul by streetcar lines. One of its most striking landmarks is the large glass conservatory shown here.
The reason that I selected the Como Park neighborhood for Michael’s home is that while it is one of the more upscale neighborhoods in Saint Paul, for the most part it is not a neighborhood filled with mansions and old money. Michael is an IT professional and a very successful one, but he is not independently wealthy like most of the other Guild members. Como also has a lot of appeal for someone used to thinking in terms of systems analysis. It has nice green space, things to do, and a lot of natural beauty, but at the same time is only a few miles north of downtown Saint Paul so the commute is short for anyone like Michael who works in the city.