50 Reasons to love Minneapolis/St. Paul

Categories: How We Live
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Photo: Chris Yunker
It's everywhere you want to be.
Remember that snow storm last weekend? The one where you got towed because you didn't obey the snow parking rules while you were inside watching the Vikings get hammered by the Bears, all while nursing a Surly-induced hangover and trying to figure out how to pay the rent? Yeah, that weekend.

Notice how you didn't freak out and buy a one-way ticket to San Diego or Austin or San Fran the next day? That's right. That's because you like it here. It's time to admit you're kinda into that fresh snow around the lake; the barrista knowing your name; the way your bike tires hiss through the puddles; those free nights at the Walker, and how the Twins came so (so) close this year.

As winter settles in, we thought we'd list 50 reasons why we love it here, too. You know, to look back on when it's -55 below and we all need a little pep talk.


Check it out and add your own:

1. Craig Kilborn, Bob Dylan, Judy Garland, Winona Ryder, and the guy who started Pitchfork all left, so we have the place practically to ourselves.
 
2. You can hide your neglected, doughy body in comfy clothes for 75% of the year.

3. Comfort food. Comfort food. Comfort food.

4. The rest of America watches Vikings games every Sunday and it's not their home team.
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Photo: plesserchick
Winter: It'll either make you stronger or kill you. Your choice.


5. We're the most literate people in the United States, making it a great place to be a geek.

6. We take advantage of summer like the last tipsy hot girl (or guy) at the bar ... at closing time... at a singles meeting... on Valentine's night.

7. We invented Sarah Palin's accent.

8. We have sidewalks in the sky.

9. Scandinavian roommates (you can get away with murder).

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Makes us want to finger our cell phones.
10. A Prince sighting is still exciting enough to get everyone in the club pawing for their cell
phones, and they happen more than you'd think.

11. Cheap rent + supportive community = never-ending supply of fresh arts.

12. The most theater seats per capita in the country.

13. Bona fide mom and pop record stores still exist here.

14. Neil Gaiman, The Coen Brothers and Josh Hartnett are sort-of local.
 
15. Most of us collectively hate Block E and want to ship Michele Bachmann to Guam immediately. 

16. Winter makes us strong.

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Photo: Rob Nelson
Come on. You knew it was going to be in here somewhere.
17. Two words: Scott Seekins.

18. Mall of America is NBD (but darn it if we don't love that IKEA).  

19. Vintage and thrift stores abound.

20. If you get pulled over in Wisconsin (which really isn't an "if"), you drive away with the consolation that at least you live in the Twin Cities, thank god.

21. Minneapolis mayor RT Rybak can be seen riding a Nice Ride through the downtown city streets on a summer day.

22. However passive-aggressive Minnesota Nice may be, it remains, nonetheless, passive.

23. Every goddamn band on the planet stops here on their way to Chicago, and you can see them in tiny venues.

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Photo: bluwmongoose
File under "S" for salad.
24. Recipes that call for Jell-O and mini-marshmallows are filed under "S" for salad.

25. Surly, named Beer Advocate's "Best Brewery in America" makes beer just for us.

26.  You're never more than a block and a half away from coffee shops and a healthy array of cafes that don't actually serve you your food--but still expect tips.

27. Not paying to ride the lightrail.

28. We celebrate May Day with a parade of giant puppets.

29. We have a thriving independent comic book community.

30. Target Field is the nation's greenest stadium.

31. After 25 years of near extinction, river otters have returned to the Mississippi River in downtown Minneapolis.

32. There are more than a few people here who are crazy enough to bike all year round, something that will never cease to terrify and amaze us.

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Photo: beret claire
It really is the greatest ballpark in the country.
33. We might drive aimlessly like we have nowhere to go in our cars, but biking is another story. Screw that "on your left" business and watch the eff out.

34. Because of a rivarly with Wisconsin, all serial killers stay on their side of the border.

35. Dive bars are more hip than posh bars, and you can get drunk in the middle of the day and use the fact that it's 30-below-zero as an excuse.

36. We've definitely become a foodie town, but that doesn't mean we won't find some fancy way to serve you tater tots. 

37. You know at least ten people who work at Target or Best Buy, which means job security ain't no thang.

38. There is no cozier feeling than sipping a hot drink safely inside during a snowstorm.

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Photo: aturkus
Just one of 10,000, and looking pretty good.
39. Birthplace of the Juicy Lucy.

40. The Mighty Ducks 1 and maybe parts of 2.

41. We're home of the original zombie pub crawl.

42. Mark Wheat, Mary Lucia and 89.3 The Current. 

43. Our state fair is one of the highest attended fairs in the nation.

44. We've been to the set of Purple Rain countless times and totally get the Lake Minnetonka reference.

45. 10,000 lakes and at least four are in Minneapolis proper, making urban lake swimming a fundamental human right.

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Times change. People move along.
46.  St. Paul is the only 9-to-5 metropolis in the nation while Minneapolis stays open late, meaning the Twin Cities is like an awesome giant mullet: Business in the front, party in the back. 

47. The Walker Art Center is considered a heavy-hitter nationally on the modern art scene.

48. National music mags recognize that there is/was such a thing as "the Minneapolis sound".    

49. The Grainbelt Beer sign.

50. Our Senator used to be on Saturday Night Live.


Any we missed? Let us know below (as you usually do, which is just one more thing we mostly love about Minneapolis/St. Paul: While we're diplomatic to your face, we'll definitely give you an earful online).

Love,
CP
 
My Voice Nation Help
106 comments
Rik
Rik

Mystery Science Theater 3000! come on now

Crystal Starr
Crystal Starr

Nothing like it. My home forever and always. Who knew you could have such a strong bond with a city. Minneapolis is the best city in the US! New York City comes in 2nd place. 

<3<3<3<3<3

Osugopack
Osugopack

Atmosphere, Dinkytown, Caboozes, BuckHill.Joint automobile delodging (pushin cars outta snow), Cannon River.

wilvo
wilvo

come on, what's with the wisconsin hate? at least we're not illinois.

luke
luke

i thought of another one.the fact that the outdoors can keep my beer cold 8 months a year.

JJ
JJ

Relax people, it's a list contrived to amuse the masses...not the National Anthem.

L
L

Reasons 1-50:HOCKEY.

Tom
Tom

Home to 1,000,000 bands. I just moved to Austin TX and the music here is great but the local scene can't hold a candle to MPLS. Nothing like it.

KtK
KtK

I second the Minnesota Fringe Festival! And the thriving art/theater/storytelling communities.

HB in Mpls
HB in Mpls

Re: #12 - I thought we were 2nd in the country, after NYC. Which is still really good, for a city of our size.

On a related note, I'm surprised that the MN Fringe Festival wasn't mentioned. We do have one of the largest and most well-attended in the nation. Every year, it brings so much excitement and creative energy to the Twin Cities.

I also vote for Summit beer and cheese curds.

The Noerater
The Noerater

-The only urban cross country ski race in the world.

-One of the cleanest (major) cities in the world for air quality.

-#1 in life expectancy

-Best bicycling city in the country (sorry Portland)

Andrew
Andrew

The proper spelling is "Jucy" Lucy... per Matt's or 5-8.

Kris10
Kris10

We have a huge indoor rock climbing gym and are within an hour of three great outdoor rock climbing crags. PLUS, we can find good vertical ice for ice climbing in the winters without even leaving the city.

Carrie
Carrie

The MN park standard! No one should be more than 6 blocks from a park.

bigblue
bigblue

Ok so riding the light rail for free is a totally crap thing to do.... but let's be honest, it was pretty dumb to design it that way or to not have people working there to ensure people are paying! The reality is some people will just take what they can get.

And #6 seriously uncool

Michael
Michael

100. How crystal clear the air becomes when the temperature reaches ten below - watching the steam rise from chimneys in rows of white pillars, or seeing the dome of the Cathedral from I-94/35E passing downtown St. Paul

UGH
UGH

#27. Not paying to ride the lightrail.

Are you serious?

Gabe Hargrove
Gabe Hargrove

Being a Minnesota native (and proud of it) who re-located to Seattle almost 4 years ago I must point out:*Really, Nobody mentioned the BWCAW? What about the Lake Superior's North Shore, and the fact you actually have a town called "Castle Danger"?*There's actually a whole crap-load more than 10,000 lakes*Paul Wellstone, hello!*Psycho Suzis*331 Club*The Matchbox (for those of you non-native to Minneapolis, a co-op coffee shop, about the size of a big Matchbox that offers Totinoes Party Pizzas on the menu)*Some of the all around highest rated Sate Parks in the Country*You use to have 'The Uptown Bar and Grill'..(what happened with that anyway?)*and of course 89.3, The Current; almost the best radio station in the country 2nd only to KEXP in Seattle, which in part is hosted by Kevin Cole - originally from Minneapolis.*You've got the World's largest ball of twine, for real; who can contend with that?*And lastly, The City Pages!

Givelight2012
Givelight2012

 Uptown bar was closed down sadly but around the same time Cause on Lake and Lyndale opened which offers basically the same, great live music nightly, hung hip atmosphere.  Even the same doorman with the big beard and bald head.

D Nice
D Nice

#27 - RIding the LRT for free?!?! You are the biggest douche and the reason public transit is as expensive as it is. I cannot wait until you get your $180 fine. City Pages FAIL

SB
SB

"2. You can hide your neglected, doughy body in comfy clothes for 75% of the year." Please don't assume that all Minnesotans have doughy bodies, I sure don't and I know a lot of people that don't. Minnesota is actually quite a healthy state. I can't stand this stereotype. Say pale skin if you want to emphasize the body hidden for 75% of the year, but even then who cares.

L Winsor
L Winsor

You can walk / bike for miles through historic neighborhoods in Saint Paul and not see a freeway.

Jean
Jean

Hubert H. Humphrey, Walter Mondale, Flippin Bill the Chicken in Delano, all the wonderful Minnesota State Parks, the North Shore, Lake Superior, Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Green Giant, the State tournaments for hcokey, basketball, wrestling, football, tennis, volleyball, soccer, baseball, etc. and all the games leading up to them - sports at it's best, the Missippi River from where it starts in Isanti STate Park and all along the way to the sourtheastern tip of the state, Paul Bunyan and Babe, the Blue Ox, International Falls - the freezbox of the nation, towns named Fertile and Climax. We have it all!

Abbey
Abbey

Ren Fest!

and Paul Wellstone (RIP)

Tricia
Tricia

"27. Not paying to ride the lightrail."

Hey. Stop that. You bring the ridership numbers down and play into the transit-hating suburbanites' hands.

matt
matt

the american birthplace of the pedalpub!

Kyle K.
Kyle K.

I'm a former Minneapolitan living in one of the country's other best cities (ATx!) but pine for:(72) The Symphony. World class, regular performances, and still quite cheap. Get seats in the first three rows sometime.(73) Psycho Suzie's.(74) King & I Thai (best Thai in the US, methinks.)(75) Not only the lightrail, but the fact that it goes to such convenient places... connecting the ballpark with downtown with the airport with the Mall of America! Austin has a lightrail, but it only runs from downtown Austin to northwest suburbs -- no attractions, shopping, etc., on the route. And it only runs during commuting hours. And they have unprotected intersections with cars. Humph.(76) Despite the fact that it's so cold, Austin is a healthy city. (77) SUMMIT BREWERY! SURLY, TOO! Surly is tremendous, and to have Summit as your "go-to beer" in most places knocks just about every other city away.(78) "The Amazing Case" run by the Thrifty Hipster and Summit.(79) The way your breath feels early in the morning on a January day.(80) A repeat -- the State Fair. While I have a soft spot in my heart for the Iowa State Fair, MN is WAAAAAY better than Texas. Texas's is only big because it's a month long. All it is, really, is an auto show, the Cotton Bowl, and a bunch of fried food vendors. Much smaller, WAY fewer activities.

Stephen
Stephen

I can't believe no one has mentioned not the theatre seats but the theatres themselves! Guthrie & Children's - world famous. Dudley Riggs- one of first improv comedy locales. Chanhassen - biggest dinner theatre in the country. The hundreds of small theatres, each with its own identity. The overall variety and quality of art available 6 days a week in this community!

Susan Woehrle
Susan Woehrle

Not a fan of #6. "Take advantage" implies non-consensual sex, which isn't funny to me, or my friend who got date-raped while drunk. Yeah, I went there.

Allfathersdotter
Allfathersdotter

#68 The WEST BANK!!!

#69 Hard Times Cafe > been a strong hold for hobo philosophers, random and intelligent discussion, double-chess tournaments and badassery for decades.

#70 An interesting strong cultural center, in the middle of the Mid West. 2nd largest Tibetan population in the Us, Largest Hmong population, 2nd or 1st Somali population and a huge Latino population! -- all means amazing cultural events, arts and food!

Tony
Tony

"-55 below"? Wouldn't that make it 55 above?

Cathy Camper
Cathy Camper

SEED ART!!!!!!We invented it, we make it, and no one else in the country knows what the @$#%$ it is!

Chris
Chris

The place in the country where the slow traffic lane is the left lane. And is it full of drivers. Ingnorant. Oblivious. Slow Drivers.

Oh wait, that could be for a different list....

James
James

I moved to Boston but kept my biking ways. Needless to say, it's scary as hell. Thanks, MPLS, for being so biker friendly.

Bobby J
Bobby J

Ummm....hello....PIZZA LUCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Angie
Angie

Where's the love for David Campbell? The best DJ on the Current. Eh hem...

Fez
Fez

Tay Zonday

Shopgirl
Shopgirl

The 1st mall ever! Southdale!

Mplsgirl
Mplsgirl

Additional things I love about the MSP:-Lake Street-Midtown Global Market-The River -Mhaha Falls-Midtown Global Market-University of Minnesota-The MPLS Central Library-Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction Bookstore-Electric Fetus-Varsity Theater-Birchwood Cafe-Lee's Liquor Lounge-Hidden Falls Park-And agreed, LRT, Nice Ride, local music, the Fair and Mary Effin Lucia

AO
AO

I've lived in another state for a few years now, and the things I always miss are:- The lakes- The parks- Punch Pizza - Coffee shops that are actually studying-friendly and open late. - Minnesota summers- Local music- Bike-friendly. Other states are NOT as biker friendly.

SB
SB

HOCKEY! Why has no one listed hockey!? Minnesota is called "The State of Hockey."

Tom
Tom

Como Park

A
A

Add to the state fair one "Also anything you've ever wanted (or not wanted) on a stick. And deep fried"

ken-dog
ken-dog

The Loft. The most beautiful urban marathon in the US. High school hockey tournament at the X (w/ a blizzard). Equidistant to Chicago & BWCA. 3rd largest Pride event in US. Annually ranked near (if not the) top in the nation for urban areas for healthcare, fitness, education, arts, quality of life. Largest Somali & Hmong populations outside of native land. Lived here 17 yrs & still liking it.

SG
SG

#27 - Not funny but stupid.

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