Minnesota, I’m Coming Home!

Around ManilaForeign Service Life
May 13, 2011

I’m less than 3 weeks from returning to my beloved homeland and man oh man is . . . MINNESOTA ON MY MIND!  Bring on the cabin and Caribou and changing temps and State Fair and lawn games and strawberries and sunset at 9 PM and breakfast boat rides and (I could go on forever, but I won’t).

And since I’ve got Minnesota on my mind non-stop, I see no reason why you shouldn’t either!  Here’s a little ode to Minneapolis/St. Paul that City Pages did.  I’ve highlighted my favorites.  Feel free to let me know yours in the comments!

The Top 50 Reasons to Love Minneapolis/St. Paul

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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  1. Erin says:

    Tough choices, but I’m going to have to go with #46. Enjoy MN for me!!!

  2. Chris says:

    I have visited Minnesota numerous times – different places each time, but loved them all. Definitely a great place to be from and to be going back to! Have fun during your time home – you deserve it! XO

  3. alex says:

    I’m always impressed by how much pride every single person I’ve ever met from MN has in their home state! I think on Texas can compete.

  4. Sarah Novak says:

    It’s true. We’re slightly obsessed. My husband thinks it’s ridiculous! :)

  5. Katrina Buetow says:

    My favorite is #24-totally made me LOL at my desk at work. Everyone must think I am weird now =;)

  6. Caroline says:

    This list is my new favorite thing.

  7. Sarah Novak says:

    Yeehaw! Glad you liked it… :)

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