What I Learned in Subzero Minneapolis

Sometimes, dead hydrangeas provide the only color in a frigid landscape.

DEC 2014: Over this past month, I spent a significant amount of time in Minneapolis. Also known as the Northernmost large city in the US, Minneapolis has a rich history of flour mills, great architecture, and is supposed to be a great hub for younger folks to live.

My experience, unfortunately, was a bit derailed when I realized my friend, a reporter for the Star Tribune, had totaled her car while reading and driving (don’t even ask).

Hence, I ask my readers’ forgiveness, firsthand, about why this list may sound a bit trite, but when it’s subzero temperatures outside, this little midget goes into hibernation and sun-deprived states of depression. Regardless, my wider network from high school have been pushing me to see the best of Minneapolis.

So I bring back to you what I have found out. 

1. This city is crap without a car. I mean it. Don’t even try.

2. I understand now, why I have never attempted to move to Canada, or Chicago, or for that matter, Minneapolis (read: your nose, if it starts running, will freeze)

3. Midwestern people are less racist than you may have feared.

4. And yet, some of them are STILL narrow-minded beyond shocking belief. You will be shocked by how few of them own a passport, and still wonder about why the world at large despises the stereotypical American narrow-mindedness.

5. Minneapolis should start importing their craft beer and stamp out the Bud-heavy scene that gives the US a bad rep globally, as producers of global standard alcohol. Really, the beer here is amazing.

6. Never assume that money cannot land you in positions of power. After all, you have no limits to your personal campaign trail spending. First you have the multimillion dollar shopping chain Target. Then you become State Governer Dayton. All sorts of democracy, always supporting the wealthy.

7. I will never complain about the cold anywhere else in the world again.

8. This city’s got awesome Vietnamese pho. Try Pho 79 if you’re stuck.

9. And some amazing museums and architecture. I loved my encounter with the guards at the Minneapolis Institute for the Arts, who insisted I should get a free entry to the current Italian Fashion Since 1945 show, which runs until the end of the month. Regardless of the day or the time though, a visit to both the Walker Art Center and the MIA will put your mind at ease about the sterile landscape of the bar scene in Minneapolis.

10. If you think that you’re suddenly being forced into too much non-“ethnic” grub as a part of your daily cuisine, you will find that Minneapolis, unlike North Dakota, Nebraska, or other such places, actually does have a great series of Asian, Latino, and European grub (because some of us do have a limit for burgers and fries, and cannot stomach trashy fast food without getting sick).

11. Some Americans take their heritage of being from somewhere outside of the States VERY seriously, but fail to follow through with figuring out what this heritage means. Let’s get something straight, folks: If you’re 10th generation German but don’t own a passport and have never stepped outside of the States, you’re AMERICAN, NOT German.

12. I now have a deep undying appreciation for the East Coast. More than just a deep undying appreciation for the East Coast.

13. People generally tell you that malls may be awesome hubs for quick shopping. If that’s your scene, you’d be happy to find that the Mall of America, the largest mall in the States, is right here in Minneapolis, just a few stops on the Light Rail, right next to the airport.

14. Don’t ever underestimate the power of a walk to clear up the head freeze your brains have been subjected to.

15. Or underestimate the beauty of what the spring leaves behind, like these dead hydrangeas.

dead hydrangea in minneapolis

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3 thoughts on “What I Learned in Subzero Minneapolis

  1. I agree with almost all of that mentioned, it’s not an easy place, and not immediately, or even remotely? ‘fun’ especially as a visitor. I don’t think it’s wrong per se that some people don’t travel, or to live and remain locally. Love for travel is a personal preference and usually a privilege even if for work.

  2. Actually I take it back. They really should travel out of MN and WI or IO more. I hope I don’t get in trouble for saying this but it’s provincial.

    • Everyone should travel. People become a lot more interesting, and less arrogant, when they do… 🙂 I won’t be getting you into trouble, and to some extent, I agree that it is very provincial not to travel…

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