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A Minnesota Nice Guide To The Twin Cities – The Awl

byKatie?

Heaney

Ifthere’sonethingthatMinnesotanslovetalkingabout,it’showgreatMinnesotais。

PeoplefromMinnesotaare,inreallife,whatpeoplefromNewYorkarelikeontelevision?

—?

thereisn’tanywhereelsethatmatters,unlessit’stoserveasourmortalenemy(I’mlookingatyou,Wisconsin)。

We’reliketheworld’sfriendliestbraggarts。

Igrewuphereand,inmyroleasastateproselytizer,I’vesofarmanagedtoconverttwoChicago-borncollegefriendsintoMinnesotans,andit’sonlyamatteroftimebeforeIgettotherestof?

you。

ShouldyougetachancetovisittheTwinCities,herearesomethingsyoumightenjoydoing。

Butfirst,afewnotesaboutthisguide。

Idon’ttalkmuchaboutthenightlifehere,becausethenI’dhavetotellyouthatIcan’ttellthedifferencebetweenanytwobarsinUptown。

Iwon’ttellyouaboutmusicvenues,excepttomentionthelegendaryFirstAvenue(anyMinnesotanwhowritesaboutMinneapoliswithoutmentioning“thelegendaryFirstAvenue”isimmediatelyexiledtoWisconsin),becauseI’mjustnotcoolenough。

WhatIcantellyouaboutistheweirdstuff,thesuperMinnesotanstuff,thestuffthatmakesmehappiesttostick?

around。

TheMinnesotaStateFair,numberoneonthelist,isforthoseofyouwhovisitaroundLaborDay。

Therestofthestopsareinorderofdaytimetonighttimesoyoucanstartatoneplace,thenkeepmovingforwarduntilyou’vehadyourselfthebestdayofyourlife。

Attheendyou’llfindsomebonusrecommendationsfromsometime-TwinCitiesresidentandAwlpalAbe?

Sauer。

1。

MinnesotaStateFair,Falcon?

Heights

TheStateFairishalfwaybetweentheTwinCities,soitgetstobeonhereeventhoughittechnicallytakesplaceinasuburb。

OurStateFairisthecountry’slargestintermsofaveragedailyattendance,and,onewouldimagine,innumberoffriedcheesecurdsandchocolatechipcookiesconsumed。

IhavebeentotheFairatleastadozentimesandIcouldn’ttellyouthefirstthingaboutwhattodothereotherthaneatcheesecurdsandcookiesandpetgoats。

Thosearereallythemainhighlights,andIcan’tseewhyyou’dneedmore。

Ifyoudo,therearemany,manymorethingsyoucaneat,someofwhichareeven?

good。

2。

TheScienceMuseumofMinnesota,Saint?

Paul

EveryperfectimaginarydateI’veeverhadhastakenplaceintheScienceMuseum。

WhatcouldbemoreperfectthanlearningabouttheCorioliseffectwithacutepersonandthenmakingoutafter?

TheScienceMuseumhaseverythingIlike。

Ilikeexhibitsorientedmoretowardschildrenthantheyaretoward25-year-oldadults。

Ilikedinosaurbones,andcelllabswhereyoucanwearaverytinylabcoatandexamineyourswabbedcheekcellsunderamicroscope。

Themuseumisgenerallygreat,butthetravelingexhibitsmakeitworthvisitingafewtimesayear。

Onetimetheyhada“CSI”exhibitinwhichIgottotakenotesonastagedmurderscene,gatherclues,andtest“DNA”inthelab。

Honestly,Ithinkthat’sprobablythehappiestI’veever?

been。

3。

JamesJ。

HillHouse,Saint?

Paul

IlovedthisoldmansionthefirsttimeIvisited,andIimagineI’dloveitevenmoregoingtoday,whenI’dundoubtedlypretendthatitwasDowntonAbbey。

Everyonelikesabig,historic,insanelyostentatiousmansion,right?

JamesJ。

HillisfamousforbuildingtheGreatNorthernRailway,buthishouseisfamousforhostingakindergartenfieldtripinwhichmyfemaleclassmatesandIweremadetoreenactaballbystrollingdownthegrandmainstairwell,onebyone,infrontofabunchofclapping5-year-oldboyswearingfoamcollars。

Ihaven’thadaroomfulofboysapplaudmyentranceevenoncesince?

then。

4。

35WBridge,Minneapolis

Everyonehereknowssomebodywhowason,orwasalmoston,the35WbridgewhenitcollapsedintotheMississippi。

Asforme,IcrossedoveritonmywaytoaTwinsgamethreedaysearlier。

IknewIhadareasontodistrustbridges,andthecollapsewasextremelyunsettlingproof。

Ournewbridge,whileperhapsnotthegrandestarchitectureI’veeverseen,hasitsperks。

OneisthatitcanbelitupinrainbowsforGayPrideweekend。

Anotheristhatwhenyou’redrivingonitandlookingatMinneapolisovertheriver,itwillbetheprettiestthingyou’veever?

seen。

5。

MallofAmerica,BloomingtonNicolletMall,Minneapolis

It’samoreobviouschoice,butIstillthinkyoushouldgototheMallofAmericaifyouwanttounderstandsomeseriousMinnesotaweirdness。

Whereelsewillyoubuyyoursouvenirlooncallwhistle?

It’salsoareallygreatplacetotakeadvantageofMinnesota’sno-clothing-taxpolicy?

(!

)。

TheoutdoorNicolletMalliswhereyoushopandeatifyou’refancy。

ThisisalovelypartofdowntownMinneapolis,andonethatmakesmefeellikeIliveinabiggercitythanIreallydo。

OnThursdaysthereisagreatfarmer’smarkethere,andwhenIworkeddowntownlastsummerI’dgooveronmylunchbreaktojustwanderaroundandlookatthebeautifulfoodandflowersandpeople。

Seriously,everyonewalkingaroundNicolletMallonweekdaysisahotyoungfinanceworkerina?

suit。

6。

BarsEating:NortheastMinneapolis

NortheastMinneapolisisjustcool。

It’stoocoolforme,actually。

I’vebeenthereahandfuloftimesandembarrassedmyselfinvariouswayseveryoneofthem。

Iseethisasanaspirationalpartofthecity:somedayI’llbelongthere。

Whenyou’rehere,youshouldgetdinneranddrinksatoneoftheserestaurants,likeBrasaorTheBulldog,andthentellmeaboutitsoIcanlivevicariouslythrough?

you。

7。

The?

Guthrie

Realtalk:Ihaven’tbeenhereinanembarrassinglylongtime,notsincebeforeitwasremadeinbrightblue。

Youshouldbebetterthanme,andartier,andgothere。

Thetheaterishighlyregardedandstrange-looking,whichisagoodcombination。

There’sawonderfullookoutofthecityinsideit?

too。

8。

RealGhostTours,Minneapolis

ThisiseasilythebestGrouponI’veeverpurchased。

For$12Igottospendtwo-and-a-halfhoursonaFridaynightwanderingaroundSt。

AnthonyMainwithanEMFdetectoraroundmyneck。

Atfirstitwasn’tscary,andthen,whenwewentintoapitch-blackroomwhereoneoftheguidessaidhecould“see”awomanhangingfromtherafters,itwasterrifying。

Attheendofthetouroneoftheguides“read”me,predicting:“Inyournearfutureyou’llbeinsomesortofmajesticcastle,researchingghostsanddemonsandelementals。

Andyou’regonnaseesomefreakyshit。

”Imarriedhimrightthenand?

there。

9。

SexWorld,Minneapolis

WhatifmytwofavoriteplacesweretheScienceMuseumandSexWorld?

Gloriouslyneonandlocatedontheedgeofdowntown,SexWorldhasthreefloors(threefloors)fullofsextoys,porn,plasticstilettos,andpenisstraws。

Somethingforeveryone!

Now,Idon’tloveSexWorld,butit’simportantthatyougothere,ifyou’reeverhere。

I’vebeentherejusttwice:bothtimesitwasforafriend’s18thbirthday。

Itisanimportantanddisgustingriteofpassage。

Bothtimes,wewentinjustaftermidnight。

Bothtimes,wedidn’ttouchasinglething。

Wepretendedlikeweweren’tscandalized,buthowdoesoneremainun-scandalizedintheface(?

)ofaten-footgildedmechanicalpenis?

10。

TheLookout,Minneapolis

InRidgwayParkwayPark,offtheIndustrialBlvd/StAnthonyBlvdexiton35W,there’salittlespotwhereyoucanlookoutoverthevalleyandseetheMinneapolisskyline,whichissmallbutbeautiful。

It’sbesttogothereatnight,becauseit’sequalpartsspooky(there’sacemeterynearby)andsparkly。

Bewarnedthatthisplacemightbelovecursed。

Thesite’sonlyYelpreviewnotesthatthisiswheretheauthorandhisnow-exfirstsaidtheylovedeachother。

Itwasthere,too,thatIreceivedashitty,crush-endingtextmessagebackfromaboyIhadmadeanill-advisedmixedCDfor。

Itisprobablybesttogothereasahappilysingleperson,allonyourown,havingnotdoneanythingembarrassingtoorecently。

AbeSauer’sFavorites



“IloveMinnehahaFallsParkand,whentheweather’snice,grabbingsomefoodatSeaSaltandthenhikingdowntheFallsTrail。

Thedual-pedalbikeswouldmakeagreatseconddate?

…notthatIknowaboutthat,havingbeenmarriedso?

long。





“ElNuevoRodeoonLakeStreethasgreatMexicanfood。

Goodhappyhour?

too。





“RiverviewTheaterinLongfellowshowsmoviesthathavebeenoutforamonthorsofor$2?

—?

can’tbebeat。

RiverviewandtheMannHighlandTheatre(inSt。

Paul)arebothWONDERFULoldtheaterswithspringseatsandgrandeur。



EverythingElse?

Here…

…isalsoperfect。

Thereare,however,afewthingsthatIwouldskip,ifIwerecominghereasavisitor。

Iwouldn’tgototheWalkerArtMuseum(ohGod,Icanfeeltheglares)becauseIwenttherewhenitopenedandonetimewatchingasilentvideoinstallationofpeoplewalkingbyinslow-motionismorethanenoughtimesforme。

Iwouldn’tgotothepopularbarUptownTavernRooftop(formerlyDrink),eventhoughthat’swhereKimKardashiandeignedtogowhenshewashere,becauseUptownbarsareequivalentintheirsnootyterribleness。

IfIcamehereinthesummer,Iwouldn’tgototheTasteofMinnesota,whichisgrossandhot。

I’malsotold(bythoseChicagoconverts)thatourstoplightandone-way-streetsituationisoutofcontrol。

Butifyoushouldendupgettingpulledoverforanyreason,Icanvirtuallyguaranteethatyourpoliceofficerwillbethenicestyou’veevermet。

UnlessyouhaveWisconsinplates。

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Let’sstaytogether。

KatieHeaneyadorestheTwinCitiesandwouldlikeitifyouwouldn’tsay“Minnesooooota”atherwhenshetellsyouthat。

Nobodysaysitlikethat。

Photocredits:CityphotobyPIctureGuy,viaShutterstock;MinnesotaStateFairbyJohnOre;ScienceMuseumbyJulyFlower,viaShutterstock;JamesJ。