I was at a dinner party the other night when conversation took its predictable turn: What does everyone do for a living?
There was an engineer, a musician, someone who works in financial services. When it came time to explain my job, I mentioned how I’d spent the last couple of months creating and editing this Best of MN title for the Star Tribune.
“I have just one question for you,” said the engineer, a wry fellow who arranged his elbow on the table and cupped his chin with his hands. “Are those things for real?”
He went on to ask whether advertisers could simply pay for the honor. I assured him this wasn’t the case, but he was still skeptical — how seriously can you vet dozens of bests? The conversation was a good reminder of what inspired the Star Tribune’s Best of MN in the first place.
Here at the Star Tribune, we use Best of MN to collect the finest restaurants, shopping and music acts discovered (or reaffirmed, in the case of some stalwarts) by our reporters during the past year. As the publication’s editor, my job is to mine the newsroom, sifting for these standouts among each reporter’s daily stories and jottings.
Because I work in Minnesota’s largest newsroom, I get to tap the state’s most knowledgeable experts on local culture, including Rick Nelson on restaurants and Chris Riemenschneider on the music scene. Plus, of all the publications that claim to compile Minnesota’s best, ours is the only one with access to beat reporters who cover homes and gardens, local literature and the outdoors on a daily basis. A total of 30 Star Tribune staff writers contributed to our second annual Best of MN.
Nobody covers Minnesota like these folks. Nobody treks to as many state parks, new apartment developments and food trucks as part of their daily reporting. Two years ago, the Star Tribune saw an opportunity to apply this incredible resource to the traditional Best-of model. Today we think we’ve created the richest, most authoritative Best of MN a reader can find. Visit us at startribune.com/bestofmn and let us know if you agree.