Minneapolis basks in the buzz

  • Article by: BILL WARD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 1, 2013 - 9:15 AM

The City of Lakes is in the national spotlight, leaving St. Paul in its shadow.

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A couple of nice things about Minneapolis: the Nice Ride bike rental program and “Spoonbridge and Cherry” at the Sculpture Garden.

Photo: MARLIN LEVISON • mlevison@startribune.com,

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The weather might have cooled a bit of late, but Minneapolis is hot, hot, hot.

Earlier this week, the city featured prominently in the snarky website Buzzfeed (“25 signs you’re from Minneapolis”) and the über-establishment Wall Street Journal (“The Nicest City in America”).

The Journal’s recommendations are more au courant, recommending newer restaurants (Burch Steak and Pizza, Pig Ate My Pizza, Bachelor Farmer) and bars (Icehouse, Parlour), plus sleek accommodations (Aloft) and the recently opened Forage Modern Workshop furniture store.

Kristen Montag, communications manager for Meet Minneapolis, said such coverage “definitely helps raise awareness” of the city’s attributes and is especially beneficial to lesser-known venues. “People know the Mall of America is here, but those other institutions like the American Swedish Institute and some of those restaurants that haven’t gotten recognition, it helps them see upticks.”

Buzzfeed’s post is more about the people than the places. “You know how to eat pho the right way, even if you’re not sure how to pronounce it. … You know how to cross downtown without ever going outside. … You have a story about the time you ran into Prince.”

The post’s author, Stacey Garratt, spent several years here attending the Minneapolis College of Art + Design, which helped her nail our character: “You would never dream of taking the last piece of food at a party. (But you’ll “split it” until it’s subatomic.)” “ ‘Interesting,’ ‘different’ and ‘healthy’ are Minnesota Nice for ‘weird,’ ‘terrible’ and ‘fat.’ ”

Garratt, who now lives in Los Angeles, consulted informally on the list (“over several glasses of wine”) with MCAD roommate Nikki Cook. She said that the hardest part was whittling it down to 25. “It could have been way longer.”

Both pieces mention the Guthrie Theater and the Jucy Lucy at Matt’s Bar. But neither one mentions St. Paul.

When asked whether she would be writing a follow-up on Minneapolis’ sister city, Garratt demurred. “In typical Minneapolis fashion, I have basically no idea what people in St. Paul do besides eat in dining cars and go to the Science Museum,” she said. “I guess they have something called Frogtown; that sounds kind of cool, right?”

Ouch.

Of course, St. Paulites such as Jim Rogers are used to such slights. Rogers, managing editor of the University of St. Thomas’ quarterly New Hiberian Review, said he was heartened that all of the places Buzzfeed and the Journal mentioned were actually in Minneapolis. “It’s much more offensive as St. Paulites if they say ‘Twin Cities’ and never mention us.”

 

Bill Ward • 612-673-7643

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