People we crossed paths with at the airport, friends, co workers all asked WHY when we said we were headed to Minneapolis from NYC for the weekend, and to all of them I say you have no idea what you are missing out on.
Getting there took some time - we missed the first flight because of horrendous Friday NY traffic, the second one got cancelled and finally the third flight (the morning flight delayed for 12 hours...) picked us up - gave us an upgrade to 1st class and got us there. As a result of all this chaos we arrived late. Not to be deterred however, we picked up our car (a GIANT JEEP it turns out) we soon sped to Young Joni where we were supposed to have dinnered, met their 10pm closing time and picked up our delicious, piping hot anchiovies and pesto pizzas. Perfect for a late night in hotel bed; I live for those nights.
I knew of course that Minneapolis is chalk full of people of Swedish heritage, but arriving at our hotel we parked next to a dude who apparently had REALLY embraced this. Hilarious and so apt.
The next two days were a flurry of friends and exploration. The beautiful Minnehaha falls, delicious brunch of fried chicken at Revival with friends, the lakes full of waterlilies, midsummer at the American Swedish Institute, Kim Simonsson's exhibit of ceramic scuptures, reconnecting with a friend from 12 years ago at Peace Coffee, mid night ice cream over political discussions with friends, followed by a night drive around Lake Calhoun, looking at the lit up enormous houses that line it.
Kim Simonsson's Exhibit at the American Swedish Institute:
What really distinguishes Minneapolis from every other place really is the fact that it feels solid. People are clearly, unabashedly genuine, liberal, happy with their city but open and welcoming to the rest of the world. I am a picky person, but even I can't think of one person we met during our time there who was anything but. New York and California can huff and puff about being the engines of America, and perhaps rightly so, but the heart of America, the mid-west, is quietly prosperous housing headquarters of some of the largest names you can think of (Target, US Bank, Best Buy, 3M etc., the list goes on) and it's that quiet that makes it so endearing, so dignified. Here actions seem to take precedence over marketing and being loud, and if you know me at all you know that that is exactly who I am.
During our time there we contemplated how it would be like to live there. I am of big cities; I was born in one and I am the most comfortable in them, but even I can imagine living in Minneapolis and being very happy here. Now if only the winters were not as long and severe, but I don't know any place without a flipside - so all forgiven in my books Minneapolis! Can't wait to be back for more!
In the land of Prince:
Revival for fried chicken
4257 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55409
3262 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55406
Young Joni for craft Pizzas
165 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413