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Minneapolis is the new....everything

According to a recent article in the Huffington Post, Minneapolis is #5 among "America's Top 5 Cities to Keep on Your Radar." Why? Because "Minneapolis is the new...everything," the article says.

"[I]t seems like there's always a new 'hip' neighborhood or 'it' city to visit," the article continues. "Which had us thinking about the coolest cities to visit right now. After much map-scouring and a sprinkle of savvy" HuffPost selected Minneapolis, as "the city is becoming trendier by the second. Between Minneapolis' awesome music scene, wealth of vintage stores and pro teams in pretty much every league, there is literally something for everyone."

Six MN breweries medal at GABF

Six Minnesota breweries received medals at the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) in Denver, Colorado.

Badger Hill Brewing in St. Louis Park won a gold for its White IPA, as did Steel Toe Brewing of St. Louis Park for Wee Heavy, a Scotch Ale.

Indeed Brewing Company won a silver medal in the Specialty Honey Beer category for its Mexican Honey, an Imperial Lager brewed with Mexican orange blossom honey and Amarillo hops.

Bronze awards went to Summit Brewing of St. Paul for its Extra Pale Ale; Bent Paddle Brewing Co. of Duluth for the 14° ESB; and Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery for Buffalo Bock, a wood- and barrel-age strong beer.

With 268 medals awarded in 90 beer categories covering 145 different beer styles to brewers across the country, GABF, now in its 28th year, is the largest commercial brewing competition on the world.  A complete list of all the winners can be found here.


MSP among top job markets for college grads

According to Richard Florida, co-founder and editor at large of CityLab.com, Minneapolis-St. Paul is one of the best places for recent college graduates.

The Twin Cities placed sixth among 20 metro areas studied.

Using economic and labor market data provided by EMSI, Florida and his crew ranked America's 100 largest metros based on Bureau of Labor Statistics figures on full-time regular employment for about 320 occupations that require post-secondary education. They then ranked the data using five key factors:

• Percent change in jobs requiring post-secondary education from 2010 to 2014.
• Percentage of 25-34 year olds who hold these positions.
• Average wages for these jobs requiring post-secondary education.
• Concentration of these jobs based on their "location quotient."
• Share of new jobs requiring post-secondary education that can be attributed to local economic conditions or competitiveness.
"Tech and knowledge hubs lead the pack," Florida writes. "San Francisco takes first place, followed by San Jose, the center of the Silicon Valley. Austin is third, Seattle, fourth, and Denver, fifth. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Boston, Houston, Raleigh and L.A. round out the top ten. Overall the leading metros for these highly-skilled jobs reflect the twin pillars of America’s knowledge-energy economy."


Minneapolis third in Bicycling Magazine's top cities list

Minneapolis came in third in Bicycling Magazine's 2014 list of Top 50 Bike Friendly Cities.

"Minneapolis has long been an exemplary city for cycling—it topped our rankings in 2010 and was second in 2012. Even so, before she became mayor in 2014, Betsy Hodges said the city needed even better amenities for people like her who enjoyed biking but shied from traffic," the article stated.

Last winter, Hodges called out the "the city’s 4,000-plus year-round bike commuters" and "delivered a proclamation touting the city’s progress: 19 miles of bicycle boulevards installed since 2011; one of the country’s biggest bike-share systems per resident; and learn-to-ride classes that have spread the city’s bike culture to its large Somali community."

She also stated that "by 2020, Minneapolis would install 30 more miles of protected bikeways, so people like her, and thousands of others in the city, would feel more comfortable riding their bikes."

St. Paul came in 40th in the survey, and was lauded for "doubl[ing] the number of bike commuters betrween 2005 and 2012, and in 2014 unveiled a bicycle master plan calling for a loop of off-street bike paths downtown."

Nice Ride "the nicest bike-share system in the U.S."

According to The Atlantic Media's CityLab web magazine, the Twin Cities' Nice Ride bike-sharing program "has become part of the fabric of Minneapolis, a once-fading city clearly on the rebound."

In her article, "This Really Might Be the Nicest Bike-Share System in the United States," Sarah Goodyear writes that Nice Ride is also one of the most successful bike-share programs in the U.S., in part because "checking out one of the system's 1,550 bikes is indeed a pleasant experience, as is riding along the city's well-developed bike infrastructure, which includes 92 miles of on-street bikeways and 85 miles of off-street paths—many of which are high-functioning commuter routes, not just recreational byways."

She also notes that "Biking around Minneapolis in the halcyon days of late spring and early summer reveals a city that feels like it's preparing for an increasingly prosperous future. Construction crews are everywhere, building new residential developments in a downtown that was long ago hollowed out by urban renewal. A brand-new light rail line has just started running between the Twin Cities, easing the commute of thousands and creating a new kind of physical connection. A grand hall originally built as the trading floor of the Minneapolis Grain Exchange is now finding new life as CoCo, a collaborative space filled with startups and entrepreneurs, some of whom have come here from bigger and more expensive cities to find a different pace and environment."

Minnesota nation's third best state for making a living

Washington state is first. Texas is second. And Minnesota is the third best place in which to make a living according to a new study by Moneyrates.com.

The state "moved up three slots from sixth last year, largely on the strength of a very low unemployment rate and excellent workplace conditions,” according to the study’s website. “The state does have a higher-than-average cost of living and tax burden, but incomes in the state are more than enough to make up for these disadvantages.”

The list accounts for each state's average salary, cost of living, unemployment rate and workplace satisfaction. The study then uses that data to rank the 10 best and worst.


Minneapolis #1 in city parks

According to a study just released by The Trust for Public Land, Minneapolis ranks first among the U.S.'s 60 largest cities in number and quality of city parks. The ParkScore Index placed Minneapolis far ahead of New York City, Boston, Portland and San Francisco.

The ParkScore numbers are based on three factors, according to an AP article: the percentage of residents living within a 10-minute walk from a park, median park size and the percentage of total city area dedicated to parks, and a combination of the number of playgrounds per 10,000 residents and per-capita park spending.

"The Trust says 94 percent of Minneapolis residents live within a 10-minute walk from a park, and it scores the city high for its park spending and its median park size of 6 ½ acres," according to the AP article.

Lowertown again named "up-and-coming" neighborhood

Hot on the heels of being named America's top hipster zip code by RealtyTrac, Lowertown in St. Paul in once again being lauded as a neighborhood to watch.

USA Today recently named Lowertown one of of "10 up-and-coming neighborhoods around the USA."  "Lowertown is home to the Union Depot, served by the city's new Green Line light rail, Amtrak tgrains, and bus companies," the article notes. "Other noteworthy attributes includes the St. Paul Farmer's Market (open year-round), Mears Park, a summer-long music venue, artists lofts in restored 19th century buidlings, Nice Ride bike-share stations and great restaurants like Barrio, The Bulldog, and Heartland Farm Direct Market and Restaurant, pioneers of "Midwest modern cuisine."

Bachelor Farmer named national brunch spot

The Bachelor Farmer has been named the third best brunch in the U.S. by The Daily Meal, a national food and drink blog. The list was titled "The 30 Best Brunches in America."

"President Obama has been known to dine at The Bachelor Farmer," the listing states, "and this accliamed Minneapolis restaurant raises the bar on brunch as well."

The restaurant, the listing continues,"draws inspiration from Minnesota's Nordic heritage, and the brunch menu carries on this tradition with Smørrebrød,or Scandinavian open-faced sandwiches with such toppings as confit or oyster mushrooms. Other dishes draw inspiration from fresh, local ingredients, and the cocktails are equally exceptional."

Minneapolis top livability city for college grads

Livability.com just named Minneapolis a Top 10 Best City for News College Grads 2014. The city was placed #5 on the list, for great job opportunities, a high concentration of young professionals and a diversity of cultural amenities.

The editors of Livability.com, in compiling the list, considered such factors as the number of 25- to 34-year olds living in each city, the availability of rental properties, unemployment rates, educational attainment levels, use of public transportation and type of jobs available. The editors also worked into the mix recreational activities, nightlife and "a hip vibe," according to the website.

Also taken into account were the top-hiring industries, which, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, are: educational services; professional, scientific and technical services; health care and social assistance; and government.

Minneapolis, the study found, "has more than 82,000 residents here between the ages of 25 and 34, with vast job opportunities available, especially in the city’s major industries including retail, marketing and banking. Finding an apartment or rental property is relatively easy as more than 50 percent of homes in Minneapolis are rentals, and roughly five percent of them are unoccupied. The majority of Minneapolis residents spend less than 30 percent of their annual income on housing, leaving them with plenty of money to spend on the city's array of entertainment options."

Twin Cities named "underrated food city"

In a somewhat backhanded way, Thrillist recently listed the Twin Cities as one of seven most underrated food cities in the United States.

"What makes a great food city isn't necessarily Michelin stars or food trucks per capita," the article states. " While NYC, LA, and Chicago have always shined brightest, and upstarts like Austin and Portland might be the kings of meals on wheels, there are a ton of cities out there where tradition and innovation mix into unique melting pots... full of melting food."

Our own Dara Grumdal, food writer extraordinaire, enthusiastically fired back in the article that "Minneapolis is underrated because everywhere in the Midwest is underrated! Oklahoma City, Omaha, Madison... We're underrated because the coasts have all the people and all the media outlets, but we have all the farms. Duh."

She also went on to praise our bread, pork, dairy...and beer, of course. "We drink beer so good you would die, like America's only real farmhouse ale, Olvalde. What does farmhouse ale mean? It means we can grow and malt barley here, on black-dirt-rich land, just like Europeans did 200 yrs ago. Here's why Minneapolis and St. Paul are the most underrated American food cities: we have the good stuff, we enjoy and support it so much we don't let our artisans export it, so you don't even know about it... and we have the time to kick back and relish it."

Peavey Plaza preservation efforts awarded

The International Committee for the Documentation and Conservation of Buildings, Sites, and Neighborhoods of the Modern Movement—better known as Docomomo—has initiated a new program, the Modernism in America Awards. Docomomo US is a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to the modernist movement. The juried awards program honors individuals and organizations dedicated to preserving and/or renovating midcentury architecture and design.

Among the award’s inaugural recipients are the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota, The Cultural Landscape Foundation, and the Minnesota Chapter of Docomomo US for the groups’ efforts to save Peavey Plaza in Minneapolis. The groups were given the Advocacy Award of Excellence.

Designed in 1975 by M. Paul Friedberg + Partners, the plaza is located adjacent to the newly renovated Orchestra Hall. The groups collaborated to “successfully communicate Peavey Plaza’s on-going importance and prevent its demolition,” states the Docomomo website. “The Board of Directors of Docomomo US is impressed by the well-coordinated collective nature of these efforts; their outreach to a wide audience including local constituents and national interests; and their use of a combination of advocacy tools including the solicitation of pro bono design concepts by the plaza’s original landscape architect M. Paul Friedberg.”

Keri Pickett receives kudos for ice-skating documentary

Keri Pickett, a Minneapolis photographer and author, has become a filmmaker as well. She created an ice-skating documentary titled The Fabulous Ice Age, which is now available on Netflix. The film was also featured on the front page of the arts section of The New York Times.

The film documents the history of touring ice shows, and includes interviews with former skater and producers. Pickett shot and edited the film with a four-member team for about $200,000, and worked with the Minneapolis-based post-production company Pixel Farm Digital.

Pat's Tap, Pig & Fiddle receive national fame

Included in Food & Wine's 2014 list of "Best Gastropubs in the U.S." are Pat's Tap and Pig & Fiddle. "Whether they take a heavy cue from British tradition or hew more to modern American style, these top-notch pubs all have two things in common: exceptional meals and beers to match," a description accompanying the slideshow states.

Source: Food & Wine

Time names Jucy Lucy one of nation's "most influential" burgers

Time magazine has named the Jucy Lucy, a mainstay of Matt's Bar, as one of "the most influential burgers of all time."

The burger was put on Matt's menu in 1954. "This twist on the cheeseburger—in which the cheese is melted inside the patty— ... gained national attention in 2008, thanks to a feud between two Minneapolis bars that both claim to have 'invented' it. Since then, there have been numerous imitators, proving that a little innovation and a dash of hype is all it takes to reinvigorate enthusiasm for a classic," the article states.

The Jucy Lucy is number 10 on the list.

Source: Time
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