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Twin Cities fare well in Travel + Leisure magazine poll

Travel + Leisure magazine recently polled readers about their favorite cities across the country.

People ranked 35 cities according to food, people, nightlife, and more.

Survey results show that Minneapolis and St. Paul have the best ratings in public parks and outdoor access, summer, cleanliness, intelligence, and home décor and design stores.    

However,the Cities are among the worst for winter, spring break, and New Year’s Eve, the article states.  

Two local writers win National Book Awards

Two Minneapolis authors recently won National Book Awards, a prestigious designation that highlights the rich literary culture in the state.
Louise Erdrich won for her novel "The Round House" and William Alexander won for his debut young adult novel, "Goblin Secrets." As noted in The New York Times, Erdrich's book centers around a teenage boy's effort to investigate an attack on his mother on a North Dakota reservation.
Speaking to the newspaper, Erdrich said the novel is about a huge case of injustice, and focuses on the violence that can happen on reservations. The Times adds that in her acceptance speech, the author noted: “If this prize means anything, it is that small stories in so-called hidden places matter because they implicate and complicate what we consider to be the larger story, which is the story of people who do have political and economic powers.”

Blog compares Minneapolis and Portland biking experience

In a Minnesota 2020 blog post titled “A tale of two bike cities,” guest blogger Amber Collett compares biking in Minneapolis to Portland, Ore., where she recently relocated.

She touches on how both cities have made a name for themselves with more and more bike infrastructure and a growing cycle culture.

Bike boulevards differ from place to place, with Minneapolis having roomier lanes, she says.

Portland has more of them, plus protective boxes at traffic signals that keep bicyclists from breathing in exhaust.

She turns to Steve Clark at Bike Walk Twin Cities to find out more about how the two cities compare bike-wise. He’s quoted saying, “Minneapolis has been trying to catch up to Portland in terms of on-street facilities where certainly Portland has led the way with some of the nation’s first and finest bike boulevards and miles upon miles of bike lanes.”

That being said, visitors from Portland “quickly become very envious of our off-street trails--particularly the Midtown Greenway which is basically a freeway for bicyclists and provides separate space for walkers and joggers too.”

Highlighting art as development tool

A recent Star Tribune story highlights art as a successful development tool in a number of St. Paul building projects.

While in the past, artists may have been viewed as “a mysterious and crazy bunch,” today they’re sought out by the city to help make development plans, the story states.

They’re seen as “innovators who can fill hard-to-adapt historic structures like the long-vacant Schmidt Brewery and turn them into vital and lively corners of the city once again,” the story reads.

Renovation plans for the Schmidt Brewery, for example, include studio, gallery, and performance space. The place is also a part of a developing Midway arts district.  

Mayor Chris Coleman says in the story, “I look at every thriving city in the country and there's a thriving arts community within it,” adding, “It helps shape investment decisions. Things are enhanced.”

Frogtown makes Travel + Leisure list for best ethnic food

Travel + Leisure magazine named 13 U.S. neighborhoods as top examples of ethnic food destinations, and St. Paul's Frogtown got a nod for its Hmong specialties.
Minneapolis and St. Paul are home to 30,000 Hmong, the largest community outside of Southeast Asia, and their restaurants are clustered along University Avenue, the article says.

Also in the area is the Hmong Cultural Center, as well as a farmers market where Hmong and other Southeast Asian immigrants shop and eat, Travel + Leisure noted.
The article adds that other top neighborhoods include ones in Houston and D.C., cities that are home to large numbers of Indians and Ethiopians, respectively.
"[An] open mind and sense of adventure helps when exploring these communities, which can be a little gritty and less accessible than touristy Little Italys," the article's writer notes.

Minnesota lodge ranks high in Traveler's list of top resorts

Grand View Lodge is among the top resorts in the Midwest, according to a recent round of Readers' Choice Awards from Condé Nast Traveler.
Located in the Brainerd Lakes area, the resort came in at No. 4, and was the only Minnesota resort on the list. Topping the list was the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, which beat out Grand View Lodge by only about two percentage points.
The lodge, opened in 1916, sits on Gull Lake and features cottages, cabins, and a spacious main lodge, all with a log-cabin, Northwoods feel. The lodge also features a spa, championship golf course, and several restaurants.

Harvard Business Review tells of local CEOs taking a stand

A recent piece in the Harvard Business Review examines the local business community's stand this month against a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Minnesota.

Business leaders made the case that this piece of legislation would negatively affect everything from employee retention to workforce diversity, the article states.

Fifty current and former CEOs took out a full-page ad in the Star Tribune a week before the election this month, voicing their opposition.   

“Business executives know a winning brand proposition when they see one. Which is why they stepped into the political arena this year to defend the community values that have helped make Minnesota one of the most economically vital and livable states in America,” it reads.  

Local singer pursues dream on The Voice

St. Paul resident Nicholas David has been named one of the top 12 contestants on NBC's reality TV show The Voice.

It’s quite a feat because “Getting onto The Voice means you have to rely solely on (wait for it...) your voice while a team of celeb judges decides whether or not they'll turn their chair around and offer you a spot on their team,” a City Pages story reads.

His recent performance on the show of Barry White's “You're the First, the Last, My Only” is described as "raspy, passionate, and unique."

David doesn’t fit the “usual pop-star mold,” the story goes on to say. “When most of the other singers on the show merely gush about how crazy and amazing it feels to be on The Voice's stage David talks about inspiration, his 'gal' and his kids,” it states.

Livability website lists Minneapolis as top place to live and visit

Livability.com, which profiles the best places across the country to live and visit, has an entry about Minneapolis.

The site characterizes Minneapolis as “a center for business, arts and professional sports,” with Fortune 500 companies, a strong theater scene, and the Twins, Timberwolves, and Vikings. Forbes has also named it as one of the safest cities nationwide, it adds.

The city’s workforce and parks are also highlighted on the website, while local landmarks are featured in the photo gallery.

“With so much to offer, Minneapolis has received numerous accolades,” the entry reads.

St. Paul a finalist in Bloomberg Philanthropies' Mayors Challenge

St. Paul is a finalist for the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge, rising above a pool of over 300 entries.

The competition is about inspiring “American cities to generate innovative ideas that solve major challenges and improve city life,” a prepared statement from the city reads.

The city's entry was an idea to make the city’s permit review and license process accessible online.

“Permit St. Paul,” as it’s called, aims to improve customer service and results and make government more transparent, while also keeping costs down, the statement reads.  

The city is up against 19 others across the country for the $5 million grand prize and $1 million runner-up awards.

Minneapolis' North Loop singled out on Forbes' hipster neighborhoods list

On its inaugural list of America's Best Hipster Neighborhoods, financial magazine Forbes chose Minneapolis' North Loop as one of its picks.
To define "hipster," the publication searched through data on more than 250 neighborhoods in the largest U.S. cities, and looked for factors like the number of coffee shops per capita, the diversity of food trucks and farmers markets, walkability, the percentage of residents who work in artistic occupations, and the number of bars and restaurants.
The North Loop, also known as the Warehouse District, was recognized as "hipster" for its large warehouse spaces that have been converted to apartments, boutiques, and restaurants. Forbes also added: "Bike trails, a park and an arts collective also boost the hipness quotient." The North Loop came in 12th out of 20 neighborhoods.
At the top of the Forbes list was Los Angeles' Silver Lake, San Francisco's Mission District, and Brooklyn's Williamsburg.

Outside magazine highlights Minneapolis as top bike city

Recently, Outside magazine featured Minneapolis as a top biking city.

“Cold winters can’t cramp the style of Minneapolis cyclists. Quite the opposite, in fact. This tight-knit community of bicyclists is the envy of many in the North American cycling crowd,” it states.

The article cites places like One on One Bicycle Studio as gathering places for cyclists, along with Open Streets outdoor events that shut down certain intersections, celebrating the car-free lifestyle. The piece also calls attention to other bike-themed events, including brewery tours, bike messenger races, and more.

Dedicated bike lanes and trails throughout the city, along with a bike-sharing program, contribute to making the city ideal for cycling, says Outside.

Minneapolis 11th-best for Halloween festivities

The Zillow Blog recently named Minneapolis as one of 20 top cities around the country for trick-or-treating.

Zillow’s survey determined where one can “get the best Halloween loot,” the article states.

Minneapolis came in 11th place, while San Francisco topped the list.

The rankings are based on median home value, walk score, population density, and crime--in short, where to get the most candy with the least amount of walking and safety risk.

Within Minneapolis, the neighborhoods of Fulton, Lynnhurst, Linden Hills, Tangletown, and Cedar-Isles-Dean provide the best experience, according to the survey.

St. Paul design agency mentioned in New York Times article on food labeling

In an op-ed article, New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman recently attempted to create a food labeling system that would benefit consumers rather than food companies.
In developing the system, which he proposes to replace current nutrition labels on packaged foods, Bittman turned to St. Paul-based design firm Werner Design Werks. The firm helped him create a label that "can tell a story about the three key elements of any packaged food and can provide an overall traffic-light-style recommendation or warning."
Werner Design Werks' clear and straightforward label would be a large improvement over existing labeling, Bittman believes. He notes that such a shift would help to counter obesity, a problem that "all but the most cynical agree is closely related to consumption of junk food."

Local beers stand out at the Great American Beer Festival

Several local breweries fared well at the recent Great American Beer Festival in Denver, Colo.

The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal states that the festival is “considered one of the most prestigious worldwide competitions for brewers.”  

St. Paul’s Summit Brewing Co. received a silver medal in the Bohemian-Style Pilsener category for its Summit Pilsener, the Journal reports.

Fitger’s Brewhouse in Duluth, which is planning a Minneapolis location, achieved a bronze medal in the American-Style Sour Ale category, with its Fitger’s Framboise, and the Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery got a bronze medal in the Great American Beer Festival Pro-Am Competition, according to the Journal.  

225 Arts and Culture Articles | Page: | Show All
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