Earlier this week I celebrated four years of living in Minneapolis. Hurrah!
I grew up in Reading, England. At 18 I moved up north to Sheffield for three years; then Austin, TX for one. I’ve travelled the world with a backpack, but I’ve never lived anywhere as long – as an adult – as Minneapolis, Minnesota.
How did I celebrate? With ice cream. And Mad Men. That’s right, I know how to party.
1. Summer. A friend of mine from home recently reminded me how lucky I am to live somewhere that gets consistently hot summers and is surrounded by lakes and bike paths galore.
I’ll never forget the first summer that I spent here in 2007. I was jobless, scared and excited about what was to come, and I rode my bike on the Greenway every single day, often in 90F+ heat. I swam in lakes for the first time and barbecued to my heart’s content. It was my induction to Minneapolis and every summer that’s come since.
2. Food. Fooooooood. Of course, food! I wrote about this once before in one of my favourite posts, but a big part of my twenties has been spent taking an interest in and learning about food, learning how to cook and bake, and writing this blog where I get to share all my ramblings with you. I love it!
Minneapolis is an incredible place to fall in love with food. Farmers’ markets thrive all summer long, local co-ops abound, we have some stellar chefs and amazing, innovative restaurants, as well as some good old fashioned hole in the wall places. Everything I want is right here.
3. The Arts. I work in the non-profit arts. Have I told you that before? Probably not as I prefer to keep these things separate but Minneapolis has a thriving, dynamic, exciting, vibrant, rocking arts scene. Theatre, music, visual arts, literary arts, and muchos more. These things are also shaping me as a human. I love that my city is brimful of creativity.
4. People. The people here are lovely, plain and simple. Minnesota nice really does exist and there’s so much more diversity than I think people expect from the Midwest. I love the friends I’ve made here so, so much and I feel a real sense of community being here.
5. The Three B’s. That’d be beer, burgers, and bikes. I’ve developed a fierce love for beer in the last few years, something I thought I’d never be able to tolerate let alone love. Bring me a cold Oberon or Fat Tire at the end of a long, hard day and I’ll be your best friend. Burgers are my man’s passion but I like ’em a lot too. Blue Door Pub, Matt’s, 112 Eatery, Buster’s. Burgers abound. Bikes! Yes. Say yes to biking. Minneapolis is the number one biking city in the country and I am so happy when biking season comes around.
5. Winter. No wait. Wait! Hear me out. I hate winter here, it’s true. More often than not you will hear me grumbling and downright bitching about how bleeding cold it is and how it’s not human to live in a place where a common daily temperature for three months of the year is 10F (-12C).
BUT. But! After four winters I am beginning to see the upsides. There’s something to be said for the feeling of “getting through it”. This place is not for the weak hearted and just surviving – trudging through four feet of snow; digging out your car again; pushing someone else’s car; not getting frost bite: all of these things make you feel like a bit of a bad ass. Then there is learning about things like snow shoeing (seriously, who knew?!) and sledding. And when all is said and done there is a heck of a lot to be said for hunkering down, snuggling, and baking up some of this.
This lovely video tells you even more about why we all stay here: