i love minneapolis

June 24, 2011

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.

In celebration of four years of being a Minneapolitan, I wanted to share with you some of the things I love (or have grown to love) about living here (we all know I love a good list):

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:

Why We’re Here: Twin Cities from Seven and Sixty Productions.

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Todd June 24, 2011 at 8:37 am

And the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC lists Mpls as one of the top 10 summer places, linked at the TELEGRAPH: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/picturegalleries/8591723/National-Geographic-magazines-top-10-summer-destinations-for-2011.html?image=4

I am a bit disappointed that they left off St. Paul.


Mellissa June 24, 2011 at 8:51 am

I need to come back and read this in January when I am questioning my sanity for living here… but I do love it and the community in this town is so amazing.


Fiona June 24, 2011 at 10:36 am

Wow – you summed that up perfectly!
I too am an ex-pat from the Manchester region. I have been living in Minneapolis area for 10 years and I LOVE IT! I am a bit of a gypsy at heart and after a couple of years of going through the winters, I started to look around at other places to live. There was always something missing….not a cool enough art scene…no interesting diverse restaurants…too big…too small. In the end, I realized that the Twin Cities has everything I need. And you are so right about the winters making you feel like a bad-ass. I love telling me mum how cold it is. Horray for Minnesota!


Marisa June 24, 2011 at 1:15 pm

What a beautiful love letter to your adopted home! You have convinced me that Minneapolis is indeed a special place. And you have made me very envious of your lovely summers. I live in Seattle where our current summer has been gray, gray, gray, drizzly and cool!

Would it be crazy of me to say that from reading your post and watching that cool video that Minneapolis is giving me a somewhat Portlandish vibe???? – Something I’d have never thought!


Angharad June 24, 2011 at 4:40 pm

I don’t think that’s crazy at all – I think I’ve heard them compared before although I’ve never been to Portland so really I have no idea! Thanks for the sweet comment!


emily (a nutritionist eats) June 24, 2011 at 2:09 pm

Minneapolis really is great. :)


Andrea @ AndreaSomething June 24, 2011 at 4:25 pm

Lovely post! I grew up in the Twin Cities, and MAN do I miss it – for all the reasons you posted. Something about biking around the lake(s) all day and then relaxing afterward with a cool beer and a burger…you can’t beat it :)

I don’t miss the mosquitoes, however….


Sarah@The Flying ONION June 25, 2011 at 12:57 pm

That’s it. You’ve convinced me. I need to move. Or, at the very least, I need to visit. Minneapolis sounds so delightful! And your pictures are stunning as always. :D


Lindsay June 26, 2011 at 11:38 pm

My parents are originally from england and my mom lived in Bracknell, so I know exactly where Reading is. I have spent many summers in England and I cannot wait to get back!
Congrats on 4 years in Minneapolis, but NEVER forget where you came from! :D


Angharad June 27, 2011 at 9:00 am

Bracknell! I used to go ice skating at the rink in Bracknell :) Fun. I adore my home country so don’t worry, there’s not a chance of me forgetting.


Hayley @ Oat Couture June 27, 2011 at 2:11 am

Such a lovely video and post! :) You have definitely made me want to visit! It’s not really a place that would have been on my radar otherwise so thanks! :)


xq June 27, 2011 at 12:07 pm

so glad you love this city :)
beautiful food photos!!


Krista July 1, 2011 at 11:19 am

I just stumbled across your blog. I am so thrilled you have fallin in love with Minneapolis. I grew up in MN. I moved away about 8 years ago and I am not calling Salt Lake City home. I miss MN dearly. Your posts make me want to take a trip home soon. Have you been up to the North Shore on Lake Superior? Absolutely breathtaking! Grand Marais is my favorite little town on the lake. If you have not been you need to start planning you trip now. Summer and Fall are the best times to goes.

– Krista


Angharad July 1, 2011 at 11:55 am

Hi Krista, Thanks for the sweet message! I have spent some time on the north shore – and yes, totally agree about Grand Marais! We already have a trip booked there for later this month! Thanks for reading! :)


holly July 5, 2011 at 11:21 am

love, love, love…and that video! ugh, it makes me miss minnesota oh so much.

and i just have to say i could not be happier that you moved to minneapolis, for without that move, i could not call you as a friend and my life would worse off for it. love you! ;)


carol of Oswego, NY November 10, 2011 at 8:32 am

I love, LOVE your website! Did the steak-and-ale recipe last night and The Old Man was too busy mopping his plate to give the thumbs-up–an enthusiastic nod was given though–definitely going into my recipe collection. And re: Minneapolis–we were there, once, to see a guitarist. We had to travel via Winnipeg, Manitoba to get there, as there was no easy inexpensive way to go from central NY state to MN. Overall, we were pretty impressed with Minneapolis. What we found troubling, however, was St Paul, across the bridge. The crime and overall feeling to the place was a stark change–we’ve traveled (and we were in Flint, MI–the worst rust-belt disaster in North America)–and we’d never seen a McDonald’s with armed guard allowing only a few people to be in there at a time. Armed guards outside the convenience store as well. This, so close to a wonderful young thriving city like Minneapolis–a strange dichotomy, certainly. All the same, if we were younger, we’d certainly be i Minneapolis.


siri December 29, 2011 at 3:09 pm

You, my friend, have hit mpls. in the nose. I moved away (more than likely for good) 4 years ago and try to hold up my guard and not think too much about how much I miss it and how great it is. Your list and that video made me more homesick than I’ve been in years. I just found your site via shefzilla and can’t wait to snoop around it some more. Long live the twin cities!


Angharad January 2, 2012 at 12:04 am

Hi Siri, thanks for such a lovely, heartfelt comment. I’m simultaneously glad and sad to have made you feel so nostalgic for Minneapolis! Believe me, I know how hard being homesick for a place can be. Hope you enjoy snooping around :)


mommylisa June 18, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Hey – Thanks for reminding me why I really should not move to Albuqureque after the winter we had 2010=11


Deb February 28, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Shared your posting on the bacon with my ex-pat husband, now he’s dying to know which co-op?

Take care,


Angharad February 28, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Hi Deb,
We found it at the Wedge Coop in Uptown but it’s been a while since I’ve looked for it there. Let me know if you find it!


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