Minnesota Nice?

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This last weekend was another tour of the great stops in this state of Minnesota; ie. me and a few friends showed an “out of towner” some of the unknown major sights of the twin cities. It all stated with a journey to the MOA, which certainly was overwhelming for a small town girl who had never experienced the magnitude of capitalism which exists in our great mall. Next on the list was another adventure at the cost effective Como Zoo. This was in all reality the highlight of the weekend being that the new Orangoutang baby itself is an attraction for most North Americans. The Como Zoo has been rated one of the best examples of a governmental and public funded zoo, its attractions have been greatly improved as the organization has evolved and itself grown.

The most important place that we visited this weekend was The Bulldog in Northeast Minneapolis.  Its burger ranks #2 for burgers in Minnesota. That is no small prize considering the stiff competition it beat to earn such a title. Our experience proves that the title has its validity intact, the burger itself was nearly perfect, yet simple, and service, environment, and overall experience was nothing short of perfection as well, in fact the only disappointment coming from this experience is the 20 minute drive that separates me from eating one of those prize winning burgers everyday.

Lastly I took some photographs while visiting my favorite free zoo, and I thought I would help embellish my story with a few visual selling points as well. 


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This week has been less eventful than others, but I have spent an extensive amount of time thinking about this upcoming weekend and the places I will travel to. The weather this week has ranged from showing signs of spring to the welcoming of 8 inches of snow; this is a common event in the melt-down stage of winter that typically occurs from the middle of February to the beginning of April. This character flaw is one of the few reasons people “love to leave” Minnesota during these last cold months. But According to statistics on historic temperatures in this fine state, it is actually warmer and showing potential to be a shorter winter year after year. So perhaps one day people will not have to flock in mass numbers to the southern coasts in search of happiness and sunshine. In the meantime, I will continue to enjoy my surroundings unlike my not-so-optimistic counterparts. So, until the weekend, we will all have to make due with my statistical weather forecast; and after this weekend is through I will certainly have more important, or interesting topics to discuss.

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This week has certainly shown me many glorious aspects of Minnesota, mainly experiential ones, but also the weather this time of year, though monotonous, is still very beautiful. This week we saw another snowfall cover our barren, brown surroundings; I think this event is one of the more enjoyable frustrating things in life, a sort of double edged sword. I visited a new restaurant in Downtown St. Paul, Christos, it was overwhelming walking into the renovated building in which it resides. The building itself was bigger than any other restaurant I have ever seen, being that it could easily a hockey rink in its main seating area which is raised and elegantly decorated. The balcony which overlooks the rest of the space was very pleasant as well, and I expected a drastically more expensive bill for a dinner for two. The whopping $15.34 bill included dinner and desert for me and my date, these prices would be awesome anywhere, but for its location in the city, and the quality of the building, this restaurant may be my new favorite.

The other noteworthy attraction I am privileged to write about from my past week was my visit to the Como Zoo. I have gone to this zoo most of my life, and for good reason, its free to all 365 days a year. It has had some pretty drastic changes over the years though, including a very large addition which contains a tropical plants exhibit, something which is quite odd to experience with 9 degree weather outside. The people around were in good spirits considering the parking lot antics and the numerous crowds. But for the most part, people were respectful and polite as you would expect in Minnesota, or anywhere else for that matter. The animals were something to smile about as their natural everyday antics drowned out the idea of tests and papers coming due. I found myself also revisiting previous experiences from the sights, and enjoying making new ones with my date. Overall a wonderful experience including seeing the brand new giraffe, Willow, who has recently made news a few times for her presence and birth in October. Definitely worth visiting, even in the cold months, but once spring comes, it will certainly be even more packed than it was today. In these next few months more changes will occur to the park to get it ready for the warmer part of the year.

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Today was a splendid day as I spent most of it in the Twin Cities with friends and great weather on this fabricated day of love. I noticed as we parked and walked a bit of graffiti on a mailbox, and saw it consistent with the rest of urban life in any other city. This evidence is less about proving Minnesota is not respectful, merely that it is consistent with the rest of societal trends. There is nothing wrong with this, in fact an article I was reading this weekend stated Minneapolis as one of the top cities of 2008. But onto my busy day, the first site of the day was the Guthrie Theater, which was a wonderful photo-op being that every room in that building is epic. The people were not memorable, with few thank you’s as I repeatedly held doors for anyone in my path; although I do recall one group of kickin’ elderly ladies who knew how to appreciate modern day Minnesota Chivalry. The next stop was the Sculpture Garden outside the Walker Art Center. It was so bitterly cold walking around outdoors, but the greenhouse nearby made an excellent retreat; also, seeing palm trees is always a unique experience when it is 25 degrees outside. It seemed to be a hideout for a few other sight-see’ers. I extended my grand tour of the Twin Cities later that night after killing some time at the MOA, I personally overlooked one of the most under-rated views in all of the state, the lookout facing Downtown St. Paul. It was dark out, and it certainly proved to be gorgeous as the State Capitol was in plain sight. I ended the day by walking around in Mear’s Park, a town square in the middle of downtown; its majestic view embroidered with year-round Christmas lights shouts a tune of home sweet home. Overall the most unfriendly part of the day was certainly the commuting; certainly Minnesota Nice is not applicable to such strenuous activities. Valentines day has never been so rewarding, ironically most of my day was spent alone with my iPhone and collection of indie-tunes. But regardless, this state, and more specifically the Twin Cities has much to offer in regards to modern beauty and entertainment.

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