I love Minnesota. I hate the cities, thoroughly, with both sides of my brain.

Author's workplace in Minneapolis

I live and have lived, for many years, near the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul. The Twin Cities do not represent anything uniquely Minnesotan, only another iteration of the homogenized American strip-mall culture.

The real joke with these two particular cities is the big pretend that they are vastly different from each other. Yes, Minneapols has “night life,” which I’m told St. Paul doesn’t, and it has this old brewery-turned-office-space where I used to work (pictured above), and it has the cherry and the spoon. And then St. Paul has more trees and trails and almost no tall buildings, and it’s on the other side of the big line-in-the-sand we call the Mississippi River, so it must be really different from Minneapolis, right?

But both cities are the same as each other, and as every other city, from Boston to Dallas to Portland. The scenery is the same. They are an arm of the national franchises and a forum for the same national talking points.

But Minnesota does have some nice areas. They are wide and beautiful. They thaw and make music in summer; and in the winter, when there is no wind and the snow is falling hard, there is total and absolute silence.

Be quiet. Thank you.

“Many a man has fallen in love with a girl in a light
so dim he would not have chosen a suit by it.”

— Maurice Chevalier (1888-1972)