visit Minneapolis...and do what?

Drag queens. Henri Matisse. Justin Timberlake. Elfaba. Butter churning. 

Pop quiz: what do these things have in common?

My soul wants to make an N Sync joke, but I can't actually think of one. So I'll give you the real answer: they all relate to things I've been able to do the past few months but haven't written about. A lot of people think Minneapolis nothing more than a bunch of snow covered corn fields (and that I live in an igloo and the population is 4), but they're wrong and there is always something to do. 

(Note: this post is part of my super secret campaign to convince all of my friends to come visit me.)



01. At 5 pm on a Saturday, a friend was scrolling through local music calendars on her phone and found a concert that sounded interesting. We stood in a crowd of less than 40 people in a tiny venue and discovered a new favorite, Wheeler Brothers (bonus: while talking to the singer after the show, we realized he and I went to college together at LSU) P.S. I wear my "Y'all" sweatshirt entirely too often. Hashtag normcore.

02. As a kind of bachelorette celebration for Megan, a friend and I decided to take her to Eggs and Drag, a combination drag show and brunch buffet. Not sure if it was the bottomless mimosas, but it was so much fun -- except for when we cried over the little girl in the crowd who was so proud of how pretty her daddy was in the drag show.

03. Creative Mornings recently started a chapter in Minneapolis. It's a monthly lecture series for creatives, but they should probably call it a monthly lecture series for hipsters because I have never seen so many beards in my life. And I've been to Portland. Regardless, I loved it, and I definitely plan to go back. The talk I went to was at the Minneapolis Photo Center, a gorgeous warehouse space, and I got a tour of a Vivian Maier exhibit that hadn't opened yet. 

04. I loved the Matisse exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts so much I'm thinking about going back. I can't wait to see what they bring next. 

05. North Coast Nosh happens every few months and it's basically my dream event. Local food vendors give out samples. And it is glorious.  Macarons, sausages, ice cream, chai, granola, craft cocktails -- you know, the basic food groups. Full disclosure, I've been to this twice. The first time was amazing, and the second time was slightly disappointing. But both times we discovered some delicious under the radar local food, so, overall win.

06.  Justin Timberlake. Need I say more?

07. Butter churning aerobics. Need I say more? Probably. To "spread the delight of artisan practices", a little group called Pop Soda tours the country teaching an aerobics class called Feel the Churn. We were each given two jars of cream, and then led in an aerobics routine where we shook the jars until they solidified. Then some "experts" strained the butter, pressed it into a block, and fed us delicious bread donated by a local bakery slathered with our homemade butter. Probably not the most effective workout, but definitely one of the most hilarious. The class was taught at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis's modern art museum, and the galleries were free that night, so we explored the museum (which was probably a better workout) and had dinner and drinks (a chai cocktail that I'll remember forever) at the museum restaurant.

08. When Wicked was in town, a friend and I tried our luck at the last minute ticket lottery. We won two second row tickets for $25 and celebrated with champagne on a rooftop. It was basically The Best Day. 

09. The art crawl in Lowertown St. Paul was my first experience getting a glimpse into artists' lofts. I thought it was incredibly cool to see artists' work in their own lofts -- it added an extra dimension to their art and the process behind it.