|Photo taken on a lunch break|
by yours truly
Minneapolis was named America's Gayest City by The Advocate! That's pretty fun, and it's especially awesome because The Advocate, while they admit that the criteria on which the cities were judged were not particularly scientific, based the results on the ways in which cities are most gay-friendly. Minneapolis as a winner, though, was surprising to, well, everyone. As Mike Albo of The Advocate says,
Gay issues have never been more of a lightning rod. Pop culture has never been so gleefully gay. And politicians have never been more gay-accepting — or at least gay-aware. But no matter how visible LGBT people seem to be, there are some folks who still think we all live in Chelsea, West Hollywood, and the Castro. But, of course, that’s far from the case.
Those coastal city dwellers just can't let us Midwestern states have anything! They always have to argue, saying that they just don't get why Minneapolis is so freaking awesome all the time. Brian Moylan of Gawker (and, apparently, a resident of New York City) rages:
What are we New Yorkers going to do to redeem our image? Are we going to have to get Liza Minnelli to pave Broadway in glitter? Do we have to light up the Empire State Building in Manhunt's distinctive blue and orange? Does Michael Musto have to put on Lady Gaga's meat dress every day of the week? What does a city have to do to get on this list? We need to know!
I know, I know. He's just trying to be funny, but it reminds me of my latest annoyance, which is how little attention Minneapolitans get for being awesome. The only Midwestern city that gets any attention is Chicago, and usually it has something to do with how corrupt the entire state of Illinois is! Minneapolis is so much more awesome than Chicago! And I admit it, I've never been to NYC or LA, and have only driven through Chicago and not really spent any quality time there, but MINNEAPOLIS IS BETTER, ANYWAY! I KNOW THIS BECAUSE I JUST DO! I'm sorry you're not gayer than us, New York, but you'll have to deal with it.
|I had some serious competition.|
And Oregonians? Minneapolis totally pwnd you on bike trails, even though it's fucking freezing and snowing here all the time. As one former disbeliever noted, after she had begun wrapping up her trip to Minneapolis where she had tried to figure out what was so great about Minneapolis and cycling says:
I have told some of my friends that I am considering moving to Minneapolis, and I actually do think of moving, brown sugar and boiler plate be damned. Without knowing why, I have fallen in love with the cycling culture in Minneapolis. I tell my friends how nice the cyclists there are, how even the badass Black Flag group sponsors a community shop that makes bikes for poor kids, how the most misanthropic frame builder in the world is a secretly sweet guy who is always losing money because he is forever giving away his homemade frames. (He recently donated one to the vigilantes.) I still receive responses to my Mplsbikelove.com posting, outpourings of information, ride invitations, passionate (and long) discourses on the fun of this uniquely local cycling experience.
And in comparing cyclists from Minneapolis with those from more widely-publicized cities:
That's when the Grand Unified Theory of Minneapolis Cycling reveals itself. Here is a woman who commutes 20 miles round-trip four days a week, at least five months a year, yet does not consider herself a "serious cyclist." Maybe that's the secret. Maybe—along with decades of legislative support and a responsive government and friendly landscape and a cheerful community of cyclists—the Grand Unified Theory hinges on something essentially and particularly indigenous to the Midwest. Other cities might get more publicity, might brag about their famous hill and their local legends. In Minneapolis, cyclists (Noren nothwithstanding) don't talk as much about cycling as they do it, through ice skids, along snowy bike superhighways, in the dead of winter and every other season. In Minneapolis, people ride and don't consider it that big a deal.
|Fun concert in Minneapolis|
(Seconds Before, taken by
And while we're at it, more-popular-coastal-cities, Minneapolis is home to a great arts community, we make fantastic beer, we have a stellar Congressman and two great Senators, we've voted to implement Instant Runoff Voting (or Ranked Choice Voting) in our local elections (LIKE AGES AGO!), Sarah Palin got her accent from us, we have the best state fair around, and our hipsters are less stuck up than yours.
|Me, in the snow, displaying its depth|
Furthermore, we are far more badass than all of you when it comes to snow and the cold. Just last Monday I walked uphill in the snow (only one way, though) and blustery cold for almost a mile just to get to class! And I hardly even complained! More than a few times, anyway! And when it finally gets up to 40 degrees in 6 months, I won't wear a coat. But I bet you do, Californians. You probably whine about how coooooooooold it is, huh? Yeah. Well, I may not be as tan as you, but I sure am adept at shoveling snow and scraping ice off my windshield.
PS: No offense to all of you lovely readers, family members, or friends who may live in one of the cities I decided were not cooler than Minneapolis. I'm sure your cities are... fine...
*All pictures in this post were taken by me, except the one that is of me, in the snow.