26 Aug 2019
A brief and random guide to the Twin Cities
Typecon 2019 is coming up and it’s hosted in our glorious home state of Minnesota. Find here a totally random collection of items that may be of use when you’re in town.
Minnesota has plenty of place names that aren’t intuitive to pronounce, even for native English speakers. So if you’re wondering, here’s how you pronounce the following:
- Nicollet: NICK – o – let
- Loring: LORE – ing
- Lyndale: LINN – dale
- Edina: Ee – DINE – uh
- Wayzata: Why – ZET – uh
- Orno: ORE – no
- Bde Maka Ska: Listen to it
Vegan in the Cities
The Cities plant-based scene is bursting right now. Downtown Minneapolis is still a little sleepy, but it’s do-able. Behold the map below. It shows places where you can find vegan food that is clearly marked as such on the menu, along with specialty grocery stores and places to get sweets. But, that doesn’t mean you won’t find vegan food at other restaurants. Many of the Cities Asian restaurants can easily accommodate vegans and have been doing so before “vegan” was a thing. By the way, if you’ve never had mock duck, this is your time to try it. Also, there are usually food trucks downtown but check out the next section; that might be a weekday-only option.
The core of downtown Minneapolis generally caters to office workers. That means many restaurants and shops are only open Monday through Friday, 9 to 5ish. This is particularly true if a business is located in the skyway (a series of enclosed walkways that connect buildings so you don’t have to walk outside in the cold winter). Make sure to check hours before heading someplace downtown on the weekend.
The great Minnesota get-together, vegan edition
The Minnesota State Fair is happening during Typecon. Honestly, you’re either a fair person or you’re not, and I wasn’t for many years until I had a child. But, if you are a fair person and you happen to be vegan, this list of vegan fair foods will come in handy:
Minnesota isn’t all “ya, you betcha” and Ole and Lena. We have amazing communities who’ve shared their native food cultures with us via restaurants. Food is extremely personal but when I think of the cuisine of the Cities, it is without a doubt from the Southeast Asian communities. If you can find some hotdish, by all means indulge, but here are alternate avenues to explore:
- Everything Necessary to Eat on Minneapolis’ Eat Street Corridor
- The Best Places to Experience Southeast Asian Cuisine in Minneapolis
- The Best Global Cuisine in the Twin Cities
For the two of you who like going to new grocery stores when you visit unfamiliar cities, let me introduce you to United Noodles, a pan-Asian grocery store with 15,000 square feet of space that houses everything from fresh produce to snacks to small personal goods. If you need mango powder, sticky rice, mochiko, gochujang, sweet soy sauce, dark soy sauce, cooking sake, or you just want to find some sweet sesame snacks, United Noodles has you covered. And there’s so much more! Best of all, you can have lunch at their Unideli. This part of town is fairly industrial, so it won’t make your list of aesthetically pleasing trips, but Guy Fieri went there. I mean, come on!
Design books, new and used
If you’re like most typophiles, rummaging a city’s used bookstores is a priority when visiting. Sadly, there’s no Collinge & Clark in Minnesota and the antiquarian book scene is pretty dismal. However, you can try any Half Priced Books, James and Mary Laurie Booksellers downtown, or Magers and Quinn in Uptown. You might get lucky and find something interesting. Or, go to Walker Art Center and visit their gift shop and book store for new art and design books. Check out some contemporary art while you’re at it.
If you’re staying downtown and want to get in a run, I recommend heading toward the Mississippi River where there is a walking/bike trail that runs along its banks. When I lived downtown, I used meet the trail at the North Loop Playground then followed it all the way to the Stone Arch Bridge, went across the bridge then turned around and headed back. Not the most inventive loop but it got the job done and I didn’t get lost. If you’re sense of direction is better than mine, check out these routes:
If you can make it out of downtown, the Chain of Lakes, or any one of the three major city lakes which forms the chain, makes for a nice run:
See you at the conference! — Nicole