Best People and Trends of 2013

The best trends, secrets, and celeb sightings of the year.

Best Sign Painter: Forrest Wozniak
Best Sign Painter: Forrest Wozniak

Moments & Spaces

Best Event Space: ARIA

If you feel like you’ve been to Aria a bunch lately, then clearly you’re attending all the hot events. From fashion shows to fundraisers, Peter Remes has made Aria—in the historic North Loop warehouse that was formerly home to Theatre de la Jeune Lune—the place to be. With its original brick walls, cavernous ceilings, funky artwork (Remes’s personal collection), and crystal chandeliers, Aria is a modern alternative to hotel ballrooms. And don’t discount its location in the neighborhood that is currently the pulse of hipness in Minneapolis. 105 N. 1st St., Mpls., 612-342-2742, ariampls.com

Best Neighborhood: The North Loop

(How do we love it? Let us count the ways.)

  1. Martinpatrick3, which recently expanded (again), continues to remind us why online shopping will never replace the retail store as theater experience. #inspired
  2. Handsome Cycles. Cool bikes. Cool clothes. Cool space.
  3. Askov Finlayson is designing its own products and hosting events for a steady stream of hip heritage brands.
  4. New women’s boutique D.NOLO (Destination North Loop) continues the trend of high-design spaces showcasing fashion-forward apparel. Plus, it makes the neighborhood nickname official.
  5. Whole Foods! Whole Foods! Whole Foods! (Did we mention Whole Foods?)
  6. The swank new Brunsfield Residences, designed by Julie Snow Architects with interiors by Cy Winship, is complete with a dog-washing area and fitness center.
  7. You can outfit your loft with refillable laundry detergent, wooden brushes, and Italian napkins from Foundry Home Goods.
  8. Cocktail hopping doesn’t get better than Parlour, Marvel Bar, and the classic Monte Carlo. 
  9. The lobster boil parties on Smack Shack’s patio are going to be the stuff of summer legend.
  10. Fulton Brewery, one of the taproom pioneers, hosts a regular turn of food trucks and beer-fueled merriment on the patio in the shadow of Target Field.
  11. HauteDish is the hipster brunch of your dreams; the chef’s bloody mary comes with a whole chicken wing perched on top.

Best Recycling

The best recycling trend isn’t the single-sort phenomenon; it’s the rebirth of great old buildings. The Blue Plate folks are giving the North Loop’s Loose-Wiles building new life with the opening of The Freehouse restaurant and brewpub, and new craft distilleries are coming to the old Schmidt Brewery.

Best School Facelift: Lake Harriet Lower Campus

This year Lake Harriet Lower finished an expansion just in the nick of time for the first day of school. The new wing’s exterior melds modern paneling with classic brick, a seamless design by Luken Architecture that fuses the old with the new. “The building exterior is constructed of brick using precast concrete and a high-impact phenolic panel system in colors compatible with the existing school materials,” says architect Ellen Luken. “The image captures both proportions and mimics some of the detailing of the original 1924 school.” While parents are happily surprised with the striking facade and teachers are thrilled to finally be out of portables, the school is a reminder of the value we put on education and how careful design can evolve a community landmark. 4030 Chowen Ave. S., Mpls., 612-668-3210

Best New App: Edina Realty

With detailed maps and photos of homes for sale near wherever you are right now, this house-hunting app is addicting even if you’re not in the market.

Best New Law: Same-Sex Marriage

On May 14, Minnesota became the 12th state to legalize same-sex marriage. At the stroke of midnight, Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak presided over the state’s first legal wedding ceremony—between Cathy ten Broeke and Margaret Miles—ushering in a welcome new era of matrimonial freedom.

Best Reason to Celebrate

We wouldn’t be surprised (nor would we blame them) if “We Are the Champions” was on repeat in the Lynx locker room. The team, led by head coach Cheryl Reeve, won its second WNBA championship in three years, making it our most successful pro team in recent history.

Best Football Moment

Our crop of professional footballers may not have given us much to cheer about this year, but when the Gophers upset Nebraska in late October, our faith in Twin Cities football was restored.