Best of the Twin Cities 2011

150 things to be proud of because they're ours


The essential websites, blogs, and must-follow tweeters for the web-savvy Twin Citian

Smartest Website: Paperdarts.org

Two years ago, the ladies behind Paper Darts (pictured) magazine set out to make a big splash in the local literary scene and, after several months of highlighting great writing, an uber-hip aesthetic, and even some collectible hard-copy editions, it’s safe to say “mission accomplished!” But arriving hasn’t slowed down Meghan Murphy Suszynski, Regan Smith, and Jamie Millard. On the contrary, the trio still routinely features great short stories, poetry, sketches, and interviews, and they’re also working on growing the site into a local publishing business. paperdarts.org

Podcast: Mustache Rangers

The life span of anything online can often be measured in months, weeks, days, and in some cases minutes, which makes the past five years of Mustache Rangers podcasts by Corey Anderson and Aric McKeown such an amazing achievement. Perform-ing as Commander Major Alastair Q. Bastidious and First Lieutenant Rutuger G. Phooneybaum, the pair’s improvised recordings are less about action and adventure than silly interactions between two of the mainstays in TC improv. (The duo also performs as the Mustache Rangers at the new HUGE Theater in Uptown.) mustacherangers.com


Sports Blogger: Aaron Gleeman

A national juggernaut, Aaron Gleeman blogs for NBC, produces podcasts, is a frequent radio guest, and continues to write his signature Twins blog. Gleeman has single-handedly redefined the standard for baseball analysis–his stats-based Moneyball approach has made him some enemies at a local team that doesn’t live by the same dogma, but he’s made a generation of fans smarter and more skeptical of group think. And his Friday web links column is a (male) pop culture addict’s nirvana. aarongleeman.com

Sites Our Editors Can’t Get Enough Of

Shopping + Style Editor Allison Kaplan: Graphic Designer Kate Arends, katearends.com/blog

Eat + Drink Editor Stephanie March: The Heavy Table, ,em>heavytable.com

Out + About Editor Tad Simons: MN Blues, mnblues.com

Tweeters: MPR’s Tom Scheck and the Strib’s Rachel Stassen-Berger

2011 was another busy year for Minnesota politics. For the political theater, there was no better way for wonks to get their insta-fixes than following the top political reporters on Twitter, particularly MPR’s Tom Scheck and the Star Tribune’s Rachel Stassen-Berger, both of whom delivered breaking news as it happened, with a straightforwardness absent from less fair and balanced outlets.

Reason To Be On Twitter: First Avenue’s Table Upgrade

It’s tough to beat seeing your favorite band take the stage at First Avenue, but how do you get a sweet reserved spot in the club? Following First Avenue on Twitter helps. Mainroom staff pose a trivia question about whoever’s playing, and the first responder in attendance gets to move it on up. @FirstAvenue

Digital Trend: Food Trucks on Twitter

Chef Shack: 6,000+ followers @chefshack1

Smack Shack: 3,300+ followers @Smack_Shack

Barrio: 2,500+ followers @Barrio_Truck

128 Cafe: 2,200+ followers @128Cafe

World Street Kitchen: 1,700+ followers @eatwsk1

Dandelion Kitchen: 1,700+ followers @dandelionktchn

Nate’s Dogs: 1,500+ followers @Nate_Dogs

Simply Steve’s: 1,100+ followers @SimplySteves

Saucy Burt’s: 800+ followers @saucyburts

House of Hunger: 600+ followers @houseofhunger

10 Facebook Pages We Love To "Like"

R.T. Rybak: Civic Cheerleader

The feel-good Minneapolis mayor keeps us in the loop on city issues.

Jake Rudh: Music Junkie

The TC's hippest DJ shares his love—and deep knowledge—of music.

Retro Wanderlust: Best Furniture Finds

It's like a Craigslist dedicated to vintage home d├ęcor.

Summit Brewing: Brew News

Stay up on the social aspect of local beer-related events.

Punch Pizza: Meal Deals

Coupons, coupons, coupons, and more coupons.

Nice Ride: Bike News

Stay up-to-date on cycling around the Twin Cities.

MN Original: Arts Insider

Behind-the-scenes videos take you deep into the local arts scene.

Mike Augustyniak: Weather guy

He's the Jason DeRusha of weather forecasters.

Target Style: Discount Design

Find the latest on upcoming designer collaborations.

Guthrie Theater: Stage

Takes us backstage and frequently gives away tickets.

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