Photograph by Darren Braun
Is Minnesota the North or the midwest? There’s a movement afoot pushing for the former, and its most convincing argument is geographical. After all, the Northwest Angle is the northernmost point in the lower 48, while the entirety of Minnesota is farther north than a large swath of Canada. Harder to sell is the notion that our collective sensibilities and accomplishments add up to something typically “northern.” Sure, we work hard up here, and we value education, the arts, and the outdoors—but these are talking points. Getting to the heart of our north-ness requires a bit of show-and-tell. Enter our annual love letter to the Twin Cities—aka the Capital of the North. This year’s recap doubles as a humble attempt to bring said northern rebrand into focus. In “What Is North” writer Steve Marsh dives deep to analyze the roots of our shared identity and is left with as many questions as answers. Elsewhere, we swim closer to the surface—because who doesn’t want to know about the finest lobby bar in town? Both approaches reveal an essential truth about Minnesotans: We might be bookish and introspective, but that doesn’t preclude us from enjoying the little things. Maybe the new “North” is simply the sum of its parts. If that’s the case, here are some of the parts we like best.
Edited by Chris Clayton | Lettering by Ben Johnston
Searching for collective identity in 2015.
The parts of the North that we like best.
Minnesota keeps on making—jewelry, apparel, pottery, textiles, liquor, the list goes on. Here’s a sampling of what Minnesota is making today.