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June 12, 2007

101 Entries: Time to Celebrate!

(A longish post, but well worth it to read to the end.)

I started this blog in September 2004 upon my return from spending the summer in Portland, Oregon. I LOVE Portland (I know--I'm not the only one!), and it was very hard to leave Portland that summer to come back to the Twin Cities.

We moved to the Twin Cities in August 2002. We were two new doctoral students with a 1 year old. We were making a big life transition. We were less gainfully employed. It was a stressful time, and we didn't find the Twin Cities very welcoming.

Thus, Winter in the Cities.

New Folder 2007 017.jpg

I decided to blog to record some of my impressions of this place, known for its winters, the Mall of America, and Minnesota nice. I learned to knit, in part, to have a diversion from the stress. It seems to be working.

In the last few years, things have been looking up. We're almost done with our degrees. We've got fantastic jobs. Our kid is getting ready for Chinese immersion school. All this in only 100 entries. These days, I actually kinda like Minnesota. It doesn't hurt that we have Trader Joe's, finally.

Time for a contest, I think. And, since I rarely win in random drawings, I want this to be easy. Not that I wouldn't like to have you guess what pattern I'm using to make socks for my sock pal, it's just that, well....never mind.

So here's the deal. For those of you who live in the area, what do you like about the Twin Cities? If you're not living here now, but have lived here in the past, what do you miss? If you've never been here, what do you think you might like? If you're like I was 100 entries ago, and you don't like the Twin Cities (or have never been here and the question seems too hard), what place calls out to you? What do you like about that place? (In other words, leave a relevant posting in the comments, along with your name and email address, and I'll enter you in the drawing.)

What might you win? Well, mostly some of my favorite stuff from the Cities, of course! I have a t-shirt from Crafty Planet (they're saving the world one stitch at a time) and my favorite sock pattern from the Yarnery, for starters. Of course, sock yarn! Enough to make a pair of socks, I'm including at least my favorite koigu colorway and a fabulous ball of Fleece Artist. Finally, there's some other Twin Cities kitsch, yet to be named. Wild rice, anyone?!

Non-knitters are welcome to enter the drawing (the prizes are not ALL knit related)--just let me know you're not a knitter. Let me know if you've got your heart set on the Fleece Artist, the Crafty Planet t-shirt, or if you'll be happy just to win (that's me!). When I do the drawing, I'll do my best to match the winners up to their favs, but I make no guarantees. (Hey, it IS free stuff after all!)

When will the drawing be held? Well, I'm heading out for Nashville later this week for a work-related event. I'm guessing I'm too swamped with work to do much posting between now and when I get back, so....if you're entered by midnight June 21st I'll include you in the drawing.

After all, by then it'll be summer in the cities. Let the fun begin!

Posted by chri1010 at June 12, 2007 8:49 PM | Because knitting rocks my socks! | Signs of the Cities


My favorite things about the Twin Cities...
-growing up it was THE place to go shop (I grew up about 45 minutes away on the WI side)
-Teddy Bear Park in Stillwater (my in-laws live in Stillwater)
-The Science Museum - the coolest field trip I ever went on 8 times!
-Saying every year, "This year we should really go to the Holidazzle Parade."
-The Vikes & the Twinkies - you either love 'em or you hate them
-Potlucks rock (It's a midwestern thing)
-Marching in the State Fair parade 4 years running (a 5'2" girl carrying a snare drum in 98 degree weather wearing a wool uniform)
-Dave Dahl and the Channel 5 Eye on the Sky Weather Team
-Now it's Sven the weatherman on Channel 11 (came from my new home in Duluth/Superior)
-The Halloween storm of '91
-Why is it that natives either like St Paul OR Minneapolis, but rarely do they like both? It's quite the rivalry.
-The Yarnery - Only been there once, but I called in an order and received excellent customer service.

I'm sure I could come up with more...

Posted by: Jess at June 13, 2007 3:12 PM

er hum. Call me a geographically challenged Canadian or maybe I just haven't had enough coffee yet (more than likely both) but I'm not even sure where the Twin Cities are.

Since hearing about Rhinebeck, I really would like to go there. Not just for the festival in September, but also to see the farms, the city, the nature. I've heard it is lovely.

I took up knitting again when I went through my separation & I'm glad I did. It's been stress relief, therapy and something truly enjoyable.

Posted by: knitty-kat at June 14, 2007 12:28 PM

I'm just west of Portland, Oregon and I love, love, love it here. Can't really imagine living anywhere else (okay, maybe Victoria or Vancouver, BC, Canada, but then I was born up there).

I've never been to anywhere in Minnesota. EEK!

I love all things about making socks, even though we don't get the cold, cold winters here. I confess to not having use Koigu yet to make a pair, though. :)

Happy 101st!

Posted by: Cindy in Oregon at June 14, 2007 12:58 PM

Another Canadian here. I know where the Twin Cities are, but I've never been east of Saskatchewan. I'd like to go there someday to visit some friends who live there (friends from university and one person I've known online for a while). I've also heard that the area has great parks, although I don't know how any city parks can compare to rural BC.

I don't think I'd want to visit in the winter, though.

Congratulations on 101 posts!

Posted by: Nicole at June 14, 2007 1:33 PM

I've never lived in the Twin Cities area, but as a somewhat recent transplant to Mississippi, I miss the cold weather and snow of the Northern States. Congrats on the 101 posts!

Posted by: Laura at June 14, 2007 3:44 PM

I once visited Minnesota when I was young, but can't remember any details or if we visited the Twin Cities. However, I think I would enjoy both that St. Paul is where one of my favorite authors (F. Scott Fitzgerald) was born, and also the winters. The area where my college is located experiences very cold and snowy winters, and thus such winters hold sentimental value (even if I complain when it snows heavily in late April!)
I see that someone has mentioned Rhinebeck as a place they'd like to see. I actually live in Rhinebeck, and although visitors often describe it as "quaint" and "lovely," I can't help but think that I must be missing all of this charm! It's probably a very nice place to visit, but it isn't the most interesting place to spend your formative years.

Posted by: Amy T. at June 14, 2007 5:28 PM

I have never been to the Twin Cities, but I think that I might like Garrison Keeler the most. I do like the impression of a distinct culture that I get when I here about the area.
I'm currently living in Portland, so you may know the things I love. But number one appealing thing is the walkable nature of the city....so different from where I grew up.

Posted by: Christy / Not Hip at June 14, 2007 8:44 PM

I have never been to the twin cities (actually once to the airport but that doesn't count) but I imagine that I would like Minnesota because I love snow and cold weather (cold weather is sweater weather after all!). I really like to x-country ski so as long as you get enough snow for that I am happy.

The place that calls out to me the most is where I live (most of the time) and that's Juneau, Alaska. I didn't always love it here, in fact it is a hard place to love. You really have to get to know it (or in my case leave it) before you can really love it. I think. Anyways now I think I will never leave!

Posted by: Alli at June 14, 2007 9:23 PM

I've never been to the Twin Cities. I would like to experience a bit of that winter snow. Not since my childhood in Iowa have I experienced more than trivial amounts of snow, and I sometimes miss it. I have lived some different places in my life. Some places I liked better than others. What I have learned is that anywhere can be a nice place to live if you can find good people. This is very true. Where I live is the butt of many jokes, but it has become home for me because I found love. I never would have guessed that it would become my home, but some dear people have made this the place for me. No, it does not have many attractions of other locations, but those places do not have the love of my life.

All of the prizes sound fantastic. You are so generous to share with us. I am enjoying finding so many different blogs through Sockapalooza4.

Posted by: Sarah at June 14, 2007 11:04 PM

I've never been there. And yes, the airports count. If I ever go, it will be in summer. We have hot, dry summers here and mild winters. A cool break in the summer to somewhere a bit cooler and greener might be a welcome respite.


Posted by: TrevorKane at June 24, 2007 6:16 PM

Oh, Rex, you consider half a move forward, and operate 200 steps back again.

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