Work’s been a little tough lately what with my constant screw ups so I thought I’d take a trip down memory lane… Prompted in no small part by my friend posting “25 signs you’re from Minneapolis.”
I am not from Minneapolis, I am a NY tristate area person. I am a Jersey girl, which explains why I call the place Minnehaha. But I spent 2 years in the frigid north because I mistakenly thought a PhD in history would open a wealth of job opportunities for me (my home on the east coast also explains why my mom still says I went to school in Michigan and when I correct here that “it’s all the same”). This adventure did not pan out. Possibly this made me laugh really hard because I’m not actually from Minnesota so these were in many respects idiosyncrasies and quirks that I found to be absolutely true about Minnesotans, particularly #24. For a very long time, I just thought I was incredibly lucky and that was why there was always that one bagel/cookie/slice of pizza left. I recall snatching one up and seeing someone’s jaw just drop followed by, “wait, you’re from NJ, right?” “Yeah.” “Oh, okay, then it makes sense.” Apparently they were not raised under the doctrine of “you snooze, you loose.”
Retrospectively, Minneapolis would’ve been a great place to run. No, really. It’s got miles and miles of trails around lakes and lakes… and more lakes. All dedicated to walking/running/biking. I enjoyed spending hours walking around Lake Calhoun, near where I lived in Uptown. I’d walk to Trader Joe’s in St. Louis Park or hit up the sample selections at Lund’s, walk along Lake Harriet to Kowalski’s on Hennepin, and maybe loop back around to the Lake Calhoun Whole Foods. (Understanding why I was 200 lbs when I lived here?)
Too cold? Head to the skyway for miles of indoor walking and a trip to the Target World Headquarters! I swear it literally glows an orange shade of red as everyone streams out in red polos and pleated khaki pants.
If you’re in town for a race, possibly the marathon, and looking to carbo load… Oddly enough, my favorite pizza is in Minneapolis. I know, weird, right? Everyone talks about Galactic Pizza, but personally I loved Punch. I still have my punch card with one free pizza left on it just in case I end up back in Minneapolis broke and starving (and since I was there for a PhD in the humanities that wasn’t all that unlikely). My friend hated it because it had communal seating and he insisted he shouldn’t be forced to sit with strangers but I loved the pizza and the Caesar salad. Pizza luce was disgusting! NEVER. I hated it. It had nothing on Punch. Oh, and I still talk about the waffle with chocolate sauce and fresh whipped cream that was basically ice cream from breakfast at French Meadow on Lyndale.
But then, things always look shiny and better retrospectively and the further they fade into memory the better they look. That really was good pizza, but I was also 50 lbs heavier and I did the sample trips in part out of emotional eating because I was having a rough time. This is, I guess, as much a reminder to me that although my time there had it’s good points (hello, peer-review published article as a second year, easily accessible target stores, and some wonderful, great friends) I was also in a place that was not good emotionally. Perhaps if I had been a runner then things would’ve worked out differently and my racing mind and anxiety would’ve had an outlet, but I did start thinking about running when I lived there. I just wasn’t quite ready for it yet. One of these days I’ll get around to doing a post on why I left graduate school and my doctoral program. It’s cathartic and has made me the person I am today and I think it’s cool to say, “I made a mistake. I’m going to move on.”
Any other PhD dropouts? Northstar state residents? Favorite place for pizza in your city?