Dating an america

HE SKEPTIC IN ME kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. Sure, the mercury can hover around 6 degrees in winter, with the occasional dip below −30.The molten center of the city’s Jucy Lucy hamburger can give you second-degree cheese burns. Still, as we drove past prim little cottages and stylish bungalows in handsome residential neighborhoods, we could so easily picture ourselves living here, planting flowers in the front yard, taking pottery classes at a local studio, and spending summer weekends on pontoon boats with our Minnesota Nice friends. magazine to spend a year hopping around Asia and Australia with my partner, Andrew.My dad ran his own consulting firm, and my mom, an artist, always thought the next place would be better.Evangelism dominated my public schools in Georgia and North Carolina.We still like Austin, but we’re better off as friends.MEETING THE ONE didn’t happen the way it does in the movies.The only thing any of our friends back East brought up when we mentioned Minnesota was subzero temperatures and mountains of snow.(Mind you, it’s not like New York is a picnic in winter. It’s a Delta hub, and the convenient location — smack in the middle of America — means it’s as easy to get to Asia as Europe.

Did we want to spend Saturday nights down at the rodeo, decked out in cowboy boots and bolo ties in Wimberley, Texas?Anytime we booked more than three days in a place, we fast-tracked the getting-to-know-you process by plunging ourselves into the daily scrum.We shopped for Bibb lettuce at the local farmers’ market, combed the event listings in the alt weekly, and made ourselves “regulars” at the coffee shops nearest our rentals.It was a slower burn, but no less infatuating — ­the kind where every day we found ourselves remarking out loud, and somewhat incredulously, on our good fortune. As travel writers finally looking to “settle down,” living somewhere that cele­brates diversity was of utmost importance.“How is it ­possible that one city has so many things we care about? Beyond its deep Nordic roots, Minnesota is home to the second-largest Hmong diaspora in the United States, plus sizable immigrant populations from Somalia, Ethiopia, Liberia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Mexico, Russia, India, China, and Korea.

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