Meet Me in Minneapolis

The queerer of the Twin Cities, the cosmopolitan City of Lakes is home to a killer food scene, fabulous art and plenty of hotspots to meet the Upper Midwestern soulmate of your dreams.

STAY OUT LATE

Whether Mary Richards makes your heartstrings flutter, or you go for more of a Betty Crocker type, Minneapolis has something for you. You’ll find your soulmate, your one-night-stand and everything in between at anything DJ’d by the Twin Cities’ premier queer promoter, DJ Shannon Blowtorch. You’ll often find her spinning Fridays at CRUSH, a weekly queer dance party at Minneapolis’s unofficial lesbian bar Lush (990 Central Ave NE, 612-208-0358, lushmpls.com, $5). Black Hearts Burlesque gets the crowd warmed up.

If it’s the first Friday of the month, you’ll want to head to queer-friendly restaurant/destination Hell’s Kitchen for Soul Friday (80 S 9th St, facebook.com/SoulFridayMinneapolis, $5), a retro dance night for queer women of color and friends.

Check out anything hosted by Flip Phone (facebook.com/Flip-Phone), a truly something-for-everyone nightlife series devoted to the music of the pre-smartphone decades. Recent parties and drag brunches paid tribute to Stevie Nicks, TLC and Britney.

PHOTO COURTESY OF FLIP PHONE

DAYTIME FUN

Of course, nightclubs are not your only option for meeting lesbians. There’s the Petco—just kidding. But you will find lady-lovers in abundance at Minnesota Lynx home games (Target Center, 600 First Ave N, lynx.wnba.com). The three-time WNBA title winners happen to be the state’s winningest professional sports team, and their fans adore them for it. The fans are so passionate, in fact, that they lined up at the airport to welcome four of the team’s stars—Lindsay Whalen, Seimone Augustus, Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles—back from the Rio Olympics, where they returned home wearing well-deserved gold medals.

For those fleeting months when the weather is tolerable and the city isn’t overtaken by the wind-chills of your nightmares, you’ll find pretty much everyone outdoors. Minneapolis is called the City of Lakes for a reason. Each one has its own character, and all of them are a lovely way to take advantage of the outdoors before the season of freezing your eyebrows off approaches. My favorite? Lake Nokomis in South Minneapolis for its bustling beach and foodie snack stand Sandcastle.

Not only is Minneapolis one of the gayest cities in the country, but it’s also one of the best for book lovers. It’s been called “Most Literate City,” and indeed, Minnesotans do love to read. The Loft Literary Center (1011 Washington Ave S, 612-215-2575, loft.org) is always welcoming superstar authors for readings and signings. And independent bookstores are hanging on, including nook-like Birchbark Books (2115 W 21st St, 612-374-4023, birchbarkbooks.com), a shop that focuses on Native American literature, owned by National Book Award winner and local author Louise Erdrich.

Browse the gadgets and gizmos of pleasure at Smitten Kitten (3010 Lyndale Ave S, 612-721-6088, smittenkittenonline.com), Minneapolis’s answer to Babeland, in the bustling Lyn-Lake neighborhood. Treat yourself. And who knows? Maybe by now you’ve met a Mary Richards of your own.


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