Friday, February 24, 2006

Dear Twin Cities,

Though we don’t have a long history together, I’ve always liked you. I like the playfulness and diversity of your downtown architecture. I like your celebrated skyway system that keeps your businesses and consumers interacting even on the coldest of days. I like the sheer capitalist obscenity of your Mall of America. I like the fact that you let me buy all sorts of souvenirs that practically jump into my possession with no pesky sales tax to slow them down.

I like your people. They’re friendly and no-nonsense, with pure, articulated vowels and a warm, practical fashion sense. And while you have more than your fair share of mom-style hair, you also have more than your fair share of smokin’ hot men whose masculine charms are far more believable than the hyper-macho cartoons one encounters in bigger-city gay circles.

I like the work that comes out of your advertising and design firms. In fact, I’ve contemplated moving up your way just to be a part of your marketing magic on more than one occasion.

I like the word Hennepin. It sounds so … gay.

I like your Metro Transit light rail train system. It’s clean and efficient and easy to navigate. It’s populated with quiet, respectful riders. And I like the fact that it’s apparently free; we bought our (very affordable) tickets today to ride from downtown to the airport, but no machine demanded to eat them before letting us board, and no pesky conductors came around to see if we had them in our possession while we were riding.

But. Seriously. Who are you trying to fool (OK, whom are you trying to fool) with the little commuter train at your airport? While it’s as clean and efficient and wonderfully roomy as everyone would expect, the recorded voice that announces all the stops is conspicuously British. Worse yet, it’s Ennui British, as though the woman who recorded it was distracted by her indecision over whether to shop for D&G with Madonna at Harrods when she was done or to head off for yet another dreary weekend of polo and crumpets at the Cardiff manse instead. To top it off, you call the system a “tram.” Which is, quite frankly, criminally pretentious. At least when you live in the Midwest.

To recap: I love everything about your city. Except the mom hair. And the winters. And that ridiculous faux-British “tram” business. Please stop.

Other than that, you can turn the world on with your smile.

And please send some of your men to Chicago.

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