BEST MONTH TO LEAVE THE TWIN CITIES (1998)

It may be the shortest month of the year, but it feels like the longest. The holidays are distant memories, but there's still no reprieve from the cold and the snow. Even El Niño can't budge the mercury. And then there's Valentine's Day, that moment when the flower, greeting-card, and restaurant cartels conspire to remind us of our romantic incompetence--and then hold open the cash register for the price of our guilt. Really, given a choice we prefer the month's other major holiday, the one centered on a rodent.

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