Vogue magazine shows how to endorse Minneapolis without actually visiting it


The Twin Cities economic engine is humming along just fine thanks to the people that live here. We don't really expect, or need, a bunch of tourist dollars to keep us going.

Not like, say, New York City, where Vogue magazine is headquartered. 

That said, sure, we'll take some eager visitors. All the better if they arrive here well-informed. This is not what will happen if anyone comes this way thanks to a recent write-up in the woman's magazine that inspired The Devil Wears Prada and a handful of painful, post-Photoshop surgeries for its cover models.

We cannot state definitively that the "travel" writer of this story, "Why Minneapolis Should Top Your Summer Weekend Getaway List," filed her report without leaving the island of Manhattan. But it can be said with some confidence that if she left the office, she did not make it to Minneapolis. 

The first oddity in this write-up is the suggestion that one take a "dip or a day trip" to visit some area lakes. Then the story names Lake Harriet, Lake of the Isles, and Lake Calhoun, all of which lie inside the city, and are reachable within 15 minutes from anywhere else in town. If such travel amounts to a "day trip," you are sleeping 22 hours a day and should see a doctor immediately. 

Next our guide suggests visitors go to the Walker Art Center, a "heavy hitter in the modern and contemporary scene." So far, so good. But in the next sentence she says "its sculpture garden — complete with Claes Oldenburg’s irresistible Spoonbridge and Cherry monumental piece, is worthy of your attention."

Can you see the tiny little sculptures? Marvelous, aren't they?

Can you see the tiny little sculptures? Marvelous, aren't they?

This is true, too! Or it was, in 2015. Or 2014, '13, '12; really, most years going back to the sculpture garden's construction in 1988. This year? It's undergoing a massive renovation to move in new pieces. What's typically a big, inviting green space currently looks like a big, big field of dirt.


Thank you for visiting the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Come again! Or for the first time.

Besides the less-than-sightly scene, the sculpture garden's closed during construction. Does Vogue magazine want its readers to just go running through, trespassing, dodging vehicles and fleeing police? In these heels?

Is that how you get your kicks in New York? 

From the Walker, we're told artsy tourists should "wander over next door to the Guthrie Theater." The theater, as is apparent to anyone who's even seen a map, is located on the other end of downtown from the Walker, a distance of more than two miles. If this is "next door," how many properties does Vogue presume exist in the whole city? 

The next section, on food, seems a lot wiser, but makes a similarly glaring geographic error. After eating at Yum! Kitchen and Bakery in St. Louis Park, our weary traveler is told to "stroll" to the excellent Milkjam Creamery, in the Wedge area, another two-plus mile hike. Vogue is inviting you to the walking-est weekend of your life.

Should you come on one of our 90-and-humid days, you can also learn about our world-class healthcare system after you are revived on the sidewalk. 

Unsurprisingly, Vogue's on steadier ground when it comes to where to buy shit. Want fancy "bathtub brushes"? You do? Ok, fine. They know where to get that. Want to drop $165 for a belt with little designs of the outline of the state? Rest your belt loops, Vogue can help.

After all, this is Vogue. A glossy magazine for high-end consumers, people with money to burn. They're experts in helping people — outright encouraging them — to buy things. Except if that thing is a plane ticket for one of its writers.