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New York Times: Where to go in the North Loop (if you want to pretend you're in Brooklyn)

Minneapolis, or Brooklyn? Spoon and Stable is one of the places the New York Times deemed worthy of a stop in the North Loop.

Minneapolis, or Brooklyn? Spoon and Stable is one of the places the New York Times deemed worthy of a stop in the North Loop.

The North Loop: repurposed industrial beauty, up-and-coming young creative class, just afield of the main part of downtown, and whoops! you're priced out. Sound like some other famous American burg we know of? 

As we all know by now, Brooklyn used to be the scrappy, artsy, tatted-up little sister to Manhattan, the sophisticate who graduated from Harvard and got the partnership at the serious firm. Starving artists were looking at the abandoned warehouses and the industrial beauty of the parts of the city nobody else wanted and said, as artistic types are wont to say the world over: "You know, I could do something with that." 

And now Brooklyn is the second most expensive place to live in the country, right after Manhattan, and it seems like the North Loop is hell- bent on following suit. 

The North Loop was once upon a time of course the Warehouse District, with far less hip and far more grit recommending it, with big, pink Deja Vu advertising "100's of beautiful ladies and 3 ugly ones." It was plucky, hard won restaurants who set up shop there, the female owned and operated Sapor (which just closed after 15 years in business), Runyon's (still there; classic pub with award-winning chicken wings), old-timer Monte Carlo (still there, over 100 years in business), and Cuzzy's (beloved dive bar), to name a few. 
But just like progress everywhere, new money will influx, that money will look at its friend, more money, and say: "You know, we could do something with this."  So perhaps not all that surprisingly, the places the New York Times deemed worthy of a visit in Monday's edition are not the Vu and its beautiful and ugly dancers, or Cuzzy's dank but life-affirming charms, or Runyon's otherworldly orange buffalo wings. Instead it's Askov Finlayson and their $120 swim trunks that neither you nor anyone you know can afford unless their father happens to be the old-money governor; Spoon and Stable, from chef Gavin Kaysen, a Minnesota native who's as much NYC as anything else — he spent the bulk of his career in the city's most tony restos and recently swept back to his hometown to open a slick new spot buoyed by a slicker NYC PR campaign; the Foundry,with its if-you-have-to-ask-you-can't-afford-it beeswax candles and handmade towels woven by Moroccan artists ($38 — I had to ask, I can't afford it); and Shinola, which is actually a Michigan-based retailer, and a "lifestyle" brand you can't live without for outfitting your $2,200 1-bedroom loft space.  It's true, these spots proffer "ooh" and "ah"- inspiring shine to our scratch-and-dent old Warehouse district. But the Warehouse District has been here a long time, NYT, long before you could see the reflection of yourself in our expensive new shop windows.