Welcome to Minnesota!

Hey there!

Welcome to Minnesota! Thanks so much for coming to visit us, I know you’ll have an amazing time at NDC.

But why is NDC way up north here in Minnesota aye? Minnesota is a strange and wonderful place, and I’d be happy to be your guide. Here are some things you should know before you touch down at MSP:

  • Minneapolis and Saint Paul are two biggish American cities, right next to each other. We call it the Twin Cities, but they don’t look the same. We have a higher number of twin births per capita, but that’s probably a fluke.
  • You’ll engage in a conversation about the weather with a native Minnesotan. We literally cannot help it. It’s a compulsion. We got a ton of snow this winter, but it was nothing like the Halloween Blizzard of 1991. See? We’re already doing it.
  • NDC is in downtown Saint Paul, at the Rivercentre, right next to the riverfront. There is lots of great food, bars, parks and sightseeing nearby. There is even more if you venture over to Minneapolis or the surrounding area, which is just a short Uber or Lyft away.
  • Yes, that’s really how they spell Rivercentre. We don’t get it either.
  • PubConf will be a block down from the Rivercentre at New Bohemia. They have a wide selection of regional beers and tasty sausages.
  • If you fancy a beer, we have many, many fine breweries that you can visit. Surly should be on your list, they have a wide selection, cool open facility, and delicious BBQ.
  • We hosted the Super Bowl this year. We spent a lot of time and money getting ready for it, and built lots of new things. Please enjoy them.
  • Juicy Lucy. It’s basically a reverse cheeseburger (beef on outside, cheese on inside) that has a creation myth still being fought over to this day. Friendships have ended over the Matt’s Bar/5-8 Club dispute. I’d recommend you get one at RedCow instead. Or any of their burgers.
  • Sometimes we put peanut butter on our burgers. I know it’s weird, but you should try it.
  • Be ready to experience first-class passive aggression. If someone says your custom Roslyn compiler is “interesting,” they are not a fan. If someone says, “I’m not mad,” they are, in fact, mad.
  • Our parks, trails, and museums are pretty goddamn great. We don’t brag often, but when we do, we mean it. Nearby, you can do several river walks, visit the Minnesota History Center, or tour the historic mansions of J. J. Hill and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
  • While we’re bragging, our food is pretty amazing. Jakob says it’s the best in the world, but think he’s being quite generous. In addition to the places I mentioned above, you should also visit The Saint Paul Grill, Meritage, and Mucci’s Donuts. I have about 100 other recommendations if those don’t interest you.
  • RE: The “Fargo” accent. unless you get outside of the metro area, you won’t hear it. Once you get to the suburbs, you’ll hear traces. Once you get outstate, it’s like being in the movie.
  • If you find that accent, you’ll find a meat raffle. It’s exactly what it sounds like.

You have a packed schedule with NDC. I hope you take some time and explore some of what makes Minnesota great. If you’re looking for an adventure or just a different recommendation during your stay, please let me know.

Your NDC Minnesota Local,


Todd Gardner
[email protected]
TWTR: @toddhgardner

Addendum of other places of interest:

  • Walk across the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis and view Saint Anthony Falls.
  • While you’re there, visit Mill City Museum, built in the ruins of an exploded flour mill.
  • Interested in Shopping? You probably want to visit the Mall of America. It’s just like any other Mall in America, but Mall-y-er.
  • Interested in Art? Visit the Walker Art Center and stroll through the sculpture garden. If it’s rainy, check out the Minneapolis Institute of Art instead.
  • Want more fun in your art? Check out Can Can Wonderland. An artistic take on Minigolf built in an old canning factory.
  • Ready to get outdoors? Our parks are pretty great. You can rent a Kayak on the Mississippi in Minneapolis, or bike along the riverfront, or get outstate and visit something wilder.
  • Some of my favorite restaurants not mentioned above: Lolo, Bulldog, Revival, Parlour, Happy Gnome, Hi-Lo Diner (Breakfast), Glamdoll Donuts, Hells Kitchen, Manny’s, Butcher and the Boar, 112 Eatery, and D-Spot Wings.
  • Some of my favorite breweries not mentioned above: Bad Weather, Flat Earth, Dangerous Man, Fulton, Modist, and Lift Bridge.
  • Some other alcohol-related locations of interest: Sociable Cider Works, Norseman Distillery, Tattersall Distillery, and the Marvell Bar speakeasy.