I wish I was in New Orleans

I stumbled into a fantastic Mardi Gras party last night at this top-notch joint and had one too many of the six dollar Sazeracs, so I don’t have much to contribute today beyond open threads.

I’ll give you a topic, though. New Orleans had a hundred years of the nation’s worst crime and corruption, but it gave the world Louis Armstrong, Professor Longhair, and étoufféé. Minneapolis had a hundred years of safety and solid Scandinavian values, and what did they produce? The Mall of America.

174 replies
  1. 1
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    The Replacements, Al Franken and Tater-Tot Hot Dish?

  2. 2
    ADS says:

    The B*A*N*K bar at the Westin Minneapolis makes the second best vodka gimlet I’ve ever had – that counts for a lot. (Best: Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta, with Silver Tree vodka).

  3. 3
    Q. Q. Moar says:

    Minneapolis gave us The Replacements, which makes up for a lot.

  4. 4
    Egg Berry says:

    Minneapolis had a hundred years of safety and solid Scandinavian values, and what did they produce? The Mall of America.

    Hey! They also gave us the Replacements and Husker Du (insert umlauts)!

    edit: i see others beat me to it. Also, Prince.

  5. 5
    Rand Careaga says:

    Thank you, Orson Welles.

  6. 6
    "Fair and Balanced" Dave says:

    Minneapolis had a hundred years of safety and solid Scandinavian values, and what did they produce? The Mall of America.

    ..and Prince.

    Edit: I see someone else beat me to it.

  7. 7
  8. 8
    Chris says:

    The Mall of America isn’t in Minneapolis. Just sayin’.

  9. 9
    ET says:

    I wish I was back home too. I could use some good food.

  10. 10
    BD of MN says:

    hey now, the MoA was developed by a Canadian family of Iranian-Jewish descent…

    And don’t forget about Prince…

    edited: so I wasn’t the first to mention Prince…

  11. 11
    patroclus says:

    Prince is a fabulous guitar player – check him out by googling the “greatest guitar solo ever” and watch him play George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” at the 2004 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame awards (where Harrison was inducted posthumously) with Dhani Harrison as a back-up guitarist.

  12. 12
    artem1s says:

    New Orleans had a hundred years of the nation’s worst crime and corruption, but it gave the world Louis Armstrong, Professor Longhair, and étoufféé. Minneapolis had a hundred years of safety and solid Scandinavian values, and what did they produce? The Mall of America.

    I love The Third Man

  13. 13
    geg6 says:

    And Prince. And the Replacements. And I’m sure I’m forgetting someone else, but not having read the other comments, I’m also sure someone will have remembered who I’m forgetting.

    Edited: And, yes, I see someone did. Husker Du.

  14. 14

    […] at Balloon Juice says: I’ll give you a topic, though. New Orleans had a hundred years of the nation’s worst crime and […]

  15. 15
    nellcote says:

    Tater-Tot Hot Dish

    Is that a real thing?

  16. 16
    Suffern ACE says:

    Mary Richards! You dismiss Mary Richards?!

  17. 17
    Butch says:

    And Dylan and Kottke…

  18. 18
    JPK says:

    That’s funny!

  19. 19
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    Well, Bob Dylan was from Northern MN, which is even more Scandanavian. Also, the Jayhawks.

  20. 20
    MattF says:

    And now you know why the Mississippi River always decides to leave Minneapolis and always turns up, in the end, in New Orleans.

  21. 21
  22. 22
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Wow. Welcome to Providence. If you’re here for a few more days and need any recs on places to eat, give a holler. It’s a great food town.

  23. 23
    MarkJ says:

    Also the Jayhawks were pretty good in their heyday.

    On another topic Key and Peele is the funniest new show on Comedy Central since Dave Chapelle came along.

  24. 24
    Nemesis says:

    New Orleans. My favorite city. A beautiful disaster.
    Visit Igors on St Charles and Mahoneys on Magazine. You will want to stay forever…

    We were in town for the college football national championship in January. Damn that was fun. Roll Tide!

  25. 25
    joel hanes says:

    Also there’s this one obscure north-Minnesota folkie who moved from Hibbing down to Minneapolis and got his start there, before making it big in New York. Bob something, I think. Zimmerman?

  26. 26
    Jess says:

    I’m leaving for NOLA tomorrow morning for a conference–it’ll be my first time there. I’m excited! Any restaurants I must absolutely check out?

  27. 27
    joel hanes says:

    pwned by Spaghetti Lee, I see. And butch.

  28. 28
    slag says:

    So, what you’re saying is we need more crime and corruption?

  29. 29
    Nemesis says:


    The kids tell me its akin to being “Santorumed”.

  30. 30
    Egg Berry says:

    @joel hanes: He’ll never amount to anything.

  31. 31
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    I always wondered why nobody ever wrote a song about a railroad train called “City of Minneapolis”.

  32. 32
    urizon says:

    Bob Mould.

  33. 33
    Cole Moore Odell says:

    Prince, the ‘Mats and Husker Du are really all you need as a counter-argument, but for what it’s worth genius cartoonist Charles Schulz, creator of Peanuts, was born in Minneapolis and grew up in St. Paul.

    If you count that sister city, then they can also claim Kate Millett and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

  34. 34
    Jager says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Is Camilles on Federal Hill is good as it used to be?

  35. 35
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: Hard to work a 5-syllable name into the rhythm?

  36. 36
    BD of MN says:

    @joel hanes:

    Also there’s this one obscure north-Minnesota folkie who moved from Hibbing down to Minneapolis and got his start there, before making it big in New York. Bob something, I think. Zimmerman?

    yeah, but he wasn’t wild about his time in Minneapolis… “Positively 4th Street” is essentially one big smackdown about his time at the U of M…

  37. 37
    rikryah says:


    get you a Po BOy

  38. 38
    Lev says:

    Also, Orson Welles himself was from neighboring Wisconsin, specifically Kenosha in the reactionary SE part of the state. You never know where brilliance is going to come from.

  39. 39
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Jager: So-so. Not a style of food nor an ambiance I prefer.

  40. 40
    Nemesis says:

    @Jess: Depends on your tastes.
    Try Old Absinthe on Bourbon, Igors on St Charles in the Garden District. Wille Maes Scotch House for fried chicken. The Maple Leaf for late, late night entertainment, especially Mondays. Mahoneys and Magazine po boys for well po-boys. Felixs in the Quarter for gumbo and oysters. Cafe DuMonde, need I even mention this? The Bulldog is a good bar on Magazine St. For upsale, cant beat Antoine’s.

  41. 41
    biff diggerence says:

    Speaking of The Third Man

    Minneapolis – THE COEN BROTHAS.

  42. 42
    Culture of Truth says:

    The sinners have much more fun.

  43. 43
    techno says:

    Those solid Scandinavian virtues produced a state that is close to the top in every meaningful comparison there is. But hey, I guess that having way more than our share of Fortune 500 companies, treating the elderly with decency, etc. etc. is not nearly so important as a few known musicians.

    Love your sense of values Doug.

  44. 44
    Lev says:

    I guess you could toss Soul Asylum into the MN list too, if you were so inclined. The early stuff wasn’t bad.

  45. 45
    MarkJ says:

    Also the Hold Steady are pretty good. And Key and Peele. But I repeat myself.

  46. 46
    MattF says:

    The Bad Plus are also from MN, fwiw.

  47. 47
    sock puppet says:

    The better comparison would be Denver. Lovely place to live, but…

  48. 48
    wrb says:

    @BD of MN:

    The 4th Street he talks about in his bio is where he lived in NY with a woman who was a major love for awhile.

  49. 49
    Jager says:

    In da Twin Cidies, ya have gotah eat at Murrays, home of dah budder knife steak, ya know…den wander around to hear sum life muusic, then, too, also. Plenny ah guut muusic up dere. Last time I hadda steak at Murrays waas after a Wikings game, ya know!(dey was beat by them dam Berse) Dam ting waas guut too, ya betcha.

  50. 50
    Jess says:

    @Nemesis: Many thanks! I wrote it all down and will check out as much as I can…

  51. 51
    Democratic Nihilist, Keeper Of Party Purity says:

    Yeah, New Orleans is awesome until you find yourself running for your life down the street at 3am because you took the wrong fucking turn into a no-go zone.

    Not going back.

  52. 52
    brian says:

    Koerner, Ray & Glover; Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis; The Revolution; Sounds of Blackness; The Andrews Sisters; Semisonic/Trip Shakespeare; The Suburbs; The Suicide Commandos; Amphetamine Reptile; Rhymesayers…

    Also, I’m sure New Orleans doesn’t have any malls or shitty bands.

  53. 53
    Dee Loralei says:

    I’ve read 25 responses and no one mentioned Charles Schultz yet. Also, F Scott Fitzgerald, who technically was born in St Paul. but damned close enough, if y’all are counting Mr Zimmerman too.

  54. 54
    Culture of Truth says:

    Zimmerman was from Minneapolis. Dylan was from the Village.

  55. 55
    jacy says:


    Galatoir’s for oysters en brouchette. Fancy dress though. It’s authentic old-school French Quarter. We like Fin’s for fish and the Rib Room for beef.

    Mona’s has good Middle Eastern, and there’s a hookah bar next door.

    Or just get you an oyster po’boy.

  56. 56

    Umm … pretty sure Bob Dylan is from Minneapolis.

    Also, Prince.

  57. 57
    Jamie says:

    I think The Hold Steady are good enough to qualify for this list. I’m a huge fan of them.

  58. 58
    Biscuits says:

    Don’t forget Cokie Roberts…um, never mind.

  59. 59

    Oh yeah also from Minneapolis: F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sinclair Lewis.

    So, I rest my case.

  60. 60
    biff diggerence says:

    Louis Armstrong never returned to New Orleans after his integrated band was not allowed to play.

    Racist fucks.

  61. 61
    geg6 says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    I’m pretty sure he wasn’t from Minneapolis, but from Northern MN. The Iron Range and Duluth, I believe.

  62. 62

    Alright, I see that a million people beat me to the punch on Bob Dylan and Prince. Never mind.

  63. 63
    Jager says:

    @Gin & Tonic: It used to have kind of a Patriarcha vibe, being on Federal Hill. I had a client named Antonio (never call me Tony) who loved the place.

  64. 64
    DanielX says:

    Allen Toussaint, the Neville Brothers, Fats Domino, Professor Longhair, Mac Rebennac (aka Dr. John), Little Richard, Lee Dorsey, Sonny Landreth, Clifton Chenier, the Meters, Leadbelly, James Burton, Little Walter, Buddy Guy and the list goes on and on and on…okay, some are from Louisiana as opposed to New Orleans. But if I was making a musical pilgrimage, New Orleans would be on the must-see-and-hear list. Minneapolis, not so much.

    Also. Too. If I have to make the choice between gumbo and lutefisk, it’s not a difficult decision.

  65. 65
    Gex says:

    Yup. Minneapolis is the only city in America with a monument to crass consumerism. That’s all it is in fact. Soulless, culture-less, MoA atrocity, that Minneapolis. Makes me wish there was more crime.

    Did alternate universe David Brooks write this post?

  66. 66
    middlewest says:

    The Mall of America is not, nor has it ever been in Minneapolis. Why do people think this?

    This seems like the appropriate thread to congratulate the citizens of Stillwater, MN, who have been redistricted away from Michele Bachman to Betty McCollum.

  67. 67
    Thor Heyerdahl says:

    So Ole and Lena got married in the countryside around Rushford, MN and were driving north to the Twin Cities for their honeymoon.

    As they were getting within 50 miles of Minneapolis, Ole was felt a bit frisky and reached over and put his hand on Lena’s knee.

    Lena – also feeling frisky – told Ole, “Oh, Ole – you can go further if you vant to!”

    So Ole drove to Duluth.

  68. 68
    jlow says:

    Did DougJ just start the stupidest flame war in internet Balloon Juice history?

  69. 69
    geg6 says:


    At the higher end, don’t miss Emeril’s (I know he’s a cliche to some, but he really is a fantastic chef/restauranteur) and August. I had some of the best food of my life in both places.

  70. 70
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Fuck New Orleans! Chicago!

  71. 71
    CJ in MPLS says:

    The Twin Cities are the great compromise. Not usually top of the list in any category, but interesting always ON the list if you know what I mean.

    Why hasn’t anyone mentioned The New Standards or Trip Shakespeare yet?

  72. 72
    Jager says:

    @Thor Heyerdahl: Tor, ya gotta tell da Pickle Slicer yoke, dats da best Ole and Lena uf dem all.

  73. 73
    geg6 says:



    Any city that has a Rick Bayliss establishment is tops with me!

  74. 74
    jlow says:

    @Jess: Liuzza’s down by the track. BBQ shrimp (it’s not what you normally think of BBQ) Po Boy. One of the most heavenly things I have ever experienced and it’s cheap.

  75. 75
    Marcellus Shale, Public Dick says:

    the idea that horrible reality creates great art is certainly refuted by the bush years. i mean, movies, music, all of it, kinda meh.

    i think the general sense of being surrounded by unseen, unspoken danger does help new orleans. i think freezing fucking cold on the other hand is what made music in minnesota. they had to do something indoors.

  76. 76
    Culture of Truth says:

    Ole drove to Duluth.

    Enough with the dirty talk.

  77. 77
    elmertfudd says:

    Garrison Keillor….

  78. 78
    matt says:

    DougJ, always the master troll.

  79. 79
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Jager: It still does, although all the old family types are dead or in jail. Parts of the Hill are firmly stuck in the 1950’s. But food-wise, the best Italo-American isn’t often found on the Hill, and the real food scene in PVD is the young “locavore”/modern American chefs working with small farms in the area and directly with some of the better fishermen.

    I’m actually a little surprised and impressed that DougJ found his way to The Dorrance, which is only a few months old, and out of that same locavore school.

  80. 80
    Corbin Dallas Multipass says:

    I think trolling one’s own blog is a BJ tradition.

  81. 81
    Jess says:

    @jlow: @geg6: @jacy:

    Thanks for the advice, folks! I’m taking notes.

  82. 82
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @jlow: I like how he pitted New Orleans and Minneapolis against each other on the basis of a visit to Providence (which takes a back seat to no one in the corruption department.)

  83. 83
    Yutsano says:

    Speaking of Sazeracs: BJ Seattle meet-up Saturday March 10 at Sazerac downtown. Mark your calendars (that’s mostly for gwangung) :)

  84. 84
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Thank goodness no one has mentioned Houston or Atlanta in this thread…

  85. 85
    Jager says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Haven’t been to Providence since the late 90’s and haven’t eaten at Camilles since probably the early 80’s, they did have one hell of a good plate of pasta w/ clam sauce at the time.

  86. 86
    getsmartin says:


    Try Cochon on Tchopitoulas (trust me). Someone already mentioned Mona’s next to the Hookah Bar. It’s located on Frenchman Street, which is an essential spot for pub crawling (Snug Harbor, D.B.A., The Spotted Cat).

    Here’s another gem – Jacques-Imo’s (place your name on the list, then have a drink next door at The Maple Leaf).

  87. 87
    clawback says:

    @MarkJ: Hold Steady is good. I also like Motion City Soundtrack.

    If you’re going to slam a Mississippi River city with a long tradition and nothing to show for it, St. Louis is a much easier target.

  88. 88
    Raven says:

    There were Mardi Gras beads on the floor in the Downtown Berkeley BART Station at 4am yesterday morning!

    For the record, our friends have a house on Burgundy and they give us the use from time-to-time. It is actually possible to really enjoy Nawlins without ever taking a drink there.

  89. 89
    srv says:


  90. 90
    Corbin Dallas Multipass says:

    @clawback: I am weird and still listen to my old The Plastic Constellations albums.

  91. 91
    oldmtnbkr says:

    did anyone mention Hubert Humphrey? OK, I’m old.

  92. 92
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    The Meters trump anything the entire state of Minnesota has produced. No disrespect to Minnesota, but…it’s the fuckin’ Meters.

  93. 93
    DougJarvus Green-Ellis says:


    Do you want me to frontage this?

  94. 94
    DougJarvus Green-Ellis says:

    @Bubblegum Tate:

    Ain’t no ballpark neither.

  95. 95
    Onkel Fritze says:

    Again, Hüsker Dü.
    Greatest American Band + I’ve got umlauts on my keyboard.

  96. 96
    Nylund says:

    Count me as someone who doesn’t actually like N.O. all that much.

    Don’t get me wrong, I find the history incredibly interesting, and the historical cultural contributions to be immense, but that’s mainly the past. I mean, it’s still there if you look, but it strikes me as shell of it’s former self and kind of depressing to see. You root for it, but you kinda feel like you’re watching a loved one slowly die.

    These days, I find it mainly to be pretty depressing of what it no longer is with vast swaths of grim neighborhoods, poor conditions, crime, devastation, etc. Most of the places not like that feel like huge tourist traps trying to make a quick buck off that past. There’s only a few pockets here and there that I actually enjoy visiting.

    The wife loves it though. She wants to move there. Granted, when we visited after Katrina and wondered around off the beaten path we met so many nice people who shared so many amazing stories, most of which were very sad, frustrating, or just plain tragic. I’ll never forget it, but not the kind of experience I usually plan a vacation around.

  97. 97
  98. 98
    p.a. says:

    @Jager: if you’re mobile, drive Warren Ave. in East Providence for some good Portuguese food. Doesn’t matter which restaurant.

  99. 99
    mardam says:


  100. 100
    Bruce S says:

    And…uh…Prince. Arguably Bob Dylan. Most of you probably don’t remember them, but honorable mention to Koerner, Glover and Ray, a terrific Minneapolis-based folk-blues trio that influenced Dylan and others.

    Not an argument I’d be getting into from the green pastures of Providence…cough, Cowsills,cough…Rhode Island. NOLA is unparalleled in American culture. But this is a pointless post.

  101. 101
    p.a. says:

    ah, but how many more can be added to the NOLA list! Dr. John, the Meters, Toussaint, James Booker, and we’re not even heading out to cajun/Zydeco country yet. Nowhere in the US is going to music faceoff with NO. Although the Replacements are the greatest rockanroll band ever AND AS I TYPE THIS COLOR ME IMPRESSED COMES UP IN MY SHUFFLE…

  102. 102
    MCA1 says:

    Let’s turn this trolling another direction, so us Minnesotans don’t have to feel so uncomfortable bragging on ourselves by continuing to point out the impressive list of significant artists and culturemakers coming out of the Twin Cities.

    What has that other bastion of Scandihoovianness in the Midwest, Wisconsin, given the world? Shitty beer and processed cheese? Liberace and the fucking Bodeans,to go along with a couple actors. Thank god for Bon Iver, or it would be as barren a musical wasteland as one might imagine. I mean, seriously, prior to Justin Vernon’s emergence the most important band out of Wisconsin was, what, The Violent Femmes?

  103. 103
    scav says:

    Lutefisk okra matchup.

  104. 104
    Raven says:

    Sara Roahen’s Gumbo Tales is a fun read. She’s from Wisconsin so she has that going for her!

  105. 105
    Watusie says:

    Garrison Keillor.

  106. 106
    Watusie says:

    How could you forget the BoDeans?

  107. 107

    @Onkel Fritze: Spin̈al Tap doesn’t count? You can’t beat an umlaut on a consonant.

  108. 108
    MarkJ says:

    @clawback: I’m not in favor of kicking cities when they’re down. I’ll say nice things about Minneapolis and New Orleans, and maybe some bad things about cities that are thriving, but having grown up in Michigan, I don’t find any joy in the decline of once great (or even just pretty good) cities.

    Although I’m from the other side of the State (Grand Rapids), what has happened to Detroit (and St. Louis, Cleveland, Buffalo etc. on a smaller scale) is just a tragedy.

    Speaking of musical legacies, Detroit’s gets way too little notice given its illustrious product: Let’s see any other American City other than NY or maybe LA match this list:
    Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Temptations, Jackie Wilson, The White Stripes, Eminem, Madonna, The Four Tops, Bob Seger, Martha and the Vandellas, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Bill Haley, Smokey Robinson, The Four Tops, Iggy and the Stooges, Glenn Frey, Mitch Ryder, Alice Cooper. The list goes on. Match that New Orleans. I’m not a fan of all those bands but for breadth of musical style and quality, it doesn’t get much better.

  109. 109
    Stranded Northerner says:

    I’m not a rap fan, but I agree with the sentiment of the song, “Shhh” by Atmosphere:


    I’ll take a beer-battered walleye fillet over crawdads any day.

  110. 110
    jl says:

    @Clark Stooksbury:

    The Third Man is wrong about Switzerland. 500 years of peace for themselves, and 500 years of murderous warfare for hire for the rest of Europe.

    Cuckoo clocks were needed in order for prompt arrival to commit the next mercenary slaughter at the job site.

    And as for Minnesota: Harold Stassen, people, Harold Stassen. Ned I say more? And, as someone may have mentioned, Jessie.

    And the horrible MN conquest and enslavement of WI for decades, which produces immense bitterness, and an excuse to drink like fish, in WI.

  111. 111
    Kib says:

    Cafe DuMonde has been mentioned, but, but, Beignets! And more Beignets.

  112. 112
    jl says:

    And from Wikipedia, on MN cuisine

    ” Minnesota is also known for hot dish and jello salads. ”

    Nothing about mayonnaise loaf, but that would be overkill.

    Case Closed. MN wins.

  113. 113
    Brachiator says:


    The wife loves it though. She wants to move there. Granted, when we visited after Katrina and wondered around off the beaten path we met so many nice people who shared so many amazing stories, most of which were very sad, frustrating, or just plain tragic. I’ll never forget it, but not the kind of experience I usually plan a vacation around.

    You may look at a place where you want to live, even if somewhat grim, in a different light than a place you visit for vacation.

    I got no fish in this gumbo, but note how people like director Taylor Hackford and Harry Shearer have homes in New Orleans.

    On Hackford:

    When that moment arrived in director Taylor Hackford’s then-blossoming relationship with actress Helen Mirren, there was only one way for him to get the answers he needed.
    He took his future wife — and a future Oscar winner — on a trip to New Orleans.
    “You know, it was a big test: ‘Is this the woman for me or not?’  ” Hackford said. “And we got there and we spent a little time and she turned to me and she says, ‘I want to die in this town.’
    “And I said, ‘That’s the woman for me!’ ”

    That’s love.

  114. 114
    Soonergrunt says:

    For future reference, the maximum number of hyperlinks in a posting is three before the mod filter triggers, and the ‘reply’ function creates a hyperlink back to the original post to which one is replying, so that limits the poster to two links in a reply message.

  115. 115
    Ben from Saint Paul says:

    Prince and Dylan fuckface.

  116. 116
    MCA1 says:

    @Watusie: Ummm, I didn’t. And their inclusion is NOT a positive thing. Foisting that garbage on the rest of us is not something for which I thank Wisco.

  117. 117
    canuckistani says:

    A century of Jazz, Delta Blues and Cajun cooking vs. Prince, Dylan and Scandinavian cooking? I like Minnesota, but they aren’t in the same league.

  118. 118
  119. 119
    Schlemizel says:

    YUP! Hubert Humphrey – check & mate.

    Also Mayo Clinic, Postit notes, Scotch Tape, the adjustable thermostat, Cardiac pacemaker, implantable infusion pumps. For music and entertainment Dr. Peter Schikele and Garrison Keillor.

    And I am probably missing a few things (other than my mind)

    I love NO but you couldn’t pay me to live there.

  120. 120
    currants says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Cook and Brown, a little out of town.

  121. 121
    Raven says:

    Subdudes are bad ass.

  122. 122
    smintheus says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Is Caserta’s pizza still to die for? Haven’t been back to Providence since the early 80s, but in HS days I used to make the 25 mile pilgrimage in to Caserta’s about once a month.

  123. 123
    Culture of Truth says:

    That’s love.
    Love for the city; took a bit of chance there with Helen.

  124. 124
    Birthmarker says:

    New Orleans is a truly unique place, good, beautiful, bad and ugly. Nowhere else like it in the US. You know you’re not in Kansas any more when you see street signs that say Desire and Elysian Fields.

    I got to take a post-Katrina tour which was pretty interesting. The van driver had some stories to tell.

    A day trip on the River Road of southern Louisiana is interesting also.

    It’s fun to go to the other antebellum Southern port cities, Savannah and Charleston, for a little comparing and contrasting of the three towns.

  125. 125
    Birthmarker says:

    Nick Cage, Anne Rice, Lennie Kravitz and Archie Manning have had homes in NO, at least at one time.

  126. 126
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @smintheus: Caserta’s is still in business, but it’s a good way to start an argument. Some people love it, others don’t. If I go up there I’m more likely to end up at Bob & Timmy’s Grilled Pizza, a couple of blocks away.

  127. 127
    not motorik says:

    What a dick

  128. 128
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Birthmarker: Is Nick Cage famous for anything other than bad acting in shitty movies and abysmal financial planning?

  129. 129
    smintheus says:

    @p.a.: Lot’s more famous NO musicians: Sidney Bechet, King Oliver, Toussaint McCall, Mahalia Jackson, Irma Thomas, Johnny Dodds, Jelly Roll Morton, Kid Ory, the Marsalis clan, Louis Prima.

  130. 130
    techno says:

    What has Wisconsin given the world? How about…
    Robert LaFollette and the most successful Progressive movement in USA history.
    Frank Lloyd Wright and some damn fine customers for his impressive genius.
    The University of Wisconsin that produced MOST of the language for Social Security, workman’s comp, etc.
    The Green Bay Packers as an example of community-owned pro sports.

    Not to mention the best political activists in USA right now.

    I’m not from Wisconsin but my, are they fun neighbors.

  131. 131
    Todd Dugdale says:


    What has that other bastion of Scandihoovianness in the Midwest, Wisconsin, given the world?

    Venues for Minnesota bands to play in?

    I’ve lived my entire life in Minneapolis, and am a local musician. Never had lutefisk, nor set foot in the MOA. The music scene is great. There’s certainly crime and corruption, too, if that’s your thing.

    I also can count on one hand the number of Minnesotans that I’ve met who talk in that cartoonish Swede way – and they’ve all been in small towns “up north”.

    I don’t get all the dumping on Minneapolis. St Paul? Sure, but not Minneapolis.

  132. 132
    RD says:

    Werner Herzog had a thing or two to say about post-flood New Orleans.

    NO also gave us a somewhat sobered Trent Reznor.

  133. 133
    askew says:

    Hey, eff you. Minneapolis gave us the Replacements, Prince and Husker Du. Greater Minnesota gave us the Coen Brothers, Gear Daddies, and Dylan.

    It’s not like Minnesota is Iowa for pete’s sake.

  134. 134
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Didn’t he marry Lisa Marie Presley because he was obsessed with Elivs?

  135. 135
    Bubblegum Tate says:


    I had perhaps the best meal of my life at Cochon. It was beginning-to-end amazing, starting with the fact that the hostess had the words “fried chicken” tattooed on her forearm in fancy cursive writing. If that’s not a sign of good things to come, I don’t know what is.

  136. 136
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Shows how little I know.

  137. 137


    Mark, a fellow Rapidian here, who notes that while all of those bands and individual performers are (mostly)great (but not all from Detroit), but New Orleans gave us JAZZ.

    Now I’ll admit that circumstances both geographic (musician-soldiers returning from the Spanish-American War via New Orleans hocked their horns for nights in Storyville) and demographic (pre-existing African-Americans and the blues which came from their African ancestors) gave New Orleans an edge over Detroit or the Twin Cities in becoming the birthplace of the form, but Tampa, which shared similar circumstances with New Orleans, could have been the birthplace- and it wasn’t.

  138. 138
    Athena2 says:

    Minneapolis also gives us John Sandford, whose Prey novels will keep you up at night.
    Of course, NO gives us James Lee Burke and Dave Robichaux.

  139. 139
    MCA1 says:

    @techno: Good inclusions, all, but if we’re talking just notable progressive politicians I’ll note HHH and Wellstone for the MN tally. Also, while Bachmann’s a nutcase, at least she’s not governor.

    Harley-Davidson and the Packers? 3M, the Mayo Clinic and Herb Brooks.

    I will admit that MN can’t match Frank Lloyd Wright within architecture.

  140. 140
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Long before the SuperDome,
    Where the Saints of football play,
    Lived a city that the damned called home,
    Hear their hellish roundelay…
    New Orleeeans…
    Home of pirates, drunks, and whores!
    New Orleeeans…
    Tacky, overpriced, souvenir stores!
    If you want to go to Hell, you should make that trip
    to the Sodom and Gomorrah on the Mississipp’!
    New Orleeeans…
    Stinking, rotten, vomiting, vile!
    New Orleaaans…
    Putrid, brackish, maggoty, foul!
    New Orleeeans…
    Crummy, lousy, rancid, and rank!
    New Orleeeans!

  141. 141
    David in NY says:


    Although I’m from the other side of the State (Grand Rapids), what has happened to Detroit (and St. Louis, Cleveland, Buffalo etc. on a smaller scale) is just a tragedy.

    I think that the great tragedy of America is that nobody gives a shit about its cities. On a trip from Michigan to Chicago maybe 20 years ago, I chanced to drive down the main street of Gary, Indiana. Clearly a once thriving metropolis, Gary looked like it had been hit by a Neutron Bomb in about 1963 — you know, the bomb that kills people but leaves the buildings standing. Whole big business buildings, tens of stories tall, just, well, closed for business. It was a total crime that we let things like this happen.

    Detroit (I’m originally from Lansing) is worse than that now, and the rest of the rust belt cities not much better. And nobody, nobody will propose to do anything about it. (Except Obama, maybe, who at least saved the auto companies, which still have a little to do with Detroit.)

    Wouldn’t hurt if NO got a little more help either, but at least tourists go there. Nobody goes to Gary.

  142. 142
    MarkJ says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): I’m willing to give NO its props but what always frustrates me is how Detroit is overlooked as a music mecca. I mean, everyone knows NO is a great music city, but no one outside MI ever brings up Detroit.

    Great musical output isn’t everything. I think I’d probably prefer Minneapolis to NO or Detroit as far as places to live go. It’s just run better. Vermont’s claim to musical fame is Phish, which is actually a negative in my opinion, but if I were choosing a place to live I’d probably pick it over Louisiana, even if the music is better in the latter.

    And before anyone accuses me of not wanting to live around non-white folks, I currently reside in DC, which is pretty integrated, and like it here, except that it’s a little soul-less for a place that’s often referred to as the Chocolate City.

  143. 143
    MarkJ says:

    @David in NY: I am right there with you. In the 1950s Detroit was the wealthiest city in the US (except maybe for NY) and was I think the third largest city in the nation. Giving up on it is like Italy abandoning Florence or Milan for a total loss. It’s a uniquely American tragedy that our once great cities are left to slowly fall apart. What’s happened in places like Gary and St. Louis just sucks, and you are right, if they are to be saved the people who live there will have to do the saving because there seems to be no appetite to dedicate resources for their revival. I’d like to think DC could serve as a model – back in the late 1980s it was nearly as bad off as Detroit or Cleveland, but it’s not a national embarassment anymore. Unfortunately we can’t have a national capital in every state.

  144. 144
    Gus says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: Actually, I’m from Hibbing, Dylan’s home town (depending on what you consider his hometown, he was born in Duluth but moved to Hibbing at a young age). Hibbing is less Scandanavian than most other parts of the state. Lots of Italians, Croats, Serbs, Slovenians. Yes, lots of Norwegians, Swedes (like me) and Finns (especially Finns), too.

  145. 145
    Gus says:

    Oh, and as far as which has given the world more, it’s not even close. NOLA by a mile. But as far as livability, I think I’ll stay in Mpls, cold weather and all. However, we have a Republican legislature who thinks “right to work” is a great idea. I fear we’ll eventually have all the negatives of New Orleans with none of the positives.

  146. 146
    Butch says:

    @Spaghetti Lee: He was from a town called Virginia, but mostly got his start in Minneapolis. He used to play at a place on the West Bank around the corner from where I lived….struggling to remember its name.

  147. 147
    les says:

    St. Louis? Don’t like Bix Beiderbeck?

  148. 148
    dp says:

    Little known Hubert Humphrey fact — he had a master’s in political science from (wait for it) — LSU.

  149. 149
    David in NY says:

    @MarkJ: It’s also the total radio (and all media) silence about the situation that kills me. Even say, Atrios, partisan of the Urban Hellhole, never bothers to mention cities that aren’t, like Philadelphia, moderately prosperous. There’s the occasional horror story from Detroit (empty houses having to be closed up, etc., can’t be sold) or some similar place, but that’s more voyeurism than anything. Mostly, it just gets ignored.

    I think in the ’50’s Detroit was fourth (behind NY, Chi, and Philly) with something over a million people. I believe it had the highest percentage of home ownership of any large city, and, as you may know, those neighborhoods, now in ruins, were beautiful. It’s pretty awful.

  150. 150
    les says:


    It’s a uniquely American tragedy that our once great cities are left to slowly fall apart.

    I don’t know how unique, and you could argue it’s not slow–the country’s not old enough to have any really slow processes. I’ve seen lots of arguments about why–cars, mobility, blah blah. But when you take most/all of the money and resources from one bunch of folks, and give it all to another bunch of folks, they ain’t gonna want/be able to have the same things; and one of those bunches can move. Add a dash of racism, and voila–the American city. The few survivors are dense, and have things everybody values.

  151. 151
    Lojasmo says:

    @CJ in MPLS:

    No shit, right. Multi-Grammy winner Dan Wilson. In face, he co-wrote the Adelle tune that won best song this year.


  152. 152
    dollared says:

    @Yutsano: What time?

  153. 153
    dollared says:

    @Yutsano: What time?

  154. 154
    Joel says:

    I’m late to the party, so I’m sure it’s been mentioned but:

    Bob Dylan, The Replacements, and Prince.

  155. 155
    dollared says:

    @MCA1: Paul Cebar and the Milwaukeeans. They used to come to the TCs and sing a song where the crowd had to shout out famous Milwaukeeans.

    Golda Meir, of course.

  156. 156
    MCA1 says:

    @Gus: Fair enough. I don’t think anyone here’s actually disputing that spawing Dylan and Prince and some good bands = bequeathing the world an entire genre (or three) of music; to say nothing of cuisine. I just think we’re collectively telling DougJ that Minne was a poor choice for comparison, and is far from a dearth of cultural exports.

    Until Mpls.’s economy becomes based primarily on tourism, with some fishing in the Gulf of Mexico thrown in, I’ll hold off on being worried we’re going to end up like NOLA without Mardi Gras.

    I’m with MarkJ and DavidinNY up to a point, but feel the decline of certain cities is more tragic as symbol of a lost industrial base. A certain part of me is alright, however, with a city’s prospects waxing and waning. We are a young and nonstatic nation, and as our economic model has changed, our population has moved. It’s probably led to a more nimble overall economy to have new cities like San Jose, Phoenix and Charlotte jump up and take a place in a more modern economy, rather than waiting for the more industrial towns to adapt. And, let’s face it, Detroit, Cleveland, and other towns had particularly one-dimensional economies. Chicago wasn’t so wholly-dependent on manufacturing as Detroit, and eventually eclipsed it to become a world class city with a nicely mixed, 21st-century economy. Pittsburgh has recovered very nicely after adapting. Indianapolis has proven pretty nimble, too. Detroit, Gary, Erie, Akron, Cleveland, etc. aren’t completely blameless in all this.

    The people affected are blameless, though, which is what really sucks. When a city like Detroit goes down, the poorer parts of the population get left behind. It’s not just shrinking while keeping the same basic demographic shape. It’s just shrinking by losing anyone with $ or the opportunity to go elsewhere.

  157. 157
    dollared says:

    @jl: But at least those scary Minnesota Viking invaders kept the Illinois people out of Wisconsin. Which is all that really matters.

  158. 158
    RossinDetroit says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    While we’re crediting Detroit for its music, Baker’s Keyboard Lounge is the oldest continuously operated jazz club in the world.

    More recently, The Twistin’ Tarantulas, The Von Bondies, The Howling Diablos and going way back, Destroy All Monsters.

    Iggy and the Stooges count because Ann Arbor is Detroit’s back yard.

  159. 159
    redbeardjim says:

    Hell, Minneapolis also gave us the Honeycrisp apple, which justifies the city’s existence all by itself.

  160. 160
    Gex says:

    @canuckistani: Totally fair. But why the unnecessary pitting of one against the other? (not by you, by the post) It’s not like we couldn’t all enjoy both cities for different reasons.

    Some people just need to shit on fly-over land.

  161. 161
    rea says:

    @Bruce S: Providence…cough, Cowsills,cough…Rhode Island.

    Well, but also Talking Heads

  162. 162
    Jeremy says:

    Clearly DougJ has never been to Minneapolis and knows nothing about the place. It’s always enlightening when people display their ignorance.

  163. 163
    Jess says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Pretty sure it’s the other Nick Cave, of Birthday Party and Bad Seeds fame.

  164. 164
    Jess says:

    For no good reason other than the fact his name was mentioned, two of my favorite songs by Nick Cave here and here.

  165. 165
    gerry says:

    Someone’s been reading “The Fable of the Bees”

  166. 166
    ABloomquist says:

    For all intents and purposes, all Minnesota music can claimed by the Twin Cities since Mpls-StP have most of the good venues (though Duluth is making a nice effort).

    Alphabetical through my ipod:
    Arms Akimbo
    the Cloak Ox
    Communist Daughter
    Dark Dark Dark
    First Communion Afterparty
    Fuck Nights
    the Gay Witch Abortion
    Har Mar Superstar
    Hastings 3000
    The Hold Steady
    The Idle Hands
    The Jayhawks
    Jeremy Messersmith
    Lucy Michelle and the Velvet Lapelles
    Night Moves
    Pink Mink
    Tapes n Tapes
    Trampled by Turtles
    Zoo Animal

    Plus Minnesota Public Radio has its own rock station. That’s right, Socialized Rock n Roll Radio.

  167. 167
    Chet says:

    The ‘Mats, Charles Schulz, Harmon Killebrew and MST3k. Minneapolis has nothing to apologize for.

  168. 168


    Ross, I don’t count The Stooges as Detroit because Iggy went to Chicago for a while and immersed himself in the blues scene there before heading back to AA and forming the band.

    BTW: Iggy was born in Muskegon. Just sayin’…

  169. 169


    Well, but also Talking Heads

    And The Modern Lovers.

  170. 170
    Yutsano says:

    @DougJarvus Green-Ellis: At some point if you don’t mind. We’re still a couple weeks out but gwangung wanted plenty of notice. It’s hard out there for a pimp and all. :)

    @dollared: I’m planning to arrive around 6, and I may take opie_jeanne up on her ride offer this time. Although I do want to show off the new ride too. :)

  171. 171


    Great musical output isn’t everything.

    True dat. For music and sports (except for the NFL. because I inherited the Packers gene through my dad from his Yooper father and grandfathers) it’s Detroit, but Chicago pulls me for the other stuff…Which probably explains why I’m still in GR.

  172. 172
    MarkJ says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Yeah, Chicago is great – I think it’s my favorite American City because it’s world class and in fly over country. And it just has a really good energetic vibe without the rude edge you get in NY.

    It’s got a fine musical heritage of its own but I wouldn’t put it in the same league as Detroit. It should be, but just never had quite the output or impact. Mavis Staples is a national treasure though, and the blues scene in Chess Records’s heyday was fantastic.

  173. 173
    ExpatDanBKK says:

    @RossinDetroit: You bet. And just for fun, I love this list and it is in constant play on my little music machine that is not an iPod.

    Ya, I am Detroit boy even tho’ I’ve not lived there in a couple of decades…

  174. 174
    ExpatDanBKK says:

    As far as NOLA goes, I had a great girlfriend from there years back. Not sure what they are like now but we loved Tujague’s for the Bloody Mary’s (arguably the best ever) and the brisket. Do the bar, not the dining area as that it too pretentious.

    And many, many happy nights were spent at Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, but be careful as it is (or was) right on the edge of the safe zone of the Quarter.

    A nice funky place to stay is the Hotel St Marie on Toulouse.

    Of course, as I said that was years back and who knows how time has treated them…but the memories still make ME smile!

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