Amanda Gates

My 15 Minutes: I Wrote a Blog Post for Pop Candy

I’ve always loved where I lived. From pretty much day 1, my parents exposed me to the museums, arts, sports and attractions that MSP has to offer. But I never truly appreciated it until I started working in publishing and got paid to write about our awesomeness. I learned things I never knew; and now I spout that knowledge to anyone who will listen. (Sorry to family and friends who have heard the same “fun” facts over and over.)

Two weeks ago I saw Pop Candy’s new blog feature called Pop Traveler, where she was asking readers to submit posts about why their cities were awesome places to visit. And I thought to myself, “Uh, piece of cake.” That’s my JOB, to tell visitors why they should come to Minneapolis-St. Paul, so 1.) I could easily whip up a post, 2.) What a great way to hype up our Twin Cities on another avenue besides the publications I work on and (selfishly) 3.) This could be some good exposure for me.

(Note: It was hard to narrow it down to 10! I could've easily included the Mall of America, Target Field and so many other places... I love my town.)

I contacted Whitney, she was game for a post and then yesterday she posted it: 10 Reasons to Visit Minneapolis-St. Paul. I have to admit, I was really excited. I’ve been reading Pop Candy for years and am envious of whom she gets to meet and the experiences she gets to have. But what pop culture junky isn’t envious of Whitney?

I have to say, the outcome has been pretty cool. This website got 75 hits yesterday (perspective: 25 hits is a very, very good day around here). In the past 24 hours, I’ve gotten nearly 20 more Twitter followers. My post was tweeted, RT’d or Facebooked several times, by organizations like Target, Hennepin Theatre Trust, Minneapolis CVB, The Local, First Avenue, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts—and those are only the ones I found on my own. Plus, several locals whom I’ve never even met tweeted my post and messaged me that they liked my list (not to mention all the love from my friends). I even got a personal email thank you from one of the organizations.

All in all, it’s been a lovely surprise to see the response. It strengthens my faith in humanity, increases my love for my city and state and gives me a little spring in my step. Minnesota Nice indeed! Thanks to Whitney for posting it, to everyone who read it and to those who reached out to me. I appreciate it so much.




Thanks for the comments everyone! I appreciate it!

Just read the piece. Nicely

Just read the piece. Nicely done! And I am a huge fan of the Twin Cities too. I occasionally toy with moving away to one of the coasts but I would miss everything here. I'll be content with vacationing away for now.

Pop A.wesome!

Hey A,

My name is Daniel, I'm a Mpls native who has been living abroad for eight years (in Istanbul now for 3 and a bit). My mom, a Target employee for more than 30 years, sent me a link to your top 10 reasons to visit the Twin Cities. Great work! Loved it! Spot on!

I'm an editor myself (just started a new gig at PwC Turkey after years as chief copy editor at a local English newspaper) and dabble in freelance writing, mostly trade magazine stuff. It's great to know that working in the publishing sector in the Twin Cities is a real possibility for that fateful day when I return!

Keep up the good work. And best of luck in all your ventures!



Yay!! Just, YAY! And hugs, lots of hugs!

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