This week’s edition covers stories
from December 14th to December 20th, 2023.
Today’s issue is 1300 words, a 10-minute read.
Ebe talks Minnesota’s new State Flag and Ebe’s Holiday Picks!
Hey ya’ll, it’s Ebe! I hope the holiday season has been treating you cozily as end-of-the-year projects wrap up and we look ahead to a whole new chapter of our lives! Every year that approaches reads like such a made-up, futuristic year, don’t you think? Like, 2024? What do you mean?! That’s not a real year! In my mind it’s still 2016, but at the same time I’m also still 23!
Anyway, my fear and simultaneous excitement of getting older aside, this week I’m breaking down the design elements of the newly-revealed Minnesota State flag and my own personal holiday picks!
Well, folks, the time has come. After launching a public commission for a new Minnesota State Flag design back in October of this year, the new flag has finally been chosen. Well, technically it’s not “official-official” yet–meaning it hasn’t been signed off on by the legislature–but since there is a democratic majority in the legislature and the governor’s office, it’s basically going to be our new flag. Here is a comparison of both:
In a Kare 11 interview with flag scholar (a.k.a. vexillologist), Ted Kay from The North American Vexillological Association, Ted says the old state flag had huge flaws (besides the racism). One of those being that it’s too complicated. It’s an eye-sore! The association maintains that flags should be simple but meaningful in their design, have few colors, be recognizable from a distance, and void of seals or text. Another problem is that it’s practically indistinguishable from half of the U.S.’ state flags (I know, ironic).
Ted says that although MANY people do not like the new flag, that ultimately it achieves more than any of the other options did. And honestly, I agree with him! Of course I had many that I loved for the right reasons and wrong ones, but as Ted explains, this flag ticks all of the boxes and more. For starters, the flag is simple. That’s obvious. So simple that a child could draw it from memory, which is precisely the point! Think about how many kids will choose Minnesota for a social studies project because the flag is easy to draw! Its simplicity and geometry also makes it so that the flag cannot be flown upside down. It looks the same either way you put it on the pole. However, the thing that really stands out about this new design is its symbolism and versatility.
Pull up the picture of the flag on your device again. Now turn it on it’s side so that the star is at the top. What do you see? If you said the North Star, you would be correct! In fact, that star shape is the same as the one on the floor of the state capital. What’s more is that many folks stated that that star is also on barn doors all around southern Minnesota. It also acts as a compass rose. What about the triangle at the bottom? It’s the river that flows south from it–the Mississipi.
Overall, I think the right choice was made. The flag is beautiful, clean, symbolic, and most importantly NOT racist. Sure, our new flag won’t have a loon with lasers coming out of its eyes but at least it will be a timeless symbol of progress for all Minnesotans.
Among the many things I enjoy and am good at, being able to set the vibes anywhere at all times is one of those things. Whether it be at work, exercising, hanging out with friends, or hanging out at home, I’m always watching some sort of themed movie or TV show, listening to the same ten songs on repeat, going to the same places around the city, and cooking the same food over and over again. Usually, these mini little eras of life are seasonal, and so today I’m going to be sharing “Ebe’s Holiday Picks”! A life mood board, if you will. Here are some of the things I love whenever this time of the year rolls around:
Going to work at different coffee shops and trying seasonal drinks. I’ll be honest, I do this during all times of the year, but there’s something about sitting at a cafe during the holidays with all the lights sparkling inside and on the street, slow jazz playing, hot seasonal drink in hand with your coziest jacket on. If you couldn’t tell, I love romanticising my life and pretending I’m just a small girl with big dreams in the big city. One of those places I love to do this at is Nina’s Coffee Cafe in St.Paul.
- Nina’s is located on Cathedral Hill. It hosts live shows every week and has one of the best breakfast menus on top of excellent coffee if you are a coffee connoisseur. It could not be more beautiful this time of year to come here and grab one of their HUGE brownies and send some emails. The architecture of the building its located in feels like you’re in hogwarts, and the apartment of your dreams is right across the street. Cathedral Hill is a beautiful area to go for a jolly winter walk, just don’t miss Nina’s on your way there.
- The European Christmas Market:This one is a staple visit every year and not far away from Nina’s, either. Wanna be transported to a cute, small German village right next to a train and a baseball stadium where you can find beautiful hand-crafted winter garments and delicious homemade goodies? Come on over to the European Christmas Market in downtown St. Paul! Back in December 2014, they kicked off the first market, marking the start of a tradition that’s been going strong for centuries. The Christmas Market, rooted in history, didn’t just stick to Europe—it spread its wings globally in recent decades, becoming a thing in different parts of the world. Their mission? Simple. They wanted to bring this awesome tradition to St. Paul, giving all Minnesotans a taste of the fun. Fast forward a few years, and they’ve gone from a mear 3-day event with twelve kiosks to a 12-day extravaganza with 60 kiosks and drawing in over 130,000 folks. They strive to stay true to the centuries-old vibes and supporting the local crew of artisans and vendors. No surprise, the market’s now a solid holiday tradition in St. Paul. If you’re strolling through, check out the cool stuff they’ve got—Christmas ornaments, nutcrackers, beeswax candles, decorative glass, wool mittens and scarves, jewelry, and more
- Roseville Ice Rink:Fun fact about me: I’ve always wanted to be a professional figure skater. Every year while the winter Olympics were being hosted, the only sport I watched was figure skating. During the height pandemic, when everyone was losing their minds and trying to fill their time with new hobbies, I got super into teaching myself figure skating and bought a very expensive pair of off-ice skates (basically roller blades that looked like ice skates). I actually got pretty decent at it, and when it finally came time to test out my skills on real ice after practicing on pavement, I got a taste of my figure skating dreams at the magical Central Park Ice Skating Rink in Maple Grove.
The Phenow Pavilion hosts a winding ice skating path surrounded by lit up trees and fancy fireplaces to warm up your fingers while your feet recover from trying not to slip. It’s concession stands leave much to be desired, and it’s certainly no Rockefeller Center but it’s still a wonderful place if you’re looking for some outdoor fun this season.
Isabella invites readers on a cultural journey in the heart of Minnesota’s fine dining scene, exploring Porzana, a new Argentinian-inspired steakhouse by Chef Del Prado. The article delves into the intersection of tradition and modernity as an Argentine in Minnesota navigates the culinary landscape, focusing on the centerpiece—the asado. It beautifully captures the essence of the communal feast, the cultural symphony at Porzana, and the emotional resonance of an authentic Argentine asado. The exploration, not a critique but a reflection, unveils the warmth of communal dining in the Midwest, celebrating the spirit of Argentine tradition in a new culinary haven.
That’s all from us, we’ll see you next time.
-Ebe and Isabella
Hit play on the Spotify icon below for the NewMusica playlist, a playlist by the NewPrensa team that brings you NewTaste and NewVibes.