Lives in: Minneapolis.
Education: AAS graphic design (Art Institutes International).
Occupation: Renaissance man.
Hangouts: Triple Rock, Muddy Waters, Hot Comics, Dangerous Man.
Turn-ons: Sense of humor, creativity, tattoos, open-mindedness and long-legged brunettes.
If you don’t know Jeff, you might know his mustache. You’ve probably seen it moving and shaking all around town, working a thousand different gigs (selling vintage clothes at Tatters, promoting local bands, being a brand ambassador for Tallgrass Brewing), all of which seem to be made for a man with an astounding, perfectly waxed and twisted handlebar. And if you do know Jeff, you know that he’s as fun and intriguing as his ’stache. Deeply invested in arts and music, the self-described “Renaissance man” is a high-spirited go-getter. We admire him for living far beyond the 9-to-5 lifestyle, piecing together his passions and interests instead of toiling away at the corporate altar. We also, of course, admire his hair.
Lives in: Lyndale neighborhood, Minneapolis.
Education: Some college at St. Cloud State University.
Occupation: Customer service expert by day, DJ and record label owner by night.
Hangouts: Bryant-Lake Bowl, Bev’s Wine Bar, Pat’s Tap.
Turn-ons: Creative ladies with a sense of adventure who want to kick ass and make the world a better place.
Conventional wisdom says that “nice guys” don’t actually exist, but even the most hard-headed skeptic would have to make room for one glaring exception: big-hearted Christian, the nicest guy you’ll ever have a crush on. Christian’s smile fills up a room just as easily as his vinyl collection — to date, he estimates that he owns 6,000 or 7,000 records, which he spins monthly at Bev’s Wine Bar. We’re definitely not going to help him on moving day, but we’d love to see him get groovy on the dance floor. “I just like to have fun,” he says. That’s something we can get behind.
Lives in: Minnetonka/Uptown.
Education: College dropout.
Hangouts: Twitter, Stella’s, anywhere mimosas are served.
Turn-ons: Mouthy brunettes, terrible sleep schedules, brunch.
Nominated by: Not sure exactly, but whoever did it was definitely joking.
Strike up a conversation with Aaron on Twitter (@AaronGleeman) or invite him to brunch, his No. 1 favorite meal, and you’ll quickly learn something you might not have expected. While he may get paid to talk about baseball all day as a respected sports-media personality, blogging consistently and writing for NBC’s “Hardball Talk,” he’s no one-trick pony. As fast as you can shout “Home run!,” Aaron is knocking any convo out of the park, proving what he says — that he’s more of a nerd than bro. We have a huge crush on him for that, and also for his whip-smart wit, overwhelmingly open online presence and dedicated love of French toast.
Lives in: Edina.
Hangouts: First Ave, Hoban, QXC, Honey.
Turn-ons: Pretty face, nice legs, fit, good dancer, and being great at karaoke.
A self-employed photographer with big dreams, sensitive Denis has an eye for beauty and loves the rush of getting the perfect shot. “It’s funny because I really don’t like getting my picture taken,” he says. We beg him to reconsider his stance on getting photographed — the picture-perfect Denis and his even more picture-perfect hair are crush-worthy indeed. This shy guy may come off as an introvert, but once you get to know him, Denis opens up like the lens on a DSLR. And ladies? He’s single. Say cheese.
Lives in: Northeast Minneapolis.
Education: Associate degree in sound and music production for film and television.
Occupation: Self-employed production sound mixer and composer; slings tables at the Depot Tavern from time to time.
Hangouts: The Moose on Monroe, Marvel Bar, the Depot, First Avenue, Eli’s East. Either divey or classy, no douchey clubs.
Turn-ons: Sarcasm, quick wit, intelligence, confidence, cool style and being artsy-fartsy.
If there was a contest for hardest-working self-employed creative type in the Twin Cities — which, by the way, might be an even tougher contest than Crush — smarties would put all their money on Nickie, a passionate self-starter with his own film and TV production business. When he’s not working like a dog operating the booms of the world, Nickie loves checking out dive bars and new restaurants, and unlike a lot of people who say it, he really does love to travel — he’ll buy a plane ticket and jet off somewhere he’s never been, all by himself, on a whim. Talk about an independent spirit.
Lives in: Lexington-Hamline South, St. Paul.
Education: B.A. in music, University of Minnesota.
Hangouts: Places with live local music.
Turn-ons: Nerds, asymmetrical haircuts and tattoos.
In the never-ending rat race of crushes, it’s hard to beat the musician/artist types. They’re creative, sensitive and expressive; they’re the partners most likely to make blush-inducing romantic gestures. A special breed of the musician/artist maintains some sort of humility about his superiority, and Andy falls into that precious category. He’s the type of person who’s good at the accordion, but isn’t snobby about it — this alone speaks volumes. When he’s not being a creative yet modest genius, Andy is slaying his opponents at “Settlers of Catan.” We’d like to put our robber on his space, if you know what we mean.
Lives in: Born and raised in St. Paul.
Education: St. Thomas Academy, Dartmouth College.
Occupation: CRDM analyst with Medtronic.
Hangouts: At the cabin in Deer Lake, Wis.
Turn-ons: Good values, family-oriented, athletic/sports fan.
Nominated by: Isaac Huss (Crush 2013 finalist).
We’ve got a bad case of loving Timmy, a young man made from our favorite formula. He’s two parts Midwestern sincerity and one part Ivy League polish, so of course he makes a half-zipped sweater look like a million bucks. Our St. Paul-sprung sweetheart played wide receiver at Dartmouth and he’s heading back to the East Coast for med school in the fall. “I want to help people,” he says of his future as a doc. Lucky for us, the young Dr. McDreamy is single, looking for a sporty girl with good values to take his letter jacket.