Internet ridicules Reuters' Twin Cities guide

CHRISTOPHER VONDRACEK | Updated 7/9/2013

"48 hours in Minneapolis-St. Paul" travel postcard sings praises of Potbelly, tornado shelters and the "tram" system.

The Minneapolis skyline from I-35W south of Minneapolis.
Glen Stubbe

Journalist Mark Meadows - according to his Reuters feed - generally covers Grand Prix pit-lane drama or non-American football. So maybe we should cut him slack that he suggested travelers to the Twin Cities grab breakfast at Potbelly in the IDS Center.

Last Friday, Reuters published a “Travel Postcard” called “48 Hours in Minneapolis-St. Paul” that has found local social medialites and online commenters gnawing off their hands in frustration.

Meadows lauds the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport for having tornado shelters, gushes about the skyways, mentions “interesting” architecture," the “3 ½ hour matches” at Target Field and the Mall of America all as essential to getting “the most” out of a weekend trip here.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal’s Mark Reilly writes that WCCO's Jason DeRusha and foodie blog Heavy Table are tweeting with mitts off about the shoddy reporting. One commenter on the Reuters article screams “THIS DOESN’T EVEN MAKE SENSE,” and then chides Meadows for sending travelers to Red's Savoy Pizza, which, as Meadows points out, lacks "windows."

OK, granted, Meadows’ trip feels unadventurous and perhaps recapped on Adderall on deadline. But, this wouldn't be Marilyn Hagerty and the Olive Garden 2013 if we didn’t provide backlash to the backlash.

His journalistic sin seems to be reporting not on the Twin Cities we love and know - where’s Butcher & the Boar, where’s the Sound Gallery, where’s HIDDEN BEACH YOU PHILISTINE? - but on the Twin Cities everyone not from here probably sees.

Meadows does mention a vibrant theater scene, music scene chutzpah (Dylan, Prince) and the “attractions” along the Mississippi. Maybe he accidentally found himself in town for two days and just bungled around (he could’ve done worse). Or maybe he Googled us.

Granted, a travel writer is supposed to put in the legwork. But, really, his trip looks and feels like the trip our out-state parents would take when visiting the Cities - go to a game, hunt for a Starbucks and maybe stare at the river before going back to locate their PT Cruiser in a giant parking garage. It’s the Cities through the eyes of a fly-in, fly-out weekender, not a cultural curator. Except that Meadows calls the light rail the “tram.”