Axios Twin Cities

Picture of the Twin Cities skyline with MSP written across it.

Good Thursday morning!

The bad news: 🥶 It's going to be colder today, with a high of 16, per NWS.

The good news: 🌞 The sun is back after a long absence.

🎂 Happy birthday to our Axios Twin Cities member Robert Amaden!

Today's newsletter is 877 words, a 3.5-minute read.

1 big thing: Winter Carnival begins

Downtown St. Paul as seen from above at night.

Rice Park in downtown St. Paul lights up for the carnival. Photo: Darrin Johnson, courtesy of St. Paul Winter Carnival

It's that time of year again — the St. Paul Winter Carnival kicks off its 137th year today with a jam-packed schedule of new and exciting events.

Why it matters: We're Minnesotans! It can be tough to persevere through the long, dark and snowy winter, but fun seasonal activities remind us why we stick around.

Catch up fast: The carnival, which began in 1886 after East Coast reporters allegedly called Minnesota "unfit for human habitation," has become a 10-day St. Paul staple celebrating all things winter.

  • The carnival's calendar of events has something for everyone, but here's what to watch:
🤸 For the adventurous

The St. Paul Bouncing Team, an aerial acrobatics group that performs stunts year-round, is holding open tryouts to be the next "Bouncing Girl" or "puller" at Landmark Center. If you're not that flexible, spectators are welcome. Feb. 3.

💑 For an upscale date night

New American restaurant Holman's Table is now offering dinner and a ride in a helicopter. The $250 price tag includes a 7-minute spin over St. Paul and meals for two at the restaurant. Jan. 26-28; Feb. 2-4.

🔎 For the explorer

Explore St. Paul by competing in one of the carnival's scavenger hunts. There are options for all skill levels, including a small hunt for kids and a 30-clue trek across the city.

  • If the thrill isn’t enough of a draw, there’s a $500 grand prize for each hunt. $20 per team to sign up. Jan. 28-Feb. 6

More things to do, including snow mazes and fireworks shows

2. 🚗 Minneapolis parking changes have arrived

A Minneapolis snow plow

Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Be sure to move your vehicle to the odd side of the street tonight if you live in Minneapolis. And if you live in a dense neighborhood, you might just want to leave it there for the next three months.

What's happening: The city is enacting one-side parking beginning at 9pm tonight on non-snow emergency routes.

  • The restrictions will be in place until April 1, or whenever we get adequate sun and warm air to melt snow banks to a point they are wide enough for emergency vehicles and buses.

Be alert: The city anticipates ticketing and towing vehicles parked on the even side of non-emergency routes beginning this weekend.

Flashback: In the winter of 2010-11, the city went to one-side parking on Dec. 17. That, you may remember, was seven days after heavy snow collapsed the Metrodome.

The other side (of town): St. Paul said its recent snow emergency allowed crews to gain some width on streets and is not calling for one-side parking — "yet."

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3. The Spoon: Blizzo the snowplow

Illustration of a spoon and cherry, both with arms and legs, walking.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

💼 Charlie Weaver, the longtime executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership, is retiring after 20 years at the helm of the influential coalition. (Star Tribune)

❄️ Voting is open for MnDOT's third annual name a snowplow contest. (See the finalists)

🗳️ We've added even more candidates to our City Council elections trackers. (Minneapolis/St. Paul)

🏈 Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson is a finalist for the NFL MVP award, as well as for the league's offensive player of the year. (NFL)

4. 🤖 We tested ChatGPT's Minnesota savvy

Animated gif of a computer screen that reads "A.I" with the "I" as a blinking cursor

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot that launched late last year, is poised to transform how we learn, work and live.

  • But it's also breaking the Internet because, to be honest, it's pretty fun!

Zoom out: ChatGPT is a free (for now) site that lets users pose questions and give directions to a bot, has already proved to be much more advanced than many in the tech industry had expected, Axios' Erica Pandey, Dan Primack and Ina Fried report.

Inspired by our colleagues at Axios San Antonio, we decided to test the chatbot's Minnesota savvy.

🤷 Its definition of "ope" wasn't bad:

  • "It is used in a similar way as 'oops' or 'oh' in other places. It is a colloquialism specific to Minnesota, and not widely used outside of the state."

🛶 But the AI totally failed our "how soon is too soon to invite someone to the cabin" quiz (everyone knows the correct answer is you have to wait seven years!):

  • "It depends on the relationship you have with the person and the context of the invitation. If you have a close relationship and the person has expressed interest in visiting a cabin before, it may be appropriate to extend an invitation soon."

🍔 When it comes to the best place to get a Jucy Lucy, ChatGPT pulled an Amy Klobuchar:

  • " Some popular places to get a Jucy Lucy in Minneapolis include Matt's Bar, 5-8 Club, and the Blue Door Pub. However, you should keep in mind that the best Jucy Lucy is a matter of personal preference..."

Go deeper: Catch up on the technology and what it might mean for the future via Axios AM's Tuesday takeover issue.

Now hiring: New job openings

🔥 Hot and fresh local job listings.

  1. SAP Integration Consultant, Director at PWC.
  2. CNC Machine Mechanic C at Graco.
  3. Americas BMC Strategy and Transactions (SaT) Leader at EY.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

5. 🧑‍🍳 Our James Beard nods

Illustration of a first place ribbon with a gold plate at the center.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Five Twin Cities chefs are on the shortlist for prestigious James Beard Awards, reminding the nation that the Twin Cities culinary scene has some major talent.

Who's nominated: Yia Vang (Union Hmong Kitchen), Christina Nguyen (Hai Hai), Karyn Tomlinson (Myriel) and Ann Ahmed (Khâluna) are semifinalists for Best Chef: Midwest, according to yesterday's release.

  • Shawn McKenzie (Café Cerés) also made the list for Outstanding Pastry Chef.

Yes, but: Despite Owamni's Best New Restaurant win last year, not a single Minnesota restaurant was named a semifinalist.

What we won in 2022

😭 Torey lives on the even side of a non-snow emergency route.

🥰 Audrey is a Lowry Hill East resident who already had to park three blocks from her house during a normal winter. She plans to make her boyfriend, who has a car in a heated garage a few minutes away, drive her around until April 1.

👍 Nick has a driveway and appreciates all the extra elbow room on streets.

This newsletter was edited by Ross Terrell and copy edited by Nick Aspinwall.