Valentine to Your City

The idea of writing a love letter to your city isn’t new. I hadn’t thought of it in a while, but then I was in Wausau, Wisconsin, last weekend, where downtown storefront windows were filled with red hearts proclaiming reasons why people love Wausau.


Red heart with space to answer the question Why do you love your city


At the state’s oldest bookstore, I donated a buck to the city’s River District to write my own reasons on a heart for the bookstore’s windows. The shop next door had its own collection.

Window filled with red hearts that have reasons why people love the city

Lots of reasons to love Wausau, Wisconsin

There are always things we need to improve everywhere. Once in a while it’s refreshing to focus on what we love about where we are. What do you love about your city, wherever that is?

Downtown street with lights and wreaths hanging above the street

Third Street in downtown Wausau, Wisconsin

If I wrote a valentine to my neighbor Minneapolis this week, I would say that I love how it gives me beautiful reasons to walk on frozen lakes in the middle of winter, like the Luminary Loppet and Art Shanties.

Bicycle with large butterfly wings being ridden on a frozen lake on a sunny day

Butterfly bicycle at the Art Shanties


Large triangles of ice illuminated by candles on a frozen lake

At the Luminary Loppet in Minneapolis

Heidi Schallberg

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Heidi Schallberg tweets @laflaneuse more than she posts here. Her posts reflect only her opinion and not those of any organization.

3 thoughts on “Valentine to Your City

  1. Heidi SchallbergHeidi

    And because I left the city where I live out of this post, here are a few things I love right now about St. Paul:

    – How the city has started to widely implement leading pedestrian intervals (a head start with a walk signal at an intersection). I love the surprise of discovering a new-to-me one when I cross the street.
    – My new mayor and his vision for the people in the city.
    – My friend Hillary’s awesome winter cycling lamppost cozy on 4th Street:
    – Having multiple great indie bookstores so that when I quietly boycott one because of the arrogance and harassing behavior of its famous owner, I have others to enjoy that much more.
    – The city’s library that is working to publish more kids’ books in languages common in our neighborhoods (like Karen, Amharic, Omoro).
    – City Hall has a 36-foot tall onyx statue that rotates and never loses a sense of bizarreness at which I marvel every time I set foot in the magnificent building.
    – Knowing so many great people who care so much and work to make the city a better place for all of us.

  2. Lou Miranda

    Neat idea. My Valentine to St. Paul 20 years ago would’ve been loving the well-meaning attempt at traffic calming on Lexington Parkway. In the summer, I remember all the trees and bushes—now long gone—in the median. The wide boulevards were nice, except taking away parking meant it really turned into a 4-lane highway. It was nice to sit on the porch swing on a Sunday morning in spring, as my house faced east.

    My Valentine to Mpls 10 years ago would’ve been loving the vibrancy of Uptown & the Wedge, and walking—just like in St. Paul—to the local Kowalski’s, from my semi-underground apartment.

    My Valentine to Edina is loving the streetcar suburb feel of Morningside, with Hello Pizza, Bruegger’s Bagels, and the original Caribou Coffee nearby, and the Linden Hills Co-op and France 44 across the street. Trader Joe’s and Excelsior & Grand are just a few blocks north, and 50th & France just a few blocks south.

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