You may not find a lot of personal attention at the U, in fact, you'll probably be taught by TAs (or profs on video) til you hit upper-division classes. Still, students have access to a lot of great resources on campus (terrific libraries, for one thing) and in the surrounding Twin Cities. I worked for the U, and thought there were some very hard-working people there who wanted to do their best for the students. Some programs (the medical and law schools, for example) have world-wide renown.
PROS: Huge size offers a lot of opportunities.
CONS: Huge size may be overwhelming.
If you can't get enough of the indefatigable Willie Murphy (surprise! he's a white guy), than you already love this derelict off-downtown dive. Aged blues lovers slump into the booths here along with anyone else who wants to be a sad drunk. It's one of those places you never want to go, but it's comforting having it around, anyway, maybe as a container for seedy old people.
This art supply store has the serious goods for serious artists and those who imagine their smeared canvases being taken seriously. The aisles are tight and the place has the general feeling of having all the art stuff that can fit. This lets you browse undisturbed - a big plus for creative types. Want to mix your own pigments or asphyxiate trying? This is your starting point.
Then you should hang out at Bullwinkle's, a city bar with street-cred among the old folks, but exciting enough for the U kids to enjoy during Gopher games. The pull is their drink specials. You return for the bar staff and because your friends drink there. You'd better like 80s rock, however, as it is forced upon you all. night. long.
You gotta pay to park and the atmosphere dives during Twins home games, so plan your visit accordingly.
Want to shake it dirty-style and not get disgusted looks from high school kids who have sneaked in? I suppose this would be your place. The drink specials allow you to get completely sauced and groove to house-style thumping, while the clientele ranges from frightening to coed, with a strong pull to deal-minded dance freaks. It keeps the over-priced-place-seeking, spoiled prep crowd out, but still makes you feel all icky inside. But, maybe that's your thing.
This parish has a well-regarded school and not a bad atmosphere. Depsite the name, there has never been an abundance of Peruvians in attendance. This church steers itself on the liberal side of centrist Catholicism. With regard to organization, a year after speaking with a priest here about maybe celebrating our wedding, his secretary called freaking out that our wedding date was one week away and we hadn't met with her yet! We had never even hinted at a month, less still a date! Anyway, the parish seemed to be a mix of ages / social backgrounds and had a welcoming atmosphere.
I've shopped at this particular Byerly's multiple times while helping prepare family dinners at my sister in law's home in Edina. It is always a treat to shop here. They have more of everything - a great cheese selection, beautiful produce, a fresh meat counter and to-go options such as fresh sushi, hot Asian food from Big Bowl Express, and the ubiquitous Caribou Coffee. You can actually find some good buys on regular groceries, too, if you notice some of the in-store specials. Though I do feel a little funny when the older gentelmen baggers offer to load my groceries into the car.
I remember when the Kowalski's at this location was pretty dumpy (many years ago). As with their other locations, Kowalski's has reinvented this store as a higher-end supermarket, a la Byerly's or Lund's. They have a fine selection of produce, conventional and organic, and such extra touches as a lovely floral department. You won't find many bargains here, but you will find the high-quality items you won't find at the big-box grocers. Parking at this suburban location is much better than the locations in downtown.
This is a really fun store for anyone who loves to cook. Seeing all of their gadgets and shiny new cookware gives me the kind of rush a car nut gets at an auto showroom. Most of the larger items are out of my humble price range, but I have seen some mean clearance markdowns from time to time. I have never taken one of their famous classes, but I gave a gift certificate for one to a friend (who wasn't previously fond of cooking), and she loved it.
I'm not a comic or role-playing fan, but if I want a hard-to-find magazine, I go to Shinders. The atmosphere here is very different from the national chain bookstores, since they cater to a somewhat different clientele. If you stay long enough, you will probably leave with something you didn't know you wanted. I agree that the parking availability at this store is a plus.