HANDSHAKE – We love you, North Dakota!

North DakotaAccording to Google Analytics, the only state in all of America that has yet to visit HiddenLA even *once* is North Dakota. Seriously! Even though we did a nice big feature on one of their native sons! Sigh.

Feeling a bit sad and rejected with this news, naturally the only solution was to turn to the internet for possible answers. It was tough admitting that all I really knew about North Dakota was to stay away from wood chippers. It seemed a good time to learn a bit about the commonalities we share so that perhaps we might have a better chance of forging a bond of web friendship. (I mean, how tough could it be… the word Dakota MEANS “allies” in the Sioux language, for Christ’s sake, so they’ve gotta be super friendly people. Right?)

After a bit of research it’s easy to see why North Dakota might be a bit intimidated by Los Angeles, though… the entire state contains nearly ONE THIRD the population of the San Fernando Valley alone. Wow.

Well, we may be big city folk, but that doesn’t mean we don’t care about stuff that’s important to our fellow Americans, though. We do! So after a bit of research, here are a few things I’ve come up with… an olive leaf of sorts. An itemized list with links after the jump.

  1. PEACE GARDENS – Hey North Dakota… you’re the “Peace Garden” state, right? Well what a coincidence…  we love both peace and gardens! What’s not to love!? [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6eVzkZHHWA[/youtube]As a matter of fact, we’ve got peace gardens up the wazoo here! There’s the peaceful Lake Shrine in Brentwood (Did you ever have Elvis Presley practicing his karate kicks and football passes in *your* peace gardens? Didn’t think so. We did!). There’s also The Peace Awareness Labyrinth Gardens located just 4 miles from Downtown where you can improve your chi by walking around in circles. Hell, we’re so into peace gardens that even the LAPD’s Training Center has one! (Just ignore the sounds of firing range gunshots while meditating. Ahhh, the zen of irony.)
  2. FOOD – Seems folks in North Dakota are partial to German and Norwegian food. Okay well, I can’t say it’s our specialty but we can roll with it. We’ve been patiently waiting for a 7,000 square foot bierhall to open Downtown… but otherwise we’ve got Brats BrothersShreiner’s Fine Sausages, and Wurstküche. If you’re craving Swiss food there’s Chalet Edelweiss. And Duna-Csárdá is convenient if you’re in a Habsburg Dynasty kinda mood. For ausgezeichnet ambiance, we can even fill up the gas tank and polka over to the Jägerhaus in Anaheim, Old World in Huntington Beach or Alpine Village in Torrance. As for Norwegian food, there’s more than just Ikea. Due to supply and demand we don’t have the wide selection you do, but we’ve got Olsen’s Scandinavian Deli, AP Petite and the annual Sons of Norway Lutefisk and Meatball dinner! (All of that said, I’m still in mourning for the Old Vienna Strudel Company in Century City. If they were still around you’d probably like us more. So would I.)
  3. SPORTS – We’re not much for big game hunting, I’ll give you that. Sportsmen here are more likely to shoot at paper targets than wild animals. As for fishing I know it’s not what you’re used to but we do have a fishing pond and various streams and rivers within driving distance. Plus if you’ll be friends with us, we’ll let you come over and play in our ocean. You don’t have one of those, do you? There are LOTS of fish in the ocean. BIG ones.
  4. INDIAN HERITAGE – According to the world wide web, Dakotans are also really fond of Indian heritage. Okay, so we’ve got some cool museums and a lot of casinos but unfortunately our Pow Wow scene is kind of sucky compared to yours. Actually, our big Pow Wow didn’t even happen this year because of the economy.  But on the other hand, Indian sweat lodges are kinda trendy, especially with our correctional facility inmates in Chino and San Quentin. Apparently Native American rituals keep our violent prisoners from wanting to shiv each other! Good to know, eh?
  5. MILK – Your state drink is MILK? How admirably wholesome! Admittedly, we don’t have a state drink. I firmly believe this is because Southern California and Northern California vehemently disagreed on whether it should be tequila and orange juice or a heady red wine with the appropriate amount of tannins. But I digress. Broguiere’s freshly bottled milk may be more expensive than most, but it’s worth every single penny. Especially their Christmas egg nog, which will turn ANYONE into an egg nog lover.
  6. DANCING – North Dakota’s state dance is the square dance? No kidding! That’s our official folk dance too! It looks like California’s overall state dance is West Coast Swing though, which does have roots in country music if you know where to look. Leastwise it doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy a nice dosado now and then. We definitely do! Honestly, I think some of us are just a little afraid of  being seen in square dance outfits in public more than anything. Y’all look like you’re having fun Riverdancing it up, but those skirts are kinda ridiculous. We still want to be your friends though… please don’t hold it against us. We’re insecure, that’s all. You just rock the gingham better than we do, North Dakota.

[youtube width=”590″ height=”420″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fDoQ5jkI0U[/youtube]

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12 Responses to “HANDSHAKE – We love you, North Dakota!”

  1. Here’s your North Dakota visitor and I’m a bona-fided North Dakota Ambassador. You can be one to and learn more at http://www.LuvND.com.

  2. lynnster says:

    YAY!!!! Welcome Sandra!

    Come to L.A. so we can all go square dance in a peace garden together!

  3. Becky says:

    Haha! That was a cute article!

    ^^^(North Dakotan)

  4. Nancy says:

    We love you too LA! In fact, we go there to escape the long winters! :)

    Native North Dakotan

  5. Cindy Solberg says:

    We love to shake hands, too!

  6. @notthehoff says:

    North Dakota here showing you some Google Analytics love. Besides the butt-ass cold, it is a pretty nice place to live. I lived in CA and enjoyed it very much, but decided that ND is more for me. Each has unique qualities to make them each great places to be. Anyhow, have a great day Los Angeles…. and if you ever want to go ice fishing, let me know.

  7. Jason Hummel says:

    Dropping in to say hi from Fargo, ND. Soon that visitor count will be all the way in the double digits. ;)

  8. Amy W. says:

    ~Handshake~ We love you too, CA!

    I spent a summer in CA and long to go back, but just to visit. ND is my state, born and raised there. Thanks for pointing out how we can feel more at home in LA. I’ll be looking for Olsen’s Scandinavian Deli next time I head west!

  9. lynnster says:

    Actually, it already *is* in the double digits! Yesterday we had seven visitors from Fargo, six from Bismarck, one from Valley City, one from Watford City, and one from Minot! (Man, I love Google Analytics)

    Wow, butt-kissing sure works… I’m gonna have to try this more often! :)

  10. Shelle Michaels says:

    I AM LOVING THIS!! Thanks! and……. be it ever so humble there is NO PLACE LIKE NORTH DAKOTA!!

  11. Eric Kubischta says:

    We have:

    1. The second tallest structure in the world (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KVLY-TV_mast)

    2. The largest cow in the world http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salem_Sue

    3. The largest buffalo in the word: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World's_Largest_Buffalo

    4. We rank first in the US in production of Spring Wheat, durum wheat, sunflowers, flaxeed, canola, dry peas, barley, dry beans, lentils and oats

    5. Teddy Roosevelt ranched here, and if he wouldn’t have, he would never have become president

    6. We rank first in the nation in wind power resources

    7. Rugby, ND is the geographical center of North America (basically, we are as far from any ocean as you can be)

    8. But…. Lake Sakakawea gives us more coastline than California!!

    9. If we seceded, we would be the worlds 3rd largest nuclear power

    10. And… we invented the parking meter..

    I have more, but, it’s late!

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