Brooklyn’s first boutique hotel is run by Midwesterners who aim to inject a bit of Minnesota nice into the city’s ruthless hospitality business. But if Hotel Williamsburg succeeds, it will actually represent one of a long, unbroken chain of great moments in Midwestern hospitality. Let’s review the history of these polite people:
1804: Native American heroine Sacagawea guides Lewis and Clark’s through dangerous terrain and is rewarded with having her image grace American currency.
1928: Chicago-area mobsters lovingly provide enough bourbon, whiskey and beer to their grateful neighbors for much of the decade to help each other survive the Prohibition Era.
1948: Former presidential candidate Hubert Humphrey holds the door of a building open for seven people even though he was running more than 20 minutes late.
1977: One December night after a “Saturday Night Live” show, Minnesota native Al Franken hails a cab for actors Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, rides with them, and personally tucks them in at night, despite living on the other side of the city.
2011: Brooklyn Paper reporter and Wisconsin native Kate Briquelet contributes $10 for office pizza, yet eats just one slice while her co-workers each put in only $3 each and grab two slices.
— Aaron Short