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Great moments in Midwestern hospitality • Brooklyn Paper

Great moments in Midwestern hospitality

Hotel Williamsburg’s Ben Graves wants to bring Minnesota nice to Brooklyn’s boutique hotel business.
Community Newspaper Group / Aaron Short

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

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