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The U of M's McNamara Alumni Center
The U of M's McNamara Alumni Center
The gigantic Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota spawned two student-friendly business districts: Stadium Village, where chain eateries alternate with authentic Chinese places and a couple of venerable bars; and Dinkytown, where Bob Dylan got his start in a long-gone café called the Ten O'clock Scholar, and which still maintains a countercultural vibe, thanks to coffee houses, Asian restaurants, a pair of classic campus-style used-and-rare bookstores, and the Varsity, a movie-theater-turned-ultrahip-rock-venue. The once-dowdy Marcy-Holmes district, which borders the Northeast neighborhood, has been remade in the last decade into a mecca for creative retail and new restaurants.

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