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#MyDowntownRochMN with Amanda Golden

The Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA) introduced #MyDowntownRochMN two weeks ago by featuring Nicki de Vera and highlighting Canvas & Chardonnay. The RDA will continue to provide interviews all year long, so no matter what the season, we’ll provide you with firsthand knowledge of how you can make YOUR Downtown experience even better. Plus, we invite you to share what you love about Downtown Rochester by using #MyDowntownRochMN on your social media accounts. 

This week we sat down with Amanda Golden for #MyDowntownRochMN to get her take on all things Downtown Rochester, MN. 

Samantha: Hi Amanda! Thanks for joining me to share what you love about Downtown Rochester for the new #MyDowntownRochMN campaign. Can you start by telling us a little about yourself and your family?

Amanda: Of course! My name is Amanda Golden, and I’ve been in Rochester almost 12 years. I came here from Louisville, KY for a job at Mayo Clinic thinking I’d only be here a few years. Obviously, that plan changed – Minnesota keeps growing on me and so we stay put! I met my husband, Marc, shortly after moving here. Since then, we’ve built a pretty great life here for us both personally and professionally. We have a young son, Griffin, and find that Rochester is a great community to raise our son too.

During the day, I work as a Campaign Manager at Mayo Clinic. In this role, I have the privilege of helping to share the stories and impact of philanthropic gifts to Mayo Clinic. Outside of work, I focus on spending time with my family, friends, and the organizations for which I’m a passionate volunteer.

Samantha: You mentioned your 6-year old son, Griffin. Does he have any Downtown Rochester favorites?

Amanda: Yes! He’s been enjoying Downtown with us since he was a wee baby. In the winter, he loves tearing through the skyways to burn off energy and brunch and see the ice sculptures. In warmer weather, he loves Thursday's on First & 3rd and splashing in the Peace Plaza fountain. The nursery school he used to attend would do walking trips Downtown during summer months to visit the Rochester Public Library, so he's very accustomed to visiting Downtown.

Samantha: Coming from out of state for your job at Mayo Clinic, what do you enjoy about working Downtown Rochester?

Amanda: I enjoy that I'm part of Rochester's hustle and bustle. I feel so much more a part of this community by working Downtown every day. No matter where I've lived, I've always wanted to work in a city's Downtown -- I love the energy. Since I've moved to Rochester, Downtown just keeps getting better. I'm excited by its growth and change and am looking forward to its next phase of development. For me, working Downtown is also a personal bonus: I can squeeze in a few errands during the workday like birthday card runs, post office drop offs, and stack browsing in the library. And, lunch with friends. The daytime obviously brings me here for work, but I'm often Downtown evenings and weekends. I enjoy a great dinner out or happy hour with my husband or friends.

Samantha: You mention enjoying lunch with friends, along with dinner out with your husband; where are some of your favorite local hot spots?

Amanda: I grew up in a great foodie town, so I'm happy that Rochester's food scene is continually growing. As for some of my favorites: Bleu Duck Kitchen, Café Steam, Pescara, The Loop, La Vetta, Bravo, Wabi Sabi, and ZZest all bubble to the top of my list -- I swear I do eat at home too!

Samantha: Wabi Sabi and ZZest are both located in the First Avenue Food Court and Bravo is right around the corner inside Shops at University Square. Do you find yourself stopping there over your lunch hour?

Amanda: Um, yes! It’s so easy to pop over for lunch or coffee. I think we’re totally spoiled Downtown by the ease of access to restaurants and shops. Even those that aren’t connected by subways or skyways are still easy to get to – regardless of the weather. It makes it so easy to have impromptu coffee or lunch work meetings!

Want to learn more about the First Avenue Food Court, click here to check out all the great options. 

Samantha: You’re making me hungry! What else do you enjoy doing when you are Downtown?

Amanda: I love shopping at Counterpoint and Tangerine. I tend to make frequent stops at the Rochester Public Library, the post office, and Bremer Bank too. I also enjoy the Downtown Farmer's Market and Down by the Riverside. They are such unique, fun events. It's really amazing that the city's core can support such large events – they make for amazing backdrops. Plus: SocialICE. It's an #OnlyinMN kind of thing. It's fun to get bundled up and wander around in sub-zero temperatures – I consider it a badge of honor. If this Southerner can find fun in it, anyone can!

Samantha: Speaking of hashtags and backdrops, do you have a favorite selfie spot?

Amanda: I'm a recovering introvert. I feel ridiculous taking selfies. (laughs)

Samantha: All right, all right, no selfies for you. If you change your mind, I hear the Rochester Public Library has a great mural. So – moving on to the final question, if you only had 24 hours to spend in Downtown, what would you do?

Amanda: I'd probably grab a cup of coffee at Cafe Steam and check out what the library has on hold for me. Then, I would wander through the Downtown boutiques and wrap up by meeting my husband for happy hour in the windows of Bleu Duck for some people watching.

Samantha: Sounds like a great 24 hours. I’ll have to do a little off-air follow-up to hear about all your great finds at the local boutiques. Thanks again for sharing with us, Amanda!

Disclaimer: the views, comments, and opinions located within this blog are those of the community individual, not those of the Rochester Downtown Alliance (RDA).