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A petty peeve of mine from flyover land:  It's not "Minneapolis St. Paul, MN."  It's "Minneapolis, MN and/or St. Paul, MN" or "Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN."  They may have the nickname of the Twin Cities.  But they are not one and the same.  

The Today show recently aired a segment about some list of healthiest cities.  Minneapolis and/or St. Paul routinely make these and other best of lists.  Which is a point of pride, I admit.

But, please, New York or L.A. media, these two cities may be near each other geographically, They may share the Mississippi river, they may share a common climate and time zone, they may share an international airport and broadcast tv and radio reception.  But they are as different from each other as Boston is different from Seattle.

There are a few other twinned cities in the nation.  I confess I have never been to them so I do not know whether the i.d. lumping bothers them.  If so, please let me know.  We should always honor what people choose to be called.  Dallas-Fort Worth are nearly always called that whenever I hear them mentioned.  Raleigh-Durham are likewise.  Are they one and the same?  I honestly don't know.  Does it irk them to be lumped that way? I don't know.  But I'm here to tell you, Minneapolis is its own city and St. Paul is its own city.  

Currently I live out in the woods because that is where my vocation has led me.  But I am a Minneapolis kid at heart.  In fact, most Minnesotans seem to be either Minneapolis oriented or St. Paul oriented.  Minneapolis has its own suburbs distinct from the St. Paul suburbs.  Out state people either read the St. Paul Pioneer Press or the Minneapolis StarTribune.  People either gravitate to the Minneapolis hospitals or the St. Paul hospitals.  People either shop the Minneapolis stores or the St. Paul stores.  Hipsters either hang out on Grand Avenue if they are St. Paul oriented or Hennepin Avenue if they are Minneapolis oriented.  They are crazy for the Winter Carnival if they are St. Paul oriented or they are Aquatennial goers if they are Minneapolis oriented.  

That's where I'm from, that's where my heart is.  When I was a kid I was a paperboy for the Minneapolis paper.  I was educated in the Minneapolis school system.  I lifeguarded on the Minneapolis lakes.  I enter St. Paul about as often as I get my oil changed.  I enter Minneapolis nearly twice a month.

And I'm telling you, the two cities are different.  Not better or worse (though I am a Minneapolis kid) than each other.  Just different.  It's been said that St. Paul is the last city of the east and Minneapolis is the first city of the west.  If you were to be dropped into the middle of either one you would know the difference immediately.  

The street names have no rhyme or reason in St. Paul.  In Minneapolis they are laid out numerically or alphabetically (or presidentially, for us Northeasters).  And avenues are north-south and streets are east-west in Minneapolis.  In St. Paul there is far less consistency.  It makes it very difficult to find your way around St. Paul if you are not from there.  Address numbers run 001 to 099 along St. Paul streets so you can go several blocks between 2301 Rice Street to 2401 Rice Street.  In Minneapolis the address number resets every block.  Again, making it a lot easier for visitors to navigate.  The streets tend to be narrower in St. Paul and you can park and drive anywhere in any location and direction.  In Minneapolis parking is practically impossible unless you want to take out a small loan and one-way streets are common.

Even the Roman Catholics in St. Paul have their own cathedral while those in Minneapolis have their own basilica.  St. Paul is teeming with small colleges and universities and professional schools.  Minneapolis has the U of M main campus and loads of small ethnic restaurants run by immigrants from all over the planet in every neighborhood with matching theater and acting troupes and art galleries and museums and comedy clubs.

I heard it said that Minneapolis is one great big shopping district with nowhere to park and St. Paul is one big parking lot with nowhere to shop.  But St. Paul has the Capitol and all the accompanying office buildings.

Of course, my Minneapolis orientation comes through in this so I invite a St. Paulite to weigh in.  But my main theme is the Twin Cities are not one and the same.  They are not even twins of each other.

My next diary may be about how Norwegians and Swedes are worlds apart.


Originally posted to Simul Iustus et Peccator on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 10:20 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  i just figured you were grumpy about the vikings (9+ / 0-)

    as i am about the giants & jets

  •  The effort to lump them together (9+ / 0-)

    has political ramifications as well, since the GOP has been trying for decades to combine Minneapolis and St. Paul into one congressional district, which would allow for one less Democratic-heavy district and one more GOP-heavy district in the state.

    •  That would make no sense (4+ / 0-)

      (At least in an eight-seat map.) The problem with the idea, from a GOP perspective, is that there are too many DFL votes in the inner suburbs. They still couldn't get only one Democratic seat in the metro area.

      OTOH, if Minnesota drops to seven seats in 2022, ...

      •  You have four-plus metro no matter what (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NormAl1792, mikidee, petral, JackND

        The loser in a seven-seat Minnesota will be rural areas.  Either they'll have to be merged into the 6th district disaster and risk flipping Republican, or else rural MN will lose a seat.  The urban core is growing too quickly to lose representation at this point.

        •  Michelle Bachmanns current Seat (0+ / 0-)

          Will cease to exist....

          It has no logical geographic affiliation.  It has always been something of a mishmash with its combination of St CLoud and Stillwater.

          St Cloud (w quarter) could just as well be in the 7th. Stillwater (E quarter) combined into a St Paul CD. The Northern quarter made part of the current 8th district and the Southern quarter tied to a MPLS CD.

          Basically you have a sliver of MN that is pretty conservative that has been crammed together.

  •  A great book on the history of the two cities, (7+ / 0-)

    but focusing on St. Paul and the early religious and social developments that led to James J. Hill's minority Democratic Party (yes, he was chairman of the state's Democratic Party in addition to being a railroad baron and not a US citizen) becoming the dominant party in the state,  is Claiming the City by Mary Wingerd (whom I delivered St. Paul papers to as a boy).

    •  Oooh - thanks for the link - (6+ / 0-)

      Added to my wish list.

      I'm a recent transplant to the Eastside (7 years ago ). I grew up in a suburb of Mpls., but have lived in various areas in St Paul since the early 80s (Como, Cathedral Hill, off Dale and Portland). I can get around in both cities (does that make me ambidextrous?), but much prefer St. Paul.

      It will be interesting to see if the opening of light rail between the two cities adds to the exchange of blood between us.

      "Eastside Pride!"

      Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

      by mikidee on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 12:44:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why do you much prefer St. Paul, mikidee? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        binkycat, mikidee, boudi08

        Interesting, isn't it, how people have these druthers for one or the other-- me included?

        Government works when you elect those who want it to. --askyron (2013)

        by Simul Iustus et Peccator on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:37:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you need to ask .... ;-) (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Simul Iustus et Peccator

          It's the neighborhoodiness, which is a lot like the appeal of Nordeast, but in St Paul it's the entire city.

          I've slept lived around this town for about 30+ years now so I can chat with folks and establish some credibility, even if I can't honestly claim to have grown up in a particular parrish - I know where the parrishes are, which gives me more than enough street cred.

          Meh - the point now is food, but I think that's always been the point.

          Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

          by mikidee on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 05:33:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Fellow Eastsider! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        You must have moved here, then, just after our Swedish Lutheran city councilman closed Hafner's bowling alley on White Bear Ave. for allegedly hosting a naked bowling league.  Adult entertainment of all kinds has been relegated to only Minneapolis now -- another difference between the two cities.  

  •  I lived in the St. Anthony Park (7+ / 0-)

    area in the late 70's for the 2nd semester of my junior year of high school.  I loved it. I had no idea why it was called that but it certainly had cute little shops.  I spent all the money I earned from working at the Har-Mar (whatever that meant) mall (?) in St. Paul's cute little shops.  Nice memories.  Thank you.

    For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die--Ted Kennedy

    by sobermom on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 10:58:42 AM PST

  •  Like Champaign and Urbana in Illinois. (8+ / 0-)

    Champaign is the "country" town, and Urbana, where the U of I is, is the more modern and "hip" town.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 10:58:56 AM PST

    •  Interesting to hear your take. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's similar to DFW (Dallas = cool, metropolitan; Foat Wuth = cow town) and I think even applies in Oklahoma, w/ OKC (= Foat Wuth) and Tulsa (= Dallas).

      "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

      by bartcopfan on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:47:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wouldn't say that was exactly true (0+ / 0-)

      and I'm saying this as a former seven year denizen of Urbana.  Most of the campus is in Urbana and I'd guess that a greater proportion of the faculty live there as well.  However Champaign is almost twice the size of Urbana - it's downtown is the 'hip' area with most of the better restaurants, etc.  Also most of the undergrads live in Champaign just west of campus and the campus town area is in Champaign.

      Long term residents often had a strong loyalty to their home town.  I liked living in the 'Socialist Republic of Urbana' just fine but really treated the whole area as one city.

      "To see both sides of a quarrel, is to judge without hate or alarm" - Richard Thompson

      by matching mole on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 06:27:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's not exaggerate (10+ / 0-)

    OK, Minneapolis has traditionally been more white-collar than  St. Paul, and today St. Paul has a larger immigrant community than Minneapolis, but the two cities are still far more alike than different. It's not like Washington and Baltimore, which are 35 miles apart but might as well be on different planets.

  •  Thank you. (11+ / 0-)

    And the two different cultures of the two very different cities can be spumed up perfectly by how you described the streets.

    The nice orderly lay-out of the streets and avenues of Minneapolis extend all the way out to the suburbs.

    St Paul is a mess. Really hated to drive to St Paul for any reason.

    Please do write about Swedes and Norwegians. The Norwegians act like they are the only Scandinavians in the whole state. And, being Danish and Swedish, I find that very irritating. I partly blame Garrison Keillor for that.

    God spare me the Heart to fight them... I'll fight the Pirates forever. -Mother Jones

    by JayRaye on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 11:19:56 AM PST

  •  yeah... (7+ / 0-)

    Minneapolis is Protestant, St. Paul is Catholic, Minneapolis is western and St. Paul is eastern...
    Lots of ethnic differences, Italians and Germans, Irish and Poles, Vietnamese and Hmong, I suppose those differences are small now, compared to when I was young.
    Now that Minneapolis' civic policy means that only young couples with business oriented lives are welcomed there, they lost me.
    Union jobs for a guy who is a skilled hand worker are gone forever, even the 1910 Ford plant in St. Paul closed, I hear.
    I liked living up there but you can tell when a urban area's policies gradually change....

    Hope to read more people's ideas about the non-twin cities.

    I buy and sell well trained riding mules and American Mammoth Jack Stock.

    by old mule on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 11:22:04 AM PST

    •  ?? (3+ / 0-)
      Now that Minneapolis' civic policy means that only young couples with business oriented lives are welcomed there, they lost me.
      Not sure what you mean by that but certainly Minneapolis is known for having a large gay community.  But of course the civic policy certainly aims to maintain a large, stable, middle class which is why the city is thriving and not dying.  You lose young couples and you lose your city.  You lose major employers and you lose your city.  As for union jobs, Minneapolis never had a large manufacturing base.  Another reason why the city is thriving and not dying!
      •  mfg (7+ / 0-)

        I guess I am bitching about gentrification, partly.
        But in 1971 I was walking down a rough old Minneapolis street with my hands in my pockets, 21 year old blithe spirit, and saw a sign "machinists wanted". I walked the back and asked an old guy if he'd teach me to operate a big ol' dangerous looking machine.
        By the end of the year I was a union machinist and supporting a new baby on MY salary.
        Printers, machining job shops, 3M, General Mills, the trades, there were thousands of manufacturing jobs there, Honeywell making landmines and cluster bombs before they hived off Alliant, the aircraft A&P, Minneapolis was a great center for productive work...and a well known "union town".
        Also as I got into my 50s realized that the policy focus on suits in their twenties with new families was not going to do much for me...
        I visit there every five years or so and am amazed by what disappears, my beloved Dania Hall most hurtfully...
        anyway back to the difference between the two cities, enough personal digression.

        I buy and sell well trained riding mules and American Mammoth Jack Stock.

        by old mule on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 03:02:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The streets (7+ / 0-)

    Speaking as a St. Paul type (since 1999), I beg to differ re: the "logical" street system in Mpls. It's perfectly fine in the parts where the numbering/alphabetical pattern is observed, but the downtown area is a nightmare because a) it switches to numbering along both axes and b) the grid suddenly tilts 45 degrees. And you can never get out of downtown the same way you got in. Fortunately, I am very rarely required to tangle with it.

    St. Paul has numbered streets in one direction downtown, but they're kind of chopped up and bendy, so it's not wildly useful. But hey, I used to live in Boston, and this is a miracle of clarity by comparison.

    And of course both cities have all those dang lakes scattered around, which mucks up everything...

    That said, I absolutely love St. Paul's quiet and manageable size and beauty, but also appreciate having the resources and population of a big city just across the way.

    "I believe they talked of me, for they laughed consumedly."--George Farquhar

    by slapshoe on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 11:32:14 AM PST

    •  Minneapolis's street pattern (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Minneapolis's street pattern is typical of many Midwestern river cities. In the downtown area, streets run parallel and perpendicular to a river. Farther out they switch to a north-south-east-west grid. Detroit, Des Moines & Denver, among others, do this.

      •  Apropos of nothing, in Oklahoma it's the railroad (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        In the downtown area, streets run parallel and perpendicular to a river. Farther out they switch to a north-south-east-west grid.
        that the streets run in relation to--even if it's been gone for decades.

        "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

        by bartcopfan on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:43:03 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I grew up in the Twin City area (5+ / 0-)

    ...and must agree.  My two older sisters still live there, one in Mpls., and one in St. Paul, and are actually rather illustrative of your point.

  •  I've always admired the (3+ / 0-)

    not-so-twin cities area and would like to live there.

    I have an uncle that lived in the 'burbs of Minneapolis. He held a brief gig as a right-wing talker on a local radio station there.
    He has since moved to St. Cloud. I don't have any idea what the implications of that might be to a Minnesotan.

    "Non-violence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by Gentle Giant on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 11:54:32 AM PST

  •  Tampa Bay FL has Tampa and St Petersburg (2+ / 0-)

    They are completely different from each other. You could not possibly pay me enough money to move from St Pete to Tampa.

    We also have Sarasota and Bradenton, which are usually "twinned" too. Heck, between all of us, we could be considered Tampa Bay "quadruplets".

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 11:55:01 AM PST

  •  Fraternal TWIN Cities (8+ / 0-)

    Minneapolis and St. Paul are about as different as a peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwich and a peanut butter and raspberry jam sandwich.

    Saying they're as different as Boston and Seattle is ludicrous if you've ever been to both Boston and Seattle.

    They're about as different as Grey Pooupon Dijon mustard and Maille Dijon mustard.

    They aren't identical but they're more alike than either is to any other city in the country or on the planet.

    - St. Paulite

  •  Checking in from the "Midway" in St. Paul, (8+ / 0-)

    so named because it is midway between downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul.  I love both cities, and have ever since I came here to attend graduate school in the mid 1970s.  In fact, I moved away after an especially brutal winter in the early 1980s, and then moved back.  The park systems in both communities are fabulous, largely because lakefront land was preserved for public use by a prescient city developer in the early part of the 20th Century.  But there is also an underbelly to the Minnesota miracle in both communities, namely its record as one of the urban areas with the worst statistics in the nation for African Americans.  The achievement gap between Black and White high school students is higher here than anywhere else in the country, as is the gap in the unemployment rate.  And I've never seen a good explanation for this.  

    Finally, one of the weirdest things about St. Paul is that it has a major street named Cretin Avenue, where once was located a Catholic military school named after Bishop Cretin.  And I could never figure out why people raised here didn't understand how funny that is.

    •  Cretin Durham Hall is still going. Big sports (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FrankAletha, petral

      powerhouse.  I always thought it was a funny name too.

      Yes, the achievement gap is wide and seemingly intractable.  Lots of people are talking about it and trying to figure out its causes and remedies.  Good to know it is on the radar.  Several theories but seemingly no silver bullet out there.  A combination of high achieving white and Asian kids skewing the curve high (Minnesota kids rate very high in the annual standardized tests), class crowding in the poorer districts, financially stressed households and all that goes with it, etc.  I wonder, too, with the large influx of Somali immigrants if the challenges of language and culture are causing the scores to suffer.

      Government works when you elect those who want it to. --askyron (2013)

      by Simul Iustus et Peccator on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:52:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  One reason for the black/white divide (2+ / 0-)

      is that the Twin Cities was late to get any significant African American population and when it did it got a large influx of the poorest from Chicago and Detroit fleeing gang violence and the demise of the welfare system.  Minneapolis never had much of a black middle class.  We didn't have manufacturing jobs like Detroit and other rust belt cities so we didn't get the original migration out of the South.  Now, we've got a huge Somali population which is starting from nothing which contributes its own set of cultural problems as well.  

      •  Seems a worthy theory. (0+ / 0-)

        All of the African American kids I went to school with seemed to have come from out of state.  Very few roots in the community.

        Government works when you elect those who want it to. --askyron (2013)

        by Simul Iustus et Peccator on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:18:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, there's a pretty old African American (6+ / 0-)

          community here (some of which lived in the Rondo neighborhood in St. Paul, which was destroyed by the building of I 94).  When I was in graduate school, I actually met some African Americans locals who were descendants of the Buffalo Soldiers, a history that has produced a lot of tension between Blacks and Native people here.  But it is true, as greenbell says, that the Black community here was relatively small until the Reagan recession induced migration of Blacks from Detroit and Chicago during the 1980s.

          •  Any time I hear Rondo.... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FrankAletha, old mule

            it makes me remember Tiger Jack. Always used to stop at his store if I was biking south of 94. Just found this:  Mr Respect Tiger Jack.

            •  Tiger Jack (0+ / 0-)

              I'm smiling at the memory of driving past his little store every day. Unless it was too cold, he was always outside waving to the passers by. There are still quite a few African American families with deep roots in the area, still living in what is left of Rondo.

          •  I was too young to remember the Rondo (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FrankAletha, AnitaMaria, boudi08

            neighborhood.  Just a snotty nosed tot when then free way came thru.  But I remember the huge canyon they cut thru the city to get 35W put in mostly because I was fascinated by the vehicles and the spectacle.  It was only years later that I had the cognizance to recognize that that canyon used to be homes.  And when I was a kid in the 80s I didn't pay much attention to Reaganomics.  Ah, blissful ignorance.

            Government works when you elect those who want it to. --askyron (2013)

            by Simul Iustus et Peccator on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 06:09:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Hyphenated metropolitan areas (4+ / 0-)

    Lumping the two cities in a "hyphenated" metropolitan area (one with more than one central urban area) needs to be put into context.

    While this diary is about the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area, I grew up in the Seattle-Tacoma metro (in a Tacoma suburb), and now live in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro (in a Dallas suburb).

    Judging by both Seattle-Tacoma and Dallas-Fort Worth (as well as what is written about Minneapolis-Saint Paul here), the major cities in a metro area usually do have substantially different characters.  Growing up, Seattle was more white collar, while Tacoma was the blue collar stepchild where wresting aired briefly on one of our public TV stations.  Here in Texas, Dallas is business and banking oriented, whereas Fort Worth has more of a western feel to it.  Obviously, the differences go past these broad level descriptions, but the point is the same.

    I've never been offended by having the cities in a metro lumped together, because I just understand it to refer to the metropolitan area, and not to imply that Seattle and Tacoma, Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Dallas and Fort Worth, Boise and Nampa, etc are interchangeable halves.

    Now, I do get annoyed when folks ask if I'm from Seattle.  Um, no, Tacoma...  And, as a result of that, I do try to make it a point to give Fort Worth the same respect.

    Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

    by TexasTom on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:52:34 PM PST

  •  I was born a Minneapolis person (8+ / 0-)

    My parents were born that way too.  When I was 10, we moved out to the Minneapolis suburbs (Bloomington) but I didn't detect any significant difference in attitude.  I can't say I remember any expression of hatred toward St. Paul people, but maybe it was snide remarks that gives you the feeling that "the others" are to be avoided.  I moved away from the Twin Cities when I was 15, moved west, then moved east, then finally settled in Bay Area (San Jose).  But I still think of myself as a Minnesotan and a Minneapolis person, rather than a Californian.  I've lived in Bay Area for 40 years now, so by all rights, I should be almost native.  But my ears always perk up whenever I hear Minnesota in the news.

    I do believe there is a strong bias between the two cities.  While I was growing up, I think I could count on 1 hand the number of times my family went to St. Paul.  We probably went to Como Park many times, and as much as I remember, that is in St. Paul side.  But other than a trip to the State Capital in 5th grade (I think), that is about it.  In my young adult life, I worked for Univac and went to Roseville and Eden Prairie many times.  But as a family, we always stayed on the Minneapolis side of the river.  I honestly can't say I really know why that was.  Like I said, I don't remember any overt hatred for people east of the river, but who knows?  I do remember when I was watching Capt. Kangaroo that the advertisements always said that Schwinn bikes cost more west of the Mississippi.  Maybe that was a subliminal message that we should resent St. Paul people because their Schwinn bikes were less expensive.  I never had a Schwinn bike, so it shouldn't matter, but many ads back in the 50s and early 60s stated that.  It might have taken me awhile to figure out that Minneapolis is west of the Mississippi.  KSTP was the NBC station back then.  It stands for St. Paul and starts with a K.  WCCO was the Minneapolis CBS station and started with a W.  I remember asking why our stations didn't all start with the same letter.  I suspect that is when my parents explained that all stations west of the Mississippi start with a W and all stations east of the Mississippi start with K.  How that can grow into the separation of two cities is uncertain, but it does exist.  

    I've met many people from the Twin Cities in my 40 years here in California.  We all agree that Minnesota is a great place to be from.  When I hear that it is -20 and the wind is causing -40 wind chill, I remember back in the days waiting for the school bus in that kind of weather.  I too delivered papers for the Minneapolis Star (I was an evening paperboy).  Never minded delivering papers in the summer, but I hated delivering papers in the winter, especially Sunday mornings.  The papers were so big and the weather was so cold and the snow was so deep, I have many reasons to enjoy winters with 50s and 60s for highs and 40s for lows.  Occasionally, we get a cold snap.  It gets in the 30s.  I can remember a few times it actually got in the 20s, major plant kill.  I also remember it snowing twice in those 40 years.

    I have many fond memories of living in Minnesota.  Mostly the great relatives and family holidays.  I regret my daughters didn't have an environment like that.  But I don't regret all the snow and cold that I've missed.  I'm a happy Californian.  I just have a slight Minnesota accent to distinguish myself from the masses.  And I gave up on the Vikings 45 years ago and I don't think they've disappointed me since.  

    I can hardly wait for your Swedes vs. Norwegian diary.  Being of both bloods, I have internal debates about it all the time.  But I'd like to hear your point of view.  Great Diary.

    "War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength", George Orwell, "1984" -7.63 -5.95

    by dangoch on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:54:05 PM PST

  •  one quibble (2+ / 0-)

    It's not 'northeast' it's 'nordeast'.  :-)

    I grew up in a suburb near 'nordeast', went to college and grad school in St. Paul, and lived in the St. Paul suburbs for a few years as an adult.  

    I never did get the hang of the goofy street numbering system in St. Paul.  I'm just a Minneapolitan at heart, I guess.  

    There is no snooze button on a cat who wants breakfast.

    by puzzled on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:17:06 PM PST

  •  True observation... (2+ / 0-)
    If you were to be dropped into the middle of either one you would know the difference immediately.
    That's true. But it's sort of odd, isn't it? I never could understand why that was. They are just, hmm... ...shaped differently somehow, in so many ways. Perhaps not identical twins, but fraternal ones.

    I grew up as a Minneapolis kid. St. Paul was like a foreign country, I learned to appreciate it as I grew older. There is a lot of quality in St. Paul that people overlook. It is understated.

    I'm familiar with San Francisco and Oakland now. Minneapolis and St. Paul have a different relationship.

  •  I feel like the difference... (3+ / 0-) Minneapolis is made up of the limousine liberals, while St. Paul are the hipster lefties.

    But then, despite living about 3 minutes from downtown Minneapolis while falling in Ramsey county, I grew up in ....


  •  By the end of paragraph #3 I said to myself, "Well (5+ / 0-)

    the writer is definitely from Mpls.

    By the end of paragraph #4 it was confirmed. Definitely Mpls, not St. Paul.

    I lived in Uptown during the 1980s and I've been back there since then. The background of my Twitter profile is a photograph I took of the Foshay Tower at night, from the sidewalk looking up.

    I love Mpls. During the summer.

    There is no existence without doubt.

    by Mark Lippman on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:43:05 PM PST

  •  Minneapolis and St Paul (5+ / 0-)

    My mother was from St. Paul, my father from Minneapolis. So-- a mixed marriage. Growing up in Minneapolis I always thought St Paul was more alluring, more romantic-- F Scott Fitzgerald grew up there after all.  The high school I went to had kids from both sides of the river, and I loved that.
    I have lived away from Minneapolis and St. Paul for almost forty years- but I am still and always will be a Minnesotan.  For 19 years I have lived in the Cleveland suburbs, and while Cleveland is not two cities, it might as well be.  The east side and the west side are divided by the Cuyahoga River and never the twain shall meet. They seem far less friendly to each other  than MSP!

  •  St Paul - Cautious, Minneapolis - Impulsive (3+ / 0-)

    St Paul is more about smaller named neighborhoods with character not flashy developments. St Paul is cautious, let Minneapolis try it first. Minneapolis is spendthrift, St Paul has be cautious with a large non-profit portion of city not paying property taxes. St Paul people don't count until they have lived in a neighborhood 10 years. Some people have lived there 3 generation. St Paul still has a corner drug store with 5 cent coffee.

  •  I knew someone who was dying to move to the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simul Iustus et Peccator

    Twin Cities from upstate NY (which is a great place to be from, I have to say, even though in retrospect, it wasn't nearly as bad 30 years ago as now.)  I'd like to give the area a chance, too, if it weren't for the weather. Being from Chicago, frigid winters are not known to me, but I have no intention to seek them out.

    Last time I was through MPLS/STP, for the first time in many years, I noticed that the two downtowns do not face each other. MOF, downtown MPLS faces the butt end of St. Paul--I remember an industrial area or other such unappealingness. Any reason STP didn't at least do something on the east bank?

    •  Each downtown sort of faces the river. And they (0+ / 0-)

      are far enough apart that it takes a very clear day to see one from the other.  But it's true that the border between the two is of less than beautiful industrial zoning (highway 280).  The river is not really the divider of the two cities.  It cuts through each at odd angles and bends.

      Government works when you elect those who want it to. --askyron (2013)

      by Simul Iustus et Peccator on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 06:35:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Walking the lake (7+ / 0-)

    When you walk around the lakes in Mpls, its like being at a fashion show, people on display looking at each other..

    In St Paul, people are dressed in the gardening clothes and enjoying being outside..    

    Our family joke is that we prefer the St Paul lakes (mostly como) and riverwalk because we don't have a wardrobe suitable for Mpls.

    The streets in St Paul grew organically,  In MPLS they were laid out by an engineer.

    The house numbering system in St Paul was designed so that the fire department would know how far the horses had to go before they got to a destination.    The numbers translate somehow to distance, but I forget how.

    •  I life guarded on Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobtmn, slapshoe

      through college.  A very image conscious area.  Great scenery if you like pretty girls in bikinis and in-line skaters in spandex.  It very much reminds me of the opening sequence for Three's Company for some reason.

      Government works when you elect those who want it to. --askyron (2013)

      by Simul Iustus et Peccator on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 06:28:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  In Saint Paul, each number = 10 feet (0+ / 0-)

      700 North Pascal is 7,000 feet +/- 5 north of Summit Avenue.

      That's why the street numbers don't have anything to do with the cross street or with blocks.

      The system is Cartesian, not ordinal like most cities.

  •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
    Dallas-Fort Worth are nearly always called that whenever I hear them mentioned.  Raleigh-Durham are likewise.  Are they one and the same?  I honestly don't know.
    No and No.

    I've lived in both, but I'll focus on DFW. Though they're only 30 miles apart, they are arguably in different regions of the country. Fort Worth uses the motto "Where the West Begins." It combines traditional Western culture like our historic stockyards (now a big tourist attraction) with world-class cultural attractions like the Kimbell Art Museum and Bass Performance Hall, all while maintaining a friendly, laid-back vibe. Overall, it's predominantly working class.

    Dallas, by contrast, is "Where the East Peters Out" (a running FW joke), mixed with southernness. It's a big regional banking/financial center without FW's friendliness or character. It's cultural amenities have improved recently, though I'd still take FW's if I could only pick one. It does have a much larger and more visible LGBT community, though FW has the incomparable Joel Burns on our city council.  

    You won't believe what this gay dolphin said to a homeless child. First you'll be angry, but then at the 1:34 mark your nose will bleed tears of joy.

    by cardinal on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 05:45:29 PM PST

    •  Dallas & Ft Worth (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Dallas & Ft Worth are "arguably in different regions of the country"??? Jeez, that's a stretch.

      •  Maybe a slight stretch, but still the most useful (0+ / 0-)

        way to explain their differences.

        Texas encompasses both the South and the West. No one would dispute that, for example, El Paso and Beaumont are in different regions and are as different from each other as, say, New Orleans and Albuquerque. That difference plays out, obviously to a lesser degree but still readily perceptible if you live here, between Dallas and Fort Worth, which sit right at the dividing line of the regional settlement patterns. Fort Worth is distinctly western, while Dallas doesn't have a trace of west to be found.

        You won't believe what this gay dolphin said to a homeless child. First you'll be angry, but then at the 1:34 mark your nose will bleed tears of joy.

        by cardinal on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 07:13:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Maybe there was something to this (0+ / 0-)

          in 1930 when Dallas and Fort Worth were small cities 30 miles apart with nothing in the middle. Today, when they are the two urban cores of a metro area with 6 ½ million people the idea is risible.

      •  Not much of a stretch. (0+ / 0-)

        Dallas County, county seat, Dallas, gives us Pete Sessions.  

        Tarrant County, county seat, Fort Worth, gives us Wendy Davis.  

        "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." John Kenneth Galbraith

        by LeftOfYou on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 02:30:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  "Last city of the East" was in diary, too: (2+ / 0-)
      It's been said that St. Paul is the last city of the east and Minneapolis is the first city of the west.  

      Christie: "I'm going to find the real bullies!"

      by Inland on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 07:27:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I grew up in White Bear lake and to us it was all (0+ / 0-)

    just "downtown".  Going to Mpls. was going "across town" but going to either city was dreaded as a distant journey.

  •  Lived in both cities (3+ / 0-)

    But moved there after college. In Minneapolis, they told me  what state they were from; in St. Paul, what elementary school (in St. Paul) their grandfather attended.

    St. Paul is all government, Minneapolis is all business. Maybe not Boston and Seattle but a lot like Manhattan and Albany.

  •  Lived there from ages 6-33, Como Neighborhood (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raptavio, boudi08

    And still live within an hour's drive of Saint Paul at 46. I love the area and love living here. There are a lot of differences, but Boston and Seattle is a reach. Boston and Cambridge, maybe, but fundamentally Minneapolis and Saint Paul are both very Minnesotan cities. They have far more in common with each other than the Pacific Northwest and the heart of New England do.

    Kelly McCullough - author of the WebMage series and the Fallen Blade books (Penguin/ACE)

    by KMc on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 09:04:25 AM PST

    •  Having spent lots of time in Seattle (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Simul Iustus et Peccator

      I can say there is much more in common between Minneapolis and Seattle than you might give credit for.

      Many distinctions of course (like the fact that they seem to issue every Seattleite a North Face fleece jacket on arrival, or the greater devotion to electric vehicles), but they have more in common with each other than, say, Chicago or Indianapolis, LA or DC have with either.

      "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

      by raptavio on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 09:29:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Raised in St. Paul from the age of one. (2+ / 0-)

    Lived there from 1972 to 2001. It's my home, always will be, though I live in an outer-ring suburb now.

    Both cities have their charm, but St. Paul is still my favorite twin. Great communities, a downtown that's not overcrowded but is still bustling, several damn fine colleges (Macalester, Hamline, St. Thomas, St. Catherine, Concordia....), diverse neighborhoods, lots of greenspace, and of course, the Como Zoo, one of the last free-admission zoos in the country.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 09:27:30 AM PST

  •  Grew up in White Bear Lake. (2+ / 0-)

    Cut my first ice out doors playing pond. with school buddies.
    Fished Bald Eagle and White Bear growing up all summer long. Played hockey on them in the winter. Either city and the surrounding burbs are good places to live and work.
    Each side of the east/west divide is different. St.Paul and its burbs can be a bit clannish. I'd say the west side is more open and free spirited. As for the streets, well, both have challenges presented by the river and topography. World class eats in both cities if you know where to go and what you want from very affordable to high buck. The whole state has a lot to offer. Prairies to the range to superior to the big rivers to the seasons and the weather. We're even pretty tolerant of religion. During winter we pray in front of the net to St. Herbie, Ikola, and Mariucci and make offerings that the high school team goes to the Xcel energy center to play in the only state tournament worthy of the name. Okay not all of us, but I still do, and brought it with me across the border to Wisconsin. For some reason they, the native sconnies, think I'm deranged. They keep trying to convert me into a packer backer. Like that'll ever happen...  

    Give blood. Play hockey.

    by flycaster on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 10:09:57 AM PST

  •  st. paul (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Simul Iustus et Peccator

    girl here. the rivalry goes back a long time.  looking forward to reading this when chores get done.

    Politics is a contact sport

    by boudi08 on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 12:09:00 PM PST

  •  I've lived in both cities (0+ / 0-)

    and there is no difference what so ever, they are just different sides of the same town.  

    Who ya gonna shoot wit dat homie, you'd rather blast an original instead of a phony, true macaroni, you don't even know me, and why does your gun say n****z only?

    by mim5677 on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 12:28:50 PM PST

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