Thursday, November 19, 2009

Feelin' Minnesota

We’re heading up to the Twin Cities this weekend to see the northern outpost of our family and knock out some overdue IKEA/Trader Joe’s shopping.

Every time I go up there I find a reason I would love to live there. Before I leave I inevitably see something that confirms I’m just fine right here, thankyouverymuch.

First off, if you haven’t been, it’s about time you went—it’s a fun place. It’s a straight shot right up I-35. It only takes about 6-1/2 hours from KC if you keep yours stops brief.

The metroplex is larger than Kansas City by a good 60%. In turn, they have many more options for shopping, restaurants, music, theater, sports teams, and other things that generally make a city desirable.

The city feels much more urban than Kansas City, with more public transit, denser population, more innovative architecture, and more truly self-contained neighborhoods.

The population is well-educated; this is to be expected in a city that contains one of the five largest colleges in the country (the University of Minnesota). I’m usually taken aback by how kind people are there. “Minnesota Nice” is not an ironic concept.

By the end of each trip I’m reminded:

The largeness of the metroplex also means it is far more difficult to get around. The traffic snarls are nearly constant, exacerbated by seemingly never-ending construction projects.

The cost of housing is much higher there. Yes, this is what happens when you have a desirable place to live, but I like having an affordable mortgage payment. (Wages are only slightly higher there.)

And then…there’s the weather. On average, it is FIFTEEN degrees colder there than in KC from December to February (and this is the warm part of Minnesota we’re talking about). Think about how you feel on a cold, windy January day in KC…now subtract those 15 ticks off the thermometer. Yeah. The ground is frozen for months.

To be fair, a hot summer there is far more pleasant than a hot summer here. They average 8 degrees cooler temps from June to August with far less humidity.

However, I remember walking two blocks from a bar to our car a couple winters ago. It was a windy night, and my fiancée was almost painfully uncomfortable. She said something to the effect of “this is ridiculous and please remind me of this if I ever mention moving back here”.

I told her, “The bad part of all this? This isn’t even THAT COLD for Minneapolis.”

It was 14º at the time. The average—AVERAGE—low in January is 4º.

No thanks.


Christy said...

IKEA! Trader Joes! Jealous!

Sounds like you will have a nice (albeit chilly) trip.

corey said...

In Chicago, there are 2 Ikeas in our suburbs, and numerous Trader Joe's, one that is a 10 minute bike ride (max) from my house.

Just sayin'.

JJSKCK said...

@Christy - We're lucky; it's supposed to get into the 50s each day we're there. We know it could be worse.

@Corey - Noted. Sorry we missed you when you were in town...and sorry to hear why you had to be in town.

m.v. said...

I was surprised how big and nice-looking place it was during our last trip. In my mind I thought it was a smaller and worse craphole than KC,for no other reason than who would want to live in that cold.

Bull E. Vard said...

We really liked it up there when we went and immediately added it to our places that we could live list. I found a great brewery there. We had one of our top 5 meals ever there. We went to the best bar in America there.

BTW, we didn't need anything else from Ikea than I put in the email.

Jared Brustad said...

And who doesn't love Dinkytown?

corey said...

thanks, Josh. We'll see you next week, I'm guessing. Wed night 9pm Record Bar, Thurs morn 9am SME football, Fri night 8pm Westport Coffeehouse. Three chances = no excuses.

JJSKCK said...

@m.v. - It really is an attractive city. It was in the 50s all weekend, I didn't once get stuck in traffic...I think my crush on the Twin Cities has been renewed.

@Bull - Check your email for a number for Stella to call to make the transfer. And which best bar in America did you visit? We tried the Happy Gnome, which was pretty fabulous.

@Jared - Love me some Dinkytown. It must be a blast to go to college in a city like that.

@Corey - Current plan is to go 3 for 3 on that action.

Steaming bowl o' Calderone said...

How was Puerto Rico?