Reasons to Love Minneapolis and Minnesota <3…

Who loves Minnesota?!

Yes you do. If you’re not so sure, I’ll give you a list of reasons to love Minneapolis/ St. Paul/Minnesota. After spending a year living in Brooklyn, New York, I’ve developed a new heightened appreciation for the colder, less populated state. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my time in the Big Apple, and this is in no way meant to hate on New Yorkers or the City Where Dreams Come True. Yes, there are many great things that New York has and Minneapolis doesn’t- but as Atmosphere says, Minnesota is dope, not for what we have but what we don’t.

Lists are fun so lets go with it. Links are also super cool so I’ll throw some of those in.

1. Clean air: In Minneapolis, one doesn’t walk (or bike) around the city for the entire day and feel like they have to rush home to “wash the city off of their face and out of their hair” due to the pollution levels and alerts.  A Minneapolis resident doesn’t get dirty just from stepping outside. I remember my grandmother always telling me to go out to get fresh air because it was good for me. I basically stepped off the plane at MSP and my face started to clear up. You can drink tap water and breathe the air…

2. Sidewalks for walking and biking and don’t double as garbage cans: Even on Minneapolis’ busiest downtown streets, have you ever noticed there are no garbage cans? What do people do with their food wrappings and soda bottles when they’re finished? I’ll hand it to the City of New York, in most commercial and high traffic neighborhoods they have garbage cans stationed frequently on many blocks. That doesn’t seem to deter pedestrians from holding onto their discards five more feet to actually Pitch-It-In.

3. Self-serve McDonald’s soda (POP!) fountains: This one is especially awesome during the summer with the Mcpromotion of the $1.00 any size drink. I’ll have a large, massive soda for only a dollar that I can fill up as many times as I like with Dr. Pepper, Diet Coke, Coca Cola, Sprite, and Mr. Pibb. Say that to a McEmployee in Manhattan? They’d stare at you blankly. In Minnesota, they don’t care what you do because fountain soda doesn’t really cost them anything.

4. Widely accessible, free and clean bathrooms that leave public transportation, buildings and walking areas free of human waste: Minnesotan starts wandering through the area of the McDonald’s after drinking that second large cup of refillable mystery soda.. Minnesotan and her bladder realize that this wasn’t such a good idea. Where to go? Any gas station, pharmacy, most every box and grocery store that you can find are probably within 5 minutes. In New York? Best option: Go back to McDonald’s (ironic?), otherwise, good luck. Lack of bathrooms is frustrating.. and people take it out on the shared public spaces.

Walking through a back alley in the North Loop the other day a Malaysian, Minnesotan conversation went like this, “Do you smell that?” “No.” “Exactly.”

5. “Minnesooota Nice”, customer service, and shopping experiences: Yeah, you were waiting for it, the “Minnesooota Nice” had to be on this list. Even though Minnesoootans can be passive-aggressive, it doesn’t really matter when you’re out being a consumer. At the grocery store, Target and restaurants, it seems like here people hate their jobs a bit less, or actually enjoy them for the most part. Many places in New York, the person behind the counter seems visibly annoyed and almost pained that customers take their time on the clock. Additionally, fellow retail shoppers in Minnesota usually aren’t tourists and will apologize three times if their skin accidentally brushes another person’s arm walking past. Nope, stores aren’t capitalistic battle grounds.

6. Minnesoota is climbing to the top of many “Most” Lists, Mooost recently, The most hipster state. Before I moved to Brooklyn, I didn’t know what a hipster was because I just thought they were just simplistic, anti-pop-culture people. In Brooklyn hipster was usually a person who was pretty rich, living in a gentrified neighborhood, dressing in layers of vintage clothing and adorning thick rimmed glasses and two pounds of antique jewelry. It wasn’t until I went to Uptown’s Liquor Lyle’s and saw a sea of flannel and facial hair with the laid back vibe that just felt more grassroots, ungentrified and genuine.

Other Minnesoota/Minneapolis Mooosts: (Thanks for the compilation, The Atlantic)

  • Minneapolis is the second most literate city in America. Yay! We like to read and write!
  • Minneapolis has been named the most gay friendly city in America. 
  • Minnesota is the seventh most tolerant state in America.
  • Minnesota is the fourth most peaceful state in America.
  • Minnesota is the sixth most “happy” state in America.
  • Minnesota is the most bike friendly state in America.

7. Bike culture, Nice Ride MN, and Sibley Bike Depot: Just seeing the bike movement happen in this metro area is phenomenal. There are bike repair stands through the city, creative bike racks and used bike shops that inspire community and sustainability. The Nice Ride bike program is also just a sign of Minnesota being progressive. Thanks for the idea, Paris. It’s just too bad the weather isn’t more optimal year round for people to actually take advantage of this program. Get a day subscription give yourself a chance to see the city through your own eyes, not a car windshield. It’s fun!

8. Minnesota has one of the top percentages of volunteers in the nation: I was a volunteer, you can be a volunteer too! Maybe it’s a combination of the Minnesota nice and the “mosts” described above, maybe it’s because there isn’t much else to do sometimes. But regardless, it’s nice to live in a place where people are willing to pick up a piece of trash or two or read to the elderly. There are many ways that one can get involved in the community. Just think of one of your passions or skills and a way you could use it to address an issue in your community. We all do better when we all do better, right? Thanks Mr. Wellstone.

Not convinced yet Minnesota is great? Really? Or are you just curious to find out a bit more?

City Pages posted their own list of 50 reasons.

Add your own reasons you love MN