The thing that surprised me the most about life in MSP is the almost rural feel of most of the Twin Cities
- Roger Coker
- • Director, Talent Acquisition
Having lived in 3 of the largest metro areas of the country in southern CA, the northeast, and Texas, the thing that surprised me the most about life in MSP is the almost rural feel of most of the Twin Cities. The proliferation of lakes, parks, and mature trees makes you feel like you are not in the heart of a heavily populated urban area. I often have to look at the downtown buildings to remind myself I’m “in the city.”
I’d say the biggest difference is that Minnesotans take civic engagement to a whole new level
- Shannon Watson
- • Executive Assistant/Founder
I have lived in Kansas, Colorado and Minnesota. I’d say the biggest difference is that Minnesotans take civic engagement to a whole new level. Voter turnout is almost always at the highest levels in the country. Our public servants are also more diverse than usual—especially when it comes to age. Young people here do not sit back and wait for their turn. They run. And they win.
The overall quality of life here is good. I love having all of the benefits of a big city, and yet all of the conveniences of a small town.
- Joi Lewis
- • Founder and CEO •
- Joi Unlimited Coaching and Consulting
Saint Paul, MN
The overall quality of life here is good. I love having all of the benefits of a big city, and yet all of the conveniences of a small town. I grew up in East St. Louis, Illinois, a fairly small city, so I feel most connected and like I belong when I can get to know shop owners, cooks/chefs, etc., and can get to places quickly. I have had short stays in Chicago and Philly and I moved to Oakland, CA, for five years. I actually thought I would never come back to the Twin Cities, but what’s different about living here is that you can have anonymity and belonging all at once. When I need a little distance from knowing everyone, I can get that distance by just going a few short miles away from where I live. However, when I need to feel that strong sense of belonging, I can go to my favorite coffee shop, Golden Thyme, just a mile away from where I live, and it’s as if I grew up here. I like having the best of both worlds and the ease of getting around; it’s great that 15 minutes of sitting in traffic is considered too long here. I particularly love living in St. Paul in the Frogtown neighborhood. As an African American woman, married to a white Jewish person, it is important for us to live in a diverse neighborhood where we feel seen and welcomed; Frogtown offers that and more.
MSP genuinely cares that I am enjoying myself.
- Chris Mathew
- • Marketing Manager
MSP genuinely cares that I am enjoying myself. I’ve never lived in a community quite like it. It’s like a midwestern mom. The result: Tons of concerts, festivals, plays, breweries, sports and outdoor activities – and you’ll be fed well.
What’s your favorite outdoor summer activity in MSP?
Why is MSP different than other places you’ve lived?
Where do you turn for professional development?
What’s the best kept dining secret in MSP?
What’s the best theater show you’ve seen here?
Describe your favorite month to be outside.
How did you discover your favorite MSP park?
Where do you take friends when they come to town?
What were you looking for in a neighborhood when you found yours?
How did you find your job?
What’s surprising about the professional community in MSP?
What’s your favorite thing to do in the winter?
Tell us the best thing about MSP at night:
Winter, spring, summer or fall? What’s your favorite?
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