May 5, 2014
I’m in love. Well, in love with the bright lights of one particular city. Every spring, Minneapolis lifts itself out of a dreary, gray, wintry funk – and I get caught up in day dreams about New York City. The sights. The sounds. The pace. Getting lost in a sea of people and passing through the vibrant, humming city streets. I love it. For me, it’s the crème de la crème of major cities.
But this weekend, something changed.
While sipping my cold press and bitters concoction at Five Watt – the hot new coffee joint in town – I had a moment of clarity: Minneapolis isn’t all that bad.
Seriously. When I think about the things I enjoy most about visiting other cities, almost everything has infiltrated Minneapolis in one way or another. There are amazing shops and restaurants, beautiful parks, sporting events galore and you can find a delicious, craft brew (coffee and beer) in almost every corner of the city. So, what makes a major metropolitan city? Strip away the glamour and notoriety of New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston and other notable cities, what do they have that Minneapolis doesn’t?
After discussing with a couple good friends, we came up with the following list of expectations of major cities:
A major city must have (to name a few):
After examining the list, there aren’t many areas where Minneapolis is completely lacking. If anything, the city’s offerings are more impressive when you think about its size. But there’s one major difference – “Minnesota nice.”
A prime example: While sipping on my craft coffee drink and chatting with friends at Five Watt, our conversation was interrupted. A man announced that every table was full and wondered if he could pull up a chair and read his book at our table. We all looked at each other and hesitantly answered, “Sure.” Upon settling into his chair and digging into his novel, we promptly rolled our eyes and silently communicated our shock at someone daring to enter our personal space. But the reaction gave me pause. What was really so weird about the situation? Other cities – New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles – are comprised of transplants. And the nature of moving to a new city, a big city, is that you’re willing be open, social, make conversation with people and recognize that when you want to sit, an open seat truly is an open seat.
It seems like a city’s status may be defined by the people who live within it – and the transplant attitude typically comes hand in hand with our country’s most notable, metropolitan and glamorous cities. Minnesotans are standoffish and often passive-aggressive in the worst way, and that attitude will never be nice to Minneapolis’s reputation when competing with the big dogs.