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Old 04-27-2011, 10:04 PM
 
1,814 posts, read 1,184,215 times
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Another thing nobody has really talked about is schools for the kids. If you're looking at Minneapolis or St. Paul, there are certainly good schools (at least from what I've heard when going through City-Data and such), but some people just aren't comfortable with the idea of "inner-city" schools. It might also be wise, if you plan on staying in the same house as your kids grow up, to look at high schools to see if they offer the programs that you want your children to participate in (for instance, you wouldn't want to settle in Northeast Minneapolis only to realize that the program you want for your kids is at Southwest High School. That would be quite a drive to get them down there (and that's assuming you could enroll them, I'm assuming).

Just putting that out there as well as schools are often something to consider.
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Old 04-28-2011, 03:40 AM
 
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The drive into Minneapolis from White Bear or Stillwater at non-rush hour times is very easy and not "long". I would not factor that into your decision at all given that anywhere within a reasonable commuting distance to Woodbury is going to put you within a half hour or so of downtown Minneapolis. Even the ride from Stillwater is a direct route along highway 36, most of which is posted at 65 MPH compared to driving from Minneapolis to Woodbury along 94 EVERY day, one of the worst commuting routes in the city.

I would also look into Mahtomedi and the area in the Mounds View School district. They are two of the best school districts on that side of the cities.
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:16 AM
 
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Stillwater to Minneapolis = 27 miles. White Bear Lake to Minneapolis = 18 miles. Perhaps "very easy" and "not 'long'" is subjective, but I think most of us would not see that as particularly convenient, especially if trying to get in and out and fit in some time to do some quality volunteering or visiting before the kids get home from school

Stillwater is a very pleasant town/suburb, but it doesn't seem like a good match for the OP's family, at least not based on their requirements listed here. If they want to be involved in the major art scene, they're better off living closer to the action. Living in Stillwater would also make it much more difficult to attend special evening events (openings, late hours, etc.), especially if there are kids in the picture.

I still think St. Paul would be the best option as far as most conveniently meeting all of their requirements.

Last edited by uptown_urbanist; 04-28-2011 at 08:44 AM..
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:59 AM
 
Location: Iowa
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I've been doing some more investigating and I'm interested in the general area around Lake Harriet. Any comments on what the commute to Woodbury would be like on and off peak times?
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
Stillwater to Minneapolis = 27 miles. White Bear Lake to Minneapolis = 18 miles. Perhaps "very easy" and "not 'long'" is subjective, but I think most of us would not see that as particularly convenient, especially if trying to get in and out and fit in some time to do some quality volunteering or visiting before the kids get home from school

Stillwater is a very pleasant town/suburb, but it doesn't seem like a good match for the OP's family, at least not based on their requirements listed here. If they want to be involved in the major art scene, they're better off living closer to the action. Living in Stillwater would also make it much more difficult to attend special evening events (openings, late hours, etc.), especially if there are kids in the picture.

I still think St. Paul would be the best option as far as most conveniently meeting all of their requirements.
You REALLY need to get out more. Stillwater is home to MANY, MANY MN artists, nationally and internationally known artist, authors, etc. They have a very widely respected art Gallery in town as well. Why can't someone drive home from Minneapolis after a late night??? Stillwater is a very good match for what the OP said he wants.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexicographer View Post
I've been doing some more investigating and I'm interested in the general area around Lake Harriet. Any comments on what the commute to Woodbury would be like on and off peak times?
In a word, YUCK.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Iowa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
In a word, YUCK.
Yeah, that's what I thought. Any suggestions on good neighborhoods in St Paul?
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfgal View Post
You REALLY need to get out more. Stillwater is home to MANY, MANY MN artists, nationally and internationally known artist, authors, etc. They have a very widely respected art Gallery in town as well. Why can't someone drive home from Minneapolis after a late night??? Stillwater is a very good match for what the OP said he wants.




In a word, YUCK.
I've spent years involved in the arts/culture field; I am well aware that Stillwater has artists and galleries. It does not, however, have major art museums. The OP didn't say they wanted to live next door to artists (although they can find that plenty of other places, too), but rather have easier access to the major art scene. You don't find that in Stillwater.

As someone with a young child myself, I meant that it will be more difficult to drive into Minneapolis for an evening function, as they'd either have to get a babysitter for a long time (which is certainly doable) but they'll be spending an hour or so out of their evening just in transit. And if they want to bring the kids, the kids would have to be out late, as so much time would be spent on the drive alone.

I'm not sure why the commute to Woodbury from Lake Harriet would be any more "Yuck" than driving 60 miles round-trip to get to the MIA or the Walker. Then again, I don't think I would do the Minneapolis-Woodbury commute myself, either. It would be long, although it would also be a lot closer to the major art museums. I personally wouldn't move to the area around Lake Harriet if I had a job lined up in Woodbury. (much as I LOVE the areas around Lake Harriet -- it is indeed a great place for families, and very convenient to the major museums)

I have no problem with Stillwater, but it really does not seem to fit what the OP wants. There are certainly more convenient options that fit ALL the criteria closer to his work, so why make it more difficult than necessary? I'd save Stillwater for special trips or for the weekend. It's a lovely town, just a long way out.

To the OP: what kind of arts scene are you looking for? The Twin Cities has a wide range, from modern to design to old masters to craft to.... well, most everything. It's a good place for those interested in the arts.

Last edited by uptown_urbanist; 04-28-2011 at 09:26 AM..
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:20 AM
 
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I live near Lake Harriet and used to work in Woodbury and my spouse worked in Maplewood. It wasn't awful, but I definitely wouldn't do it again. Off-peak travel wasn't horrible--but sometimes it was and it wasn't predictable. I think the average was about 35 minutes door to door. Coming from Chicago that seemed great for a while. Now my perspective had changed.

If we had known our jobs would move out that way we probably would have looked for a home on one of the roads along the Mississippi, either the Minneapolis or St. Paul side. I'm sure there are lots of other great neighborhoods in St. Paul, I'm just not familiar with St. Paul.

I like Stillwater, but I don't think I'd want to live there as I prefer the city to a small town (even as a registered Republican..one of a handful in Minneapolis!). As for the question of "why can't someone drive home from Minneapolis after a late night?" Well, when you're paying for a sitter, adding at least an hour of total driving time really adds up. And, most people who live in suburbs or small cities often talk about going into the city but rarely actually do (outside of work).
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:22 AM
 
9,950 posts, read 13,593,605 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lexicographer View Post
Yeah, that's what I thought. Any suggestions on good neighborhoods in St Paul?
What's your budget? Macalester-Groveland is great (and reminds me of the Lake Harriet areas over on this side of the river, but with the added bonus of several colleges), Highland Park is quite nice and very walkable, Cathedral Hill is very nice. Some of those areas can come with a high price tag, though, although generally it seems like you can still get more for your money there than you can in Southwest Minneapolis. We have a couple of St. Paul residents on the board, so hopefully they can give you some very detailed descriptions. St. Anthony Park in St. Paul is wonderful, too, but I think it might be a longer drive to Woodbury. My St. Paul geography is a little off, though, so you'll want to check the map/mileage for yourself.

Your wife should consider looking into the St. Paul moms meetup group, too. They're pretty active, and it would be an easy way to meet some new friends.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Iowa
14 posts, read 11,756 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uptown_urbanist View Post
To the OP: what kind of arts scene are you looking for? The Twin Cities has a wide range, from modern to design to old masters to craft to.... well, most everything. It's a good place for those interested in the arts.
I think you nailed it. Volunteering at the museums like Walker and MIA and the American crafts type stuff (technical term ) would be more my wife's speed. She's an art historian (Masters in art history) and a crafter (quilts, knitting, etc.), and not necessarily the bohemian artist type. Frankly, the Twin Cities area seems to be an embarrassment of riches when it comes to nice places to live. I would tend to be more willing to have a longer commute for myself since telecommuting one or more days a week is definitely an option. One more wrinkle, I'm an addicted golfer and will eventually want to join a country club.

P.S. I love this forum.
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