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Old 02-03-2012, 06:24 PM
 
Location: Northern Indiana
4 posts, read 5,684 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello, everyone. I was recently accepted to an area university and I wanted to get an idea of what I can expect when living in the area.

Some background info is in order: I'm a gay, black guy in my late mid-twenties. From what I understand, the city is pretty walkable and has great public transportation (I don't drive). Because my idea of a fun night could include watching Sex and the City and eating popcorn, I'm not at all impressed by the bar scenes or wild nightlife

Also, I was wondering what areas (in Minneapolis and St. Paul) you all would recommend after graduation. I'm not sure how long I'll be in the area after school, though (I'm looking at the East Coast for grad school).

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-04-2012, 12:19 AM
 
Location: Woodbury, MN
332 posts, read 749,094 times
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If you are not into crazy gay bars, St. Paul has some lower key ones that are fabulous.
You won't have to drive here if you live close to your university not sure which one or I could be more specific. Really any neighborhood has is pros and cons you just have to find one that is right for you.
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Old 02-04-2012, 12:27 AM
 
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Late mid-twenties=almost 30 but don't want to admit it!

Nice, I'm going to borrow that.
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Old 02-04-2012, 03:24 PM
 
9 posts, read 15,389 times
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So you're going to the University of Minnesota, or a private University?

Also, where are you coming from?

Winters in Minnesota can be pretty brutal - this year has been quite different, however. For example, we have only received 14 inches of snow thus far and last year by this time we had already been hit with 60. On the other hand, it can get pretty humid and high 80s-90s are common in the summer.

I have a feeling that most people feel that Minnesota is essentially an all-white, "you betcha" type state. Not at all. Hell, I live in suburban Minneapolis and see more African Americans than caucasians.

Also, you shouldn't run into any problems with homophobia - people around here are pretty well accepting of whatever (at least that's what I've experienced). As for where to live after you graduate, I would recommend Uptown; it's very walkable, very accepting, and just a neat place to hang out.
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Old 02-04-2012, 04:21 PM
 
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You'll need to let us know what school you're going to here if we're going to offer any good suggestions. Especially since you're relying on public transportation (which is decent, but certainly not wonderful), this will determine where you can live.

Typically the downtown, Northeast, University, and Uptown areas would be suggested if you're looking for the most frequent transportation. Many of these areas do have bar scenes, which you've indicated you're not interested in, but as long as having such a scene nearby doesn't bother you, you might want to look there. I'm less familiar with St. Paul, but places like Grand Avenue are pretty cool and perhaps a bit more laid back than, say, Uptown in Minneapolis.
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Old 02-04-2012, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Northern Indiana
4 posts, read 5,684 times
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Thanks for the responses, everyone!

xandrex: It's U of M. I'm not sure if I'll be living on campus, though.

jjschroeder: I live in Northern Indiana (South Bend/Mishawaka...kinda like a dull version of the Twin Cities-we have a river and Notre Dame). We get that heavy, Midwestern snow,as well. Though, much like the TCs, we've had a very mild winter (I've actually seen people walking around in shorts, as of late). And yes, I too thought that MN was very white. I do have some family in the TC area (though I haven't seen them since 2000). I'm aware, though, that it's not any more white than Indiana.

1stpontiac: LOL I was just trying to be way too precise. I don't actually turn thirty until 2016.

danielle_pal: From what I understand, St. Paul is the more laid-back of the two, right?

If I actually decide to go to U of M (I might be going to a school in Chicago, instead), I'll probably be moving there in the latter half of summer. Nothing is set in stone, so we'll see. Again, thanks for all of the input, and anything that will help me understand the area is most welcome!
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Old 02-04-2012, 09:28 PM
 
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Most students don't live on campus, but that doesn't mean you couldn't center your search around certain areas that would put you in close proximity. The UM area has some of the best bus service in town, so searching the neighborhoods of Como, Dinkytown/Marcy-Holmes, Stadium Village, and Cedar-Riverside might pique your interest. They're all close to campus, have access to amenities, and bus service all around the city. I live in a very quiet area of Marcy-Holmes, but am only a few blocks from restaurants, bars, a bank, gas station, coffee shops, wedged between 2 bus lines that will get me to UM, several to downtown, etc. I'm far enough west from campus that a lot of people in the area aren't even students. My last place was much more student-oriented with house parties nearby but fairly quiet and down in the Dinkytown area, it's always pretty busy and a bit noisier. So there's a huge range of places you could live.
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Old 02-05-2012, 12:44 AM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
5,990 posts, read 12,203,132 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baroquelover View Post
I live in Northern Indiana (South Bend/Mishawaka...kinda like a dull version of the Twin Cities-we have a river and Notre Dame). We get that heavy, Midwestern snow,as well.
I'm actually from Kalamazoo, and I used to live in Niles, so I know that area very well . The Twin Cities is certainly more exciting than Michiana, and significantly less snowy (in most years).

Quote:
Though, much like the TCs, we've had a very mild winter (I've actually seen people walking around in shorts, as of late).
This winter has been exceptionally mild. Very little snow, warm weather. It's probably setting up a brutal summer.

Quote:
And yes, I too thought that MN was very white. I do have some family in the TC area (though I haven't seen them since 2000). I'm aware, though, that it's not any more white than Indiana.
MN as a whole is very white, but the Twin Cities metro is surprisingly diverse. There are plenty of African-Americans and Africans (Somalis, Sudanese, Liberians, etc.) in "the Cities" (as the TC metro is known locally), especially in MPLS and suburbs like Brooklyn Park. You won't run into any problems with prejudice in the Cities.

Quote:
1stpontiac: LOL I was just trying to be way too precise. I don't actually turn thirty until 2016.
LOL! I'm the same age, and I certainly don't consider myself "late mid-twenties," LOL. I'm still early 20s (at least inside, where it counts) .

Quote:
danielle_pal: From what I understand, St. Paul is the more laid-back of the two, right?
On the whole, yes, but there are laid-back areas of MPLS and busy areas of St. Paul, it all depends on where in the cities you decide to live. Grand Avenue, and Cathedral Hill are excellent areas of St. Paul, full of historic homes, decent apartments, and a relaxed, yet urbane, atmosphere, and are some of my favorite areas to visit in the Cities. Neither are particularly close to the U of M though, and since you don't drive, you'll probably want to live closer. St. Anthony on the west side of St. Paul is a decent place to live, and it's right next to the U of M. You'll probably want to avoid Dinkytown unless you like loud undergrad parties.

Quote:
If I actually decide to go to U of M (I might be going to a school in Chicago, instead), I'll probably be moving there in the latter half of summer. Nothing is set in stone, so we'll see. Again, thanks for all of the input, and anything that will help me understand the area is most welcome!
No problem ! If you do decide to go to the U, summer is the best time to move (you'll avoid the snow and get to enjoy the beautiful lakes in the area).
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Northern Indiana
4 posts, read 5,684 times
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Hello again, everyone. So I've decided to come take a look at the campus and the city sometime next month. Unfortunately, it will probably be by Greyhound, and I'll have to get a hotel room. I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on making that whole trip go smoothly.

Also, does anyone have any suggestions about when I should actually make the move? I'm thinking that I should probably come a couple of times over the summer, but we'll see.

Again, thank you all in advance!
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:09 PM
 
10,630 posts, read 24,527,662 times
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I'd consider Uptown. Express bus to the U, everything you need within walking distance, good public transportation. (Loring Park is also a decent choice, but I think Uptown has better amenities for day-to-day living).

Marcy-Holmes would be my other top suggestion, particularly the part to the west of 35W and within easy walking distance of all the businesses, restaurants, etc. in the general area (if you look at the map) where Central, University, and Hennepin all run together. It's a quick bus ride (or bike, or easy enough walk during nice weather) to campus, right by downtown, has good public transportation. I still don't think it's QUITE as amenity-filled as Uptown, but it's pretty close.

I've lived in both areas (also a non-driver) and loved them both. Both have a nice mix of residents, including lots of grad students, as well as lots of younger professionals (and families, and retirees, etc.). Both are very convenient for the U as well as make great neighborhoods for living post-school. And in case you are worried, you won't stand out as a black gay man in either place. Actually, I doubt being a black gay guy would matter anywhere in the Twin Cities, although there are a few neighborhoods where being a single young man would make you the odd one out amist a sea of families, but those neighborhoods don't tend to be the best places to live for people looking to live without driving, anyway.
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