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Old 07-19-2017, 11:01 AM
 
17 posts, read 12,116 times
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So, I have been approached about taking a position in the St. Louis Park area of Minneapolis. It is very enticing, since it's in the midwest and is kind of my dream job (short of getting back into academia, which I'm not ready to do yet). We have lived in Wisconsin (around Milwaukee) in between stints in Tennessee (middle of nowhere) and South Carolina (where we are now; around Columbia). But I've never even flown through MSP, much less visited Minnesota. So, given my preface above, here are some questions.


1- What are your impressions on the public transit in Minneapolis?

2- Do you think St. Louis Park is a good area for a family? Are there areas that are better or worse?

3- Can anyone compare Milwaukee to Minneapolis? We loved living there and haven't been so thrilled with South Carolina.

4- What are your thoughts on schools? Parochial/Private/Public/Homeschooling? When we were in Milwaukee we had decent public schools, but not in South Carolina.

5- As far as libraries, museums, parks, and so forth, what are we looking at?

6- What is your favorite and least favorite thing about living in Minneapolis?

7- Any advice or thoughts on moving during Winter? All of our previous moves have been during the summer, and given the weather in Minnesota that is a concern.
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Old 07-19-2017, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Minnesota
4,141 posts, read 5,483,140 times
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I lived in the Milwaukee area for 11 years before coming to Minnesota. I split my time between rural Sebeka and Eden Prairie (work)/Burnsville (live). I too liked my time in WI but really took to Minnesota and am enjoying my time in the Cities.


1- What are your impressions on the public transit in Minneapolis? Minneapolis is 10 times better than Milwaukee

2- Do you think St. Louis Park is a good area for a family? Are there areas that are better or worse? Yes it is.

3- Can anyone compare Milwaukee to Minneapolis? We loved living there and haven't been so thrilled with South Carolina. MSP is culturally diverse while MKE is not. While I enjoyed living in the Milwaukee area, I love Minnesota.

4- What are your thoughts on schools? Parochial/Private/Public/Homeschooling? When we were in Milwaukee we had decent public schools, but not in South Carolina. No kids.. N/A

5- As far as libraries, museums, parks, and so forth, what are we looking at? MSP is as good or better than Milwaukee.

6- What is your favorite and least favorite thing about living in Minneapolis? Rush hour traffic

7- Any advice or thoughts on moving during Winter? All of our previous moves have been during the summer, and given the weather in Minnesota that is a concern. Maybe not an issue, who knows until a week or so before...?
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Old 07-19-2017, 01:30 PM
 
1,667 posts, read 1,257,639 times
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1- What are your impressions on the public transit in Minneapolis? Clean, inexpensive and great IF......you are commuting to downtown MSP or St. Paul. We are still developing the infrastructure to take public transport to other areas of the metro, and are years away from that

2- Do you think St. Louis Park is a good area for a family? Are there areas that are better or worse?yes, it is great for that. SLP is a good combo of urban/suburban. Being and inner ring suburb, expect small lots/houses, garages in back alleys, etc. It's kinda of the choice spot for Yuppies who don't have kids but have a dog. Once they have a kid, they move to a further out suburb with newer schools and more yard.

3- Can anyone compare Milwaukee to Minneapolis? We loved living there and haven't been so thrilled with South Carolina.Minneapolis is far larger and more cosmopolitan, less blue collar than Milwaukee. The zoning in Minneapolis is so much better than South Carolina, which I think one would appreciate. Milwaukee to me has more crime, is more industrial, not really up-and-coming. I think of it as Chicago overflow......

4- What are your thoughts on schools? Parochial/Private/Public/Homeschooling? When we were in Milwaukee we had decent public schools, but not in South Carolina. We are known to have the best schools in the country. SLP is not necessarily at the top of that list, but it's not bad either. You can certainly Homeschool or go private for personal reasons, but you wouldn't do so here as a means to avoid "bad public schools" if that makes sense. We consistently have some of the highest ACT and literacy scores in the country.

5- As far as libraries, museums, parks, and so forth, what are we looking at?We have the best parks in the country, hands down. The park system is unrivaled. Tons of them, many connected by bikeway, newer playgrounds, well kept, modern plumbing at many of them. We have good museums, but we're no Chicago/DC/NYC. Better for theater vs. museums in my opinion. 2nd most theater seats per capita.

6- What is your favorite and least favorite thing about living in Minneapolis?Favorite: park system, strong zoning, strong economy, big city amenities with a small city approachability. Great airport/malls/schools. beautiful lakes Relative COL. LEAST:Mosquitos, MN NICE "ICE", length and depth of winter, you can drive 6 hours in any direction and essentially have the same landscape/surroundings generally speaking. Unlike the east coast where 4 hours gets you a different city/scenery/culture

7- Any advice or thoughts on moving during Winter? All of our previous moves have been during the summer, and given the weather in Minnesota that is a concernNo issues moving during winter. If anything, rates will be cheaper

What things are important to you when choosing a neighborhood? Perhaps I could recommend some cities or let you know if SLP would be a good fit.
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Old 07-19-2017, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Twin Cities
330 posts, read 398,769 times
Reputation: 411
Quote:
Originally Posted by anglican-mac View Post
So, I have been approached about taking a position in the St. Louis Park area of Minneapolis. It is very enticing, since it's in the midwest and is kind of my dream job (short of getting back into academia, which I'm not ready to do yet). We have lived in Wisconsin (around Milwaukee) in between stints in Tennessee (middle of nowhere) and South Carolina (where we are now; around Columbia). But I've never even flown through MSP, much less visited Minnesota. So, given my preface above, here are some questions.


1- What are your impressions on the public transit in Minneapolis?

2- Do you think St. Louis Park is a good area for a family? Are there areas that are better or worse?

3- Can anyone compare Milwaukee to Minneapolis? We loved living there and haven't been so thrilled with South Carolina.

4- What are your thoughts on schools? Parochial/Private/Public/Homeschooling? When we were in Milwaukee we had decent public schools, but not in South Carolina.

5- As far as libraries, museums, parks, and so forth, what are we looking at?

6- What is your favorite and least favorite thing about living in Minneapolis?

7- Any advice or thoughts on moving during Winter? All of our previous moves have been during the summer, and given the weather in Minnesota that is a concern.

Congratulations on your job offer! The Twin Cities metro area is a fantastic region with a high quality of life and I definitely think you'll enjoy it.

1. Public transit has gotten a lot better in the last decade in Minneapolis and St. Paul proper. Light rail and buses are clean and easy to use and navigate. Transit from and between the suburbs is not quite as stellar - there is definitely room for improvement.

2. St. Louis Park is a fantastic area for a family. It offers good schools, an abundance of amenities, and easy proximity to Minneapolis and the western Twin Cities region.

3. Both cities are nice but different depending on your tastes. Minneapolis is newer, cleaner, and has a better economy than Milwaukee. It also has an abundance of parks, bike trails, cultural amenities, and all four professional sports (if that is important to you). Milwaukee has many of these assets as well, although in my opinion they're not quite up to par with the Twin Cities. I think Milwaukee has a more "blue collar" vibe but its location is better being on Lake Michigan and only about an hour to Chicago. Minneapolis in comparison can feel a bit isolated from other metro areas.

4. The schools in the Twin Cities area, particularly in many suburbs, are excellent. I don't think it's necessary to send children to parochial/private school if the only reason to do so is concern over quality of education - overall as a state Minnesota is highly ranked in that regard.

5. The Twin Cities offer the number one park system in the nation. The libraries, museums, theaters, and cultural attractions are also top notch. I read that Minneapolis is second only to New York in terms of theater seats per capita, and I wouldn't doubt it. Venues like the Guthrie are world class and make the area shine in comparison to other cities.

6. My favorite thing is the abundance of high quality attractions, shops, and restaurants that are available. For a mid-size metro area, MSP often tops cities that are much larger in this regards. My least favorite thing is the drivers - they are truly amongst the worst in the nation in my opinion!

7. Our winters seem to be getting more mild and have less snow, so you may not have any problem. If moving in winter, I'd keep a sharp eye on the weather every week leading up to the move and then every day the week of the move. If there is a possibility that weather will be inclement and/or shut down roads on the day in question, I'd look into delaying the move if feasible.

Best of luck to you in your decision!
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Old 07-19-2017, 02:36 PM
 
242 posts, read 363,322 times
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I grew up near Milwaukee and lived in MSP for seven years. I totally agree with the above posters and LOVED my time in Minnesota. MPS is a far better city than Milwaukee in every way for me. I will note one thing I didn't see mentioned above: While the winters start earlier and stay longer, the colder weather actually feels nicer given that you aren't on a great lake. You don't get those ever lasting grey skies with lots of wind. That's not to say that some days aren't horrible, but somehow the winters seemed more rustic and more enjoyable than those in SE Wisconsin. I'd love to move back someday...
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Old 07-19-2017, 09:25 PM
 
1,849 posts, read 3,642,813 times
Reputation: 1201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Citykid3785 View Post
1- What are your impressions on the public transit in Minneapolis? Clean, inexpensive and great IF......you are commuting to downtown MSP or St. Paul. We are still developing the infrastructure to take public transport to other areas of the metro, and are years away from that

2- Do you think St. Louis Park is a good area for a family? Are there areas that are better or worse?yes, it is great for that. SLP is a good combo of urban/suburban. Being and inner ring suburb, expect small lots/houses, garages in back alleys, etc. It's kinda of the choice spot for Yuppies who don't have kids but have a dog. Once they have a kid, they move to a further out suburb with newer schools and more yard.

3- Can anyone compare Milwaukee to Minneapolis? We loved living there and haven't been so thrilled with South Carolina.Minneapolis is far larger and more cosmopolitan, less blue collar than Milwaukee. The zoning in Minneapolis is so much better than South Carolina, which I think one would appreciate. Milwaukee to me has more crime, is more industrial, not really up-and-coming. I think of it as Chicago overflow......

4- What are your thoughts on schools? Parochial/Private/Public/Homeschooling? When we were in Milwaukee we had decent public schools, but not in South Carolina. We are known to have the best schools in the country. SLP is not necessarily at the top of that list, but it's not bad either. You can certainly Homeschool or go private for personal reasons, but you wouldn't do so here as a means to avoid "bad public schools" if that makes sense. We consistently have some of the highest ACT and literacy scores in the country.

5- As far as libraries, museums, parks, and so forth, what are we looking at?We have the best parks in the country, hands down. The park system is unrivaled. Tons of them, many connected by bikeway, newer playgrounds, well kept, modern plumbing at many of them. We have good museums, but we're no Chicago/DC/NYC. Better for theater vs. museums in my opinion. 2nd most theater seats per capita.

6- What is your favorite and least favorite thing about living in Minneapolis?Favorite: park system, strong zoning, strong economy, big city amenities with a small city approachability. Great airport/malls/schools. beautiful lakes Relative COL. LEAST:Mosquitos, MN NICE "ICE", length and depth of winter, you can drive 6 hours in any direction and essentially have the same landscape/surroundings generally speaking. Unlike the east coast where 4 hours gets you a different city/scenery/culture

7- Any advice or thoughts on moving during Winter? All of our previous moves have been during the summer, and given the weather in Minnesota that is a concernNo issues moving during winter. If anything, rates will be cheaper

What things are important to you when choosing a neighborhood? Perhaps I could recommend some cities or let you know if SLP would be a good fit.
They are moving in October or November.

7- "No issues moving during the winter. If anything, rates will be cheaper."

? Hmmm, maybe not a concern, However there is this though,



https://www.google.com/search?q=phot...w=1280&bih=678

It is possible,
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Old 07-22-2017, 10:45 AM
 
17 posts, read 12,116 times
Reputation: 24
Thank you for all the replies everyone.
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Old 07-22-2017, 10:55 AM
 
17 posts, read 12,116 times
Reputation: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Citykid3785 View Post
What things are important to you when choosing a neighborhood? Perhaps I could recommend some cities or let you know if SLP would be a good fit.
I think primarily we would need to find somewhere that we could afford to live, and yet is large enough for a family of two adults and four kids. No pets. We would prefer to rent a house but we're ok with an apartment (which has the benefit of not needing yard work). I can commute, and don't mind that, so it doesn't need to be extremely close.

We homeschool now, primarily because the school we are zoned for here is so bad. (The principals welcome message was riddled with grammatical and spelling mistakes, consistently low test scores, etc.) So, we're open to public schools, as long as they are good schools (which it seems like it might not be a problem in MN.)
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Old 07-23-2017, 10:02 PM
 
1,667 posts, read 1,257,639 times
Reputation: 2560
So St. Louis Park is a great place, I would say as a gross generalization, many of the houses are smaller, and could be a bit tight given your family size? Perhaps look into Golden Valley, Minnetonka, Hopkins, and Plymouth. All of these will give you more bang for your buck, even BETTER schools, and yet a short commute.

If I were to generalize Twin Cities suburbs (vs. some other metro areas I've been to), they are more similar than different, there's not really one you could go completely wrong with. Obviously the further out you go, the newer and larger the houses get, the better the schools get, and the less walkable the neighborhood becomes. But when talking about the difference between Plymouth and say, Eden Prairie, we're really just splitting hairs.
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Old 07-26-2017, 08:55 PM
 
1,338 posts, read 1,204,704 times
Reputation: 2280
Quote:
Originally Posted by Citykid3785 View Post
So St. Louis Park is a great place, I would say as a gross generalization, many of the houses are smaller, and could be a bit tight given your family size? Perhaps look into Golden Valley, Minnetonka, Hopkins, and Plymouth. All of these will give you more bang for your buck, even BETTER schools, and yet a short commute.

If I were to generalize Twin Cities suburbs (vs. some other metro areas I've been to), they are more similar than different, there's not really one you could go completely wrong with. Obviously the further out you go, the newer and larger the houses get, the better the schools get, and the less walkable the neighborhood becomes. But when talking about the difference between Plymouth and say, Eden Prairie, we're really just splitting hairs.
This is very true. Many of the suburbs outside of the first ring are virtually indistinguishable from one another.
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