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Old 10-01-2008, 01:54 PM
 
1,445 posts, read 2,607,741 times
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I moved from SE Michigan to Minneapolis in August and wanted to share a few first impressions.

Driving: It seems to me that the drivers are not as rude or aggressive as SE MI, and in general, will let you merge into traffic on the highways. However, the traffic congestion and road construction are terrible! It takes me an hour (or more) to drive from SW Mpls to the East Bank during the morning and afternoon rush hours. Gasoline prices are lower than SE MI (lower state gas tax).

Minnesota "Nice": While it may be a cliche, it is true that people are nicer in general and more polite compared to SE MI. They will line up for things rather than push and shove their way to the front of the line, for example, and most people I've met are quite friendly and helpful. I've even had sales associates come up to me in Target and ASK me if I needed help finding something. That's unheard of in most big box stores I've shopped in, where the sales folks are virtually nonexistent and often surly.

Restaurants: My experience so far is that restaurant food is a bit expensive. I've been in moderate places, cheap places and higher end, and all seem high priced for what you get. I'm not sure if it's due to taxes on restaurant food or just higher prices in the big city. I also haven't really found a good, cheap, ethnic restaurant. The chinese, vietnamese and thai places I've been to were overpriced and bland. I'm sure there are better places out there, but I haven't found them yet.

Grocery stores: Nice selection, from basic (Cub) to higher end (Byerly's and Lunds). Even Target has a good food section. Groceries seem expensive, but everything is going up. In particular, dairy products are more expensive than SE MI but grain products and veggies are less, so it's probably a wash.

IKEA: The biggest IKEA store I have ever seen. Friendly staff and great selection!

Recreation: I love Lake Harriet and the bandshell in the summer. Also fun to walk around the lake for exercise. Still exploring many of the sights around the city.

Culture: Tons of options to explore. I've only seen the Russian Art Museum so far and it's a gem.

Job opportunities: Unfortunately, my job hasn't worked out (I didn't like it at all), so I'm back out there looking again. Hopefully the soft national economy isn't affecting the TC too much. Unemployment is up everywhere, but the TC have a lot of diverse industries. I'm optimistic so far.

Any others care to share their first impressions?
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Old 10-01-2008, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Iowa, Heartland of Murica
3,195 posts, read 3,310,775 times
Reputation: 3061
I lived in Minneapolis for 3 years, got sick of the cold, moved to Phoenix, AZ and moved right back. I have been here for 5 years now and it is a great place. I guess, the first thing that attracted me to Minneapolis is how modern and clean the cities are, first time I went to downtown St Paul, I could not believe how clean the city was. People here overall are much friendlier than about 80% of the other states. It is a perfect sized metro area for me, not too large, not too small. Last week, I bought something off of Craigslist and I drove right to the seller's house, parked there and walked right in, no problem at all. I can't picture myself doing that in a city like Philadelphia or Los Angeles, I guess, there is a sense of trust here that you cannot find in larger cities. Compared to other metro areas, this is one of the most civilized metro areas overall.
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Old 10-02-2008, 09:42 AM
 
769 posts, read 1,477,466 times
Reputation: 385
Quote:
Originally Posted by xz2y View Post
I moved from SE Michigan to Minneapolis in August and wanted to share a few first impressions.

Driving: It seems to me that the drivers are not as rude or aggressive as SE MI, and in general, will let you merge into traffic on the highways. However, the traffic congestion and road construction are terrible! It takes me an hour (or more) to drive from SW Mpls to the East Bank during the morning and afternoon rush hours. Gasoline prices are lower than SE MI (lower state gas tax).

You're going to have to get used to the road construction. Road construction is to MN as casinos is to Vegas.

Minnesota "Nice": While it may be a cliche, it is true that people are nicer in general and more polite compared to SE MI. They will line up for things rather than push and shove their way to the front of the line, for example, and most people I've met are quite friendly and helpful. I've even had sales associates come up to me in Target and ASK me if I needed help finding something. That's unheard of in most big box stores I've shopped in, where the sales folks are virtually nonexistent and often surly.

The whole MN nice thing is bogus. I learned about MN Nice after I joined this forum. I'm pretty sure most MN have never even heard about it, honestly. Glad you had a good time with customer service though. I generally do. Sometimes they are so helpful I think the ladies are trying to get with me; sometimes that's the case, and sometimes not.

Restaurants: My experience so far is that restaurant food is a bit expensive. I've been in moderate places, cheap places and higher end, and all seem high priced for what you get. I'm not sure if it's due to taxes on restaurant food or just higher prices in the big city. I also haven't really found a good, cheap, ethnic restaurant. The chinese, vietnamese and thai places I've been to were overpriced and bland. I'm sure there are better places out there, but I haven't found them yet.

You probably went to Chino Latinos. A whole mess of people hate Chino Latinos. It's one of those love-it or hate-it restaurants. Or you could be talking about Leann Chin. That place definitely fits the bland overpriced category. And yes, a lot of places are expensive. I don't eat out much these days. I've got to save my cash.

Grocery stores: Nice selection, from basic (Cub) to higher end (Byerly's and Lunds). Even Target has a good food section. Groceries seem expensive, but everything is going up. In particular, dairy products are more expensive than SE MI but grain products and veggies are less, so it's probably a wash.

I shop at Rainbow generally. Otherwise I go to Lunds. And yeah, expensive there too.

IKEA: The biggest IKEA store I have ever seen. Friendly staff and great selection!

Never been there.

Recreation: I love Lake Harriet and the bandshell in the summer. Also fun to walk around the lake for exercise. Still exploring many of the sights around the city.

Yep. Quieter than Lake Calhoun. I also like Lake of the Isles. Some hotties there.

Culture: Tons of options to explore. I've only seen the Russian Art Museum so far and it's a gem.

Never been.

Job opportunities: Unfortunately, my job hasn't worked out (I didn't like it at all), so I'm back out there looking again. Hopefully the soft national economy isn't affecting the TC too much. Unemployment is up everywhere, but the TC have a lot of diverse industries. I'm optimistic so far.

Just got a job too. It sucks. But I'm saving up.

Any others care to share their first impressions?

I can't really remember my first impressions. It was a while ago.
Comments in bold.
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Old 10-02-2008, 09:43 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis
1,593 posts, read 2,288,477 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Repubocrat View Post
Last week, I bought something off of Craigslist and I drove right to the seller's house, parked there and walked right in, no problem at all. I can't picture myself doing that in a city like Philadelphia or Los Angeles, I guess, there is a sense of trust here that you cannot find in larger cities. Compared to other metro areas, this is one of the most civilized metro areas overall.
That "Craig's List Nanny Murder" last year down in Burnsville or wherever it was, notwithstanding, of course.

Just kidding... I've bought several things from Craig's List, and it pretty much goes down just like that, smooth: Drive over, check the item out, say "I'll take it," give 'em the cash, and everyone's happy. I couldn't imagine it any other way. (How do people work craigslist deals in LA or Philadelphia? Paypal and UPS? I thought the whole point of craigslist was that it's local and you don't have to deal with the uncertainty of Ebay. )
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Old 10-02-2008, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
4,933 posts, read 8,701,004 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thegonagle View Post
That "Craig's List Nanny Murder" last year down in Burnsville or wherever it was, notwithstanding, of course.
Didn't that happen in Savage?
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Old 10-02-2008, 10:10 AM
 
214 posts, read 486,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xz2y View Post
I've even had sales associates come up to me in Target and ASK me if I needed help finding something. That's unheard of in most big box stores I've shopped in, where the sales folks are virtually nonexistent and often surly.
Nay, nay, xzy, this is not Minnesota "nice", it is Target branding. You will -or should-get this in every Target store in the nation, and OZ as well. Target employees are reminded to Target brand at every meeting, there are even spontaneous drilling where sales floor associates are called to huddle and giving the "assignment" of going into the store to find "guests" to "help". Not uncommon to walk through a store and be asked "may I help you find something" 5 or more time. As a customer it wears on me, but than I don't like Starbuck employees screaming "HELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOO" when I enter their store. Nor am a "Minnesota Nice" person.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xz2y View Post
Restaurants: My experience so far is that restaurant food is a bit expensive. The chinese, vietnamese and thai places I've been to were overpriced and bland. I'm sure there are better places out there, but I haven't found them yet.
I don't know what is "cheap", I just like sumpin' tastes good with a homestyle serving. Like neighborhood restaurants, St. Paul's 7th Avenue perhaps, or the minneapolis nor'east. Ask a store clerk where to eat. You see a storefront you go in...take a good sniff...if there's a stench, it's a liquor-up type bar. if the smell of grease permeates your nostrils, your hair, your clothing...belly up. Chinese, Vietnamese and tai have become "fast food" everywhere, and unless you are chinese, vietnamese, tai they don't want you in there...maybe spit in your egg drop soup. Stick with a burger and home fries. St Paul is less..ahem...trendy than Minneapolis downtown area. Lots of fun eateries in the neighborhoods, "real" people too, not "Minnesota nice" people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xz2y View Post
Grocery stores: Groceries seem expensive.
Everywhere, xzy, even in Podunk, Iowa. Find a good neighborhood eating place and hang out. Forget grocery stores except for fresh produce. Don't eat meat unless it's been killed on a grill--gets rid of the bad guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xz2y View Post
IKEA: The biggest IKEA store I have ever seen. Friendly staff and great selection!
Oh...Now xzy, what is wrong with resale? No wonder you can't find any decent restaurants. Find the resale stores...that's what you do. Than you will find the good eating places. Wish I was there to hold her hand and show you what's really good about Minnesota.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xz2y View Post
Recreation: I love Lake Harriet and the bandshell in the summer. Also fun to walk around the lake for exercise.
Well, yeah, of course. So do the other 20 million Minnesotans and their dogs. Get in yur car and drive...10,000 lakes...week-end comes, visit one. Fabulous smaller towns too, maybe a town to have a life in. Don't forget Stillwater--make that the first weekend. Next weekend: Hudson, Wisconsin. Lots of people here too, but the small town feel. Enjoy before the gale winds blow and they are going to blow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xz2y View Post
Culture: Tons of options to explore. I've only seen the Russian Art Museum so far and it's a gem.
Dinkytown...now that's culture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xz2y View Post
Job opportunities: Unfortunately, my job hasn't worked out.
xzy, were you not "Minnesota Nice"? I'm not either. You didn't say your experience but if you want work in the TC or it's surrounds--there's work. Do whatever, you'll be find--just work, even if it's temp, nothing is forever anyway. Just don't get on the dole, now that would be painful.

OK, I've run out of time. Lots to do this morning, starting with a trip to Goodwill for $1 item day. Come back, we'll talk more. I'll put some thought into places you might enjoy.
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Old 10-02-2008, 10:13 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis
1,593 posts, read 2,288,477 times
Reputation: 1099
Quote:
Originally Posted by xz2y View Post
Restaurants: My experience so far is that restaurant food is a bit expensive. I've been in moderate places, cheap places and higher end, and all seem high priced for what you get. I'm not sure if it's due to taxes on restaurant food or just higher prices in the big city. I also haven't really found a good, cheap, ethnic restaurant. The chinese, vietnamese and thai places I've been to were overpriced and bland. I'm sure there are better places out there, but I haven't found them yet.
Rainbow Chinese Restaurant (that's what you get when you let the little daughter name the restaurant) has been in business for years, and is my absolute favorite for Chinese. Mid-priced, but the decor is nice, and the food is delicious. Big entrees can be split and eaten "family style" (they'll bring you extra plates.) Just north of 28th street on Nicollet. Check them out.
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Old 10-02-2008, 10:27 AM
 
214 posts, read 486,243 times
Reputation: 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Repubocrat View Post
moved to Phoenix, AZ and moved right back.
I'm sick of Phoenix. Trying to sell my house and praying please Lord, let this be the year. People in my neighborhood say "you want to go back in the snow? you must love cold..harharharharhar". <yawn>

Quote:
Originally Posted by Repubocrat View Post
Last week, I bought something off of Craigslist and I drove right to the seller's house, parked there and walked right in, no problem at all. I can't picture myself doing that in a city like Philadelphia or Los Angeles, I guess, there is a sense of trust here that you cannot find in larger cities. Compared to other metro areas, this is one of the most civilized metro areas overall.
Well, Repubo, don't be stupid about this. Bad things happen in the TC just as it does in the rest of the nation, including Podunk, Iowa--freaks are everywhere. Analyze your surrounds before putting yourself in the situation. How many mommies trusted the boy scout leader? Have you lived in Philadelphia or LA? Good people everywhere, just don't be stupid about your own safety is all, no matter where you live. I use CraigList too, so don't think I'm jumping on you. Your statement seems naive so I'm expressing concern for you is all.
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Old 10-02-2008, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis
1,593 posts, read 2,288,477 times
Reputation: 1099
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slig View Post
Didn't that happen in Savage?
You're right. (I had to look it up on the Googles.) The murder happened in Savage, but her body was found in the trunk of her own car in a park in Burnsville. The two cities are right next to each other.
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Old 10-11-2008, 09:59 PM
 
2 posts, read 5,202 times
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Default RE: Impressions

Although Minneapolis( or the Twin Cities) is one of the "better" cities in the Midwest, I still find it pretty boring and it's somewhat hard to meet people unless I've known them their whole lives.

Nightlife:
I was told by a friend to go to The Lounge. He said it was a great place to hang out, great crowd, music etc. I went and I was bored out of my mind. Boring crowd, not a single soul was dancing. The music was boring and the crowd didn't have a pulse and some of the patrons were far too old to still be trying to get with people in the club. I give it to them for still going out, but cheesy come ons were terrible and embarassing. And what is it with people going out in groups of 10 or more minimum?

After Nightlife:
EVERYTHING IS CLOSED, unless I want to drive out to the suburbs for some Taco Bell or Perkins.

Restaurants:
There is a decent amount of restaurants to choose from in Minneapolis, but St. Paul is slim. Although St. Paul is a nice city with a few neighborhood gems the selection is poor. There are not a lot of GOOD ethnic places to eat like you would find in the bigger cities. The ones that are trying to be "ethnic" are terribly homogenized.

People:
People seem nice, but are very stand offish and provincial and assume that you are crazy if you say hi or start talking to them because they don't know you. People avoid eye contact here at all costs and will avoid talking to you if they don't have to. Hallways, elevators, waiting in line. I'm usually met with the weird look like I'm crazy if I start talking to them.

Two Target " corporate redbots" actually whispered that I was weird for trying to start up a conversation while waiting to check out in their line.- Nice! Whoever said that, "nice to your face" statement was dead on.

Traffic:

Traffic is a minor inconvenience here. Unless you've been to LA, Chicago or NYC, traffic is nothing. I have noticed that people can't merge to save their lives here and for such nice Minnesota people, I've been flicked off and yelled at for passing them, but I can't get any eye contact at all if I pull up along side because that would mean they would have to confront me.

It's a great place to visit and it has it's charm, but there is a lot of stuff the two cities DON'T have.
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