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Minneapolis - St. Paul Twin Cities
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Old 03-21-2010, 07:56 PM
130 posts, read 302,691 times
Reputation: 172


I'm kind of a new poster and have seen several times people saying the Twin Cities are bad because they are so isolated from any other decent-sized city. I took a look at a map and came across the following isolated cities/regions:

Salt Lake City
Denver/CO Springs
Las Vegas
El Paso

Old 03-21-2010, 08:00 PM
Location: South South Jersey
1,652 posts, read 3,409,418 times
Reputation: 734
It's all about people having some irrational fear of the variously-/arbitrarily-defined region known as the "Midwest," and perceiving said region (erroneously, obviously) as one gigantic corn field. For instance, being in one of the isolated SW US cities surrounded by desert wouldn't be as bad, since desert trumps corn field. Or something like that. It's basically something the media and entertainment industries have insidiously drummed into people's heads from their early childhoods. I find it greatly annoying - but fascinating all the same!
Old 03-21-2010, 08:01 PM
Location: WA
606 posts, read 1,158,332 times
Reputation: 583
I would rather live in Minneapolis than any of those cities. The people who say those things have probably never been here.
Old 03-21-2010, 09:05 PM
10,630 posts, read 23,415,082 times
Reputation: 6702
I'm one of the people who has called it isolated. I certainly don't have any fears of the Midwest or visions of it as one big cornfield. I can't speak for others, but when I say it's isolated I mean that you can't go on a day trip to another big city without flying. I'm guessing that many of the people who say it's isolated have lived in the mid-Atlantic or Northeast where distances between major cities are much shorter. While I think Minneapolis has many, many other benefits to it, I will fully admit that during the time I lived on the east coast (in several cities) it was great to have such easy, cheap access to so many different cities. From Minneapolis a trip to any other big city involves a flight, which is more expensive and a hassle. Just because plenty of other medium- to big-sized cities are also isolated from other cities doesn't make Minneapolis any less isolated or any closer to any other big city. I don't remember seeing anyone say that the Twin Cities were "bad" because of that (maybe they did and I missed it), although some of us -- including those of us who love the Twin Cities -- might see it as a negative. I do consider it a negative, but every city has its pluses and minuses.
Old 03-21-2010, 10:00 PM
Location: Minnesota
124 posts, read 330,736 times
Reputation: 76
I agree with you, uptown_urbanist. It isn't the twin cities' isolation that makes them bad--it's the weather. LOL At least to my way of thinking. It's the reason I am going back down South. I came here a couple years ago for school at the U, and I love Minneapolis (very clean, well-kept neighborhoods, high concentration of upper middle class educated residents, etc.) but I just don't think I can deal with another frigid winter here. I would argue that the weather might perhaps be a cause of the isolation factor. If the climate was milder, then maybe nearby cities like Sioux Falls and Fargo would have larger populations, and the cities would feel less isolated. I wonder what the population would be if we were in a humid subtropical climate zone: Twin Cities: 5 million, Sioux Falls: 750,000 Fargo: 900,000??
Old 03-22-2010, 07:15 AM
20,793 posts, read 53,984,099 times
Reputation: 10530
With the exception of the east coast, the Twin Cities are not any more isolated then any other major metro area in the country, but even on the east coast, day trips to other major cities are not all that easy because of traffic.
Old 03-22-2010, 07:43 AM
Location: Cleveland bound with MPLS in the rear-view
5,530 posts, read 10,138,339 times
Reputation: 2384
It just feels isolated if you go West. I always go East -- sometimes North -- and there isn't much of a sense of nothingness at all IMO. It's 6 hours to the fringes of Chicagoland -- where I frequent -- and that's a half day's trip to me. Anything under 6 hours is a half day to me since you can get there before noon or midnight depending on how early/late you want to leave and still have time in the day to do something else. For reference, San Francisco is nearly the same distance from LA as MSP is to Chicago, although with SF you have Sacremento nearby.
Old 03-22-2010, 09:26 AM
10,630 posts, read 23,415,082 times
Reputation: 6702
Ah, but the great thing about going between major cities in the east is that you don't HAVE to worry about traffic; you get on a train in the center of one city and it whisks you straight to the center of another major city. No need to worry about going to the airport (which are by necessity not in the center of everything), and often no need to set foot in a car. Amtrak runs both regular and fast trains up and down the northeast corridor all the time, for example, and other rail lines (including commuter lines with more frequent hours) run to smaller cities. And when you want to go cheap there are buses that do admittedly sit in traffic, but they still pick up and drop off in central locations and you can at least read or work on the trip.

I realize it's all relative, but having lived on the east coast I think more than two hours to another big city counts as isolated.
Old 03-22-2010, 09:37 AM
3,752 posts, read 7,485,319 times
Reputation: 3711
Uptown - I completely agree with both of your posts. Minneapolis is isolated compared to East Coast cities. Traffic is not a significant consideration in many of those cities. Two hours in a car on an east coast city gets you much closer to a resort area/big city than 2 hours from the Twin Cities. That being said - its just a fact - doesnt make the twin cities any less desirable to live - its just a negative to balance all the positives. That doesnt make it less true though.
Old 03-22-2010, 09:45 AM
174 posts, read 412,404 times
Reputation: 80
I think it depends on your perspective. For instance, when I lived in Cincinnati, a 5-6 hour car ride could get me to:
Columbus, Cleveland, Louisville, Lexington, Nashville, Indianapolis, Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit

Comparitively, that long of a ride here could get me to Milwaukee and Chicago (maybe)....anywhere else? Madison I guess.
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