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Old 03-31-2010, 09:18 AM
10,630 posts, read 22,363,561 times
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The St. Anthony Park neighborhood in St. Paul (different than St. Anthony the suburb) has a sort of small-town feel to it; it's next to the U's St. Paul campus. There are a lot of beautiful older homes, tree-lined streets, a nice commercial district, and a good sense of community. The St. Paul campus has a very quick shuttle bus connecting it to the much bigger/busier Minneapolis campus, so the commute would be excellent. St. Paul has some very good schools, too. While I was a student at the U I used to like going over to the St. Paul campus during the day to study, and used to walk around the neighborhood for a nice break; it was kind of fun to have cows and other reminders of MN's agricultural side (it's the agricultural campus) in the middle of the metro area. In any case, you might want to at least look it up: it's technically in the city, but I think it feels a lot quieter and more small town than do many of the suburbs.
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Old 04-01-2010, 09:15 AM
71 posts, read 371,755 times
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I have lived both places! I've lived in Plymouth, Medina and St. Louis Park in Minneapolis Suburbs. I've also gone to school in Ames, Iowa. Ames is slightly warmer. It's a college town, though. Nothing there except corn and college kids. The mall is about 20 stores and many of them are military recruitment centers. Even if you drive to Des Moines, it still feels small town-y.

Minneapolis is a much larger city with many more interesting restaurants and shops. We also have lakes and other really cool natural areas.

I'm attracted by the city, so it's hard to talk about anything else. :P
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Old 04-01-2010, 01:38 PM
Location: Des Moines, Iowa
2,401 posts, read 3,463,334 times
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It has been interesting following this thread on both the Iowa forum and now here on the Minnesota board. A lot of the same conclusions have been shared and while there has been some good cases made for the Twin Cities, it does appear Ames is getting the nod.

As someone who has ties to both (born and lived in Minneapolis early part of my life…visited often growing up since relatives were always in the area) and also lived in Ames because I attended Iowa State, I have a real interest in reading people's perspectives on the question being asked. I'm personally more of a urban guy (currently live in Des Moines proper, and really like it) and to this day I believe I appreciate the city life because of our frequent visits to the Twin Cities as I was growing up.

Being as unbiased as I possibly can, every requirement the poster is looking for points to moving to Ames. The only exception, would be snow activities. Due to the warmer temps, there isn't as much snow on the ground and for the same periods of time in Ames as there is near the Cities. So if that one requirement overrides all the other things you're looking for, then the Twin Cities it is!

The biggest concerns seems to be boredom, but that simply isn't going to be a problem in a city with 50K….especially when you add on the extras that occur being in a university town (touring Broadway shows, live music, lectures, art, etc.) Additionally, cities that size are built for families and kids, so there is no shortage of family friendly activities. Top that off with the extremely highly regarded school system Ames is known for.

If you're still not convinced Ames is exciting enough, try living in a small town south of Ames that puts you closer to Des Moines. Generally speaking, you're about 40 minutes from Des Moines from Ames, so you can cut that down the further south you choose to live. Believe me Des Moines in no Minneapolis/St Paul, but only for reasons I could list that aren't part of the requirement the poster is asking/looking for.

If I may be so bold, I think the origin of the original question has a lot to do with preconceived notions. Face it, what sounds like a more exciting move? Moving to the Twin Cities or moving to Ames, Iowa? Which destination will cause friends and relatives to more likely furrow their brow (i.e.…as in "why there?") when you tell them you're moving to the Twin Cities or you're moving to Ames, Iowa?

If you can put that aside (and don't let peoples' ignorance regarding their knowledge of how great a place Ames is to live) and if you are honestly interested in the "smaller town" amenities you described, this is really a slam dunk decision.
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Old 04-05-2010, 12:49 PM
Location: MN
3,755 posts, read 7,747,578 times
Reputation: 1727
My roommate's brother lived in Ames, and he couldn't speak more about the place!!!
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