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Old 04-08-2011, 09:23 PM
 
28 posts, read 52,629 times
Reputation: 14

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I'm a young professional moving to St Paul for a job downtown. I looked around some neighborhoods today to look at rentals and narrowed it down to these two. Which would you recommend?

My thoughts:

Grand/Victoria area
* Like the feel/crowd better
* No car, but access to HourCar a quarter mile away
* Should I live straight on Grand or a few streets off where it's more residential/quiet?
* fewer public transit lines
* Old buildings, old/small appliances. Less amenities like garbage disposal, dishwasher, etc.

Downtown
* Not the best feel with the homeless center near by
* Can walk to work
* Garage parking
* Easier access to culture (opera, theater, chamber concerts, etc). More walkable in general
* Construction can be a pain
* Skyway access to a good gym
* Skyways in general. Well lit, secured walking around at night. Also handy for winter.
* Farmers market
* Newer buildings, newer appliances

Looked at some Lowertown units. But the buildings in my price range weren't great and the general vibe of the people walking around just felt a bit off, but maybe it was just a rash first impression. And Mac Grove was similar to Grand/Victoria but Grand/Victoria seemed nicer for the same price.
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Old 04-09-2011, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Gladstone, MO
2,066 posts, read 4,765,143 times
Reputation: 880
Downtown, when I visited it I loved it, and I'll be living fairly close to downtown when I move there this fall, possibly walking distance.
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Old 04-11-2011, 08:01 PM
 
164 posts, read 568,142 times
Reputation: 133
Anywhere on Grand Avenue between Cretin (actually more like Snelling) and Dale will have more interesting night life than living downtown Saint Paul. Unfortunately. There are more youngish people on this strip, more things to do, more restaurants and shops, and it doesn't really close down at 5pm the way downtown does. That hurts to write since I am a STP proponent. Still, it is the truth. Plus on the weekend everything isn't closed--in fact more people are out and about, and the energy is enhanced. You wouldn't want to be on Grand as a public transit artery. And living too many streets away from the bus line will make for a miserable walk in January-not worth the trade off since Grand itself isn't insane and 1 to 6 blocks off are all the same.
You can appreciate and enjoy downtown Saint Paul, though if you are of the right mindset. Lowertown has a better mix of artsy people, and the art crawl (if it's still ongoing) wouldn't really happen on Grand. The former 4th street station (across from the Union Depot) sometimes will have a good band or some truly good nightlife that you won't find on Grand, and West 7th also has some mojo at night---there used to be a noble-effort used bike store downtown near 7th and this added some nice grassroots character, as does Red's Savoy pizza and Cossetta's both also on 7th. Just being near the river is special, and if you have an apartment with a view of it I envy you---boats, trains, planes, sky, bluffs. Also, having the library and Xcel center would be pretty cool as well as the access to alot of bus routes. Plus, The Saint Paul Hotel is a true restaurant gem. But, even though the skyway is secure, I'd be hesitant to travel it after business hours--it's actually more of a creepy/ empty feeling than street level. There was a Lifetime Fitness near 4th and Minnesota.
In short, downtown St. Paul is great if you can get by without too much structure and corporate store-front need. Probably not as much of a community feel as the more neighborhoody Grand Avenue, but definitely less is more and the city's greatness is there for discovery.
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