I recently set up a meeting with someone I’d never met before. When deciding where to meet for a drink, we agreed on a general area—Uptown—then I left it to him to determine the actual restaurant. When finalizing plans, his message read something like, “Ok, I’ll meet you in Uptown Minneapolis at [predetermined restaurant] at [predetermined time].” This sort of formal description of the area immediately gives away his transplant status, because there’s only one Uptown, just as there’s only one Lowertown.
As a native St. Paulite, and especial lover of all things Minneapolis, it was interesting to talk to this man and see the area through his eyes. He wasn’t a client, so he wasn’t asking questions, nor was my knowledge of the area a prominent topic of discussion. It got me thinking about how those new to the area find their place—whether a neighborhood in Minneapolis or St. Paul, or one of their wonderful surrounding suburbs. The adage, “You don’t know what you don’t know,” comes to mind: How can you research an area in a vacuum? You almost need to already know about the area to begin doing the research. It’s like when people who have never visited or lived here assume St. Paul and Minneapolis are the same city: For those of us who call this place home, the very notion is ludicrous and ill-informed.
Fortunately, there are some good online resources to help those moving to the area get started in understanding the soul of the various neighborhoods and cities.
- City of Minneapolis Neighborhood page
- City of St. Paul Neighborhood page
- St. Paul Convention & Visitor’s Bureau Neighborhood page
- Minneapolis CVB
- Neighborhoods in Minnesota
- E-Democracy Forums (Minneapolis, St. Paul and various neighborhoods therein, Roseville):
- Live MSP
- Explore Minnesota Minneapolis-St. Paul page
It’s a lot to digest, but we’re always here when you have questions to ask! If you’ve just moved here, or are still considering making MSP your home turf, we offer a handy Relocation Guide, available by mail or in electronic form. Head over to HomesMSP.com to learn more!
Licensed Associate Working with Sharlene Hensrud of RE/MAX Results, and HomesMSP — Sharlene, John, Angela