Being Hip in Minnesota: Location, Location… Location?

After having been “out of town” for the past year and a half or so – ok, on the other side of the world – I honestly couldn’t be happier coming back to the Twin Cities.

Our shining beacon of culture and commerce, striding the great Mississippi river and rising up against the monotony of the plains offers this world traveler both the comforts of home and much of the excitment and contradictions I found in the urban centers of Southeast Asia and China.

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An oak tree off Hennepin Ave arrogantly proclaims the self-appointed Cultural Mecca status of Uptown

Staying with a friend near the Hennepin Avenue library, I have been joyously rediscovering the coffee shops, arts scene, food and culture of Minneapolis. However, on a recent visit to a friend’s home/ gallery in St. Paul, the warning was unambiguous: don’t live in Uptown too long. “People that live in Uptown too long start to think that they live in a bubble, where the outside world is inconsequential. They think nothing artistic can happen in the Twin Cities without Uptown’s approval,” he said.

If any of Uptown’s community, as inspired as they may be, are guilty of my friend’s accusation, what I have seen in my short month in places from North East Minneapolis to St. Paul proves them wrong.

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