Sure, Minnesota is green and Minneapolis is one of the top eco-cities in the world, not to mention a great biking city, but is this really why people move here? Is it for the great jobs? The lack of corruption? The small… ahem? Never mind. Sorry.
South 12th finally answers the question. Why move to Minnesota? Why Minneapolis?
I wanted to move somewhere that fit these five criteria:
- A million or more people lived there.
- It was in that blue part of the country attached to Canada on all of those hot-headed ‚ÄúUnited States of Canada/Jesusland‚Äù diagrams making the rounds after the 2004 election. Or was that 2008? Regardless, after the 2004 election, I remember looking at that large swath of red that covered Kentucky and all the adjacent states, and wanting to get out.
- It had a major art institution the majority of knowledgeable people considered important.
- It was geographically isolated.
- I didn‚Äôt know anyone there.
Before 2005, when I actually arrived here, I knew nothing about Minneapolis. Not even the Twins, as Langer suggests ‚Äì all the teams I followed were in the NL Central. I had never even visited, though I‚Äôd known people over the years that had lived there (a prickly MCAD alum I‚Äôd worked with at the art store; the ex-girlfriend of an acquaintance who‚Äôd studied at Carleton). I had a vague sense that it had a good civic reputation. I don‚Äôt remember a single moment where I decided ‚ÄúOK, it‚Äôs Minneapolis.‚Äù All the other options just slipped away one-by-one ‚Äì San Francisco seemed too expensive, Austin too lackadaisical, Seattle too granola, Detroit too gritty, New York too intimidating, Toronto and Montreal too complicated ‚Äì until Minneapolis seemed like the only viable choice left. It was a leftist enclave with a Walker Art Center and a baseball team, located about as close to Canada as you could get without needing dual citizenship. There was no safety net, either: no acquaintances to fall back on for social support, no easy weekend getaways to more familiar regions available. Minneapolis is at least a six-hour drive from anything.
Yes. Yes. I have lived here 4 times now, for a total of about 15 years. Why do I keep coming back? It’s not because Minnesota is green, although it entirely makes sense that it would be. It’s because Minnesota is easy. Minnesota is practical. Minnesota is progressive. (Or is it anymore?) Minnesota is cultured. (Or at least it’s always making an effort to be so.) Minnesota is fair. (Though many have cause to claim otherwise.)
I always say I’m actually here because of the weather. And I mean it. If it weren’t so miserably cold here, everyone would be moving here and Minneapolis would just be another NYC or LA ‚Äî or at least a little gross (and very stinky).
Come on, peeps, let’s just stroke our city and state today. Stroke. Stroke. Stroke.
Garrison Keillor said that in some places God sets the temperature at 75 and forgets about them. He likes to visit us.