I’m moving to the Twin Cities for a job. I’m a 30-year-old single guy, and I’d like to be in a neighborhood where there’s stuff going on, but affordability and breathing room are important too. One travel guide says I should live Uptown for sure, but City Pages says Northeast is the place to be, and my friend says St. Paul is underrated. What do you think?
There are a lot of neighborhoods that perfectly fit what you’re looking for. I wouldn’t include Uptown in the mix if you’re looking for affordability—or breathing room.
Northeast really is a great place to be; many of my friends live there. It’s pretty open and quiet, but with a lot going on: great restaurants and bars—such as the Anchor, the N.E. Social, the 331 Club, Mayslacks, Dusty’s, the Matchbox coffeeshop—galleries, bike shops, a great used record store (Shuga), and lots more, all within easy walking distance. It’s hip, without being too hip, kind of understated and very fun! 13th Avenue in Northeast was recently written up in the New York Times travel section, extolling the virtues—and those are many!—of this Minneapolis sweet spot. If I didn’t live in Seward, I’d be looking Nordeast.
Consider Powderhorn—or Poho, as so many affectionately refer to it. Many of my friends your age have migrated to Poho, because it’s a charming, quaint neighborhood with a great sense of community and an eclectic mix of interesting people: artists, community organizers, musicians, and more. Again, there is a lot to do and see here. There’s a nice lake, the Mayday coffee shop, and, again, lots of great restaurants. While I don’t know of a music/entertainment venue there, those are a short bike ride away, no big deal. I talk to a lot of people who completely love it, for the reasons you’re seeking and more.
St. Paul. It’s the new Minneapolis! Or so the new campaign to bring more people into St. Paul says. I wouldn’t overlook it. I know several friends/couples who live there too and love it—in the Hamline area. Great, beautiful houses, quiet, and the famous, fantastic Turf Club is right around the corner. There is also Ginkgo Coffee Shop. The parks are idyllic around there; it’s almost like not being in the city.
I’d say you can’t go wrong in any of these places, but you may want to hit the coffeeshops in these areas, and talk with people, ask about their experiences living there—why they love it, or what they view as drawbacks. I wouldn’t only refer to travel guides, because it’s real people who will give you a vibe for where you want to be.