Living in the Twin Cities: What I’ve Learned

I moved to Minnesota on June 10th, 2012, less than 24 hours before starting my new job.  It definitely was cutting things close, but I didn’t have many options and it was the only way I could make things work.  Over the past 9 months I’ve learned a few things, made a few friends, and have grown.  Maybe future generations, or just other people, will benefit from this.

(Illegal) Subletting is not the way to go

When I first moved to Minnesota, I sublet from a family acquaintance in Uptown Minneapolis.  The day I arrived I found out, “well technically I can’t sublet because of how my lease is written, but if you have any issues I can contact the guy who owns the place and take care of it for you.”  This was fine for a while, but quickly became a huge pain in the ass.  “Hey, there gonna show the place, so you can’t be there between 3 and 4pm.”  When my girlfriend moved in with me, “Oh, no I can’t get you a second key because then they’ll know someone is subletting.”  When the A/C unit broke, “I’ll tell the landlord to look at it.”  Needless to say the A/C never got fixed.  Simply having to go through someone was bad enough, but when we moved out he had assumed I would clean out all of his stuff for him (some of it had been left behind).  I was completely unaware of the fact and simply left with my things loaded, and received crude/immature text messages for the few days following.

Highways: Better than Chicago, worse than Milwaukee

There is an interesting highway system that runs through the Twin Cities.  Traffic never seems as bad as Chicago, but is always worse than Milwaukee.  As someone who enjoys the open-ness and usual 65mph speed limits of the highway, I’m annoyed by the 55mph and somewhat always traffic-y highways around Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

Chicago highways
Chicago highways
Minneapolis highways

Minnesotans love their beer

Surly, Summit, Fulton, Dangerous Man, Indeed, 612.  There are many micro-brew companies local to Minnesota who have fantastic beers.  With all those brew-pubs and their amazing selection of beers, it’s no wonder why Minnesotans love their beer.  That pride for local brews is shown at events like Twin Cities Beer Fest.  Erin and I attended it last Summer and it was a blast.

Downtown dies on the weekends

Both Minneapolis and Saint Paul shut down on the weekends.  The stores all primarily run off the office buildings and the people that fill them, so when Saturday rolls around they all close shop.  I’ve made the mistake of taking a “downtown weekend adventure”, only to be met with closed signs and quiet streets.  Parking garages also have weird hours.  I parked in one whilst taking Erin out to dinner, and when we got back after we ate I found the lobby doors to be locked.  I had to run up the entrance ramp to the third floor and drive back down.

Food trucks are awesome

Milwaukee first opened my eyes to food trucks (thanks PitaBros), but up here it’s a whole step up.  Hennepin Ave. is LINED with trucks during lunchtime, and there are so many different options and varieties to choose from!  My top two favorites right now are Simply Steve and Get Sauced.  The poor weather has kept them away for a while, but I’m excited to see them back out and about come Springtime.

Home isn’t exactly close

I’m originally from the suburbs of Chicago, and almost all of my extended family still resides there.  I have a sister and a few cousins in Milwaukee, some others closer to downtown Chicago, but all within about an hour and a half driving distance at most.  Minneapolis/Saint Paul is far away, taking around 7 hours if you drive.  I moved up here thinking I would be able to make it back when needed, but when my Papa was diagnosed with Leukemia a few weeks before Christmas, home was never close enough.  I’m extremely grateful that I was able to make it home for a few days and see him before he passed away, but I wish I could have spent more time with my family.  My youngest sister is finishing college, my cousin is working in an E.R., and I wish I could be at home with them talking about their lives and what is going on.