Slate says: "You should move to Minneapolis"

mpls winter rect.jpg
People overestimate how much cold winters affect their happiness, Yglesias writes.
Matthew Yglesias is Slate's business and economic reporter. Earlier this year, he published The Rent Is Too Damn High, a "polemic on high rents and housing costs -- and how these costs are hollowing out communities, thwarting economic development, and rendering personal success and fulfillment increasingly difficult to achieve."

-- Minneapolis is one of the most "unexpectedly romantic" cities in the country, says Yahoo
-- Twin Cities are two of America's top 12 cities, according to Businessweek

Recently, a reader asked Yglesias for "a Rent Is Too Damn High perspective on what city he should live in." And while Yglesias acknowledges that the question is complicated, "On another level, the answer is that you should move to Minneapolis," he writes.

From Yglesias' "You Should Move to Minneapolis":
Of the 15 highest-income metropolitan areas in the United States, 14 are in high-cost coastal areas. The other one, clocking in at No. 12 with a median household income about 23 percent above the national average, is the Minneapolis-St Paul MSA with its low low Midwestern prices. People appear to be deterred from moving to Minneapolis on the grounds that it's very cold, but David Schkade and Daniel Kahneman have found that people's thinking about weather and happiness is dominated by "focusing illusion" in which "easily observed and distinctive differences between locations are given more weight in such judgments than they will have in reality." They specifically looked at the weather gap between California and the Midwest and found that while Midwesterners thought the good weather in California would make a huge difference in people's lives, it doesn't in reality.

In terms of other considerations, this native New Yorker was very impressed by Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza and I think the Timberwolves are underrated this season.
It's always great to see the City of Lakes get some national love, but really, "low low Midwestern prices"? Yglesias certainly isn't writing for non-homeowners, as Minneapolis was rated Forbes' second-worst city in the country for renters in June.

Now, with regard to the Timberwolves looking like they'll be exciting this season? Yglesias and I are in total agreement there, though in this day and age of NBA League Pass, it doesn't provide a very good reason to physically move here.

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Maybe it's just me, and the fact that I needed to live downtown since i didn't have a car when I lived in Minneapolis, but I sure didn't see the 'low, low prices' that this story claims.  And I've been to many other cities, and the difference is that they have downtowns where everyday people live.  Minneapolis' downtown is home to the affluent and those who want the newest, best and amazing amenities.  Other cities of comparable size still have housing in their downtown areas that fit into every social class - they still have YMCA/YWCA single-room housing, they have small studio apartments for single, working-class adults without kids, and they have the very high-end condos for the wealthy.  The reason why these kinds of downtowns work so well is because it allows each class much easier access to working, social services, and health care.  In Minneapolis, where the lower income are now being pushed as far out as Burnsville and even Duluth, you're going to need a car, and if you can't afford a car, you'll need to put down about $100 a month for a bus pass.  Downtowns were meant for people who lived simple lives so they could get to the places they needed without depending on a vehicle.  The only 'affordable housing' in downtown Minneapolis is either controlled by the Minneapolis Public Housing (314 Hennepin Building - scary); Volunteers of America (1350 Nicollet - not bad, but a 7 year wait list) or Loring Towers, at 15 E Grant St., which has had more assaults, petty drug crimes, robberies, etc - clearly these are not safe places for those who are elderly, physically or mentally disabled or needing a safe, sober environment to get going with their lives.

Kevin Green
Kevin Green

No snow this winter we are in a severe drought

Bob Alberti
Bob Alberti

Dangit, Slate! We don't need more riff-raff in Minneapolis! That's WHY we have these cold, snowy winters! If you're not ready to drop everything and jump anybody and everybody's stalled cars we don't want ya! If feeling your boogers crystallize in your sinuses is more than you can handle, stay in your Californias and Floridas and leave us be up here in Minnesota! But if you're willing to shovel two feet of wet snow in front of your elderly neighbor's house, then by gum grab a shovel and welcome to the Twin Cities...

CinBlueland topcommenter

Ya, DT prices for apts suck, god forbid you have anything other than a bike for transportation and need to store/park it.

But for those who are devoted to metro transit, can still live along the corridors in places like SLP, Hopkins etc and get around while paying hundreds less.


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