Twin Cities is America's 4th-snobbiest metro, study says

Categories: Lists
Skylines rect.jpg
the Twin Cities Facebook page
You're looking at the Midwest's mecca of snobbiness, apparently.
If Travel + Leisure's reader survey can be believed, Twin Cities residents have their collective noses higher in the air than just about anybody.

SEE ALSO: NYC editor disses Minneapolis's awesome parks: The city "is in like, Canada or something"

That's because the survey ranked MSP as the fourth-snobbiest city in the country. In fact, the only cities ranking higher are the long-established hotbeds of snobbiness that are San Francisco, New York City, and Boston.

Travel + Leisure came up with the ranking by aggregating various categories of data from the reader surveys.

"[W]e factored in some traditional staples of snobbery: a reputation for aloof and smarty-pants residents, along with high-end shopping and highbrow cultural offerings like classical music and theater," a summary of the findings says. "But we also considered 21st-century definitions of elitism: tech-savviness, artisanal coffeehouses, and a conspicuous eco-consciousness (say, the kind of city where you get a dirty look for throwing your coffee cup in the wrong bin)."

Here's what T + L had to say about the Twin Cities specifically:
Perhaps readers felt intimidated by these bookish, indie-music-loving, craft-beer-drinking hipsters, who also ranked highly for being exceptionally tidy. If these Minnesotans feel self-satisfied, is it any wonder? They also scored well for being fit and outdoorsy; you can join them at the Chain of Lakes, where, depending on the season, folks are hiking, paddling, or even ice-surfing.
And here's the full top 10 snobbiest-cities list:

1. San Francisco
2. New York City
3. Boston
4. MSP
5. (tied) Santa Fe
5. (tied) Seattle
7. Chicago
8. Providence
9. Washington, D.C.
10. Charleston

For what it's worth, Portland ranked 11th, meaning in the eyes of T + L readers, we're snobbier than our Oregon rivals, Miamians, and Los Angelians, in addition to residents of the six cities behind us in the top 10.

Should we be proud, or not? Given the way T + L aggregated the data (with weight given to tech-savviness, good coffeeshops, and "highbrow cultural offerings"), we'd say it's nothing to be ashamed of.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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119 comments
funny_guy_1973
funny_guy_1973

I grew up in rural Minnesota and have lived in the Twin Cities metro for the past 14 years (the previous 10 years in NE Minneapolis).  I travel quite extensively for my job and I must say the people in the Twin Cities metro area are quite snobby.  I consider myself a transplant, since I did not grow up in the metro area.  I've found it very difficult to make friends or be accepted by the locals that were born and raised in the metro area.  Nearly all my friends are transplants like myself and all have said the metro area is fairly unfriendly and quite snobby.  I've noticed people here are afraid to say hello or hi.  Many people here would rather look the other way or stare the ground rather than risk having to respond to another person asking "Hi, how are you today?"  A previous commenter made a statement about hipsters judging people.  You have to remember hipsters are too cool for everyone.  They're even too cool for the following:  obeying stop signs/stop lights on their bicycles, having lights or reflectors on their bicycles after sunset, saying hello to anybody other than a hipster, smiling and waving. 

thesrabbit
thesrabbit

Born and raised here, and I agree with this article.  In addition the TC is cliquish and passive-aggressive.  I hate that.  I continually remind myself to not behave that way.  When I walk around in downtown Minneapolis, I get the sense that every hipster is judging me because I dress very nondescript.  Suits stick together, hipsters stick together, Target employees stick together, and people from the same neighborhood stick together forever, and you aren't allowed in, especially if you leave that neighborhood for any length of time.  That cliquishness really bothers me.  Isn't that supposed to end after High School?

I always like meeting people from the outside.  I love to learn about where they're from and try to make them feel welcome.  Granted I'm an introvert, so I might not be the first to initiate a conversation, but once the ice is broken, it's all good and I hope that we continue to get to know one another.  And I really try to keep from being passive aggressive.  If I don't like you, I'm not going to put on a fake smile and shoot the shit with you, and then talk about you behind your back.  I hate that, and I see it all the time.  If you ask me if there's a problem, I will be honest with you and tell you.  You can be honest without being too harsh.  I have a lot of respect for people who are from here and have broken out of the passive-aggressive "Minnesota nice" BS and are just honest.  So that's what I'm striving to do.  Honesty, and no bullshit.  

Onan
Onan

Perhaps the folks here who are all whining about not being "accepted" at all aren't really trying that hard to be accepted or hanging out with the wrong crowd?

Get involved in a hobby. Join a club. Take tennis lessons. Get out there and meet some people for f*ck's sake and don't expect everyone to clamor to you if you just lean against the wall.

/California transplant but been here most of my life

loveisbestchoice
loveisbestchoice

I am 2 years here, from an actual major US city (2m+ people), and entirely agree with the comments here noting the passive-aggressive elitism here (which I see as insecure bullying). Looking for the cultural opportunities which are very available in a major city with -all- cultural groups well represented, I'm missing so many things: foods! (no one here knows where an, ahem, Italian neighborhood is -- is there one?!), movies/plays I hear are relased but can't see!, significant performers (music) and performances, GENUINE people (for which I adore NYC, which someone else commented on -- at least you know where you stand), vs finding out through comments made behind your back or expressed while they smile and put you down simultaneously. I've experienced it in all contexts, personal and professional, and most small-business relationships, even, and oddly! It's really quite astounding to me, especially for a city that looks vacated at mid-day, and whose cultural opportunities are relatively hard to find in my experience. Where's Prince? Playing around the world, almost never here; why not? Elitist self-promotion versus closed-minded elitism is standard issue during my few years here so far. Illustratively, the sign I put up to vote to keep from disallowing gay marriage here, accepted in neighboring Iowa, received a passive-aggressive unsigned note taped to the back of it in a small neighborhood, the person afraid to speak in person about it and maybe even convince me which an unsigned note will never do of course. That is how I have experienced MN people here, so far in too many instances to make me feel super comfortable with the oddly afraid/closed-minded so-called "liberal" atmosphere I've found. Though I do see tons of comfort in creating and maintaining an elite faccadism, without quite the backbone to prove it.

erik3k
erik3k

Charleston is number 10? what did they do to be snobby? invent a dance and weird flat straw hats. aw snap! now, that's how you do snobby!

plus  city pages talking about snobby? nooooo! the only three things snobbier than city pages are, the kitty kat club, vita.mn and the walker, and the walker is the most needlessly snobby piece of wanna be art museum in the planet. i think if we got rid of the walker and its uselessness, we would go down to the 30th place.

trevorr77
trevorr77

Ask someone from MN what they think about people from Iowa or Wisconsin and you'll very quickly see the snobbiness come out. They somehow think they are a superior to everyone from both states despite the fact they are the same in every way. Sorry people from MN, but you are basically the same as people from WI...your accent is the same, your hobbies are the same, your jobs are the same, the only thing that is different is people from WI don't have the same snobbiness.

Betsy Wolfe Peloquin
Betsy Wolfe Peloquin

No I would never think that of my Minneapolis! I always felt quite at home in the Cities!

Todd Ray
Todd Ray

MN Nice, sure at face value, just don't turn your back

Randall Douglas
Randall Douglas

More like standoffish than snobby, I'd say. They've never been to Rochester. LOl. There lugubrious enough up in the cities...I think it's the weather. But here they are lugubrious and sick (or old both old and sick or treating the sick or helping the sick)...serious business can effect your mood over time.

Brenna Murphy
Brenna Murphy

The only people who will try to sell MN Nice are natives. And they never shut up about it.

Brenna Murphy
Brenna Murphy

Agreed. Even moving here in high school, all my close friendships are with people from other states.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

I read that Minneapolis was #1 in the country in people who give a crap about these Top Ten lists.

Sandra
Sandra

Been a Minneapolis resident for almost three years now and this place should've ranked #1 by a long shot. Snobby is certainly putting it in a "Minnesota Nice" manner. Unless you and your previous three generations were born here, went all through school here, and aspire to live out in the suburbs and work at Target, you might as well just keep on moving, you have no shot at making friends here. New Yorkers may be rude to the tourists, but they're vastly more friendly and welcoming to transplants than the typical Minnesotan.

JeniKay
JeniKay

I question the criteria used here, but Minnesota is certainly number one in passive aggressiveness.

Ivory Katese Taylor
Ivory Katese Taylor

I'm native...and I'm definitely not oblivious to these facts. Try not to make such sweeping generalizations, as you're coming off a bit snobbish.

Dave Schulz
Dave Schulz

Palmer's is full of high class snobs.

andersonle09
andersonle09

I have lived in Minnesota all my life and I haven't really experienced this.  I think Minneapolis/St. Paul is quite welcoming to outsiders.  It is home to the largest population of Somalians outside of somalia as well as the largest community of Hmong people.  They seem to be quite welcome here.  We love diversity here.  Now northern Minnesota in the Iron Range area is a different story.  They are very connected to each other and do not appreciate outsiders... It is a different culture.

Rob Peterson
Rob Peterson

Couldn't agree more. Outstate MN is where you'll find more "MN nice" but sadly, that won't be true within my lifetime I'm sure. I still love my home state though!

David Gabriel Robinson
David Gabriel Robinson

Not necessarily. More like smug, self-absorbed and certain that their shit doesn't stink. I've lived in seven states, and yes, there are good and bad people wherever you go. However, metro Minneapolis is the worst by far. Party in downtown Denver, and the difference is immediately noticeable.

Stephen Hammond
Stephen Hammond

As an Englishman visiting the Twin Cities for a couple of weeks, i have to say the people i met couldn't have been more welcoming. I loved my time there.

Dave Brazelton
Dave Brazelton

feeling a little "snottie" today are we? or maybe just spelling and grammar Nazi?

Greg Rasmusson
Greg Rasmusson

We just don't want you to move to our city and bring it down.

levering
levering

I would have to agree that Minnesotans are exceptionally snobby. Everyone seems to be obsessed with being from here and they're not very welcoming to outsiders like myself. Minneapolis & St. Paul are cool cities, but not any cooler or more noteworthy than other metropolitans in the country, which probably explains the overcompensation.

Dyl Maxberry
Dyl Maxberry

Absolutely not. I live in Lawton Oklahoma (a shit town) and for some reason people are really shitty here. I'd put Portland OR at the top of my list.

Matt Connell
Matt Connell

When you look at the criteria for what makes a town snobby then snobby is a good thing. They can go fuck themselves.

Keith Rose
Keith Rose

Well the criteria that's used does rationalize it, I don't like the title they're putting on it. Besides, these are things that IMHO make the Twin Cities great!

Wayne David Froemming
Wayne David Froemming

yep,cliquish is the right word.I'm from outstate MN,not much better there,but most taverns/dives folks are cool.

Fluffy Singler
Fluffy Singler

Actually, for me, I fell into a group--which tended to be mostly ex-pat writers from other places--right away. It was after I had been here a while and learned the "secret handshake" that I realized all of the same things about Minnesota culture that other "outsiders" say about it. I call in the Texas of the North because one of the most common phrases I hear here is "Oh, that's not how we do thing in Minnesota." NEVER heard that before I lived here!

Fluffy Singler
Fluffy Singler

To the people who are listing other cities, I would remind you that it says "one of." Just because other people are ruder or show the same level of rudeness doesn't mean that Minneapolis doesn't also fit into that mold

Gary Mangelsen
Gary Mangelsen

Only one I have been too, in person, but people there where a lot more friendly, helpful etc. than not! NOT like New York City or Chicago are PORTRAYED ON TV/MOVIES... Find it DIFFICULT to believe overall, as most people in Minnesota are very nice in my experience

prbergstrom
prbergstrom

@erik3k Obviously you've never been to Charleston. They have plenty to be snobby about.

eatereater
eatereater

@trevorr77 Perhaps if y'all didn't flock to Mpls like sheeple you wouldn't be met with so much disdain. 

Onan
Onan

@trevorr77  - I'm pretty sure your sarcasm detector may be broken. I rip on Iowegians and Cheeseheads a lot, but it's called "good natured ribbing."

trevorr77
trevorr77

@andersonle09 Just because people move here doesn't mean people FROM here are welcoming them. have you ever noticed that they all live together in the same areas? That is because no one would befriend them if they weren't among their own "people". This isn't as much about being accomodating its about attitude. Go ask people in Minneapolis what they think of WI and you'll quickly see what the survey is talking about

Sandra
Sandra

@andersonle09 That's the thing -- you've lived here all of your life, so you don't know any better. What you deem as "welcoming" to outsiders comes across to outsiders as "tolerating" -- big difference. 

rcoll23
rcoll23

@leveringHaving grown up here, (but having traveled extensively and having family in Chicago, NYC and Italy) I am always frustrated when people find out where I am from and say things like "Where's Minnesota?" (from fellow Americans!) or "Welcome to civilization". I think the snobbiness is a reaction to the implication that if you don't live in NYC or LA, you should probably just die from embarrassment.  I have seen a lot of the world and know that Minneapolis is not the be all and end all, but that doesn't mean that there is not a lot of amazingness and things to be proud of here. All that being said, I also am constantly irritated by the fakeness and snobbery too. I thought that's how it was everywhere! You learn something new every day I guess. 

trevorr77
trevorr77

@onan There is a very big difference between a good natured ribbing and and having a little fun at someone's expense and thinking you are better than someone. There is a LOT of the "we're better than you because you are from ___" in Minnesota which ALWAYS makes me laugh because as someone who'd lived in both places I can say with confidence that they THE SAME. Completely...and people in California think of people from WI and MN as the same thing and its not a good thing (if you can find one that even knows where either state is).

kennyX
kennyX

@rcoll23 That's funny that you mention that. There are still people in this country who think Minneapolis is in Canada.

Kyann
Kyann

@trevorr77 I grew up in Wisconsin and have lived in MN for almost 10 years. There are distinctions, but they have a lot in common. People from BOTH states will happily list the inadequacies of the other if asked. It's mostly good natured.

 Who cares what Californians think if they form opinions w/o giving the Midwest a chance. I enjoy life here.

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