How Much Money Do You Need to be Middle Class in Minneapolis?

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Horacio Villalobos via Wikipedia
Nearly half of America still identifies as middle class, according to the Pew Research Center.

Despite the financial beat down that wiped out the spending power of millions of Americans, nearly half of the country still identifies itself as middle class, according to the Pew Research Center.

But what kind of money are we talking?

See also:
Minnesota's economic recovery driven by McJobs, not middle-class jobs


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Downtown Minneapolis Is America's Best -- Almost

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Andrew Ciscel via Wikipedia
Minneapolis's urban center takes a backseat to no one -- except Pittsburgh -- in a recent national ranking.

Walkability. An array of entertainment options. Light rail. Parks and gardens.

These were just a few of the things that put Minneapolis in rarefied air in a recent ranking of the best downtowns in America.

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Trader Joe's Coming to Downtown Minneapolis

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Excelsior & Grand: Luxury for the Boring Suburbanite

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Excelsior & Grand Facebook
Taking Better Know a Luxury Apartment Building out to the suburbs
St. Louis Park's Excelsior & Grand development stands out as a trailblazing model of suburban downtown revitalization, much like The Nic on Fifth is the godfather of downtown luxury apartment buildings.

It was built more than a decade ago after years of studies, rezoning, and painstaking planning that has to irritate the hell out of everyone involved in these ambitious municipal redevelopment projects. By all accounts it was a success, turning a rundown row of sad commercial buildings into a mostly full mixed-use development other first-ring suburbs are actively trying to copy.

See also:
Velo: The Apartment for Hipster Bikers So Cool They're Practically French


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Velo: The Apartment for Hipster Bikers So Cool They're Practically French

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Velo Facebook
An urbanist bike hipster's paradise
In this installment of Better Know a Luxury Apartment Building, we take a look at Velo, which literally means "bike" in French.

The six-story building sits in a weird sort of no-man's land, neighborhood-wise. It's on the fringe of both downtown and the North Loop, and it's just far enough away from the Mississippi not be considered waterfront. Its marketing materials all boldly proclaim it's in the North Loop, because the North Loop is where all the cool kids are at these days.

See also:
Better Know a Luxury Apartment Building: The Walkway

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Comcast Is Terrible, Part 5,467

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Wikipedia Commons
Another surreal journey through Comcast's epic corporate ineptitude
At this point, most Comcast customers have at least one horror story about dealing with unexpected billing charges, incompetent (or worse) customer service, or spotty connection speeds. Bitching about Comcast has almost become like sharing stories about awful first dates or run-ins with the police: Once the topic is brought up everyone has a tale to tell.

You may remember the last bit of surreal Comcast customer service that went viral, when a man who simply called to cancel his service ended up going on a long, desperate journey in customer retention tactics. Now a new recording surfaced on YouTube over the holidays that may top that.

See also:
Al Franken, Amy Klobuchar Not Thrilled About Prospect of Comcast-Time Warner Merger


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The Godfather of the New Downtown Luxury Apartment Buildings: The Nic on 5th

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Nic on 5th Facebook
The first of the new downtown luxury apartment towers
The Nic on 5th is the godfather of the new generation of fancy downtown luxury apartment towers. When its plans were originally announced back in 2012, it was the first high-rise rental building planned for downtown in nearly three decades. Now we can't go six weeks without a new high-end skyscraper rendering being published.

Sitting in what might be, geographically speaking, the exact center of downtown Minneapolis, it was built for people who either never leave downtown or want their own place to crash when visiting from the suburbs or out-of-state.

See also:
Better Know A Luxury Apartment Building: The Walkway


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Better Know a Luxury Apartment Building: The Walkway

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file photo
The Walkway in Uptown

Welcome to the inaugural edition of "Better Know a Luxury Apartment Building," a semi-regular series taking a deeper look at the new upscale developments popping up around the Twin Cities.

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Uptown Hot Tub Attract Schadenfreude


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Minneapolis Moves to Ban E-Cigarettes in Public Buildings

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file photo
E-cigarettes will soon be regulated just like regular tobacco in Minneapolis

By the end of the year it looks like there will be no more vaping allowed in any public buildings in Minneapolis.

Yesterday a City Council committee unanimously passed a measure that would extend the state's 2007 Freedom to Breathe Act to e-cigarettes. The new ordinance would treat e-cigarette smoke exactly like cigarette smoke.

See also:
E-Cigarettes Now More Popular Than Cigarettes Among MN Teens

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Take Your Pet Obsession to the Next Level with PetChatz

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PetChatz

A startup in Burnsville created a new way to obsess over your beloved pets.

Anser Innovation spent the last three years developing PetChatz, a device that allows pet owners to basically set up a Skype session with their pets, with the added bonus of being able to dispense treats and smells (yes, really) via web app.

The first batch of PetChatz, which retails for $349, ships out on Monday.

See also:
3 Tips For Internet Cat Video Stardom

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Minneapolis Has More "Sugar Daddies" Than New York or L.A.

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SeekingArrangement.com
Not only is the stigma surrounding online dating going away, but apparently so is the stigma involving "sugar daddies" -- that is, older men who date younger women they've met online with full knowledge the gals wouldn't be interested if they didn't have money and weren't willing to spend it on them.

According to the not-exactly-unbiased SeekingArrangement.com, the world's largest sugar daddy dating website, the number of men on the site has nearly tripled in the last year, and surprise! One of the hotspots for sugar daddies is Minneapolis, where 6.33 men per 1,000 are on the site and looking for their very own "sugar babies."

See also:
Apple Valley, Minnetonka are Twin Cities hotbeds for cheating spouses


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