feels like home

Is there anything happier than walking around a lake in the middle of summer?  There is something wonderfully satisfying about knowing you can jump into the water and cool off at any time.

Perhaps, however, the walk is more beautiful in the fall?  You can proceed along as usual, except this time the trees are ablaze with dazzling colors of red, orange and gold.  Kick and crunch the leaves as you walk.

The falling leaves foretell the swirling snow, and, to be honest, I might just prefer the sparkling snowflakes to the varietal leaves.  A white blanket descends and makes everything feel overwhelming calm and peaceful.

And then, alas, what could be lovelier than the spring?  Bits of color return to the trees and the flowers slowly emerge from the snow.  A promise of summer hangs in the air and “the only problem is deciding where to be the happiest” – (Hemmingway).

This rhapsody is intended as an ode to Minneapolis, my favorite city in the world.  I’ve lived in 5 American and 3 international cities, and I’ve never come to call a place ‘home’ quite so quickly.  The seasons are stunning, the natural landscape beckons to be enjoyed (hiking, swimming, fishing, biking, etc) and the cultural milieu leaves little to be desired (Restaurants? Theater? Shopping? All here).

The best thing about Minneapolis, perhaps, is how it manages to make a cosmopolitan city feel like a charming small town.  I’m on a first-name basis with the local barista, the neighborhood grocer, and the apartment mailman.  What’s more, my best friends all live within walking distance.

A recent study shows that people truly feel more ‘at home’ in some cities based on their temperament, values, and lifestyle.  Which state(s) do you identify with?

Images from a place for art and Time Magazine.

25 thoughts on “feels like home

  1. That is such an interesting map, though I’m not sure I’d describe Michigan as particularly friendly! We spent a few days in Minneapolis on vacation about a year and a half ago–we definitely liked that area, as least for a visit! I love a good mix of big city and small town–that’s what my hometown in Malaysia feels like. There are high rise buildings everywhere and a decent bus system…but you know everybody!

  2. Great post! I’ve never lived outside of Minnesota but I’ve visited many other cities. The only other city I’ve been to that felt like home was Portland, Oregon. The climate and the mentality seemed pretty similar to Minneapolis and I think that is why I identified so strongly with Portland and its denizens. Minneapolis is great; a big city with a small town feel.

  3. This is marvelous. You’re probably already aware of my love for Minneapolis, but I SO agree, and I’m so glad you feel at home! I’ve noticed too that Minneapolis tends to be (in general) much cleaner than other cities…I’m not sure why that is, and this might be my slight OCD talking…I mean, the place isn’t necessarily run like Disney World where you’ve got somebody behind you picking up your trash. But there is something to be said about how people take care of Minneapolis that makes it so great. Rock on, neighbor. You should obviously do a few posts about your favorite Minneapolis hot spots. 🙂

    • haha, my favorite spots are the lakes and the bike trails – I feel like i’m always writing about them:) oooh.. and the dog parks 🙂 Maybe a brasa post? best BBQ of all time (you still need to go, right??)

  4. What a fun way to look at the US! I have only been to Minneapolis once but it was so easy to see why someone would absolutely adore living there. I feel like I would be very much at home in that fine city! I think Michigan, and the Midwest at large, definitely fits into the friendly camp. But it’s a friendliness tempered by a sort of no-fuss practicality that only long winters can produce. I love it!

    • the “no-fuss practicality” is essential for creating character and i couldn’t agree more – i almost want to revise the post and add something about how enduring winters together is a communal experience 🙂

  5. Your way with words is captivating. I found myself wanting more of your eloquent prose describing the seasons. The geographical elements of a locale certainly have an impact on your temperament, but ultimately it seems to all boil down to the people around you. Very nice post, makes me want to visit Minneapolis!

  6. Awww you make me wistful for Minneapolis! Oh how I miss you Uptown, Downtown and 4 lakes: Cedar, Isles, Calhoun and Harriet! What beautiful prose and illustrates perfectly the four seasons. I love how Minneapolis is filled with little hamlets and that you know your local grocer, mailman and neighbors. You should be the Minneapolis Ambassador, Jen!

    Dave, you and your family would LOVE it! 🙂

      • Haha that’s so true! I’m originally from Ohio (so I totally love the Midwest!) But now I’m in Virginia, and I’ve gotten used to the not-so-chilly winters 😉 That said, I LOVED Minneapolis so much when we were there over the summer. I just thought the people were so awesome!

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