Only a Minneapolis native — one who’s actually lived in Manhattan — could write the following post.
But I’m sure my sentiments are not unique.
For all of New York’s eye-popping glitz, it actually falls short of Minneapolis in many ways, particularly the ones that count most.
With the possible exception of Central Park, New York offers up its manifold prizes to the highest bidder: the biggest and nicest co-op’s, the best private schools, seats at the most sought-after sporting events, restaurants, and plays.
You could argue that this principle applies to many other choices there, too — like marriage partners and elective office(s) such as NY Mayor — just purchased, er, won, by multi-billionaire incumbent Michael Bloomberg.
By contrast, Minneapolis may not be a perfectly egalitarian community — I doubt I’d want to live in one — but there’s no denying that the ethos here is much more public-spirited.
Rejecting “The Auction Society”
I’m reminded of that every time I take my dog to one of Minneapolis’ world-class dog parks.
Only Minneapolis would take a choice, almost 2 acre parcel at the south end of Lake of the Isles — a spot with stunning skyline and lake views — and literally give it over to the dogs.
Ditto for the off-leash dog park just south of Minnehaha Falls, a 4.3 acre parcel that leads to about a half-mile stretch of Mississippi River beachfront (itself located within the gorgeous, 193 acre Minnehaha Park).
In New York, these choice pieces of land would be auctioned off to the highest bidder, then enjoyed by, at most, a handful of people.
In Minneapolis, they belong to everyone — and their dogs.
Parking Meter Karma
P.S.: One more NY vs. Minneapolis comparison: in NY, when you hold the elevator for someone . . . you’re guaranteed to be ignored (I actually tested this when I was there; results: two “thank you’s” in over 100 “door saves”).
In Minneapolis, when you show up at the Minnehaha dog park, you’re likely to find 30-60 minutes left on the meter (I’ve had this happen way too many times for it to be a coincidence). If you believe in good karma — and I do — the right thing to do is add an hour for the next person.