Which City is Most Like the “Mini-Apple?”

Notwitstanding a local effort to brand Minneapolis as the “Mini-Apple,” I don’t see much resemblance between Minneapolis and “The Big Apple,” New York City (I’ve lived both places).

If I had to come up with a metro area most like the Twin Cities, it would be . . . Seattle.


–They’re both about the same size (Greater Seattle is about 3.35 million; the Twin Cities, just over 3.2 million);

–Both cities are known for their culture and specifically, their music scenes.

–They’re both what many people consider “weather-challenged” (the Twin Cities has perpetual winter; Seattle, perpetual gray).

–Both cities are politically progressive; the surrounding areas . . . less so (Michelle Bachmann hails from a northern Twin Cities suburb).

–Both cities are home to a cluster of Fortune 500-type companies (Seattle’s include Microsoft, Costco, Amazon.com, and Nordstrom; the Twin Cites, Target, 3M, Cargill, Medtronic, and General Mills); and a highly educated, white collar work force. According to Mpls – St. Paul Business Journal, Minneapolis and Seattle are tied as America’s “most literate city.”

Speaking of “white-collar” . . .

–Both cities and metro areas are predominantly white: out of the 40 largest metro areas, the core cities of Seattle and Minneapolis rank #2 and #5, respectively, in the percentage of white residents (though Minneapolis has surprisingly large Somali and Hmong communities).

Many of the parallels extend to the state-level.

Washington has the original “soccer mom” Senator, Patty Murray; Minnesota has soccer mom cum county attorney (and now Senator) Amy Klobuchar.

In fact, both states’ political leadership count a disproportionate number of women.

I know it’s heresy, but personally I’d trade Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes and the BWCA for the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade mountains.

P.S.: Local civic leaders apparently seem to think that Omaha is the Twin Cities’ closest doppelganger: every time a pro sports team threatens to leave, they warn that the Twin Cities will just be a “cold Omaha” if they let that happen.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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