Keeping our Footing

Regarding that article in the NYTimes about Minneapolis nightlife – yes, there is truth, but it is universal truth about young people finding love. Those true aspects are the same everywhere.

The placement of it in Minneapolis, with the suggestion that an accurate flavor is being presented, is the false part.

The frequent lists – with the Twin Cities faring well in a variety  of metrics – provide some context for this piece.

I’ve compiled a few of my favorite things about the Twin Cities as well. We all could do favorite lists with their own, unique aspects (and probably several shared attributes).

The fact is, there is a superiority-tone to the piece that is regrettable and unnecessary. If we’re all skating around a lovely outdoor pond in winter, it’s like someone coming through doing the whip, skates flying.

The article describes a set of people, and uses their words to look down on the particular neighborhood of Uptown, as well as ‘the sticks’, the suburbs, and downtown. That about covers everything, job well done! Just kidding.

As I mentioned, much complexity and nuance was left out. And it’s true – the piece wasn’t about all those other subjects. But the tone contained a certain dismissiveness.

And sure, if it is necessary to compare us (sometimes called ‘the Little Apple’, due to our extensive theater scene and other attributes) to New York, we are less. Absolutely agreed. There are reasons for that, and it’s just a basic structural fact.  The same is true of most other cities and towns around the world,  compared to New York.

I have been to the town in Germany that some of my ancestors lived in for centuries. People there lived their everyday, common lives within their own perspectives and were better/worse/ the same as everyone else.

I’ve been to Ireland – all of which I claim as home, since we don’t have as much family history about details there. I’ve stood at the Cliffs of Moher looking east – next stop New York! I’ve imagined my way into all those who left those places and elsewhere to come to New York for a better life. I revere New York for many reasons, there is no other place like it in the world.

But all of our other places, they’re all pretty ok. We read articles like this one, stop what we’re doing, review and consider. Learning involves adding new information to what is already known. We question – is this new information? Is there something important here, that needs to be incorporated? We converse, muse it over, share some thoughts.

Then we’ll go back to what we were doing, each our own fascinations and involvements. We regain our footing, skating stronger and faster than before. New York is still sacred and precious, and we’re all still our own simply complicated unique selves.

One of my favorite phrases – which is really corny, and I don’t care – is one that Casey Kasem used to always say during his Top 40 countdowns: Keep Your Feet on the Ground, and Keep Reaching for the Stars!

We do well at both of those struggles here, and I call us good.



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4 responses to “Keeping our Footing

  1. Pingback: Strength & Vibrancy of Twin Cities | Clarity Solutions

  2. Pingback: Reality | Clarity Solutions

  3. bbeaty

    I may be an Old, and a life-time Minnesotan, and a small town girl. And an introvert for that matter. But more and more I am convinced that Nice and Normal and Ordinary are pretty awesome things. Life in “fly-over land” is rich and complex and fulfilling.

    Sometimes “Minnesota Nice” isn’t code for passive-aggressive or cold shoulder. Sometimes is it just, you know, Nice. Polite. Pleasant. I heard two people talking about it on the radio; one was a Minnesotan, one was from Louisiana. They agreed that Minnesota Nice means we will gladly spend a weekend helping you move, but we probably won’t invite you into our homes until we’ve known you for six years. Personally, I am okay with that.

  4. Thanks much for commenting, Beth! Yes, I agree, good things take time, and the ordinary tapestries of life are precious.

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