Thursday, January 15, 2009

Is Uptown Overrated?

Another theme that seems to frequently come up while reading online discussions elsewhere is the idea that Uptown is somehow "overrated." Unfortunately the discussions never come with a measuring stick. Overrated as what? As a place to live? As a place to visit on a Saturday afternoon? For a single 20-something looking for an interesting bar scene? As a place to raise a family?

Is Uptown over-hyped and overrated? Over-hyped, yes, but overrated, no. It's a great neighborhood, but it is too often expected to be too many things to too many people. I think ultimately as Uptown residents we should be most concerned about it being a safe, livable , diverse, neighborhood. There are things that I don't like (and no, I don't like chain stores either, but they can serve a need and a purpose) and would change if I could, but overall I think Uptown is a great area with a lot to offer both residents and visitors.

We don't need a "cool" or "trendy" neighborhood that attracts people from around the Twin Cities. That matters mostly only to support our local businesses that may otherwise not be able or willing to locate here. I want a walkable, livable, safe area that offers me and my family everything we need to subsist. A mini-city, if you will. Other cities have plenty of these - perhaps its only because the Twin Cities lack so many traditionally urban (in the best and most complete sense) neighborhoods that everyone places such high expectations on Uptown.

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