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.