When Jon Stewart and The Daily Show were in town earlier this month for the Republican National Convention, he gave a speech that captured more Minnesotans' attention than all of the convention keynote speakers combined. His now locally infamous "St. Paul is so much better than Minneapolis" comment sure got people talking. But if he thinks he's singlehandedly ended this area's greatest debate, he'd better think again. Minneapolis and St. Paul might be geographically located right next to each other, and they might carry the joint moniker, "The Twin Cities," but according to the people who live here, these two metropolis's couldn't be more different.
What exactly are the differences between Minneapolis and St. Paul, you might ask? Well, for starters, with approximately 377,000 inhabitants, Minneapolis is the larger of the two by nearly 100,000 Minnesotans. St. Paul strikes back by claiming the prestigious title of state capitol. Minneapolis is mostly situated on the west bank of the Mississippi River, while St. Paul occupies the area to the east. In addition, these supposed twins give off two very different vibes. Minneapolis feels urban, trendy and youthful, while St. Paul has more established and distinguished airs. An outcropping of new boutique hotels such as Chambers and Hotel Ivy, as well as funky, see-and-be-seen restaurants such as Chino Latino add to Minneapolis' allure. In contrast, St. Paul plays home to old classics such as The St. Paul Hotel and W.A. Frost & Company; old classics that never go out of style. Finally, these two neighbors even have competing newspapers: The Star Tribune for Minneapolis and the St. Paul Pioneer Press for, you guessed it, St. Paul.
Of course, the friendly competition that exists between the citizens of our two fair cities is just that: friendly. Truth be told, St. Paulites enjoy heading to Minneapolis for funky night on the town, and Minneapolitans have been known to venture across the river to experience a little high-society entertainment. We think both of our cities are pretty cool, but we're more than ready to defend our favorite. When there are two major cities in such close proximity and with such different personalities, it's impossible not to take sides. Despite what some people might think, Jon Stewart didn't end the "who's better" debate. If anything, he just added fuel to the fire.