where to live in minneapolis
June 18, 2011 4:43 PM   Subscribe

What's a good neighborhood in Minneapolis for post-college life in the Twin Cities?

I'm planning to move with a friend from Saint Paul to Minneapolis this fall. We've been exploring neighborhoods and have a fairly good sense of where young folks live, etc, but are having trouble figuring out where we'd be happiest. Some criteria:
- I'd like to find a nice apartment for us to split rather than rent a house or duplex. I loved having housemates over the past 1.5 yrs, but I like the idea of a more urban style of living -- preferably a pretty brownstone or warehousey building with hardwood.
- We are interested in good coffee shops and interesting restaurants, but don't need to be in a hipster epicenter with lots of crowded bars and art spaces etc. Bonus points for nice burritos, libraries, and grocery stores in the area.
- Commute accessibility -- I'll be working in Saint Paul along University and also working in downtown minneapolis, and my partner lives in Mac-Groveland. So, while we are definitely considering neighborhoods like Whittier, I'd rather not be spread too thinly across the entire metro area, as we will rely on bus transit. However, I like metro transit and could deal with a long daily commute if need be.

So far, we've thought about Whittier, Loring Park, and Powderhorn Park. I'd like to consider NE Minneapolis, as it's a great match for our commute needs, but find it hard to figure out where the best places are to live in the neighborhood.

Any and all input appreciated, thanks!
posted by elephantsvanish to Society & Culture (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I lived in the Stevens Square neighborhood (just south of downtown) after college and loved it. The apartments on the park have a very New York feel because they face a huge park. There's tons of food and drink options within walking distance, and it's a very central location for busing. You'd likely be able to walk downtown, depending on where you're working down there.

While some people might say that there are safety issues, I never had any issues (single female) in the 7 years I lived there. Parking can be difficult, especially during the winter, but it did make me an excellent parallel parker! :)
posted by elquien at 6:32 PM on June 18, 2011

I loved living in the Wedge neighborhood - that's the pie shaped area bounded by Hennepin to the west, Franklin to the south, Lyndale to the east, and Lake Street to the north. This neighborhood has easy access to the Greenway bike trail and plenty of Metro Transit routes. Lots of the apartments have hardwood floors and built-ins. Parking is pretty easy and you can access I94 from either Lyndale or Hennepin just north of Franklin. Nearby establishments include the Wedge Co-op and a handful of coffee shops to hang out in. Eat Street and Uptown are both within walking distance.

I also had a good time living near Northeast. I technically lived in Marcy-Holmes, but was walking distance from Surdyk's and Brasa. I liked that neighborhood because it was quiet and the rent was a little lower than you'd find the other side of Central. Again, there are plenty of old apartment buildings with cool woodwork.

Good luck!
posted by yogurtisgenocide at 6:57 PM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'll half-heartedly second Stevens Square. The bus access is really good, given that you can walk to downtown. To be honest, I think the neighbourhood's a bit dull, but I have a lot of trouble enjoying Minneapolis, so I'm apt to think pretty much any neighbourhood is a bit dull.

Without a car, grocery shopping options are a bit limited: the Wedge co-op (which is great, but expensive and doesn't always have what I want) and an Aldi are easily walkable (in opposite directions) or the 17 to Uptown for the Rainbow and/or Lunds. The Target downtown is walkable, which makes not having a car a lot less painful than it could be. Wood floors galore. I'm not sure that the buildings are technically brownstones, but probably are what you're thinking of. (Brick, three stories, mostly long and narrow (a handful are buildings terraced in odd shapes).) I don't think safety is a big issue/problem. (People really seem to like to badmouth Stevens Square citing safety for whatever reason. I suppose it's relative. Stevens Square is at least as safe as neighbourhoods I've lived in where no one would ever mention safety as a concern, but I'm sure Minneapolis has safer neighbourhoods.)

It probably beats Loring Park because the grocery shopping is easier (and rent is maybe cheaper?). It's closer to downtown than Whittier, but Whittier starts on the south side of Franklin, so it's roughly the same. Whittier is probably more interesting.

I know an awful lot of grad students who live in the blocks surrounding either Lyndale or Hennepin between Franklin and, say, 35th, whatever that tells you.
posted by hoyland at 7:26 PM on June 18, 2011

If you do move to Stevens (and I third it, having lived in four different places there over the years) I can't recommend any of the management companies except Stevens Community. My sister is currently fighting JAS about a pest problem and two other friends also had issues with them. I lived in two Stevens buildings and they were far and away better than the other two. I know someone who is still in one fo their buildings and is very happy with them.
posted by soelo at 8:31 PM on June 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

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