Where to live and what to do in Minneapolis?
March 29, 2007 11:34 AM   Subscribe

I need a place to live in Minneapolis this summer. Help me find a place and stuff to do.

I'm a 20 year old college Junior currently living and studying at the Univeristy of Michigan. I got an internship in Eagon, Minnesota for the summer with Thomson West. They can help me get housing out in Eagon, but I've never lived in a city before, so I was hoping to live in Minneapolis and commute in.

I'm trying Craigslist to find a place to live with out much luck. I've heard that Uptown and Dinkytown are decent places to live, and thats where I'm concentrating my search. Any other ideas as to where to look for subleasers? I'm going to need a place from May (anytime before the 14th) to August.

Any help on where to look for housing and any suggestions on what to do while I'm in Minneapolis all summer would be greatly appreciated.
posted by Quazie to Travel & Transportation around Minneapolis, MN (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's Eagan! E(a)gon is the nerdy Ghostbuster.

Uptown/Dinkytown are the hip places to live; Uptown is where Josh Hartnett hangs out (at the Bryant Lake Bowl) when he's in town; Dinkytown is by the U. Both are pretty gross places to commute to Eagan from, but suit yourself. Dinkytown is adjacent to and runs into the Marcy/Holmes neighborhood, so look for that name too.
posted by norm at 11:49 AM on March 29, 2007

Eagan is a suburb to the South-- you would be commuting *out* and you will definitely want a car to get out there on a regular basis.

Dinkytown is near the Univ of MN, so that might be more similar to how you live now. Uptown area is going to be better for public transportation, coolness. If you look at a map, Lake Street is the main east-west street of S. Mpls. As you head East from Uptown, neighborhoods between Lyndale Ave and Hiawatha Ave (Hwy 55) are somewhat more sketchy. I live about 6 blocks from the Mississippi in Longfellow neighborhood & it's excellent. Seward neighborhood is also good.

Don't think you will have any trouble finding stuff to do! City Pages is the major "alternative" free weekly. Great radio from The Current, KFAI, and Radio K. I've yet to be bored living here. What sorts of things do you like to do in general?
posted by omnidrew at 12:03 PM on March 29, 2007

Response by poster: Clarification:

I'm going to be using public transport to get out to Eagan. If this sounds too crazy let me know.
posted by Quazie at 12:11 PM on March 29, 2007

See above.

Short answer = yes, that is crazy. Check the Metro Transit website for schedule details.
posted by omnidrew at 12:22 PM on March 29, 2007

Yep... it would probably take about 90 minutes (and two bus transfers) to get from anywhere civilized to Eagan.

(Kidding about the civilization thing. Mostly.)
posted by Luciferous at 12:26 PM on March 29, 2007

You need more specific info, really:
Don't live in Dinkytown because during the summer, it's udead there. Since you're commuting, you'll want to live either in a part of Uptown that has easy access to I94/35W OR on Loring Park (which I recommend), just north of Uptown.

If you choose an uptown apt. make sure you live near Lake St. & Lyndale or Franklin & Lyndale. Either of these points would give you fast access to the highway. People in Uptown are generally clumsy drivers and the local streets can be frustrating if you're in a hurry.

I would recommend Loring Park because it has immediate access to 35, 94, and 394; it's beautiful; there are always events going on in the park during the summer (free monday concerts and movies, art fairs, etc). Also, the farmers market is within walking distance.
posted by mammary16 at 12:28 PM on March 29, 2007

If you do end up in Loring Park, be aware that the parking situation is horrendous. But maybe you won't even have a car here, I can't quite tell. Dinkytown will be full of people your age (almost exclusively college aged), while uptown skews slightly older (20-30, I'd say).

Tell us what kind of stuff you normally like to do, and we'll be able to give better suggestions about what to do while you're here. Welcome to Minneapolis (a little early)!
posted by vytae at 3:27 PM on March 29, 2007

It will take some careful planning as to where to live for a public transit commute to be doable. Luckily there are express buses from Uptown Transit Station to Eagan Transit Station. They probably run mostly during rush hours though. Also, Eagan buses are Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, while Minneapolis ones are Metro Transit, meaning you might have to pay two bus fares. And MVTA is more centered around people driving from their houses in the burbs to a park and ride, then taking the bus into town. Not so much for getting around in the burbs or commuting there. So unless your work is near a bus stop, you might have trouble actually getting there.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 3:44 PM on March 29, 2007

What, no love for St. Paul? Thompson-West's office in Eagan is east of 35E on Dodd Road.That makes a St. Paul commute quite a bit easier and shorter than coming from Minneapolis.

Personally in your situation, I'd be looking at housing in St. Paul around St. Thomas or St. Cate's. They're both nice neighborhoods and student friendly, plus it's an easy shot down 55 (which turns into Dodd Rd.) to Thomson-West.

Saint this, saint that...
posted by nathan_teske at 3:44 PM on March 29, 2007

If you bring a bike it might be possible. You can't bring it on the MVTA bus though, but you can park it at the Eagan Transit Station.
posted by gauchodaspampas at 3:47 PM on March 29, 2007

I second omnidrew. You need to have your bus routes picked out before deciding where to live. The Metro Transit site is great for that.

Eagan is a nice place but it is definitely suburban. I found living there much more peaceful and pleasant than living in Dinkytown but your experience may be different. Good luck!
posted by beandip at 3:48 PM on March 29, 2007

Errr... "turns into Dodd rd." should be "is right off Dodd Rd."
posted by nathan_teske at 3:49 PM on March 29, 2007

You want a car to go to Eagan, because unless you want to live in Eagan (which you don't, unless you really have a thing for lamish suburbs), the public transport commute will be a bitch.

I'd say you want to live in Uptown, close to the lakes. I used to live right next to Lake Calhoun on Excelsior, and it was fantastic (I really really miss it). I knew people who lived on Bryant Ave, right close to Bryant Lake bowl, and that was great, too.

Uptown has lots of cool bars (with incredible happy hour specials), restaurants, and indy stores to entertain yourself with, and the lakes are close by if you want some pretty water to look at.

I second omnidrew's suggestions for newspaper and radio. I still haven't found a free newspaper I've enjoyed as much as I enjoyed the City Pages (suck it, Village Voice!), and those radio stations he listed are really great, too.
posted by jeffxl at 3:58 PM on March 29, 2007

I work at Thomson. The car commute from Minneapolis is not that bad if you have some control over your schedule. Typically I have a 25-30 minute commute from the Minneapolis area.

If you're doing public transportation, well, sorry. MVTA has a pretty limited schedule. There are only two buses servicing Thomson. If you can find someone to carpool with, that may be the best way to go.

Also, Thomson has bike racks, although you're taking your life into your own hands if you bike in Eagan.

(Feel free to send me an email if you want.)
posted by mrbula at 4:00 PM on March 29, 2007


I'm going to be using public transport to get out to Eagan.

Clarification: No, you're probably not. Public transport will not cooperate with you on this. You will be miserable. Get an old beater or something if you have to.

There are apartment complexes in the Eagan/Mendota Heights area not too, too far away, if you want to bike.

If you want a relatively short commute, St Paul/Highland Park, Richfield, Bloomington, airport area of Minneapolis, there are lots of areas not very far away. They'd all be reverse commutes, too, driving outbound in the morning and back in in the evening. Not sure how comfortable biking is over the big bridges in the area, though, although I'm sure it's scenic.

If Thomson is willing to find you housing in Eagan, that might be the path of least resistance.
posted by gimonca at 4:31 PM on March 29, 2007

Actually, West is fairly easy to get to with public transportation. Eagan has a large-ish hub and West has a specific line. Definitely do-able.

Lots to do in the Twin Cities.
posted by unixrat at 5:51 PM on March 29, 2007

The trip planner at Metro Transit has says that you'd leave Hennepin and Lake just after 7:00 a.m., change from the bus to LRT at Hiawatha, then change to bus 436 at 46th Street, arriving roughly in the Thomson West area after 1 hour 5 minutes.

Going back, you could take bus 445, but it's a full hour to get from Thomson West just to Mall of America, and they only run three of those in the evening, the last one at 4:58. After that, you'd have to walk across Dodd Rd to the Eagan Y. Trip planner sez two full hours plus back along this route (that appears to include a Mall of America layover).

Bus 436 (the one that links with Light Rail) only runs 3-4 times a day. If you're not at the 46th+Hiawatha station by 7:45 a.m., you're screwed. If you miss the last bus back into the city at 6:13 p.m., you're screwed. You'd still have some options open to take the 445, but that's going to add another hour to your commute.

Note that if you could find an apartment in the vicinity of 46th and Hiawatha, that'd be just one bus to take (still, one that only runs 3 times in the morning).
posted by gimonca at 8:30 PM on March 29, 2007

I <3 the city pages. br>
You're looking at a hell of a commute by bus from anywhere to eagen; I'd suggest riding a bike, buying some good fenders, and riding every day. Of course, that's coming from the perspective of a bike geek.

Again, there are all sorts of things to do in Minneapolis, but it depends somewhat on your interests. What do you like to do?
posted by craven_morhead at 6:17 AM on March 30, 2007

Lots of good advice above on the living situation (me, I'd try the southern parts of St. Paul or the airport area of Mpls, but other people make good cases for other parts of town); so let's address the what-to-do side. What are your interests?
posted by COBRA! at 7:31 AM on March 30, 2007

Get your Purple Groove on!
posted by philad at 5:48 PM on March 30, 2007

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