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Are Minnesota and Los Angeles similar?

Posted by on April 4, 2012

Often, when people find out I’m from Minnesota, their response is, “wow, that’s quite a change for you, isn’t it?”

The truth is, I never know how to respond to that because I don’t think it’s that big of a change.

So, here is my list as to why I think Minnesota and Los Angeles are similiar.  Of course, at the end, I’ll also write how they’re different 😉

1) Bodies of Water

While LA is surrounded by beautiful oceans, Minnesota has beautiful lakes.  People run to the water to hang out, to have fun, to grill, to water ski, to boat, etc.

2) Urban Sprawl:

Los Angeles is a city that keeps growing and sprawling out, but did you know that the Twin Cities is very much like this?  The center are Minneapolis and St. Paul, but all around the cities are both the Northern Suburbs and the Southern Suburbs that continues to build and sprawl.

3) People stick to their areas

If you live in Hollywood, you usually stay in and around there.  If you live near Long Beach, you usually hang out and chill around there.  It is very similar in MInnesota.  If you grew up in the Southern Suburbs, you hang out around there.  If you grew up in St. Paul, you are loyal to St. Paul, if Minneapolis has your heart, you don’t leave it, etc.

4) Traffic

Okay, yes, Minnesota has traffic too.  The only difference is we have less people, and less cars running around, but have you ever been stuck on the 494 during rush hour?  Trust me, you don’t want to be!  And of course, going into downtown on either 35W or 35E during Rush Hour reminds me of heading north onto the 110 into downtown Los Angeles, and lets not forget how the 405  is very much a reminder of my dear 494.

5) Bonfires

Everyone loves a good bonfire, and it’s no different wherever you live.  People in Los Angeles like to head out to the beach to have their bonfires where the people of Minnesota will light one up in their backyard and start cooking s’mores off of them, or will head to the park and have one there with a group of friends.  There’s been plenty of bonfire parties in my life.

6) Museums

The love of museums are in every city.  My favorites of Los Angeles include: The Getty, LACMA, MOCA, The Natural History Museum, and the Annenberg Space for Photography.

My love of museums in Minnesota include: The Science Museum, Minneapolis Outdoor Sculpture Garden, The Minnesota History Center in St. Paul, and The Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

7) The Theater

The theatre community is alive and running in Minneapolis.  A great theater community has been built, and there is a true love of the arts there.

There is also an amazing theater community in Los Angeles with some incredible theaters around town.  I love the Long Beach Performing Arts Center, The Santa Monica Playhouse, The Sierra Madre Playhouse, and a few others around town.  They’re everywhere!

I could continue on and on.  To me, it’s all in perspective.  If you go to a new place you look for the familiarity of the place you came from.  I found comfort in Los Angeles and looked to Minnesota to remind me.  It is there.

However, they have their differences too:

1) Weather

But of course, I knew that coming here.  I needed the sunshine, I had to get away from that snow! 😉 I just couldn’t handle the cold anymore.

2) The Seasons.

Los Angeles has seasons too: Really Hot, and then the Cloudy/Rainy Season 😉 Which, come to think about it, the rainy season consists of maybe 10 rainy days altogether, but when it rains here, we all notice 😉

Whereas I truly miss the warm days of Spring in Minnesota and the changing colors of the leaves come fall.

3) Backyards

Since I live in Los Angeles, and there’s so many people everywhere, the lack of backyards, the lack of green is really noticeable to me.  People do have tiny areas, and small backyards, but not the huge backyards that I have come to know.

Perhaps this is more seen in the Inland Empire or in the OC. 😉

4) The Cost of Living 😉 

I had to put this one in here. 😉 The cost of gasoline is about 20 cents higher per gallon.  I could get a 2 bedroom apartment for the price of 900 dollars a month in Minnesota, where as here, it goes for nearly 1300 to 1500 a month.  😉

However, people can still make it work if they downsize, and keep looking until they find an apartment they’re getting a great deal on.

5) What People Eat

There’s a different style of cooking out here.  Of course, alls I know is my own style, so I don’t notice it all the time, but the first time I did was when I attended a cooking class last November.  And I heard of the conversation around yams.  And it began to open my eyes.

And I’m sure there’s a ton more, but for me, I always look towards the positives and look for the similarities more than the differences.  I hope you enjoyed this fun read.

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