I can also easily think of some reasons why St. Paul might be the most livable city in America. I love my new West Coast life, but there are some things that I truly and heartily miss about good old St. Paul.
There must be hundreds of parks (big and small) scattered around the area. One of my favorite places to hang out was Como Park--walking trails, a beautiful conservatory, mini golf, barbecue pits, and a free zoo...all in one place. I spent many an afternoon watching the spider monkeys in the zoo!
Central Park was another great place to go for an afternoon or evening walk or run...although it still bothers me that it is kind of a poser.
2. Grand Avenue
This adorable stretch of street, lined with trees, is full of character. It's both urban-chic and small-town charming. There's all kinds of places to eat--little nooks, ethnic restaurants, coffeshops, ice cream parlors...and then there's the boutique shopping. It is indeed, a grand place to spend the day!
3. The Winter Carnival
I'm not sure how long this thing has been around, but I think it's a pretty old festivity. It's totally worth it to brave Minnesota's famous sub-zero temps and horizontal, icy winds. There are snow sculptures, ice sculptures, and a wonder-of-wonders entire palace made of ice and lit up in all sorts of colors. It's breathtaking and makes you feel like you're in another world, like Narnia.
Some quality people have come out of St. Paul. F. Scott Fitzgerald, only one of the greatest authors of the 20th century was born in St. Paul. Garrison Keillor--Prairie Home Companion anyone? Charles M. Schulz of Peanuts grew up in St. Paul.
So there you have it. St. Paul. Soon to be followed by her not-so-twin sister, Minneapolis!