| The Mississippi river, the river
of literature, folklore, commerce, jazz, and music, flows through
Minneapolis and St. Paul on its way to New Orleans. This great
American river begins its journey as a stream bed among the
towering red pines flowing out of Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota,
winding past farms and small towns, until it reaches Minneapolis
and St. Paul, as a major inland waterway. Ships travel the river
from the Twin Cities carrying agricultural goods, raw materials
and industrial products to the Gulf of Mexico. In the Twin Cities,
the river winds its way past the University of Minnesota, parks
and walkways, ethnic neighborhoods, thriving downtowns, theaters
and museums, for this is one of the most lively, thriving metropolitan
communities in the United States.
Over 136,000 acres have been set aside for parks in the metropolitan
area. In the evenings and on the weekends, parks are the meeting
places for whole neighborhoods. More than 500 lakes are in
the metro area, mostly in the public park system. Lush green
trees and grassy knolls border more than 100 miles of walking
paths, jogging and biking trails.
These are friendly cities, both cosmopolitan and warm to
newcomers. World renowned theater, distinguished music groups
like the Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra,
and sophisticated art galleries set the pace for many experimental
theaters, galleries and music groups.
Minneapolis was crowned "The Most Fun City in America"
by makers of Cranium,
Inc. The cities were ranked on their number of sports
teams, restaurants, dance performances, toy stores, and the
amount of city budget spent on recreations, among other factors.
Minneapolis, the survey shows, has more theaters than Boston,
more parks than Denver, more golfers per capita than any other
city in America, and with 10,000 lakes in the state, Minnesota
has more coastline than California, Florida, and Hawaii combined.
Citizens here have a strong sense of community. There are
more than 600 ethnic organizations operating in the state,
mainly in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Both cities have preserved
their historic neighborhoods, downtowns and quality of life
through rigorous community initiatives. Intent on preserving
city life at its best, both Minneapolis and St. Paul are known
for their personal warmth and dedication to their communities.
Thus, Minnesotans have developed and preserved one of the
most beautiful metropolitan areas in the country. The area
is known for the creative partnership between business, public
sectors, communities and citizens working to change and improve
the quality of life.