East metro beat: As peeves go, endless lists rank in Top 10

  • Article by: Jim Anderson
  • Star Tribune
  • November 28, 2013 - 5:22 PM


OK, I’m confused.

According to Forbes, there are no cities in Minnesota in its Top 10 that rank in Best to Raise a Family. But hold on, according to, Minneapolis is No. 8 in its Top 10 Cities for Families. Oooh-rah! Vindication!

Not so fast. has Rochester at No. 7 and St. Paul at No. 67 in its Best Place to Live rankings, but Bloomberg/Business Week ranks St. Paul No. 10 and Minneapolis No. 12 on its America’s 50 Best Cities list. Sorry, Rochester. But before the Twin Cities get too smug, Rochester bounces back at No. 77 on the list of Top 100 Cities in America, the state’s only representative. And no Minnesota cities make Kiplinger’s Top 10 Places to Live, or Travel & Leisure magazine’s listing of America’s Favorite Towns.

Are you vexed, too? Maybe that’s why the Twin Cities are No. 11 on the Daily Beast’s listing of 25 Drunkest Cities in America. Or if it makes you want to pull your hair out, take solace in the online dating site, which has Minneapolis ranked No. 4 in its ranking of Top Cities Where Bald Mid-Life Men Lure the Ladies. Seriously.

The lists truly do go on and on. Conflicting, confusing and, ultimately, pointless. Last week, we learned St. Paul’s Lowertown district, according to RealtyTrac, is the nation’s top hipster destination. (But no Minnesota towns are on’s Top 10 Cities for Hippies. Bummer.)

One fragment of validity to these lists: We always, always lose points over our climate, now growing bleaker by the day. But there is no reason to feel insecure or slighted in all this.

The fact is, we don’t need the false assurance of disinterested, self-appointed experts to tell us how we’re doing or what’s good or not so good about where we live. We — and they, wherever they are — find our own value, hopefully, wherever we live and how we choose to make our lives fulfilling. And, admittedly, no sane person would consciously choose to live in Minnesota in January.

Which is likely why my forebears came here 150 years ago. Or maybe they were hipsters.

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