has written 1 SperlingViews. Currently, Kelsey is living in Minneapolis, MN and has a little something to say:
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Minnesotan Perspective on the Climate etc. Posted On: 1/2/2011 1:34:25 AM
I have lived here for over twenty years and I hope to give you a small description of Minnesota winters and summers with a short note about "Minnesota Nice."
1) It's true, Minnesota winters are not for everyone. They are dark, long, snowy, and deathly cold. It is usually too cold for rain December-February. A few things that help us get through: a handsome wool or leather coat (you don't have to look like a marshmallow to be warm!), a good pair of boots, and a beautiful white Christmas/Hanukkah/Winter Solstice/winter-holiday-of-choice every year. If you are worried about winter travel be aware that our snow removal professionals have had a lot of practice and are ready at a moment's notice. A snowstorm will slow down traffic, but the city is prepared to make travel relatively safe in a matter of hours. Only a truly remarkable storm will catch this city off guard. Keep an ice scraper/snow brush and a pair of gloves in your car during the winter just in case.
2) Minnesota summers are lovely. They are warm, sunny and rarely very hot or horribly humid. Many families (those who can afford it) spend summer weekends at a lake cabin. We do not get as many violent storms or tornados as other states like Kansas or Oklahoma. Additionally, the fall colors rival those of New England.
3) An unrelated, but important point: You may have heard the phrase "Minnesota Nice" and you may also have heard that Minnesotans are cold and unfriendly. To clarify, we are nice but often shy. The people of this state are still often influenced by the Scandinavians and Germans (generally a reserved bunch) who settled here in large numbers over the past century and a half. The stereotypical Minnesotan is slightly shy and definitely non-confrontational. Many families consider controversial issues such as politics and religion to be relatively taboo, especially with new friends, because of the possibility of confrontation. We will be polite (some call cold) and will not engage strangers in spontaneous conversations in most cases. If you start talking to us on the street about a random topic, we may consider that strange. Please understand that our less-than-super-friendly reaction has nothing to do with you as a person, you as an outsider (how could we tell?), or you as a minority in most cases. We are just shy. Please give us time and you will find us to be kind, loyal, and fun friends. I can see how this trait would lead to perceptions of "cold and unfriendly" if you are from the South or other areas where people are more outgoing. Disclaimer: the above stereotype does not apply to every citizen in this diverse area any many people do not act this way at all.
I hope this sheds some light on a few issues. If you visit, avoid January like the plague unless you are truly prepared for it and aim for May-September. If you live here, good luck and stay warm, my friends!