Why We're Here: Twin Cities

With all the possibilities around the world, what is the “it” that keeps people here in the Twin Cities? We suspected the answer to the question “Why We’re Here” was both simple and incredibly nuanced — worthy of art. We took our camera to the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul to find people willing to talk, unscripted, on film. The result is our collective love poem to the Twin Cities.

We could have approached local celebrities, but we were more interested in talking to regular Twin Citians, people like us. In the spring and summer of 2010, we brought our camera to four locations – the Stone Arch Bridge, the St. Paul Farmers’ Market, Loring Park and the Cabooze/Whiskey Junction – to hear what they had to say. John Munson of the New Standards, the Twilight Hours, Semisonic and Trip Shakespeare agreed to create an original score. We’re happy he did. We hope you are too. Adam Olson and Sam Heyn contributed their considerable camerawork and editing talents, respectively.

Now, tell us why you’re here in the Twin Cities … or living wherever you are? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

Produced in association with the Minnesota Culture Club.

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145 Comments

SallyAugust 17, 2011 at 11:04 AM

This was beautiful! It actually made me cry and stirred this feeling of love I have for these Cities to which I am also a transplant but now call home.

ToniMay 17, 2011 at 10:43 AM

Fantastic, captivating and beautiful short about the Twin Cities! Three years ago I moved to Minneapolis and at last uncovered my long ago stifled passion for writing. The creative energy of the cities brought me back to life; wonderful job capturing the energy of our community. Kudos to the talent and minds behind this film.

PhilipMarch 28, 2011 at 1:01 AM

Loved this video.

Growing up as a military brat I moved around the country quite a bit seeing great places and no so great places. When my family first moved to Minnesota in 2006 I will admit I was skeptical but being in the military now and currently living in the Seattle area I can honestly say that nothing beats Minnesota and the Twin Cities area. Awesome quality of life, great people, tons to see and do, what more can you really ask for?

Coming home feels great, leaving doesn't. Only a little bit longer and I'll be back, this time to stay.

psmFebruary 20, 2011 at 11:27 AM

Lovely video. We are here because of the livability, progressive thinking, recreation, and medical resources. And our cabin Up North, the amazing state parks, the biking--Midtown Greenway, rich immigrant cultures--Scandinavian, Somali, Hispanic, African American. For everything. Even the snow.
Thank you for reminding us in the depth of winter.

ChristinaFebruary 19, 2011 at 4:27 PM

We've got world-class orchestra, opera, theater, museums, basketball, football, soccer, baseball, hockey, women's basketball, walking paths, biking paths... parks, lakes, rivers, and wildlife like you wouldn't believe. We have farmers' markets and thriving co-ops, major public and private universities, great health care, and a wide variety of business sectors. We're not too big and not too small. It's easy to get away to the biggest freshwater lake on the continent, or delve deep into wild woods, and we've got more shoreline than any other state. Trips up north to the cabin are practically a birthright here.

Linda BarnesFebruary 17, 2011 at 5:52 PM

Wonderful reflection of our Twin Cities! We are second to New York in arts and entertainment.
Our bike pathways run hundreds of miles. You must be a lake lover to live here, however. With
over 15,000 lakes (yes, over 10,000) we have more boat owners than Hawaii, California and Florida
combined. We are so fortunate to have all four seasons and I welcome them all.

RodFebruary 16, 2011 at 12:28 AM

Beautiful film, guys! I'm a SD transplant that lived in the Cities for 8 years, and I've missed it so much since I moved to Los Angeles 2 years ago. This short perfectly captured the duality and heartfelt sense of "home" that I think residents have, and that absolutely lingers with me now that I'm gone. Gorgeous camera work, fantastic music, and a great selection of diverse interviewees. Beautiful.

Kathy WilliamsFebruary 12, 2011 at 9:22 AM

This state has become home to me. I left Illinois when I was 18 and moved up here with my husband. He was 19. It took awhile to adjust to this state ,it was a faster paced life style up here and I thought the people talked so fast and always had things to do. The one thing I did notice right away was how clean the state was and how fresh the state smelled. Looking back now, I am reminded of those qualities whenever I have family coming up for a visit. I've been here going on 33 yrs. I've build a life here with family and friends. Many memories of family members who are no longer here envelop this state. I find it so comforting.There's been alot of living and sadly alot of dying in this state but my heart and soul is deeply entrenched here. I can't imagine a life anywhere else. I am home. This is my home. My life is here and all that it entails is here.

ChrisFebruary 11, 2011 at 10:19 PM

It sounds like you have a movie to make Caroline!

ChrisFebruary 11, 2011 at 10:16 PM

I just wanted to tell you i really liked your little film. It makes me feel good. I have watched it about 5 times over the last three days. It is so nice to hear and see people appreciate a place that i have grown to love so much! I liked how you said that your film is like a poem. I felt that too :)

CarlFebruary 11, 2011 at 7:37 PM

The South Dakota contingency approves of the prairie people portrayed in this film and Mary McGreevy is probably one of the most important new producers in the United States.

RyanFebruary 11, 2011 at 5:10 PM

Short and sweet. The people were all down to earth and represented the twin cities very well. Lived in the twin cities my whole life = 28 years. Good video!

Marilyn BurkeFebruary 11, 2011 at 2:49 PM

I love to travel and would love to visit Minnesota. My current boss used to live there and she love it,always talk about it.
I guess the cold weather would not bother me because I lived in New York for more than 30 years.
!! See you soon !!

CarolineFebruary 10, 2011 at 2:09 PM

I wish there had been people of more different ages. Almost all were young. How about more middle agers and elders?
I would have liked views of our famed lakes, not just zooming in and out of lights downtown. Mississippi River, Minnehaha Creek, various parks--we have so many--why not brag about them? There's a lot of education here too, in addition to culture, with several community colleges, colleges, and the University of Minnesota. You can hear cows mooing at the St. Paul campus, see (and hear, if you are lucky) wolves at the zoo and within minutes be at a top-rate art museum or orchestra or opera or jazz club. So much to do, so little time, as they say.

claireFebruary 10, 2011 at 12:53 PM

Born and raised. Hi, I'm Claire, 51, have left, seen the mountains, seen NY, etc. I've always known, even though the skiing might be better somewhere, or this or that. The Twin Cities is home. There is nothing that isn't here. And we're not massive, however a major player around the world. This film was wonderful. From production, to night, to day, to the river, parks, you did it. This was so well done. I wish you much success in the future. Hope you don't mind, emailed to: www.ellen@universalstudios.com. Who knows.... thank you.

AndyFebruary 10, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Beautiful, sweet, simple. Very nice job. "Love poem" indeed. Thanks.

I was born here, lived in St. Louis Park and Golden Valley until college, and then lived and travelled all over the United States. Have been to Europe and the Middle East. There are lots of amazing and beautiful places in the world. But I moved back to Minneapolis about 15 years ago, and it was absolutely wonderful to be home again. I now live about a mile from the house where I mostly grew up, in Golden Valley. And the amazing thing is I've discovered that most of the people in my neighborhood have also either moved back or never left, and some are even in the same house they grew up in. Like the woman said, it pulls you back. And it's a great place to raise kids.

This really is a beautiful place, in all the ways the people pointed out in the video, but also because it has a "hardiness", in all the seasons. When I lived in the South, I always felt the soil, the animals and, of course, the Winter were all somehow weaker, more anemic. Here everything is more robust and full of life, probably because it takes more to survive our Winters. But there is a quiet strength here, and it complements the beauty, and it's a different kind of strength than the ocean or the mountains or the desert. Thanks for making me think about it, and appreciate it all over again.

Beth HarringtonFebruary 10, 2011 at 10:09 AM

My family moved to Minnesota from North Dakota when I was 5. I grew up in Minneapolis, but now live in St. Paul with my husband and two daughters. I travel back and forth between North Dakota and Minnesota quite frequently and had always thought that I would like to move back someday. In September of 2007, my daughter and I spent two weeks in Europe. The trip was lovely, but I realized then, how lucky I am to live where I do. I've paid closer attention to my emotions when returning from someplace else and have realized that in the cities, I am truly home.

Stevie CeeFebruary 10, 2011 at 9:04 AM

Nice production Seven&Sixty. All those summer scenes made me wistful for the few precious days we get where we only have to wear one layer of clothing. We get so desperate about this time of year that when it hit's 40º, like it's supposed to this weekend, we'll be out in droves absorbing all the natural sunshine we can. And people in other states would wonder--40º? Are you kidding? Nope. It's been down so long it looks like up to us.
Kudos to John Munson's soundtrack, a beauty. The New Standards--just another of the many great music makers we have in our Land of Sky Blue Waters.
Seven & Sixty--more, please.

Ruby TuesdayFebruary 9, 2011 at 11:47 PM

I love Minneapolis.I love Minnesota.Every State has it's good and bad points.Minnesota is no different.If it's the Winter's here, well then almost every State has been hit hard by snow ,Blizzards..etc...this year.

Ray S.February 9, 2011 at 10:14 PM

Nicely done. Nice but few scenes of the cities. Short simple almost a commercial. I honestly was hoping for more depth, color, and feeling of "Why in Gods Name we live here?" I am from the San Francisco Bay area, my reason for the twin cities is: "The Wittness Protection Program". I was given the choice of either the Twin Cities or North Dakota. North what? I remember watching the Mary Tyler Moore show and the "Purple People Eaters" Vikings in the '70's so I was somewhat familiar with the Twin Cities. With all that being said, that is my excuse and it is a CLEAN and NICER place to live,. The people are more respectful of others and better educated than most and the Twin Cities are a better place than California to raise a family, let's try to keep it that way.