Thriving cultural mecca sometimes called "the first city in the west", other times called "the City of Lakes". One of the Twin Cities. People who live in Minneapolis think of the entire remainder of Minnesota as "outstate". People who live "outstate" resent this. Home of the Guthrie Theatre, the Artist (formerly known as Prince), the Replacements.

Ten things to know about minneapolis:

1. The Minneapolis winter is cold, really really cold. This year it didn't go above 50 for over 140 days, including weeks that averaged well below -10. If anyone thinks Canada is cold - think again. Summer on the other hand is damp and warm, with all the bugs and mosquitoes you'd expect around 10,000 lakes. In short, it is unclear why humans chose to live here.

2. Even though in recent years quite a few good restaurants opened in the Twin Cities metro area, most places serve bland crap that probably reminds locals of their mothers' hotdish.

3. Minneapolis is really more about The Mall of America and ice fishing than about having a functional downtown or being the bustling cultural mecca of the midwest some may believe it is.

4. On average, minneapolitans are reminded that snoopy, bob dylan, hercules and prince are from around here six times a day.

5. Fargo is not to be mentioned in polite conversation. Truth hurts.

6. That heavily tattooed and pierced person you see across the street in uptown minneapolis, typically dressed in black, is actually more of a conformist than the average suburbanite, pathetically so. He or she is not dangerous, rude or mean, just conforming with the uptown dress code.

7. Anything outside uptown minneapolis and a few blocks in the north east is strictly generica.

8. While Minnesota is dominated by christian caucasians, some neighborhoods in Minneapolis are ethnically diverse (which is a p.c. way of saying non-white), with rather large african, latino and hmong communities.

9. Even though drugs are widely available, especially in above-mentioned neighborhoods, the only mini bar in a downtown hotel locks at midnight, as selling alcohol past that magic hour is illegal.

10. Having said all that, Minneapolis is not so bad. If you have a good reason to come here, such as a good job or school, you'll probably be able to survive. If you are coming from Manhattan, you are very likely to develop the occasional case of Minneapolis rage - a response to the locals being well meaning but clueless (which is, of course, the opposite of a New Yorker). If you come from Fargo, you'll love it here.

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