After many years on the sidelines here at clerkmanifesto, refusing to take a stand on anything, or have an opinion of my own on any subject, I have decided enough is enough! I have built up some real carte blanche through my years of prudent moderation in this world famous blog. And while the rewards of all this fame and adulation cannot be understated, aren't they all a little hollow if I don't give back, if I don't wade in and take a stand for something important, if I don't spend a little of that cache?
Yes is the answer.
In case you wondered.
So what happened, you ask?
I was reading about cities. And I came across something regarding twin cities; that is small cities that grew until they were crammed together and somewhat indistinguishable. Cities like Bridgeport and New Haven in Connecticut, or Dallas and Fort Worth in Texas, or, where I live, Minneapolis and St. Paul, in Minnesota. The book said that once in Hungary there were twin cities, that is, two cities so close that they grew together. These twin cities were called Buda and Pest.
I think you could guess what happened.
Budapest happened. The two cities became one. And in that moment I realized:
I don't like twin cities. I like cities.
I live in The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
I like our metro area, and think it's a nice place to live. I love living here with my wife. I love the Mississippi River running through the heart of it all. I idly hope all our sports teams win even though they generally don't. I support our excellent museum. I like our coffeehouses and bars (well, I used to when one could actually go to them and not... kill people). I enjoy our giant mall and our State Fair and our Frank Gehry building leaning over the river. I even love our secret, hidden Mannerist Fountain imported from Italy that they put away for the Winter.
But I hate our Twin Cities.
I think they should be one city. And we should call it:
My new Budapest-like city will incorporate the inner ring suburbs, like Bloomington and Edina, West St. Paul and Roseville. And it will be only one city, large and vital and consistent enough to compete with the other notable, medium-big American Cities, like, I don't know, Denver or Seattle.
I'm just saying enough with the meaningless local competition and regionalism, with its multiple library systems and shitty police forces and uncoordinated bike and walking paths that dead end at city boundaries that are completely irrelevant!
I don't like Minneapolis.
I don't like St. Paul.
But I am very fond of beautiful St. Minneapolis.
So brace yourself; no longer will I refer to St. Minneapolis as The Twin Cities. I will not say I live in St. Paul or Minneapolis. And if it confuses people my made up geography of St. Minneapolis, that's a risk I must bear. But my hope is that the purity of my vision will alter the landscape until, little by little, the people of this part of the state will come together and make that which is already true underneath, official.
This is my quest.
This is my star.
No matter how hopeless.
No matter how far.