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Safe area to live in?

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Athens, Greece
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Safe area to live in?

I am being relocated to Minneapolis; I will be working close to Dinkytown. Which area of the city would it be safer for a single lady to live in? I browsed some city websites for crime data, and I am rather discouraged! Please help!!

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1. Re: Safe area to live in?

Are you looking to live in the city (Minneapolis or St. Paul are both options when you are talking about Dinkytown)? Or a suburb of either?

Minneapolis has a variety of neighborhoods -- some more safe than others. I have lived in several and never have felt unsafe.

What kind of things are you looking for in a neighborhood? suburban residential or urban residential.

I think crime can happen in both. In Minneapolis you have a slight increase in the likelihood of danger, smaller yard, likely only a one-car garage (though I have a two-car) and less house for the money when you purchase.

Suburbs give you a little more house for you dollar, as well as bigger yard and garage, and a quieter neighborhood overall. The drawback is that suburbs have less going on. Suburbs have fewer public transit options, longer drive into the city where you work, longer distances (not walkable) to coffee shops, shops, restaurants, parks, etc.

So it's a give and take. If you could give us a picture of what you'd like to find in your neighborhood we can suggest some urban neighborhoods or a suburb or two.

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2. Re: Safe area to live in?

Also, do you plan to buy/own or rent?

Athens, Greece
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3. Re: Safe area to live in?

Thank you for your reply. I am looking to rent a place for a couple of years, and I would prefer Minneapolis to St. Paul. I would not be interested in a single family home, a 1 bedroom condo / apartment with a 1 car garage space would be sufficient. If I can have a deck / balcony, it would be heaven.

I will most probably get a car too, but I would not like to spend more than 20mins driving to work. Ideally, I would like to be able to walk to a coffee shop, or to get something to eat; I suppose I am not that much into suburbs. A safe downtown / uptown area would work best. But still, safety is my first priority, therefore I am flexible.

I was told to stay away from Dinky town and University area and of the Northern part of the city. But I was not given any more specific and positive information. I was also told that prostitution, drugs, and gangs are big. And that uptown is full of drunk people after dark. Is it really so bad??

To be honest, I was surprised with all the negative posts I've seen, I've always thought of Minneapolis as a relatively safe city. I've lived for a few months in San Francisco -it is not considered the safest city in the world- I was staying in a safe area, not downtown and not the most expensive, but I never felt unsafe. Thanks again.

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4. Re: Safe area to live in?

Minneapolis IS a very safe city for a city its size. But there are areas that -- while not automatically dangerous -- are better to avoid when you are searching for a place to live. And I think the places you mentioned are worth avoiding.

I think looking at crime data can do nothing but scare you. We did have a recent rash of crime in the north part of the city which likely cast a cloud over the rest of the city. But why worry if you will neither work nor live there.

If you plan to work in Dinkytown for a while consider living near the light rail (right now only one line exists -- the Hiawatha line) but within a few years Metro Transit will have built a new line that will connect Minneapolis and St. Paul, and run through the university. That would be attractive to me so that I could take a train to work and not worry about driving and traffic.

Uptown is not a drunken pile of humanity. I don't know who told you that. It is a young area and particularly on weekends you will find a few young people who drink too much. But it is a vibrant, artistically inclusive area with a lof to offer for recreation and urban residential living. Lots of singles to meet. Good restaurants and taverns. Lakes. Bike trails. Shops.

A few places you might look to get the feel are the very far east part of Lake Street in Minneapolis, right on the Mississippi River. There are several complexes there for apartments. Coffee shops nearby. Bike trails run along each side of the river and will take you right into Dinkytown if you are a biker. It is an area growing in popularity and a focus of the city for improvements. It used to be a little rundown. It is very nice now.

Don't confuse that area with some other parts farther west on Lake Street that are in areas I wouldn't recomment to live. If you look at a map, I would cut out any areas on Lake Street within 10 blocks north or south running from Blaisdell Avenue to about 30th Avenue.

Also, St. Anthony Main, which is the very near part of Nordeast -- across the river from downtown and close to restaurants and recreation. You could take University Avenue right into downtown.

Do you mind also if I ask your age? I don't want to suggest areas that don't fit your age group.

Edited: 08 July 2010, 14:14
Athens, Greece
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5. Re: Safe area to live in?

Thank you so much! The uptown "drunken" info I got in a website ("city data" something like that, I'm not sure, it's already been a few days). I was surprised too; I had found a couple of nice videos about it in youtube and it looked like an interesting place to be, exactly as you described it. I'll keep in mind what you pointed out about Lake street.

I am 39 years old. I don't mean to be indiscreet but... I can't help noticing your user name has "athens" in it too, like mine. Are you by any chance related to Greece?? Thanks again!

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6. Re: Safe area to live in?

Consider downtown Minneapolis. Plenty of rental options, and condos that are for rent by owners. There was a slew of new residential buildings that were built recently, then the housing bust took hold, so rents dropped considerably.

I live downtown, and walk to work, and drive my car maybe twice a week.

There are busses that connect the U to downtown, or you could even walk if you get a spot on Washington Ave near I-35.

Check out the Downtown Journal. It's in print every other Monday, but you can find it online too. You'll see ads for places downtown. Craigslist could help too.

Minneapolis...
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7. Re: Safe area to live in?

I wish I had more of a connection to Athens than I do. I re-registered for tripadvisor while I was planning my honeymoon in 2006. And we went to Greece, so I just chose the first name that crept into my head: I was about to travel from MN to Athens. Yeah, I'm really clever.

So now I've been to Athens twice. I absolutely adore Athens and each part of Greece I have been to, which is only a fraction. If I had the money, it's the first place I would travel.

As posted just a bit earlier, downtown is good option. I have several friends who now live downtown whereas 10 years ago they would not have considered it.

I would not try to tell you where to live but you could put all these options on the list of places to be researched.

Consider Uptown-Calhoun area, St. Anthony Main, Downtown-Loop. River Road (far east Lake Street). Very different places from one another but pleasant. Gives you unique options.

Athens, Greece
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8. Re: Safe area to live in?

@ DowntownMinneapolis: thank you for the feedback, I'll consider downtown too.

@mntoathens: thank you for all the information, I think I have a complete picture now. I'm glad you liked Greece. I hope you come again with your wife and who knows, maybe I'll be able to give you some info too!

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9. Re: Safe area to live in?

That would be great, AthensSoloist.

I should say that a big piece of my love for Athens came in the form of the people who made our trip incredible. For one, one of the Athens forum regulars gave me advice that saved me hundreds of euros on our hotel booking. Then he took my invitation and showed up at our hotel and decided to give us a "mini-tour." Turns out he's an architect of all things, and he was taking us up the Acropolis to give us an architect's point of view on the Parthenon. It can't get better than that. We were blown away by the generosity.

So my wife and I are dying to return to Greece. Athens, Crete and the Pelopponese specifically -- and more places when we can afford them.

Minneapolis
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10. Re: Safe area to live in?

here's a good map link to downtown -

it shows residental buildings in brown

they may be appartment buildings, or condos for rent by owners

U of M Campus is off to the right, not on the map

ci.minneapolis.mn.us/about/maps/downtown.pdf