Who are you calling snooty?

Non-Minnesota NewsCut readers: Do we seem snooty to you?

City Pages today relays the findings of a travel magazine which ranks Minneapolis-St. Paul as the fourth most snooty metro area in the country.

San Francisco, New York, and Boston are just ahead of us.

It’s entirely possible that we are supposed to find this insulting, but that’s pretty good company in which to be thrown.

But what constitutes “snooty?” Here is Travel & Leisure Magazine’s description:

To determine which city has the biggest nose in the air, we factored in some traditional staples of snobbery: a reputation for aloof and smarty-pants residents, along with high-end shopping and highbrow cultural offerings like classical music and theater.

But we also considered 21st-century definitions of elitism: tech-savviness, artisanal coffeehouses, and a conspicuous eco-consciousness (say, the kind of city where you get a dirty look for throwing your coffee cup in the wrong bin).

Classical music? Our two orchestras were locked out of most or all of their seasons. We should’ve gotten some gap-toothed hillbilly credit for that.

But let’s check the other standards:

We should’ve retired the award on this one alone, instead we ended up #4 behind traditional non-aloof places like Nashville, Savannah, and Charleston. But MSP-region voters put as #12. And in November 2011, a snooty artistic type rejected us because we were horribly unwelcoming. If the snooty are rejecting us, are we non-snooty? Or too snooty?

Smarty Pants. We are ranked #1 in intelligence, ahead of Seattle, Boston, and San Francisco, which would’ve ranked higher except that people chose to live in Seattle, Boston, and San Francisco instead of Minneapolis, apparently. Residents of MSP, however, voted us #5, behind the usual suspects.

High-end shopping. We lost the only department store left in downtown Saint Paul this year. The biggest retailer in the city now is a Walgreen’s. Neiman Marcus gave up on Minneapolis. We didn’t fool anybody on this category. Minneapolis-St. Paul was ranked #15. Even Kansas City ate our lunch on this one. MSP residents voted the region #25 in this category, correctly placing us in the Hooterville neighborhood. You can’t be too snooty in Hooterville.

Classical music. Well, we know who to blame for this, don’t we? There aren’t many cities that have classical music stations left on the radio dial, let alone support the local arts. Plus, the state charges a sales tax to help out.

So we’re guilty. But just for the record, consider this video posted on The Current’s blog today about Rock the Garden. I say it’s a wash!

We’re ranked #6 in this category, but MSP-ers rank the cities rank us #9. They put Nashville — Nashville — ahead of the Twin Cities on the subject of classical music. Have you heard, we’re pretty white here?

Theater. We’re #2, even though the area has a reputation for staging “top 40” theater productions in the interest of selling tickets and has been criticized for being too white and not risky enough. Heck, the Penumbra Theater company had to shut down for a time. Residents also rank us #2, behind New York. My goodness.

Tech-savvy. We are ranked #5 behind Seattle, San Francisco, Austin, and Boston — four hotbeds of tech, traditionally. The locals rank it #8, which suggests that people with a flashing “12:00” on their VCRs are voracious readers of Travel & Leisure magazine.

 We’re #7. Our big coffee chain was owned by an outfit in Bahrain; now it’s run by the Germans. Residents ranked the Twin Cities coffeehouse scene at #15.

Food. Nobody likes us. We’re #16, but residents rank us #22, beef jerky territory.

Public Transportation.
 And here is where the survey loses all credibility with a #10 ranking from outsiders, which suggests that most of the voters who visited our cities tried to get from the airport to the Mall of America. Residents rate MSP at #11.

Architecture. The #17 ranking gives us a potentially rallying slogan. “Come for our mediocre architecture. Stay for our not-quite-as-bad public transportation.” It’s #18 on the residents’ list. We’re bound to move up in this category in future years. We’re bulldozing the Metrodome and further utilizing Union Station in Saint Paul.

People watching. We are ranked #21, people. They’re telling us we’re not very interesting to look at. We just barely beat out Orlando, and everyone there is wearing mouse ears. Residents rank us #22. We don’t even think we’re interesting to look at.

Weather. #29. We barely beat out Anchorage. We’re #23 in a survey of residents. The only category in which we think we’re better than the people voting thought, was weather. Think about that.

If you want to take the 2013 survey, click here.