How about a truce in the suburb vs. city war?

Bob Collins

Can we all get along?

No, no we can’t. At least not as long as we require constant validation of our choices.

As long as there are cities and suburbs, we’re going to have a problem, Minnesota. We are a tribal people.

Loretta Ellsworth, a Lakeville resident, gives voice in the Star Tribune today to the ongoing pointless feud between people who live in the cities and those who live in the suburbs.

It doesn’t help that in calling for an end to criticism of her ‘burb, she refers to city slickers as “smug urbanites.” It’s not exactly passing the sign of peace.

I’ve discovered that every suburb is distinct and has its own personality. Too often those who know little about the suburbs group all of them under the same label. But lumping all the suburbs together is like lumping Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Iowa under the same banner. (And no one I know would do that!)

I live in the suburbs, too, and I rather like mine. But, I’m under no illusion that it has a particularly distinct personality. I don’t know what personality it has, because I don’t see one. It looks pretty much like every other suburb around here.

And that’s OK, for me. The house was inexpensive, the schools were good, the parks are fine, the bike paths are cool and, best of all, I don’t need anyone’s approval to live there.

Rather than calling Lakeville a suburb, I prefer to use the term “town.” It has a wonderfully thriving downtown area with cute boutiques, a wine bar, a bowling alley and a coffee shop (one that isn’t a Starbucks, though we have a couple of those, too).We have a library that offers great programs, including our annual community-wide book club known as OneBook, OneLakeville that involves a month-long series of free events to encourage reading and build community. We have one of the youngest mayors in the state, now serving his second term. And we have lots of walking trails.

Lakeville actually is more town than suburb, at least in town. It has a downtown (see above) like the old days. But it’s also got acres of garages with attached homes. You know, like most other suburbs.

Unquestionably, there are warts to where we choose to live, no matter where we choose to live. But in the end, it’s our choice.

If you’re from around here, you don’t even have to look at the comments section to know how this is going to go.

How do we get off this ride and stop this ceaseless argument?