To be quite honest, St. Paul does not have the best reputation, even among Twin Cities dwellers. It's known as a nice, quiet, residential area with a few musuems and theaters that basically shuts down by 8PM every night. Minneapolis, which is still definitely accessible to Macalester, is known as the hip, thriving, cultural and nightlife center of the area. As one person even suggested, the phrase "downtown St Paul" is an oxymoron.
These are the impressions I took with me into this second semester, but recently, I was pleasantly surprised as to how "with it" St Paul actually manages to be at times.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the St Paul Winter Carnival with a few close friends (aka "The Coolest Celebration on Earth". Now that's marketing). The Carnival featured ice sculpture, ice skating, and my favorite, a winter themed parade. The highlight of the parade was the appearance of the US Olympic Culing team (as seen on the Colbert Report) in full regalia. Even though it was colder than I could have ever imagined, it was, all in all, a fun and culturally enriching experience.
We capped the night off with a delicious dinner at a hip but shockingly affordable restaurant called Pop in St Paul, whose delicious food was complemented with a hilarious display of pop art and an incredibly enthusiastic (and delightfully spazzy) waitress.
I now stand convinced, that downtown St Paul does, in fact, exist, and one need even climb through a wardrobe to find it.