Commonly known as the Twin Cities, Minneapolis (a hybrid Sioux/Greek word meaning "water city") and St Paul are competitive yet complementary. Fraternally rather than identically twinned, they may be even better places to live than they are to visit, thanks to their cleanliness, cultural activity, social awareness, and relatively low crime rates. Life for a majority of Twin City residents seems so vibrantly wholesome that the most significant threat would appear to be their own creeping complacency.
Only a twenty-minute expressway ride separates the respective downtowns, but each has its own character, style, and strengths. Minneapolis, founded on money generated by the Mississippi's hundreds of flour and saw mills, is livelier, artier, and more modern, with up-to-date architecture and an upbeat attitude. The residents are spread over wider ground than in St Paul, and dozens of lakes and parks underscore the city's appeal.