Note to our readers: This column is part of a series from a blog recently started by a loosely knit independent group of area business people and residents who love and want to promote the energy and enthusiasm of downtown St. Joseph: The Joe Town Vibe. To find the column online or to read web-exclusive blogs posted every Tuesday please visit joetownvibe.com.
by John Stevens
Intern SJU ’18
After living in the Joe Town community as a student at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, I have gained an appreciation and understanding for the surrounding area. Joe Town, which is a suburb of St. Cloud, is unlike any other suburb I’ve visited or lived in. St. Joseph, although just miles away from St. Cloud, feels like it’s a part of a completely different world.
Walking in downtown St. Joseph is a completely different experience than walking in downtown St. Cloud. Perhaps the most interesting thing I’ve found in my time in the area is almost everyone who lives in St. Joseph resents having to go to St. Cloud for one reason or another. It’s rare people visit St. Cloud for enjoyment. More often people visit the city to complete errands.
This is a phenomenon I’ve never experienced when visiting a community. Typically, metropolitan centers are the center of entertainment and activities. People usually want to get out of the suburbs and go to the main city when they are looking for a night of fun. This is not an accurate way of describing the relationship between St. Cloud and Joe Town. Instead, residents often stay in Joe Town for entertainment.
This relationship is in no way due entirely to the flaws of St. Cloud. Rather, the Vibe of Joe Town has locals comfortable and content in their own community. The abundance of activities in St. Joseph and the overall trusting vibe has spoiled everyone who lives in the city. As a result, people don’t go to St. Cloud because they want to, they go because they have to. After all, St. Joseph is a small town that lacks few amenities.