I was out of the office all day, but of course I want to tell you how much I love the Cities. I've lived here on and off since 1993 and we came back to stay for good in 1999.
My DH and I live in St. Paul and belong to a Reform temple here. Feel free to PM or email me with questions about synagogues and I will answer as best as I can, although I am not familiar with the suburban ones.
Edina does have good schools, as do most of the western suburbs. Minneapolis and St. Paul both have magnet school systems but I don't know how hard it is to get your kids into the magnet schools--some of them have lotteries or something like that. Can you tell we don't have kids yet?
You can get good produce here, but IMHO it is expensive and many things are hard to get in the winter. I've paid a lot at Byerly's for middling quality at times. It's not California. But we do have great farmer's markets and grocery stores and a good restaurant scene.
One thing you should know--I hate to be at all negative about my home city but I have heard that it can be difficult to make new friends here. People are verrrrrry nice, but most Minnesotans were born and raised here and they have busy family lives and old friends. We were lucky in that we went to college an hour outside the Cities and have many college friends here, although neither of us was raised here. Just something to consider.
On the plus side--you have a terrific urban environment with beautiful parks and lakes, reasonably priced homes and low crime. We have a great children's museum, two zoos, lots of theater and the State Fair.
On the minus side--not very diverse population and the climate is not great.
Many people are saying Minnesota is getting more conservative politically. Whether that is a plus or a minus depends on where you stand.
Bottom line--it's not perfect but it's home to us. I interview a lot of business people who move here for a year or two for a job and then decide to stay.
Email or PM me with any questions.
For you to be here now, trillions of drifting atoms had somehow to assemble in an intricate and intriguingly obliging manner to create you. It's an arrangement so specialized and particular that it has never been tried before and will only exist this once.
--Bill Bryson, "A Short History of Nearly Everything"