Photos: The Mini Apple

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  1. Minneapolis & the 'Miss'

    View of the Minneapolis skyline over the Mississippi River, the second-longest river in the United States. The longest is the Missouri River, which flows into the Mississippi. Together, they form the largest river system in North America. (MeetMinneapolis.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Guthrie Theater

    An evening view from Stone Arch Bridge of the new Jean Nouvel-designed Guthrie Theater. The Guthrie Theater opened on May 7, 1963 with a production of Hamlet directed by Sir Tyrone Guthrie, the theater's founder. (Amanda Ortland / MeetMinneapolis.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Mall of America

    Mall of America's is the nation's largest shopping and entertainment complex. There are more than 520 stores, a 7-acre amusement park, a walk-through aquarium, a 14-screen movie theater and numerous restaurants. (MeetMinneapolis.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Metrodome

    The Metrodome is home to the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Twins, and is serviced by the city's light rail. (Explore Minnesota Tourism) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Mill Ruins Park

    Mill Ruins Park the centerpiece of the revitalization of Minneapolis' historic West Side Milling District. The park gives visitors a glimpse into an era when Minneapolis was number one in flour milling; when waterpower ran industry and the labor of immigrants hand built the city. (MeetMinneapolis.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Golden capital

    This gold-leafed copper and steel statuary group, 'Progress of the State,' sits atop the Minnesota State Capital in St. Paul. Sculpted by Daniel Chester French and Edward Potter, the four horses represent the power of nature: earth, wind, fire and water. (Explore Minnesota Tourism) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Minnesota State Fair

    The Mighty Midway at the Minnesota State Fair, one of the nation's largest and best-attended agricultural and educational events. The fair consists of 12 days of fun, Aug. 24 to Labor Day, Sept. 4. (Minnesota State Fair) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Weisman Art Museum

    A visit to the Weisman Art Museum, designed by Frank Gehry, will treat your eyes to artists including Georgia O'Keefe, Alfred Maurer, Marsden Hartley and many diverse contemporary art pieces. (MeetMinneapolis.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Mississippi River

    A view of the Mississippi River. The city is in the southeast portion of the state and sits along the Mississippi River. There are also 24 small lakes in the city. (MeetMinneapolis.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Walker Art Center

    The Walker Art Center expansion, designed by Herzog & De Meuron, nearly doubles the size of this highly acclaimed museum. Features include new galleries, gardens, performance space, educational facilities, rooftop terraces and a restaurant (20.21) by Wolfgang Puck. (Walker Art Center) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Minneapolis skyline

    The Minneapolis skyline at sunset with the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in the foreground. (Richard Hamilton Smith / Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 3/27/2007 4:12:52 PM ET 2007-03-27T20:12:52

They are called the Twin Cities, but Minneapolis has been more like St. Paul's bigger, more glamorous brother for generations.

Now the two cities are being asked to overcome their municipal sibling rivalry for a marketing campaign that portrays them as a single tourist hot spot.

Can they do it?

The test will come this summer, with the rollout of a national campaign that will include a logo, Web site, billboards, print ads and perhaps TV and radio commercials, all aimed at attracting tourists, conventioneers and new residents.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the idea came from tourism officials in Minneapolis.

With a population of 380,000, Minneapolis has almost 100,000 more residents than St. Paul and is seen as the more cosmopolitan of the two, with its modern skyline, wide boulevards and bustling economy. It likes to call itself the first city of the West.

That makes scrappy St. Paul, just across the Mississippi River, the last city of the East, and it fits the bill with its winding streets, Victorian mansions and working-class character. Former Gov. Jesse Ventura, a Minneapolis boy, once ticked off the entire city of St. Paul with an offhand remark on national TV that the city's streets appeared to have been laid out by drunken Irishmen.

"When I go to Minneapolis, someone is always trying to give me a quiche or a slice of pizza with goat cheese and pine nuts on it," said Bruce Larson, a lifelong St. Paulite who helps organize neighborhood festivals for the city. "In St. Paul they give me a brat and a beer, and that's what I want."

Though the marketers want Minneapolis and St. Paul to work together, they will avoid using the Twin Cities nickname, which has been around for decades. They say research has shown that too many people confuse it with twin cities in other parts of the country.

Escaping the Twin Cities name won't be easy. There's the baseball team, which took the Twins name in 1961 when the Washington Senators moved here. And the Minneapolis phone book alone has more than two pages of businesses with some variant of the Twin Cities name, among them: Twin Cities Cremation; Twin Cities Vein and Laser Clinic; Twin City Fan and Blower; and Twin Cities Flooring and Foam.

While St. Paul has undeniably humble roots - it was founded in 1840 as Pig's Eye after a French Canadian trader settled the area - it wasn't always this way. By the time Minnesota became a state in 1858, the renamed St. Paul was its biggest city, the state capital and a regional transportation hub. But a late-19th century boom in lumber and flour milling triggered a population explosion in Minneapolis.

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In the 1880 census, Minneapolis surpassed St. Paul in population. That led to an intense census war, and in 1890, authorities in both cities arrested census takers from the other side of the river and charged them with padding their population counts. Both cities were guilty.

"They were counting people in cemeteries," said Mary Lethert Wingerd, a historian of the Twin Cities and proud St. Paul resident. "One barber shop supposedly had 15 people living in it. It was shameless."

The resentment lingered. For generations, St. Paul parents told their children not to spend their money in Minneapolis.

"Part of the St. Paul community identity was that Minneapolis didn't need - didn't deserve - our money," Wingerd said.

Decades of hearing "and St. Paul" affixed to Minneapolis have given many capital city residents something of an inferiority complex.

"Sure, it's a little sleepier over here," said Ralph Kromarek, owner of an antiques shop on St. Paul's hardscrabble East Side.

The minds behind the new campaign are quick to stress that St. Paul attractions will be just as heavily featured in the promotion. Still, some St. Paulites suspect that the marketing scheme is likely to leave their hometown in Minneapolis' shadow. Again.

"Oh, sure, you're the `big city' over there," said Don Corcoran, a cabinetmaker and third-generation St. Paulite, making quotation marks with his fingers. "You've got the Twins. You've got the Vikings. Well, you've also got your murder rate."

And what do Minneapolis folk think of being linked to St. Paul for the purposes of national advertisements? The better question might be whether they think of St. Paul at all.

"The truth is I just hardly ever get over there," said Lisa Scholl, a stay-at-home mom having lunch recently at a trendy bakery in her city's well-to- Linden Hills neighborhood. "Everything we need is over here."

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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