Thursday, March 25, 2010

The other Columbia Heights -- in Minnesota

Have you ever looked for Columbia Heights on the internet and found something completely nonsensical, like high school basketball scores or a bunch of restaurants that surely don't exist in the neighborhood? Then you probably found the town of Columbia Heights, Minnesota. It's an inner suburb of Minneapolis and has a population of about 18,000.

I first found out about this burg when I was looking on Google News, and I saw something about a Steak and Shake, the chain that serves burgers, shakes and the like. I was thrilled that one was coming to the area, until a few seconds later I realized I was sorely mistaken. It does sound like they have a lot of good fast food there, like Sonic and others.

Unlike our neighborhood, the town has a big Polish population, even including the Polish flag on their seal. Apparently the town's name was selected by a contest, and they're not quite sure why it won, suggesting either high ground, being near a Columbia Park, or similarity to a town in New York with the same name (which I can't find anywhere and I don't think exists). I like our naming better -- for Columbian College (now GW) which was located on Meridian Hill (formerly College Hill).

Anyway, just thought that was kind of amusing. There are also not one but two Columbia Heights in New York City: a street in Brooklyn and a small neighborhood near Columbia U in Manhattan.


  1. So I went to Columbia University for undergrad and grad school (seven years total), and I never heard of any neighborhood called Columbia Heights. The area around the university is called Morningside Heights, but nobody to my knowledge has ever called it Columbia Heights.

  2. I have a google alert for "Columbia Heights" and read news from there all the time. It seems we do have at least one thing in common: lots of crime.


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