On hating Edina

Why does everyone hate Edina?


This is the story of a lovely place, where green grass grows and sparkling water flows.

Where the children are sturdy and smart, the stores are bustling and the government is scandal-free.

And the rest of us can’t stand it.


Go to the Urban Dictionary, perhaps the Internet’s No. 1 destination for an unfiltered look at what people really mean when they talk.

The top definition for “cake eater” — ahead of even Marie Antoinette — describes Edina.

Edina is wealthy, but not the wealthiest town in the Twin Cities. Woodbury, Chanhassen, Eden Prairie and Maple Grove, among others, all have higher median household incomes.

Edina’s schools are excellent, but U.S. News & World Report ranks Edina High School at No. 10 in the state. Mounds View, Eagan, Wayzata and Eastview in Apple Valley all are ranked higher.

So why the hate?

Perhaps it’s because Edina combines the things that have long symbolized the American dream — nice homes, tree-shaded streets, good schools — and hasn’t ever let go of them.

“There is always a little bit of hate that goes with the envy,” said Iric Nathanson, a Minneapolis historian and author. “And that is why some people may hate Edina.

“They really envy Edina, because it is the embodiment of the good life — at least as we think the good life should be here in Minnesota.”

‘We achieved Edina’

Edina as a target goes back for generations.

On March 21, 1975, the Minneapolis Tribune ran a cartoon by its talented humorist, Richard Guindon.

In the single-panel comic, a mother leans in earnestly to address her young son, perched on a wicker chair surrounded by hanging plants.

“Daddy and I weren't born in Edina, dear,” she says. “We achieved Edina.” Guindon, now retired and living in Michigan, said he was completely unprepared for the response to the cartoon.

“The feedback just blew me away,” he said in an interview. Of all the cartoons he drew, rarely did any have the staying power of that one.

“People remembered the Edina thing when I had forgotten it,” he said with a chuckle. “So you wonder sometimes, what did you inadvertently do to tap a vein of something that seemed to work for people?”

In fact, he almost didn’t draw it in the first place.

“This was a note I had on my drawing board for maybe two years,” he said. “And I never drew the ‘achieved Edina’ thing because I didn’t think it was a joke. It was just a statement of fact, so to speak.”


  • I was unaware of the "hate"
  • My brother-in-law lives in Edina
  • When we moved here 23 years ago we looked at one house in Edina. The driveway was too steep and we did not seriously consider it

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