Tell me about St. Louis

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Doc Ellis, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. Hello all,

    I currently live in the Minneapolis area of Minnesota. My wife works for a company here whose headquarters are located in St. Louis, MO.

    She is getting a promotion, and has stated that she may want/need to relocate.

    What is it like living and working in the St. Louis area and/or surrounding suburbs? What's the good and bad?

    Thanks in advance!
  2. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    St Louis is brutally, horrifically hot in August. Plan a vacation to Alaska or Seattle or Maine or something in August if you're gonna be living there cause that month is unbearable.
  3. Crass!


    Nov 24, 2008
    BBQ :bassist:
    Pizza :spit:
  4. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Personally I would consider St. Louis a big-time downgrade from Minneapolis in terms of quality of life (although the winter months in St. Loo may be more tolerable). But if that's where the money is, I guess that's what you've gotta do.
  5. blue4


    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    Well, I can say there is good and bad. Big time downgrade, though? Not hardly. Home prices are low, some decent schools outside of the St. Louis city area. You'll do fine provided you stay out of the actual city and keep to the suburbs. Stay to the west and the south. There are several fine towns within 10-30 mins of downtown. You can go to the north (St. Charles and St. Peters), but it's kind of a long drive if she is going to work downtown. High taxes and high crime in IL to the east, but Columbia, IL is a short drive with good schools and is a nice town. You'll pay for it though. I'd say there is a lot of things similiar regarding St. Louis city vs Minneapolis as far as night life and stuff to do. If you like to fish and go on float trips, you will find plenty here. The heat in Aug. sucks, but the winters are very mild compared to where you are at. If you were moving in from the coast, I would say you would not like it. Coming from MN, I think you won't notice much of a difference. The Hill district is pretty well known for it's great Italian food. I've noticed a lot of Tapas/ Mediterranean style places around lately. I've hit quite a few and been impressed. There is a great guitar/bass repair shop Quite a few little music stores and 3 Guitar Centers within easy driving distance. One Cabala's, one Bass Pro store. WHATEVER YOU DO STAY OUT OF NORTH ST. LOUIS CITY AND EAST ST. LOUIS, IL. I can't stress this enough. No matter if they give you a free house.
  6. I grew up and spent most of my life in Saint Louis, and plan on moving back after my time in the Navy. I rather enjoy St. Louis and think it has a lot to offer if you just look for it. Aside from the innner city schools, most of the schools districts in the area are pretty good and there are an abundance of private schools as well.

    Culturally speaking, there is plenty to no matter what your tastes. If you're into bars in restaurants, there's plenty on the U-City Loop, which includes the Pageant, which is a great place to catch national touring acts. Additionally there is the Central West End and Washington Ave, Soulard and a few other places in south city. The food is excellent and pretty cosmopolitan for a city it's size. Excellent Italian food on The Hill.

    For parks and recreation, down there is Forest park, which retains many of the features and institution from the 1904 worlds fair. The Saint Louis Zoo is excellent, and free. The art museum is excellent, and free. The history museum is excellent and mostly free. The science center and planetarium are also in forest park but I haven't been there in a while so I don't know what they charge, if anything. There's also an outdoor amphitheater called the Muny that does plays and musicals during the summer, and they actually have a select section that is free as well. There's also a pretty large ice skating rink that's a great place to go in the winter. I proposed to my wife there on Christmas eve a few years ago. All of this inside a 1300 acre park in the middle of the city.

    Sportswise, Saint Louis is a baseball town through and through, though there is considerable support for the Blues and a resurgent for the Rams in recent years with the addition of Sam Bradford. I know they just broke ground a "ballpark village" adjacent to Busch Stadium, which promises for an even better experience at Cardinals games.

    Beyond that, Saint Louis has several boroughed areas around the city each with it's own unique character and flavor. I lived there for 20+ years and I'm still finding stuff to do.

    Saint Louis is not without it's fault, but I will say that the crime statistics are a little skewed. Most are taken on a per capita basis, and due to the city of Saint Louis divorcing the county of Saint Louis, you'll notice there a million little towns that comprise the Saint Louis Metro Area. Consequently, downtown Saint Louis is actually pretty small, so the per capita crime rate increases even if in reality there isn't that much crime. A lot of it is just knowing where to go and most of the places you'll want to go are no where near the bad areas of town (Unless you're looking for strip clubs I guess, but that's a given.)

    I think Saint Louis gets a bad wrap, but if you actually spent any reasonable amount of time there, I think you'll enjoy it. I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you have about the city.
  7. Also this. There are historical reasons for why the area is in such disrepair and crime ridden, and it's sad, but good advice.
  8. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    Great art museum.
  9. placedesjardins


    May 7, 2012
  10. PWRL


    Sep 15, 2006
    Lived in and around St. Louis for six years, but haven't been back since 97. From my recollection:
    Great city! Vintage Vinyl record store in U City, lots of neat twists and turns, great restaurants. Can be kind of crunk sometimes, bad neighborhoods tend to pop up in odd places sometimes.
    Great Japanese Garden, great art museum, good places to see shows.
    DO avoid East St. Louis.
    I miss that city a lot, actually. It's a good place.
  11. atomicdog


    Jun 18, 2011
    I spent a bit of time in St. Louis. Great arts scene, good zoo, plenty of good people, and a find baseball team. Oh, yeah, lots of great music.
  12. PWRL


    Sep 15, 2006
    RIP Mississippi Nights!
  13. BioDriver

    BioDriver A Cinderella story

    Aug 29, 2008
    This. Imo's always made me sick as a dog.

    There are some cool bars and venues but as a whole I don't miss it (native Texan who was there for school and then moved back)
  14. My hometown and I gig and consult there a lot. Wonderful area to live. Four full seasons, LOTS of historic neighborhoods, and an amazing restaurant town for its size (wonderful town for foodies... massive number of upscale restaurants.... as a native, I have to fess up that IMO's pizza is about the worst food anyone has ever produced!).

    I grew up on the South Side, which is the old German community. Lots of wonderful brick homes built in the 20's through 50's (and quite a bit older in the Soulard area). Lots of Bosnian and Vietnamese immigrants on the South Side now, which makes things interesting and is breathing some life into that area. Not really that familiar with the North Side. That was, unfortunately, the racial split back in the day, with South being 'more white' and North being 'more black', and the two rarely met. That is changing today.

    Downtown St. Louis is a bit of a dud, although the Washington Avenue area is pretty cool at the moment (lofts, clubs, and it is just slamming on a Friday or Saturday night). St. Louis is all about different 'hot spots' spread out all over the area. The University City loop, close to Washington University is very cool... ethnic restaurants, lots of music, close to Forest Park (amazing municipal park larger than Central Park, which world class art museum, zoo, summer outdoor 'broadway plays', etc. ) GREAT area to live... very ethnically mixed. The Central West End is still vibrant for the older crowd... fancy restaurants, shops, and amazing homes from the turn of the centur.,

    Clayton is the financial district, and if you have $500K+ for a house, it is a great place to live. Not much going on there at night.

    New hot spots pop up all the time in the city (like the Grove in mid-town... lots of clubs, funky restaurants).

    If you are into 'safe suburbs' (safe meaning a bit 'cookie cutter and family oriented'), the Chesterfield area is probably one of the nicest 'new' communities in the country. HUGE, with all the McMansions that anyone would want, and a huge number of 'culinarily safe' restaurants. A bit 'white bread' but very nice with great school districts. I do a few club gigs out there through the year, and it is typically hopping. It is also a more 'friendly' area than the communities closer in to St. Louis proper, which is filled with 3rd, 4th and even 5th generation St. Louisans who are pretty 'set in their ways'. Chesterfield and surrounding areas is where most a lot of 'new to St. Louis' people decide to live.

    The Jazz Bistro (next to the Symphony Hall and the huge Fox theatre in mid town, by St. Louis University) is a first class jazz venue.

    Very 'easy' city to live in, LOTS of festivals CONSTANTLY happening in all the little sub communities. Constant outdoor concerts and food events from April through November. Music/gigging scene is OK for the part timer. Tough going for the pro at this point IMO. Gravity Strings is kind of the place to hang to meet players, and there is a VERY good jazz performance program at SIU-E right across the river (Tommy Kennedy was the artist in residence for many years there).

    Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions!
  15. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011

    If I'm not mistaken, August in Alaska is fly season. Tenacious blood-sucking black flies the size of hummingbirds.
  16. Tat2dHeart

    Tat2dHeart Only two strings away from an attitude problem.

    I loved St. Louis. Grew up in Illinois about an hour away near Carlyle Lake and lived South County for a while. Avoid the north part of the city and East St. Louis, but there's a lot of great stuff there. If my job offered me a shot to go back to St. Louis, I'd jump on it in a heartbeat. Loved living in South County (I was off Butler Hill and one of my girlfriends was in Affton).
  17. blue4


    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    I've had a trailer at Carlyle lake for a few years.
  18. eh?
  19. I can vouch for chesterfield being more "cookie cutter".

    Gus' pretzels in Arnold, you have to go there.

    It's also down the street from the Lemp Brewery, which is awesome if you know the history.

    The St. Louis city museum is amazing. Like them on Facebook. It'll get you an idea of what it is, but you'll never truly understand it until you experience it. It will take my family (two adults, three kids) at least one more trip before we can see everything in there, and they're adding more all the time.

    I've felt pretty safe in downtown St. Louis by myself wandering around at night. Especially in recent years. I've even gone down to the landing super late at night, and been totally fine. It seems the park service and police have an increased presence down there.

    I agree to stay away from the Illinois side. As long as you stay in Missouri you'll be fine. I know all about the north/south thing, but I've ventured into north stl more than once and came out alive. It's not that bad. There's definitely places I won't take my kids, and there's places I will drive straight thru without stopping, but that's every major city.

    The local music scene is pretty active. It shouldn't be hard for you to find a gig somewhere. I know lots of people from stl with succesful music careers. I was almost one of them, but I chose taking care of my dad instead of relocating to New Orleans and constant touring.

    There's tons of history, and cool things to do. If you don't mind to drive outside of stl a little bit, you'll find even more.

    I wouldn't hesitate to raise a family there, but I would do it some place like chestefield, ofallon, Maryland heights maybe, something like that.