One of the best things about St. Louis is our diverse neighborhoods. Soulard boasts one of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations outside of NOLA; the Hill has some of the best Italian food you will ever taste. In the county, however (the city of St. Louis and county are separated, in case you didn’t know) these “neighborhoods” tend to have a much more varying split of opinions. Ballwin and Rock Hill are both ranked highly in “best areas to live in polls.” Clayton, Ladue and even Chesterfield can be seen as snotty. South County is seen as hoosierish (oh yeah, we also use the word “Hoosier” in place of “Redneck”).
If you haven’t gotten a chance to read Aaron Perlut‘s article, St. Louis Doesn’t Suck, I’d suggest you do. With the campaign @STLDoesntSuck, it’s really made me think about why I love this city so much, and why I didn’t consider applying (outside of Disney) anywhere else in the country when I graduated college.
1. It’s a sports-rich city. Sure, everyone knows St. Louis is a baseball town, but did you also know that we have one of the richest inline hockey breading grounds? Or that the age old question of “Where Did You Go To High School” is followed up by a snarky sports-related comment, such as “Oh, we beat you in the 2006 State Hockey Championships!” (Sorry CBC.) The sports scene stems from a strong 11-time World Champion Cardinals following down to the pee-wee players you see at intermission of a Blues game.
2. Unique Attractions: Where else can you find a top ranked FREE zoo, outdoor theater, lake, golf course, art museum and history museum in one spot? From Forest Park to the creative-based City Museum to the steps of the Gateway to the West, St. Louis is full of secret spots and public places to enjoy at any age.
3. Degrees of Separation. You’ve heard the age old saying that there is a 6-degree separation between you and a stranger, right? Be it as it were, in St. Louis, that number drops in half. Whether you’re parents went to school together, you both worked for AT&T or Boeing, or you’re neighbor walks their dog, you probably are closer connected than you thought, and that’s important to my next point.
4. Small town, big city: St. Louis is made up of two parts – the city and the county. The county is made up of hundreds of neighborhoods from The Valley in Chesterfield to my home Oakville in South County. Sure, when you live in St. Louis you know you’re in one of the top cities in America, but back home, it’s a small town atmosphere of high school football, local bars and running into people at the grocery store.
5. Provel Cheese: And the other St. Louis delicacies (Toasted Ravioli, Gooey Butter Cake). Judge me if you may, but if I can’t get provel cheese by the block, slice or shredded, you can bet I will not be calling it home.
I’m bound to this city, or this city is bound to me. Either way, it definitely doesn’t suck.