As the only active noder living in St. Louis, that I know of, I thought it was finally time for me to write a little about the city I live in. I've lived here since June 1, 1997. After nearly four years there is still so much of this city I have yet to see. I like to explore St. Louis. I'm trying to see as much of it as possible.

Let me give you a run down of the geographical divisions of the city. First you have The City, the downtown, this is where The Gateway Arch, Savvis Center (formally the Keil Center), the soon to be renamed TWA Dome, Laclede's Landing, Washington Street, and more. Across the Mississippi River is East St. Louis where the strip clubs and all-night bars are located. To the south is what I call South City which includes Soulard, Mo, South Grand, South Kingshighway, and a lot of ground in between those places. South City is probably the most diverse area of St. Louis. Further south is South County (when people use county they are referring to St. Louis County) which is characterized as being the haven of the Redneck portion of St. Louis. To the west of downtown you have what some call Midtown then Dogtown, but most people refer to neighborhoods in this area, like Central West End, University City, The Loop/Delmar (this is where Nelly is from), Shaw, The Hill, and more. Note some of these may be considered South City I'm still not clear where the lines are drawn.

North of downtown and midtown is North County. This area contains some of the poorer areas of St. Louis, and often characterized that way, but it isn't all there is to North County. I lived in west North County the first year I was here. Now I've been told there are parts of this area, especially inside 270 and near downtown along 70 where I don't want to be alone in, but I've yet to be in a part of St. Louis (this doesn't include East St. Louis) where I felt unsafe if I had another person with me.

Which brings me to the 270 distinction. Either you live inside the 270 loop or you live outside of it. If you live outside of it you don't really live "in St. Louis." No place is the distinction more prevalent then in West County. West County is seen as the yuppie part of St. Louis. The heart of which is probably Chesterfield, MO. Can't get much worse than this area for lack of diversity and culture. And sadly this is where I live. Luckily I live right off highway 40 which goes straight into the city, and I use this to get to South City quite frequently. South West County and further in that direction is a mixture of South County and West County.

Across the Missouri and outside of "the county" is St. Charles (and more suburbs, but it is usually collectively referred to as St. Charles). These people rarely cross the river and come into the big scary city. There are a few pockets of interesting areas out here and some nice golf courses and land is cheap, but the lack of culture makes it fairly uninteresting. The high points can be summed up to the St. Charles Landing, the arena where a minor league hockey team plays, the park where a minor league baseball team plays, St. Charles Public Golf Course (where the blue collar works and me play), and that may very well be it.

deep thought says I should mention that St. Louis has good universities, good libraries, a fair Art Museum, The Muny, and good wineries. The main universities are Washington University in St. Louis, Saint Louis University, and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The Art Museum that I know of is located in Forest Park (mid-town) along with a good public zoo, The Muny, and some other museums. The Muny is an outdoor auditorium which hosts many orchastra performances during the summer.

The wineries are not really in St. Louis, but they aren't that far from it. The closest ones are located in Augusta, Missouri (a little south of St. Charles) they aren't too bad. I can personally say the Augusta Winery has a really nice view, but the wine is a tad more expensive and is more targeted toward the wine novice (which I am one). About an hour and a half out of St. Louis is Hermann, Missouri home to five wineries and one hell of an Octoberfest. I highly recommend visiting either of these place if you want to get out of the big city.

note I have still left out a lot of great things that can be found in St. Louis. I hope to add more and make additional writeups. Feel free to /msg me if I've missed something that you would like to hear more about.

Other writeups about the St. Louis area:

I'm currently exploring the South City and Midtown areas more. My current favorite places to go are: CBGB's, Fredrick's Music Lounge, Famous Bar, and almost any bar in Soulard.

As another member of the horrid yuppie town, Chesterfield MO, my view of downtown is limited. For me and my friends, downtown officially starts just after the Galleria, a mall in Clayton, MO (also in West County). I should note here that St. Louis city and St. Louis county are two different entities.

Xamot did an excellent job in describing the city, but left out a few things: Almost all of the educational institutions (the Zoo, the Science Center, etc.) are free and supported by the city. The Muny (which has free seats) is one of the largest outdoor stages in the world (they once landed a helicopter on it during a performance of "Miss Siagon", and drove a police car on to it during "West Side Story").

St. Louis also has the second largest Mardi Gras celebration in the country, down in Soulard.

St. Louis is the world headquarters of Anheiser-Busch (they do beer) and Monsanto (a chemical company).

Although, St. Louis is the home of Hanz Weimann and Becky the Carpet lady (or whatever). It ashames me to see this stuff is being beamed into space for all the aliens to see.

As a person who lives in St. Louis County, I feel that a few more things need to be mentioned about the St. Louis area, lest anyone get the idea that there is nothing to St. Louis than cultural divides and the Gateway Arch. There is a worldview unique to the people who live in St. Louis.

St. Louis has been called "the biggest small town in the world," and, for good reason. The first thing any two random strangers from St. Louis do when the meet is talk until they find some other third person that they both know. They are always sucessful.

Part of thier finding common ground will inevitably cause them to ask each other "where'd you go to high school?." This question may seem odd to someone who has not lived in St. Louis, but for a local person, this question comes naturally. This question is asked because, in St. Louis, there are a large number of private schools, especially high schools. St. Louisans take pride in their school, and it is not teribly uncommon for rivalries to persist even after graduation, and the high school you went has been known to be the deciding factor during job interviews or speeding tickets, though not always in a positive way.

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