|37 places I want to go||440 places I've been|
Canada: British Columbia: Vancouver Island, Victoria, And Gulf Island Region: Vancouver Island
Sweden: Stockholms Län
United States: South Carolina
United States: Indiana: Southern Indiana: Monroe County
Ireland: Leinster: County Dublin
United States: Alaska
9. Bryce Canyon National Park
United States: Utah
United States: Vermont: Washington County
United States: Colorado
12. Yellowstone National Park
United States: Wyoming
United States: Kansas
14. Iowa City
United States: Iowa
Canada: Nova Scotia: Halifax Regional Municipality
Canada: Nunavut Territory
18. South Pole
19. North Pole
Outer Space: The Milky Way: Our Solar System: The Earth
Canada: British Columbia: Kootenay Rockies Region
Canada: Alberta: Jasper National Park
I was here all last week to take part in a 100 guitar symphony at the Pageant. Rehearsals were at Powell Symphony Hall.
- MetroLink. I stayed at the Civic Center Sheraton, so I was just across the street from take the train to many neighborhoods, and used it to get to Lambert/STL airport and back on the cheap. Of course, being in Seattle, which has yet to have a train system, I was enamored.
- Architecture. So many swarthy old buildings, so little time.
- The Arch. It was quick, but I enjoyed my tour of the arch. I went into the Mork & Mindy pods up to the top to take photos.
- Hospitality. Aside from older white suit-n-tie men in downtown who looked at me like dirt, I was treated very kindly by everybody around me inside and outside, no matter the race, class, etc.
- Fear. The one major thing that has crippled the city from my P.O.V. is this fear — especially the one that dictates you need to be home before dark. It’s paralyzed the potential life of this city. There is life but it’s hard to find. There’s barely anyone on the streets in downtown during the weekday. Even Seattle’s business core in downtown on a weeknight has more foot and car traffic, which is saying a LOT. People don’t just avoid public transit here. They seem to avoid side streets too. There is a clear and non-obvious social schism that’s ugly, either way you slice it.
Moreover, that fear perpetrates a lot of other bad “isms”, especially the one that begins with “rac” — which is another can or worms, I realize.
That said, as a white guy who looked very non-touristy, I was treated like an equal with almost everyone. It’s cliche to say it, but R-E-S-P-E-C-T is a requirement if you’re going to survive in St. Louis. People here have plenty of it and are willing to give it to you immediately, especially if you offer it first.
I’m not discounting the horror stories of muggings and shootings. There is a history I’m missing, and a week in 2008 just doesn’t bring me that perspective. I heeded all the warnings. However, I’ve heard these warnings in L.A. and Seattle too once upon a time. Many years later, after the pluses and minuses of gentrification, I don’t hear these warnings anymore.
Perhaps one day, for better and worse, nobody will have to be afraid to walk in St. Louis after dark anymore, and much of the fear will be extinguished. And hopefully, gentrification may not be necessary at all to achieve this.
So while I highly encourage people to visit St. Louis, especially if it’s on the way or there is a special event, just be forewarned that it’s a city stilled ruled by fear, even if it’s on the verge of overcoming it.over 4 years ago