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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Off the Grid, Ignorance Equals Bliss

I had an excellent time in St. Louis, racking up bar and restaurant tabs at some of my favorite places like the Cabin Inn, Mango, Foam, the Buttery, Local Harvest Cafe, Novak's, etc.

Despite the cold, I spent very little of my time inside the house, even spending some time walking around downtown, Grand Center, the Central West End, and Bevo (sadly, I didn't have my camera on me).

While back home, I saw St. Louis Hills and other neighborhoods lit up splendidly for the holidays, a sure sign of neighborhood pride. I saw a narrower Grand Boulevard with traffic moving more slowly. I got to introduce some suburban relatives to the wonderment of the pizza at Black Thorn Pub. Somehow, my mother had never been to the Art Museum, Old Courthouse, or the Fox, so I was able to get reacquainted with some of St. Louis's most treasured historic resources. On the snow-covered ground, St. Louis was looking and feeling good to me.

My Twitter account was abandoned, as was this blog. Visits to stltoday.com were few and far in between. I was basically off the radar during my visit, unable to observe and absorb all of the streaming news that comes to me from afar.

I'm glad, now. Finally situated in my new home, I read on the thankfully restored Urbanstl.com that the Roberts Tower project downtown has come to a halt, even though nearly complete. There was a murder on Morgan Ford in its popular Tower Grove South stretch, not to mention that horrible workplace massacre on the North Side (that news item I did catch while in town!). Demolition requests continue to be heard by the Preservation Board; this month's temporary agenda includes a request to tear down a property on stately Bartmer Avenue in the West End as well as a demolition proposal at 4125 Turner in the 21st Ward on an otherwise intact block. Why must crime and demolition, fear and emptiness plague my city?

I hope getting readjusted to my constant news stream will bring me some promising tidings for St. Louis soon in this new year. Anyone got some good news to share about our city?

3 comments:

Chris said...

The Art Museum has finally begun its much awaited expansion; construction workers are now a daily fixture as I come to work.

Joseph said...

-Well population is up and poverty is down in St. Louis city over a 10 year period, albeit not by much:

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/business/stories.nsf/story/B0DDFA568F6D057A862576B100076569?OpenDocument

-A bike station is coming downtown to the 411

http://downtownstlbiz.blogspot.com/2010/01/411-to-house-downtowns-first-bike.html

-Many bars and restaurants are implementing their own smoking bans (Hodaks for example)

-Homicides were down in 2009 from 2008 although 2010 is off to a bad start.

That's a start, right?

Michael R. Allen said...

I like the "off the grid" description. The Internet can be an echo chamber, so unlike a real city that is diverse and as full of pleasant surprises as bad news. We bloggers need to spend as much time "off the grid" as possible so that what we write is rooted in reality.

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