Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Le Saint Louis - Faites-Le Vous-Meme

I think there 3 schools of people in St. Louis and in the US as far as cities are concerned.
  • There are people who want/need to live in a BIG monster city (Chicago, LA, DC [maybe], SanFran, NYC) for their work. Things like acting, wall street, the presidency and some Silicon Valley-type work come to mind.
  • There are people who want/need to live in a BIG monster city (Chicago, LA, SanFran, NYC, Portland) b/c they're into "city life" and they want the city be very obvious. "Ooo look! A subway! A tenant apartment! People wearing weird sunglasses and big scarves! I feel like I'm in europe and I can walk EVERYWHERE!" The city part of the city is all set up for you to enjoy, and you see it in the movies - so you have some idea how to act in these types of cities.
  • There are people who want/need to live in a smaller, dirtier city (StL, Memphis, NOLA, Philly) because there's more opportunities to do something regionally/universally "new" and there's more room to stretch. Maybe they have time to figure out how to act, maybe these are fixer-upper type people looking to bring a little something more to a town that's forgotten itself, maybe they're artists developing their work before they move to hit it big in NYC. I don't know.

Anyway, while looking for a map that shows where all the red light cameras are in St. Louis and I came up on this letter printedin an/the RFT blog from a confused Indiana-type-of-hoosier who's really struggling to find his place in St. Louis, poor guy.

"Please, good reader, tell me. I am either blind, ignorant, or too caught up in my own issued to see it. ...What the hell is this town about? I really do wish to know."

I mean, I told him.

To me, St. Louis is the town that built the City Museum across the street (more or less) from Lucas Park Grille. When you think about it, that's pretty cool. Sounds like he just needs to drive around - have some donuts, maybe.

Maybe he should have a one of these. The Devil's Delight

I also can't tell if he's trying to disrespect or if he's genuinely asking for help. But most frustration comes out in a tone a lot like his letter, so I'll just assume he's distressed. I will say though, St. Louis is not an obvious city. But that's part of what the town is about! Still, there should be some way to translate St. Louis for poor stl transplants. Hmm, that's something to think about.

One of my favorite tshirts says, "La Nouvelle Orlean - Faites-le vous-meme." It means, "new orleans - do it yourself." It means a little more than that though.

What's true for cities like NOLA is true for St. Louis. I happen to think it's one of the best things about my town. Gotta get up and do something.

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