These first few city blogs will be limited to cities that I've been to only one time. They will followed by cities I've been to several times, which in turn will be followed by cities I've actually lived in (though that may not happen as I could write hundreds of entries on those).
I decided to visit St. Louis on the winter break of college in my senior year, when I had the time to visit my good friend Kuan Butts. This was one of those domestic travel breaks where I roam around the US instead of another country for a week. As such, I would be visiting on a Wednesday after getting back from a weekend in San Francisco.
A little note on Kuan: Kuan is my oldest friend, I could say best, but I guess these days I don't even know what best v. good friend even means anymore. Do we have worst friends? Let's just say, he's my oldest friend who I decided to visit at college because he visited me at college.
St. Louis would be a fun time in an underrated city. As I flew into the cold city - March in the Midwest -I saw a bunch of bare trees and realized I would be in for something different. Most of the trip I was with Kuan and his awesome apartment buddies on the campus of Washington University at St. Louis. During this time, we hung out at the nearby Loop where I saw college USC friend, Blueberry Hill where Chuck Berry plays, St. Louis Bread Company(aka Panera), free Matisyahu concert in the church, cookouts (where I grilled though I was the guest), parties nearby, the nearby park & museum, drinking awful Sterling with canned pineapple juice, and running to a Station 9 concert -jam band.
Far as that sounds, there was a lot of drinking, but hey it's the Midwest and Anheuser-Busch is right nearby. Furthermore, we had disco balls, absurd music, soccer ball drinking games, and a Wash U girl who was into film (all I can is I'm glad one of his roommates wasn't home).
Kuan and I would roll with his homie Danny Davies to St. Louis University and downtown to St. Louis to see the Arch (my only rule we had to do while I visited), the landing, urban decay that Kuan expertly knew about, Busch Stadium, Hard Rock Cafe, and just generally good BBQ. While on our trip, we rolled by City Museum, which turns into an adult playground with drinking at night….imagine the chaos. We would also roll to a pretty good Cajun -for St. Louis-place where I ate a grinder sandwich. On the way there, we accidentally got lost and drove into East St. Louis by some Bloods in a car with 30 inch rims….we weren't there long.
Overall, I had a glorious time even though I dropped my phone in the toilet…had to get that text. I guess I would say it makes a difference when you go to city during your college years and a friend has all these people & connections they know. And while we didn't go into the Arch, it is still a glorious sight and a great landmark for a city that is actually a really good time. Therefore, if you have people I can recommend St. Louis for a fun visit. However, I cannot think of SL as more than an interim living city. This is due to the high crime and lack of upward-moving economy (plenty of riverboat gambling though). As such, I couldn't see myself living there permanently, but I do say check out Chicago's little brother if you can.
Speaking of Chicago, it may be next up, though Phoenix and San Antonio are likely to happen before that.