Ode to St. Louis: city of baseball, bricks, breweries and the blues.
When given the option of relocating to St. Louis, I was cautiously optimistic. I'd heard maybe St. Louis wasn't the most desirable, "happening," or safe place to live. But, I was excited about the new job opportunity, and being from the Chicago area, I desired to stay grounded in the Midwest. So, a little over three years ago, I packed up and headed here to start my next chapter as a Nestlé Purina associate and a St. Louis resident.
I was pleasantly surprised to find this hidden gem of a location. I was able to purchase a quaint brick bungalow with tons of character (and minimal closet space) in a desirable neighborhood where the houses look like they came from the pages of Hansel and Gretel. I have a fenced yard for my dog. I can walk to restaurants and shops, am a 10-minute drive to dozens of attractions and my easy commute to work is about 15 minutes.
St. Louis is a complex, yet beautiful balance of elegant and gritty, refined and weathered, hard work and play, and progressive and stubborn. It manages to maintain the fine line of celebrating and preserving tradition and history, while still moving forward and making changes necessary to improve and prosper. The beautifully constructed houses, businesses and street names are all pieces of this historic city, and each piece has a story.
William Danforth said: "A generation is to follow us. When our battles are over, what kind of ancestors will we be?" I believe it is our duty to leave this world a better place than when we inhabited it. We can do that in our families, in our individual legacies, and in the city we leave behind for future generations. In the spirit of William Danforth, I dare you. I dare you to re-ignite your passion for the city and the community, and for helping others. Again, I urge each of you to embrace, support, promote, improve and live St. Louis!
I want to take this opportunity to remind you of some of the things that make St. Louis such a great place to live and work:
- We are kid-friendly; pet-friendly, commuter-friendly, and budget-friendly.
- We offer great access to higher education and world-class health care.
- St. Louis likes to have fun (I've never seen more festivals, parades, concerts and fairs than here!)
- Weather here is milder than some of our northern sister cities.
- Our central location makes traveling to other parts of the U.S. easier.
- There are lots of amazing things to do for entertainment – many of them are free!
- Our wonderful attractions: the St. Louis Zoo, Cathedral Basilica, Missouri Botanical Gardens, numerous museums, Forest Park, Soulard Farmer's Market, theaters, food trucks, City Museum, The Muny, World Chess Hall of Fame (who knew), and three professional sports teams, to name a few.
Lastly, the people are what make this city what it is. We are the city of St. Louis as much as the city of St. Louis is us. I think of the people of St. Louis and I smile because I know as long as they remain in our city, it will continue to progress and evolve – as it did when it was built brick by brick by the founders 250 years ago. They saw beauty in the land, in the river and in the potential of this city to give them the American dream; a chance of fulfilling their own ambitions. We owe it them and to our great-grandchildren not only to maintain St. Louis' greatness, but to ensure that it continues and flourishes for years to come.
I love the city for everything it has been, everything it provides for me, and all the endless potential still untapped. They say home is where the heart is, and St. Louis, my heart belongs to you.