Thursday, May 10, 2012

I Choose St. Louis

Everyone knows that I love St. Louis. I love eating at Ted Drewe’s on a hot summer night. I love the Cardinals. I love Forest Park and the free amenities that it offers (Free art museum? You bet. Free Shakespeare in the park? Indeed. Free seats at the Muny? If you arrive early enough!) I love the ease and accessibility of this commuter-friendly city. I love the quirky, weird and creative energy found at the City Museum. I love my neighborhood of Soulard. I love our world class symphony.

But St. Louis isn't perfect and, like any big city, has its share of issues. St. Louis and its drivers have been branded the Most Dangerous, our citizens the Saddest, and our locals the Worst Dressed. But despite all that, St. Louis certainly doesn’t suck. At least locals like Aaron Perlut, a Forbes Magazine contributor and Managing Partner at St. Louis-based Elasticity doesn’t think so. Aaron wrote the Forbes post St. Louis Doesn’t Suck in response to this piece in The Onion and in response to the growing negative reputation that often precedes our gateway city. 

For non-St. Louisans, you might ask, “With all of that negativity, why would anyone want to live there?” To answer that question and to "engage conversations with people from different segments of the region about all the great things happening in St. Louis", three locals created St. Louis for the LoveEric Ratinoff, Ben Kaplan, and Nicole Hudson Hollway wanted to "link people who care about improving the region, and [create a portal] to be an engine of innovation, collaboration, and forward progress for St. Louis."

I was recently asked to contribute to the #stlftl “I Choose St. Louis” campaign. Here’s why I choose St. Louis:

My name is Linda

I live in Soulard

If my neighborhood had a hashtag it would be #MoreThanJustMardiGras

I grew up in Granite City, IL

The best kept secret in St. Louis is our diverse and delicious food scene. Foodies unite!

I can't go too long without going to the Art Museum.

The thing about our region that I’m most proud of is the thriving arts scene.

A successful future for the St. Louis region depends upon civic pride from all corners of the city.

My greatest contribution to the region is/was/will be helping visitors and locals find those hidden St. Louis gems through my blog.

The first thing I show out-of-towners is the view from the Cielo Sky Terrace at the Four Seasons. The view of downtown is simply spectacular.

The hidden gem of St. Louis is Forest Park - Locals know about it, but visitors are always surprised by how big it is and how much there is to do there.

The heart and soul of St. Louis is the people who live here and make St. Louis home.

The true character of St. Louis is shown in the classy way we handle ourselves when we win...and when we lose.

The thing that has most improved about St. Louis in the last 5 years is Washington Avenue.

I choose St. Louis because it's where I went to high school. It's where I went to college. It's where I work and play. It's where my family lives. It's where my friends live. It's HOME.

To feel more of the St. Louis love, follow #stlftl on Facebook and twitter.

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