Woo hoo! St. Louis has been deemed worthy of having its own chapter of craigslist, an online community that was started by Craig Newmark in San Francisco. The easy-to-use site allows people to post classified ads for free.
"Racial Integration in Urban America: A Block Level Analysis of African American and White Housing Patterns," a study by Lois M. Quinn and John Pawasarat at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, ranked St. Louis fifth best out of the 50 largest U.S. cities. The rankings are based on the percentage of residents living on black-white integrated blocks, i.e. blocks that are at least 20% white and 20% black. In St. Louis, 27.2% of residents live on integrated blocks. The study also included some interesting maps of the data for St. Louis.
This has not been a good year for St. Louis. According to various rankings, it is the most dangerous city in America, the least healthy place for women to live and the one with the worst "environmental toxicity." Oh, and it's one of the fattest places around and one of the "sneeziest" (that is, a bad place for allergy sufferers). As the St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted in a recent article (headline: "Are We Really That Bad? How Our Area Ranks in Various Surveys"), "St. Louis has weathered a remarkable run of first-place finishes this year, outpacing every city in the country for titles no one wants to win." Well, is St. Louis really that bad? Probably not. Some of these rankings are dubious (the toxic environment award was from a magazine called Organic Style, the fattest city designation from Men's Health magazine). Still, all these booby prizes arriving in a single year can't help. "I hope this isn't scaring people into thinking we're a big, fat, dangerous city," said one civic leader. The head of the chamber of commerce worried that it might make St. Louis residents more cynical. "Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy in how much we believe the rankings," he said. Still, any place declared the "most dangerous city" ought to be worried, shouldn't it? You decide: It came from a research company in Kansas whose president volunteered that he recently celebrated his 20th wedding anniversary in, of all places, fat, sneezy, dangerous St. Louis. His impression: "It's a great city." Footnote: Not all this year's city rankings have been panned St. Louis. A sports magazine declared it the best sports town in the America, the Chronicle of Philanthropy said it was one of the most generous places in the country, and a University of Wisconsin study found it was one of the most racially integrated.
The unnamed civic leader was our very own Amanda Doyle, being quoted by the Post-Dispatch.
From an article in the Business Journal:
St. Louis ranks No. 68 out of 75 major metropolitan areas in the country for the percentage of adults with at-home broadband connections, according to a recent study by Scarborough Research.
This is kind of surprising to me given the concentration of bandwidth and telecom companies in St. Louis.
And here's a tip for you fellow SWB DSL subscribers: When your introductory rate runs out and they jack up the price to $50/month, you can call them and agree to a one-year service agreement again to get the $30/month rate.
The Matrix + factory farming = The Meatrix
This well-done Flash animation is a clever piece of advocacy. Go veg heads!
Sigh. You know you're old when the music that was on the radio when you were growing up is fodder for a nostalgic online quiz. I scored 73. How 'bout you?
Seen at a fundraiser for Rep. Lacy Clay held on Thurs., Nov. 13 at Club Isis on Washington Avenue: commercial Realtor (and host of the event) Eric Friedman, new media visionary Paul Guzzardo, architectural designer Sung Ho, Citizen's for Home Rule prez Marit Clark, Portfolio Gallery E.D. Robert Powell and ubiquitous Realtor Mary "One" Johnson.
Email messages addressed to Marcus "Ma'at" Atkins at the American (firstname.lastname@example.org) have started coming back with a reply that says:
Marcus Atkins no longer works at the St. Louis American Newspaper. Please send future entertainment emails to Bill Beene at email@example.com. Thanks!
Maybe the ever-stylish scribe left to pursue his interests in theater and fashion.
Just spotted: Robert Putnam's (Mr. "Bowling Alone") new book, "Better Together," is out in hardback. Hopeful civics lessons? Find more about it here.
Kids, I have been to the retail mountaintop, and am here to report back, firsthand, on St. Louis Mills.
It's part of my job, so there I was with the unwashed masses at 8 a.m. on Thursday morning. (Get this: the stores didn't even open until 10, but the retail gods still managed to pack the place with people at 8 in the morning!! Celia and her guitar were there on stage, warming up the crowd, and I have to say that I'd probably go to the ribbon-cutting at a Dumpster if percussion-happy Joia were part of the festivities...)
Anyhoo, shoppers wandered around like the undead, peering into the closed metal grates of stores like Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse (which is so big that it's listed as an "anchor," not just as "footwear," on the store directory), Primarily Purple (just what it sounds like) and the omnipresent stalwart of the outlet mall, Big Dogs. Storekeeps were forced to adopt one of a couple of coping mechanisms when faced with the hordes who were prohibited by Mills management from being allowed in to spend with abandon until Miss Missouri finished her opening-day festivities: some shuffled around, checking stock and getting their registers ready for business, and others came to the grate to engaged potential shoppers in a little from-behind-bars banter. The gatekeepers at Marshall's MegaStore caved under the pressure and threw their doors open a full hour before showtime...and were duly rewarded with crazed shoppers who couldn't get enough. (Tangential question: how, on opening day of new shops in a brand-new mall, did several stores have "Clearance" and "Reduced — Must Go Now!" merchandise from the get-go?)
My own assessment? Not too much to get excited about. I'd go back for Off 5th Saks Fifth Avenue Outlet, maybe Nine West and for the quirky Soda Jerks, who have nutty, regional soda favorites from around the country, available by the bottle (refreshing Moxie, anyone?). The inside skatepark and blacklight putt-putt course look fun. If you've got kids, they might dig the PBS playground area. Beyond that, just how many dollar stores does a mall need?? Trendspotters, keep your eyes on this one: a joint called Granny's, which is an "everything's-$3" store. Going after that upscale discount shopper?
The obscene, racist message from Earl P. Holt III that was posted over on the ArchPundit blog gives an unsettling glimpse into the pockets of bigoted hatred that still exist in St. Louis, sometimes not very far under the surface. Holt is a former SLPS board member (1989 to 1993). No matter what you think of the current board members, I think we can all agree that they're a vast improvement over him. Holt graduated from Wash U and John Burroughs. As stated in his letter, he lives in the Shaw neighborhood. He co-hosts a show called "Right at Night" on WGNU. Keep your friends close and ...
We had a nice turnout for Breakin' @ The Commonspace on Saturday. About eight dancers were there. DJ Reign played a great set -- lots of turntabilism. One guy drove 65 miles to attend the event with his eight-year-old daughter because he saw the story in the Post.
Blueprints have been spotted for a Qdoba restaurant slated for about 2/3 of the former Streetside Records space at Grand and Arsenal. The oddly spelled, Colorado-based chain bills itself as a "Mexican Grill." They're also putting one in Chesterfield Commons.