On Loving Where You Live

“I’m moving to St. Louis,” I said, with conviction.

“St. Louis?” They answered, nervously, “Why St. Louis? Must be a really great job. Be careful down there.”

(It wasn’t a great job. And uh, I’ve never felt unsafe here. But thanks?)

If I convince the people that read this blog of one thing, I’ll be happy.

That one thing is this:

St. Louis is the Midwest’s most underrated city, hands down.

When I lived in Des Moines, the city was constantly being awarded impressive titles from Forbes and Fortune and all of the other magazines for being a great city to live in, and rightfully so. It’s a lovely, up-and-coming place to live with fantastically friendly people.

St. Louis doesn’t come by quite as many of those titles (though they did just get one about being one of the best cities to be a writer in… but I can’t find the link #fail). But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great place to live.

I talk often about my dear neighborhood, the Central West End, on this blog. A relatively small percentage of my readership actually lives here in St. Louis. Sometimes I feel like I should chill out on the St. Louis-related posts for this reason.

But here’s the deal:

Loving where you live is HUGE.

Finding the magic in the businesses, bars, parks and people that live within walking distance from you can make you feel 100x more at home in any place, whether you’ve lived there for 10 years or 10 days.

So I’ve decided to continue to be an ambassador for loving where you live. And for sharing my love for the Central West End and the city of St. Louis as a whole.

Do you love where you live? What makes it special or unique?Β 


  • Manda says:

    YES about loving where you live! How timely that my guest post about the same topic (but for DC and not St. Louis, obviously) went up on Jaybird today πŸ™‚

    I’ve always wanted to visit St. Louis if for no other reason than to see the giant arch, haha. Aside from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Chicago and Milwaukee, I haven’t really explored the Midwest much. One day! And if I’m ever in STL of course I’ll hit you up πŸ˜€

    • Girrlll you better hit me up if you ever come through here! I’ve actually never been up in the Arch… though I can literally see it out my office window right now. Haha off to check out your post! πŸ˜‰

  • This makes me so homesick. πŸ™

    • AH, I’m sorry Gabby! πŸ™ Hopefully you can visit soon!?

  • Ohhhh yes! Absolutely. Some of the most difficult seasons of my life were inevitably because I hated the place I was living. When you love your home and neighborhood, it ignites you! I loved reading about why you love your neighborhood; I’ll have to add St. Louis to my travel bucket list.

    • Yay! Do add it! And when you come, we better meet! πŸ™‚

  • Brianna Soloski says:

    I am learning to love where I live. I would love it a little more if it wasn’t 42 degrees in the morning at nearly the end of April, but that’s Northern Nevada for ya. I’ve been here almost six months and while it doesn’t quite feel like home yet, it’s getting there.

    • Yay! It took me about a year to feel “at home” here. Maybe even a bit longer. Definitely an adjustment thing!

  • Katie @ A Beautiful Little Adv says:

    Oh I couldn’t agree more about loving where you live. I was sort of forced to move back to my hometown a few years back. I NEVER thought I’d move back here, it’s conservative, slow, full of close minded people, and lacks good shopping. I was unhappy – until I embraced all the beauty. I now can’t imagine living anywhere else! I think I should do a similar post!! Thanks!

  • Steph Gregerson says:

    I am a proud midwest girl and I loved visiting St. Louis (even though it was over 100 degrees the ENTIRE time). I grew up in St. Paul, so I have an appreciation for the Mississippi River. My dream road trip is to travel from the beginning in Minnesota to the end at the Gulf. Obviously with a stop in St. Louis πŸ™‚

    • Ah man, come back when it’s nicer here! I love the Twin Cities – I have some family that lives there and we lived there when I was a kid for a bit. Awesome area! I also grew up along the Mississippi in the Quad City area, so I’m a big fan of the river too!

  • Ashley says:

    I went to St. Louis for a conference, and I’m trying to get my boyfriend to go back ASAP. I had the best burger of my life at Bailey’s Range. It was such a fantastic city. You are lucky to call it home. πŸ™‚

    • AH man, Bailey’s Range. Divine. So glad to hear you liked it! If you manage to convince him, you’ll have to let me know! πŸ™‚

  • I’ll admit, the only things I know about St Louis are the Arch, it is the location for Meet Me in St Louis, and that there is a supposedly high crime rate. But you make it sound fab (and can I please have that sushi???). I do love where I live, though it took some time, and still has quirks I’m not proud of (strip clubs and sex trafficking anyone?). But the food scene is divine, there is always some kind of festival or show going on, and we live smack-dab in the middle of some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the country. It’s also awesome to be both 2 hours from a mountain, and 2 hours from the ocean. What’s not awesome is that the secret is out and EVERYONE is moving here.

    • Haha yes, we’re quite famous for the high crime rate, due in part to the fact that St. Louis City is an independent county from St. Louis County and many of the other cities that we “compete against” get to include a significantly larger metro area. But I digress…

      I can see why everyone wants to move to Portland! It’s beautiful and yes, very hip right now. It took me just over a year to feel like I loved it here – and the food scene was a big part of it! Finding great things to eat that you want to go to and recommend over and over is key! πŸ™‚

  • Callmegranny says:

    The place is really gorgeous. I wish i could live in a place similar, that architecture is so beautiful.

  • Chandler says:

    Beautiful pictures!! And loving where you live is absolutely HUGE. I’m coming across this now as I look to move after graduation.
    And please don’t stop sharing about St. Louis, I love reading it. You make me want to visit someday soon and see it all for myself.

    • Ah YAY! That is just what I wanted to hear. Please do visit!

  • Emily P says:

    Ah man. This posts makes me feel like we should go on a sushi date.

    • YES. We should. Soon. This week and next are terrible for me, but after that!

  • I’m a transplant to St. Louis, and while I wasn’t so sure about it at first, I absolutely love it now! I moved here almost 8 years ago from rural Nebraska for college and decided to stay after graduation. Although I live in the county, I would rather live within city limits. I love how there’s just so much to offer/do for young people (like us) and families!

    Ps on the sushi…have you had CHI in the CWE or Cafe Mochi on South Grand? I recommend both!

    • Ah cool! I’m a transplant as well, and it definitely took me some time to get used to it as well. I love being in the city.

      And I haven’t tried either – I’ll definitely have to though! I love sushi.

  • Ktcyril says:

    I recently moved to Austin and, while I’m still exploring, love how vibrant the city is becoming. People who have been here longer than a year or two have started complaining that the city is getting too busy. #keepaustinwierd, if you will. But I love that. Everyone else is starting to realize how amazing it is that more just keep coming in.

    also, bea.u.ti.ful. photographs!

    • Thank you so much! Austin sounds like a really neat city – it’s good that more people are flocking to it!

  • Erin O'Brien says:

    I love these photos! Yes, it is really important to love where you live. In terms of neighborhoods, this has me thinking about having a preferance for one city or district over another in suburban or city sprawl.

    Yesterday my family and I were talking about how West Covina, the city we grew up in and our current city borders, was included in a list of the 5 most boring cities in Southern California. I never loved West Covina and Covina isn’t that special either, but drive 10 or 15 minutes and you have Pomona and Claremont, which I think are more interesting. So, I don’t love my city but I love my area. Silly! I wonder if anyone else feels this way.

  • […] P.S. My guide to the Central West End // Why You Should Love Where You Live […]

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