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Last Post 29 Mar 2006 01:11 PM by  fiat124girl
Possibly Moving to St. Louis
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SerNick
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24 Mar 2006 10:27 AM

    Hey guys, I just received a job offer in St. Louis for some Field Service Engineering work and I really know absolutely nothing about the city and the surrounding area.

    Info about me: graduating in April from Pitt with BSME.

    I know about all the solo2 sites that Chris has up and running for the region, seems like a great city for racing (and its a lot closer to Topeka than I am now :) )

    Can you guys fill me in on everything else? What parts of the city are bad? Where should I look to be living? Housing? You know, all that good stuff. Thanks a lot

    Nick Jackson

    I'd post this on solo2.org too but I think one post is enough right?

    Bryan S
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    24 Mar 2006 11:04 AM

    Welcome to St. Louis! Its a great city to live in and we have an outstanding SCCA region with programs in solo, road racing, rallycross and road rally. We are developing a PDX program too.

    The city has many great neighborhoods both within the city itself and suburbs. If you like older neighborhoods the community that I live in, University City is fantastic. It's very close to Washington University, Forest Park (great for biking, running and hanging out). There as a district called the Loop, which has excellent restaurants and bars. U-City is well connected to the light rail system and public transportation. This is great when you need to get downtown or to the airport and don't want to worry about a car.

    If you like an urban environment there is a thriving loft district downtown along Washington Avenue. The renovated buildings have large units and often great views.

    South City, St. Louis Hills has many nice well kept neighborhoods, with great starter homes and apartment buildings. The area around Tillis park is espicially good. Other near suburbs worth looking at are Maplewood, Webster Groves and Kirkwood. The thig I like about the above neighborhoods that that they are walkable, so in many cases you don't have to rely on driving to get everywhere.

    Although I grew up in the outer suburbs I'm not too familier with whats happening there. I'm sure others can tell you about Ballwin, Creve Coeur, Chesterfield and the like.

    Traffic isn't too bad although I'd avoid having to commute either east or west on highway 40/64, or from far south county on I-55.

    What area will you be working in? That has a lot to say about where you might want to live.

    fiat124girl
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    24 Mar 2006 11:14 AM

    Don't forget about the Central West End, a lovely place to live that is also centrally located and really hip. Oh yeah, Soulard is great too.

    I love St. Louis. Jude and I live 60 miles west of St. Louis and I work just north of downtown and I have no real problems with traffic.

    Congrats on graduating and welcome to St. Louis.

    Kim Humphries
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    24 Mar 2006 11:24 AM

    Hi Nick!

    Couple of million people, big rivers, some sports teams – in the Midwest – sound familiar??!

    That’s what I thought before I moved here from Cincinnati in 2000. On my first exploratory visit (before accepting the job offer) I was impressed with how different the flavor of the city was from other Midwest cities. I grew up in Ohio so, I’m pretty familiar with the 3 Cs and Pittsburg as well.

    St. Louis is a great place. The city itself has reasonable density and great amenities. There are world-class parks (Forest and Tower Grove at the front of the pack), great food, affordable real estate and reasonable cultural diversity for a non-rust belt Midwest city.

    If you intend to live in the city this site will help you with neighborhoods. I’m in Holly Hills (#3) there are lots of good ones.

    http://stlouis.missouri.org/neighbo...ghmap.html

    Pitfalls: The city has a 1% employment tax. There is emissions testing for registered cars as well as an annual (small) property tax assessment.

    I love the city – others can pipe in on the burbs.

    Some good sources to learn more:

    http://www.stltoday.com/ (paper)

    http://www.riverfronttimes.com/ (alterna-paper)

    http://www.saucemagazine.com/ (food paper)

    http://www.playbackstl.com/ (music scene)

    http://64.218.68.50/slmpdweb/safecity/ (crime map)

    http://www.stlscca.org/ (all StL SCCA)

    http://www.citymuseum.org/home.asp (boring name – insane fun place!)

    http://www.metrostlouis.org/ (light rail)

    http://www.gatewayarch.com/ (coolest monument on the planet!)

    (I see others are quick to the gun - some repeat info here)

    mattg
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    24 Mar 2006 04:50 PM

    Nick, I would start with where you will be working and go from there. Maybe rent for 6 months and then either rent again in a new area, or buy a house.

    As for specifics its best to break down the areas of the city and counties surrounding the city proper.

    steena
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    25 Mar 2006 10:38 AM

    I would suggest, depending on where the job is located, also considering the Illinois side. Takes me right at 20 minutes to get downtown from Millstadt.

    Obviously there are some areas you want to avoid on either side of the river, but atleast you can look through the whole area and make a decision. If you let us in on where the job is located I'm sure some of us would be able to offer up some more suggestions.

    Also if you let us in on more about you the suggestions might also fit better. And yes, it is a great place for racing of all kinds. My first AutoX experience will be tomorrow, but overall when the weather is nice there is some auto event some within driving distance. Either drag racing, rally, rallyX, AutoX, meets, or shows, but all ways something.

    SerNick
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    26 Mar 2006 06:53 PM

    http://maps.google.com/maps?oi=map&...,+MO+63146

    Thats the location of the sales office I would be working out of. I just got home from DC so I've got a lot of things to take care of tonight. Thanks a lot for the input, I'll comment some more tomorrow.

    Racers kick ass!

    Danno3
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    26 Mar 2006 07:11 PM
    There are a lot of apartment complexes in that area that are popular with twentysomethings since there are so many of those kind of jobs in the area. I lived in the Pheasant Run apartments @ Dorsett & Marine for a few years after I got out of college. There are a couple of decent restaurants in Westport itself, but if you want to hear live music or the like you'll probably be driving in closer to the city a lot. There used to be a movie theater in Westport but I think it's gone now, so that'd be a couple of miles away too.

    One thing I heard about the area but didn't experience firsthand, is that the apartment complexes closest to the highway (I-270) are more popular with car thieves since it's easier to make a quick getaway. That might be an urban myth but you never know. My apartment was relatively far from the highway and the only crime I experienced was a stolen license plate.
    SerNick
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    27 Mar 2006 10:29 AM

    Thanks a lot for all the info guys.

    Well obviously I'm going to need a place with a garage. I will have at least two cars, possibly three.

    I think the best bet for me moving to a new city where I don't know anyone would for me to live in an area where there are people my age (ie don't buy a house) for at least 6 months or so until I get my feet wet and then go from there.

    I'm really not your typical college kid; I drink, but I'm not heavy into the club scene (used to be, sorta grew out of it). I'm more of a "sip some Turkey 101 at the local bar" kinda guy.

    Anything else about me that would help out? Here how about this: I like girls. :)

    How's the local STS crowd? I'm gonna go take a look at some results now

    SerNick
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    28 Mar 2006 08:10 AM

    Any more input or has everything basically been covered?

    I'm looking for some personal opinions on certain areas if anyone can help out.

    Kim Humphries
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    28 Mar 2006 09:01 AM

    I’ll be jumping into STS from GS with my ACR. Lybarger in the Imprezza will be the guy to try and chase down. Matt G. took a season off and will be back with an improved Integra. Not sure about Mike in the Prelude returning – turned in a nice performance last season. You saw the list, eh? The Civic will go away mid season if he starts at all – back to Miata land. I hope that Josh in his SE-R will be back as well. Should be fun.

    You will be working just around the corner from my favorite dim sum restaurants in the area – Hunan Garden – very authentic, cart service (don't be put off by the oddball location) – there are others but, HG reminds me of the old school traditional places that I used to go to in NYC. LuLu’s is good but $$.

    Hunan Garden Chinese Restaurant

    Address:

    11532 Page Service Dr, Saint Louis, MO 63132

    Phone:

    (314) 432-7015

    http://maps.yahoo.com/maps_result?a...e=&qty=

    I go out that way for HG and the annual SCCA banquet (usually at a Westport restaurant) - IMHO it's all happening in the city. Try Olivette (main drag Olive is just below Page). Drive west to work, east for fun and in a very affordable, diverse neighborhood.

    mugwump
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    28 Mar 2006 12:26 PM

    [quote]I hope that Josh in his SE-R will be back as well

    he moved back to Maine so its doubtful [;)]

    Kim Humphries
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    28 Mar 2006 01:56 PM

    Didn't know that Jeff - we weren't that 'close'.

    Send in the STS fodder!

    Actually - that may be me if I drive like I did in the BIG REAR BAR MIS-MATCHED TIRE CLOWN CAR Sunday at the rookie school?! Hehe - NOT!

    You saw the munched front on Pete's Civic, eh? He discovered that a carbon fiber hood is cheaper than an OEM and may go to SM for laughs before heading back to the Miata mid season.

    crystalhelix
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    28 Mar 2006 02:39 PM

    SerNick smells, so you don't really want him to move to St.Louis anyways.

    Just kidding, we'd miss him a lot here in the steel cities region.

    J

    fiat124girl
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    28 Mar 2006 02:44 PM
    crystalhelix wrote:

    SerNick smells, so you don't really want him to move to St.Louis anyways.

    Just kidding, we'd miss him a lot here in the steel cities region.

    J

    That's okay, we have lots of smelly people here!

    mattg
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    28 Mar 2006 03:14 PM

    The Westport area has several bars, and used to have some clubs. Its a good spot for the 20/30's crowd.

    My brother in law is a police officer in Maryland Heights (the city where the office is located). Some areas are places you may not want to live. However, there are a lot of apartments around there. The Edward Jones YMCA is close, you have good access to St. Charles, highway 270, 70, and a few minutes from 40/64. Overall its pretty centrally located.

    We need more STS people so bring it!

    Bryan S
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    28 Mar 2006 04:04 PM

    You mentioned the need for a garage, and/or parking for several cars. Looking for a house or an apartment? It may be hard to find an apartment with a garage. There are many with car-ports. One area where there are buildings with garage space is the Moorlands, near Clayton (east of Hanley, north of Clayton Rd., South of Wydown). Rents may be high now, but many of the buildings have lower level parking garages.

    Kim talks about Holly Hills and south city. I think you could find a reasonable house to rent in that area.

    One thing we haven't mentioned is the curious way the city and county goverments work. In the nineteenth century the city split from the county and fixed their limits. So the City of St. Louis is not part of St. Louis County. Within St. Louis county there are a gazillion small municipalities, each having their own local government and often police departments and public services. This makes for some very interesting local politics.

    A good thing is that most of the major cultural instititions are tax supported, so there is a ton of things to do free. Entry to the Art Museum, zoo, History Museum and Science Center are all free. You may have to pay for a special exhibit, IMAX movie or what not. But its really nice to be on your bike in Forest Park and decide to hang out for awhile at the zoo or art museum and just walk in.

    SerNick
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    29 Mar 2006 10:57 AM

    Hmmm, it appears as if Tuxedo Park has space available for storing and playing with my car. That would make things a hell of a lot easier for me...

    http://leasing.tuxedoparkracing.com/

    Anyone know of anything similar to what they are offering? Possibly somewhere where I can store the car and work on it during the weekdays?

    Kim Humphries
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    29 Mar 2006 11:57 AM

    The Sauget garage is a VERY nice space sharing setup with lots of racers - nicely organized and though a bit remote the pizza guy does know how to find it! If you consider strip clubs a plus - well then, there you go!!

    What Bryan said is true - many of the homes in my neighborhood (and others) have garages - plenty of 2 family houses where you could rent and negotiate for garage space. I own a home that has a small 2 car garage with electricity - you could squeeze two in but you'd want to pull one out to work on the other.

    SerNick
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    29 Mar 2006 12:49 PM

    Kim do you know how I can find more info out about the Sauget space?

    I'd really like to get a house but I'm afraid that not living in an apt complex is going to hurt my chances at meeting other people my age. But its definitely an option.

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