January 15, 2012, St. Louis: Just north of Washington University a block or two from the arts and entertainment district known as the Delmar Loop sits the kind of residential neighborhood I plum forget can exist in an urban center like this one. Houses oh-so-midwestern, characterized by dark brown brick and wide facades and heights designed for giants, are nestled beneath old trees on a light layer of snow. Four, five, even six bedrooms homes, with space a New Yorker could only dream of and prices comparable to those of their studio apartments, sit comfortably in the heart of this side of town between the West End and University City. The streets of this unexpected enclave are laid out in concentric circles with a straight narrow pathway bisecting them all. It’s the perfect spot for a father daughter walk on a Saturday morning, and one of many pleasant surprises St. Louis has in store this weekend.
Looks can indeed be deceiving. Their morning walk is not nearly as isolated as it appears. Just around the corner, Ice Carnival preparations are underway and runners punch through the starting line of the Frozen Buns 5K/10K.
Just around the corner is Subterranean Books, the requisite one-of-a-kind bookstore every neighborhood needs , as well as added perks like the old school Pin-Up Bowl and Tivoli Theater.
From the Loop to Lafayette Square, we poke around this city like we never have before. On a drive through the expansive Forest Park, we imagine summer runs and relaxing bike rides in this Gateway to the West. From warm window seats at Square One brewery in the historic neighborhood of Lafayette Square, we watch a slow Saturday afternoon unfold as dog owners come and go from their meeting spot down the block.
The more we travel, the less that opinionated New Yorker within us has a say. The more scenes we soak in, the more places we allow to speak to us, the less we hear that voice insisting that we could never, not in a million years, live anywhere else.
Of course we could. From atypical views of this city, we know there are many places that might suit us quite well. Upon close and careful observation, we come across one colorful door after the next we have yet to open.