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Faded Glory or a Glorious Future?

September 12, 2009 Books, STL Region No Comments

As most frequent visitors know, I’m not from around here (I’ve “only” lived in St. Louis for about 5 years). I don’t remember Sportsman Park or where the Blues used to play. I never went to Gaslight Square or the Highlands amusement park. I never rode on a streetcar here, nor do I have any irrational cravings for a concrete or for Provel cheese. I’m an outsider, and I’m still learning a lot about my new hometown.

Earlier this year, Forbes Magazine did a special series on the State of the City, and unlike many series, focused on the whys cities are the way they are, instead of just creating another list. I found many points that crystallized more than a few of my perceptions and observations about St. Louis, both the city and the region, and offered more than a few insights about what the future may hold for us and how we may or may not get there.

In an effort to be succinct, I’m purposely not going to quote from any of the articles – it would be best if you explored them on your own – but I think there are multiple topics worth further, local discussion, everything from the role suburbia plays to discussions on parks, public art and high-speed rail. Many of the issues raised aren’t new – crime, schools, sprawl, taxes, jobs – but the spin is not always what we’ve come to expect. I’d encourage you to take the time to look at one or more in depth, and then to come back and post your thoughts on the issues that seem most relevant.

– Jim Zavist


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