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12th Anniversary of UrbanReviewSTL.com, No More Comments Section

October 31, 2016 Featured, Site Info, Steve Patterson No Comments
Me pre-stroke in the December 2006 issue of St. Louis Magazine. Photo by Dillip Vishwanat
Me pre-stroke in the December 2006 issue of St. Louis Magazine. Photo by Dillip Vishwanat

Twelve years ago today I registered the domain UrbanReviewSTL.com and began writing. I stopped only when I was sedated for a few weeks following my February 2008 stroke. I originally started the blog as a distraction to my father’s recovery from a heart attack a month earlier. It worked — turns out it was just what I needed at that point in my life.

This blog has always been a way to help me express myself. I really enjoyed the first decade, but the last two years not so much.

I’ve blogged for 12 of my 26+ years living in St. Louis, Missouri. It has been a long time coming, but I’ve become very disillusioned with St. Louis — the entire region. My optimism has been replaced with skepticism. More than a century of doing the wrong thing has permeated the culture to the point of no return. A few months ago I stopped trying to convince the region to become more urban, more pedestrian-friendly. Harland Bartholomew did irreparable damage to the city & region.

My husband and I would like to move to another region, Chicago is our top pick at this point. However, financial reality may not enable us to do so. While a new mayor in 2017 is a reason to be hopeful, it’s not enough to get us to give up relocating elsewhere. Again, the region has been so mislead for decades — whomever is in room 200 isn’t going to change the region’s culture.

At the same time, the number of people commenting on the blog has decreased. Those who do comment frequently express the very views that represent the reasons why St. Louis won’t recover. I’ve argued with them before, but I’ve realized I’m just wasting my time doing so. However, I hate seeing their narrow views go unchallenged. Those who used to challenge them have also given up.

For a while I considered ending this blog today, I am spending more time working on writing fiction. Ending the blog completely would allow me to devote all my time to the various novels I have outlined. However, as we’ll still be living here until we can afford to move, I’ve decided to keep posting but to turn off the comments. They’ve increasingly gotten under my skin, distracting me.

Only a tiny percentage of viewers actually comment. Granted, some may come here to read the comments, but that’s also a small percentage. Besides, I haven’t checked my traffic in years — yes, years. Like that day 12 years ago, I’m writing for myself. I’m doing what I think is best for me. If others want to read what I write, great. If some are upset they can’t comment, they’re free to start their own blog where they can share differing views.

For the next two months, at least, I’ll continue posting four times per week:

  • Sunday 8am: new poll
  • Monday 5:45am: new post
  • Wednesday 5:45am: results, discussion of recent poll
  • Friday 5:45am: new board bills, other topics if no bills

I do hope the young people here will continue to fight for change. but I’ll be 50 in February — I’m tired of fighting for what I consider fundamentals.

— Steve Patterson


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