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St. Louis, MO

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Thank you!

How is the city in general. How is it composed socioeconomically, are there many things to do when not studying, can you get around without a car, is it a safe city?

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Guest waiting234

okay - this'll just be a quick reply for now. st. louis is a wierd city - you have poor areas next to gated streets with REALLY nice houses so (as you might have guessed) it is not very safe. some areas ARE definetly safer than others - if this is your main concern find an apt in clayton (around southwood&demun or the area a bit west of that). most washu students live on the loop (in university city - delmar & skinker to the east) and the med students largely live in the central west end (the only one of these that feels city like - though it's much pricier than the loop). you do want a car - and this is coming from a person who is very anticar...if you're broke you can get to the store etc w/o one, but your life will be much much more pleasant with one. ask more and i shall answer :-)

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Guest waiting234

[whoops, typo, delmar and skinker and then to the west - the east is very sketchy]

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Guest L

The loop is a great place! I visit St. Louis regularly, and I always hit the shops and restaurants down there. Plus Forest Park is near Wash U and it's beautiful. There are lots of cheaper neighborhoods, but be sure to visit first. For example, just south of the highway (40?) that is south of Wash U is a cheap neighborhood that was pretty sketchy last time I was there. And if you get too far toward St. Louis from the Loop, it seems pretty sketchy too. I've seen some of the Wash U grad housing that's around the loop area and it looked nice. Or you could live in the suburbs and commute. St. Louis is car friendly. Friendly in general, actually. I'm looking at Wash U myself, the department isn't great for me but I like St. Louis so much!

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Guest waiting234

okay, i have to say i disagree with the tone of the above post - st. louis really is NOT a bustling place. i was just in ann arbor and, to give you an idea, there's way more to do in teh college town of a couple 100,000 than in the supposed "city" of st. louis. that said, it has its charms...but it takes effort to find them.

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Guest emi

I have to say that the way you experience St. Louis really depends on where you've come from. I grew up in the mountains of upstate NY (not the touristy part; the part where we actually have "mountain people" and scary animals and often no electricity), and moved to Manhattan after college, so I've been to both extremes... I've also lived in St. Louis (briefly), and in my experience it's a really in-the-middle kind of place. I would describe it as a city made up of towns: it's not a city the way Chicago is a city, but it's certainly also not entirely "suburbia." It's perfect for me - NYC is a bit too much - but my s.o. is from there and he finds it rather constraining in (what he considers, for a filmmaker) its employment possibilities. The graduate school at Wash U is a fairly self-contained community in terms of social life, but there are plenty of opportunities outside the school community as well and lots of little restaurants and bars within a 10 or 15 minute drive of campus (if that's your thing), it's a physically beautiful place, and a decidedly friendly one at that. It's bustling in its own way. There are lots of museums, an amazing botanical garden, and I doubt very much that there will ever really be "nothing to do" if you go there...but you have to seek it out, it won't come to you (this in contrast to a city-city like New York, or the very built-in activity present in a college town like Ann Arbor). As is the case anywhere you go, it's what you make of it.

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Guest guest

So, how much money/month do you need to live decently (as a graduate student of course)? By grad.student-decently, I mean going out at least once a week, having a comfortable apt., eating out, buying books, etc.

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Guest waiting234

washu has a housing page....let me find it...http://ars.wustl.edu/search.asp

i had a three bedroom in clayton (the nice expensive safe neighborhood) that was overpriced at 1100 a month, i currently have a studio in the central west end (the expensive city-ish neighbood) for about 540...they're really as cheap as 480 and as expensive as you want in the cwe. my sense is that you can get a one-bedroom on the loop for the price of a studio in the CWE - i had a friend who had a grimey one for around 450 and there are definetly nicer ones for around 600 and 700.

in terms of going out there's really whatever princerange you want. the cheap food is mostly on the loop or south grand (an area farther from campus). but there's nice restaurants there too and some VERY nice restaurants in clayton and the cwe. here's links for the three st. louis publications i read:

http://www.rftstl.com/ (weekly independent newspaper)

http://www.saucemagazine.com/ (monthly food magazine)

http://www.playbackstl.com/ (monthly music/event magazine)

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I just accepted an offer for UMSL. I am moving to St. Louis from Columbus. I want to live near campus (if it is safe) and I will need a two bedroom apartment. How much will this cost me? Where around campus should I live? Where do most grad students live?

Thanks to all who can help me!!!!

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Guest emi

Have you checked out UMSL's reslife page yet? They have apartment-style housing for grad students, I think, which might give you some ideas: http://www.umsl.edu/services/reslife/

The rates on one of the apartment complexes look a wee bit high to me, for St. Louis, but the second one on the page looks fairly reasonable - that's the range you should be looking for. I don't know much about UMSL, but I'm going to Wash U next year, and my boyfriend's whole family is from St Louis, and I've visited there more than several times now. For what it's worth, I've wandered around UMSL's campus and neighborhood at 2am and I felt perfectly safe.

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Thank you! The only thing is I need a two bedroom because I have a boyfriend and a cat. I don't know if they would let me rent out a two bedroom by myself and then allow someone else and a cat to live there. I'll look into it, though. The policies may be different between resident halls and graduate apartments.

I heard it was safe around that area, so I am confident I should be okay living around there. It sounds safer than OSU.

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Guest emi

Check with them - they usually work something out. I'm going to live in Wash U's student housing, and the only thing my boyfriend and I have to do for him to live with me is have him fill out a credit check. They've been very helpful. I'm sure that if they cannot accomodate you, they'll be able to point out other resources for finding an apartment in the area. Also, try checking craigslist for St Louis - it's fairly active.

Good luck!

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Thank you so much!

I sent an e-mail to the contact person for both the condo and apartment place. The third apartment place is furnished and for undergrads; so I don't think that would work for me. You're right, we should be able to work something out or they might be able to help me find something off campus.

I checked the craigslist and there are some nice deals! A two-bedroom apartment for $450???? They're almost $700 here in Columbus!!!! What's the catch? lol

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Guest emi

Yeah...I keep thinking "there must be SOMETHING wrong with this apartment!" (I'm gonig out there in a couple of weeks to sign a lease on a 2-br, myself...I think the one we've chosen is $520, slightly more expensive, but still looking ridiculously cheap to me - I was paying $700 for HALF a 1-br in Brooklyn last year!)

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i lived there for 13 years. what do you wanna know? what school/part of town do you think you'll be going to, as SLU is a lot different than WashU. overall, i think StL is a great city, especially if you know where to go. it's not a big city like Chicago or NYC, but it's pretty unique.

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i lived there for 13 years. what do you wanna know? what school/part of town do you think you'll be going to, as SLU is a lot different than WashU. overall, i think StL is a great city, especially if you know where to go. it's not a big city like Chicago or NYC, but it's pretty unique.

I will be attending Wash U. We are unsure on the part of town as of yet. We may have to live in Illinois because of a work issue with hubby. Regardless, we will be looking to buy a house. I guess I'm asking for general impressions, hidden jems, etc.

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well, WashU isn't all that close to downtown StL, and therefore not that close to the IL border. it'd be a hell of a commute if you had to go from, say, Belleville (on the IL side of the river) to WashU every day.

i don't know a whole lot about the home-purchasing market anymore, but some of the areas surrounding WashU are very nice (in the Forest Park area) and may be prohibitively expensive. U-City would be cheaper, but would be a little bit rougher.

culturally, there's a lot of great stuff close to WashU. the Loop (on Delmar St.) is a lot of fun; lots of good ethnic restaurants, a nice art-house theater (Tivoli) that plays mostly indie and foreign films, the best record store in St. Louis (Vintage Vinyl), Chuck Berry's restaurant/club where he still performs several times a year (Blueberry Hill), and a bunch of other stuff, all on one street.

also in the area is the St. Louis Art Museum, which is decent, and the zoo, which one of the best in the country. nearby is The Hill, the old Italian part of town, with great restaurants and culture. Forest Park is close by, and it is gorgeous and very spacious; it's St. Louis' version of Central Park in NYC (though not quite as cool as Central Park), where the 1904 World's Fair and Olympics were held. there is an outdoor theater in Forest Park in the summer (The Muny) which puts on affordable plays. there is also usually free Shakespeare plays in the park during the summer.

Downtown StL is mostly reserved for business and sporting events these days, but there are some great, relatively affordable restaurants like Charlie Gitto's and The Oyster Bar. all the trendy downtown StL bars/clubs are on Laclede's Landing. i mostly stay away from there when i'm in town, unless i want to hear some good jazz/blues. The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra performs regularly at the Fox theater, which is gorgeous and also periodically hosts plays and other events. Gambling is also legal on the river, and there are a few casinos downtown (but the rest one is in St. Charles, which is about a 20 minute drive from downtown).

St. Louis is also a great sports town, of course, if you're into that. Professional baseball, football, and hockey, and they are working on bringing in an MLS (professional soccer) team in the next few years. St. Louis University is an Atlantic-10 basketball team, and also has one of the better soccer programs in the country.

in the same area as WashU is several other universities, so there are always a lot of academic seminars and conferences going on. also, there is a Federal Reserve office in St. Louis which hosts conferences and is a great research source if you are doing any economics/political economy work.

overall, the city is pretty friendly and family-oriented, but there's a lot of culture there too. it's relatively slow-paced compared to other mid-major cities, but there are plenty of opportunities for social activities. i really enjoyed living there, and if WashU had much of a focus in my research interests i definitely would've applied there.

hope that helps.

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Good information.

I have an application out to UMSL, which seems like it is way out in the suburbs, where I definitely do not want to be. I was thinking, if I end up going there, that I would live closer to the other universities and use public transportation (I have a car, but hate to drive/park). Is this doable?

I was also looking at Soulard and a couple of neighborhoods surrounding it (I am originally from Pittsburgh, and this area really reminded me of some of the Pittsburgh neighborhoods). Any opinion? I'm fine with "a little rough", I'm not so fine with downright frightening or dangerous. The "most dangerous city" thing has me a little worried.

Thanks.

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