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I'm taking a long weekend in STL to visit WashU soon. Any spots I should definitely hit to get a feel for the city?

 

Apparently I really like maps....here's another one! I made it editable by anyone, so people are welcome to add their own favourite places. This way you have access to their websites/addresses etc. I added small notes so you can click on the red marker and find out why I added it. Hope this helps!

 

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=znSq18U6Bxo4.kU-6heM8gSjU

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Apparently I really like maps....here's another one! I made it editable by anyone, so people are welcome to add their own favourite places. This way you have access to their websites/addresses etc. I added small notes so you can click on the red marker and find out why I added it. Hope this helps!

 

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=znSq18U6Bxo4.kU-6heM8gSjU

Wow you are so helpful, thank you very much!

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Wow you are so helpful, thank you very much!

 Belatedly: Sure thing! I added 1 or two new spots. I could add about 100 more but I don't want it to get too overwhelming :P

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Hello,

This thread seems mostly about where to live, safety, and expenses - very helpful! Can anyone speak to cultural features of St. Louis? Things to do? What are the people like? Does it have a general feel? Does it give the big city vibe? Anything anyone can offer in terms of what it's actually like to live there I would really appreciate it! I'm considering UMSL.

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Hello,

This thread seems mostly about where to live, safety, and expenses - very helpful! Can anyone speak to cultural features of St. Louis? Things to do? What are the people like? Does it have a general feel? Does it give the big city vibe? Anything anyone can offer in terms of what it's actually like to live there I would really appreciate it! I'm considering UMSL.

I'd say it has the features of a big city without really feeling like one.  If you are used to Houston, Chicago, New York, Boston, etc. Saint Louis might feel kind of small. The metro area has about 3 million people to give you a rough idea for comparison.  On the plus side we don't have insane traffic problems, and it never feels like a particularly busy place (which may be good or bad depending on your perspective).  Saint Louis sort of sprawls out, and there has been a lot of recent development to the west.

 

As far as things to do, there are a few nice perks of living here.  The zoo, science center, history museum, and art museum are all free and all very solid options (the zoo is better than a lot of paid zoos in other cities).  The scenery is not that great, but it's what you'd expect living in the midwest, although there are some decent state parks within 20-30 minutes of downtown if you want to go for hikes or mountain bike or that sort of thing.  It doesn't get cold enough long enough to do major winter sports although you can find places to go ice skating in the winter or indoors.  St. Louis is big enough to have a good symphony, several concert venues that attract broadway/off-broadway productions and current artists, and NHL/NFL/MLB (Cardinals fans are pretty crazy here).

 

Public transportation exists but isn't great.  UMSL will give you access to the light rail system which will connect you to certain parts of town (the airport and the stadiums/venues downtown are notable examples).  UMSL itself isn't in the best part of town (but not the worst either), and some of the recent posts above mention some very nice suburban areas to live near UMSL if you have a car; otherwise you can look at the Metrolink (light rail) path and see if you can live near one of the stops.

 

I'd say the people on the whole are nice, sometimes too provincial, and diverse when it comes to socioeconomics and political beliefs.

 

If you have any other or specific questions I can try to address them. Good luck in your search!

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Hello,

This thread seems mostly about where to live, safety, and expenses - very helpful! Can anyone speak to cultural features of St. Louis? Things to do? What are the people like? Does it have a general feel? Does it give the big city vibe? Anything anyone can offer in terms of what it's actually like to live there I would really appreciate it! I'm considering UMSL.

 

BeakerBreaker covered much of the basics, but I had just a couple things to add. St. Louis is very much like a quilt made of different neighbourhoods. Each neighbourhood has its own feel and it's own culture. Some places are great and some not so great. It's difficult to gauge where you'll fit in best until you move here, but there are lots of great places to live and spend time. I personally choose to live close to campus in a very quiet neighbourhood and spend most of my free-time elsewhere. 

 

Places like Clayton and Brentwood (lots of upper-scale stores, restaurants, franchises and the mall) have a MUCH different feel than South Grand or Benton Park (ethnic cuisine, coffee shops, smaller boutiques) but both share similarities with the Delmar Loop. I have previously heard fellow graduate students complain that St. Louis is too close-minded. I have rarely, if ever, had that experience as I choose to spend the majority of my time around people who are open-minded and have found many, many places to speak with like-minded folks. That being said, I do think St. Louis is best enjoyed if you have a car. It's possible to get by without one, but you would likely miss out on finding some of the more out-of-the-way neighbourhoods you might enjoy. 

 

I've generally found people to be friendly no matter where I go and my boyfriend and I almost always make new friends when we go out, even if we're just waiting in line at the grocery store.  Anyway...I'm rambling to avoid grant-writing...please feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions :). Aside from "It's a big city that feels like a big town", it's hard to succinctly sum-up St. Louis. 

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Hi all! I am so happy I found this forum! I was recently accepted to SLU for graduate school and I am looking for places to live near campus since my program starts June 1st! Does anyone who is familiar with the area have any suggestions on housing? Any advice is greatly appreciated  :)

Edited by oneshot35

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In thinking about housing, I was wondering how is the parking on Danforth campus at WashU? If parking was really crowded it would be beneficial for me to live a little closer but if it isn't too hectic then I could probably get away with living a little farther.

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In thinking about housing, I was wondering how is the parking on Danforth campus at WashU? If parking was really crowded it would be beneficial for me to live a little closer but if it isn't too hectic then I could probably get away with living a little farther.

http://parking.wustl.edu/parking/permits/Pages/PermitOptions.aspx

 

It's not crowded so much as somewhat expensive if you want to pay for a pass (you'll want a yellow pass at $555 a year).  You can park for free on some side streets a couple blocks away if you get there early (6 a.m., 7 latest if you are lucky), or even across Skinker in Forest Park if you are willing to walk. Another alternative is to park at a metrolink stop and take the train in some distance away (if that stop has parking), depending on where you live, but you introduce some inefficiencies with your commute by waiting for the train.

 

The yellow pass is pretty solid if you think the fee isn't so bad.  You can park near the art building and social work building which is usually one of the last places to fill up in what's called the Brookings lot.  There is also an underground garage in the heart of campus, although it's likely further away from most of where you will be taking classes.

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$555 a year is a steal... At least compared to where I went for undergrad. It was about $300/quarter, and I always took some summer classes. 

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At my undergrad parking on campus was like 300 for the year lol. How reliable is the Campus Circulator? I've been looking and I can take the MetroLink and then catch the Campus Circulator or I can just take the Metrolink into campus? Parking at Forest Park sounds great but it seems to be about a 15 min walk to the social work, which I'm not sure how feasible that would be in the winter?

My undergrad was always super crowded in terms of parking but there was a free lot on campus if you were willing to walk a little further. Right now I think parking at Forest Park is my best bet but will my car be safe there? Is it safe walking there at night alone?

Edited by MermaidturnedMSW

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I haven't used the circulator before, but based on the schedule (https://parking.wustl.edu/transportation/Documents/campus_circulator_102009.pdf) it looks like it does a loop every 20 minutes or so. There are two metrolink stops more or less right on campus, Ucity/Big Bend and Skinker. You'd probably want to take the metrolink to Skinker and then walk if you felt like it - the social work buildings are about a half mile from that stop.

 

If you're going to use Forest Park, you'd be looking at something like: https://www.google.com/maps/dir/38.6437389,-90.2980986/38.6464414,-90.3059015/@38.6456034,-90.3019641,17z/data=!4m2!4m1!3e2 (hopefully that link works).  Winter isn't so bad if you have the right clothes for it. I'd be more worried about rain/storms or showing up to work sweaty on the 100+ degree days.  Occasionally, like once every two years, there's a big ice storm and walking around can be difficult if they don't clear it before you show up to work.

 

I think leaving your car in Forest Park is alright, especially fine during the day, but I would not really want to walk around there at night.

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Hi All,

I'm sure this might have been covered but I'm asking for your help (please!) I do not live in Missouri and I am not familiar with St.Louis at all. I currently am starting UMSL in the Fall and I'm looking for an apartment, preferably a 2 bed room or large one bedroom for $1000 or less. I have looked and found some places on Craiglist but I have no idea if these places are close to UMSL or even safe areas. Any advice would be helpful, Thank You!

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Put UMSL on the map and put your Craigslist apartments on the map and see if they are close first of all.  Then think about whether or not you need/want to be within walking distance, or walking distance of the light rail (which stops at UMSL).  Don't look anywhere east or north of UMSL.

 

Octoberstormxx's recommendations in post #122 are very good places to start:

The sad part is U-City can be a great place to live, but without visiting I'd completely mark it off my list. In general I would say U-City can even be quite scenic.

I will say this, I've lived in Maryland Heights most my life and that borders Bridgeton, St, Anne, and Creve Coeur. Knowing these areas fairly well, I could suggest any of these counties with certainty they'll be safe for those concerned about danger.

 

If you have a car and you think a thirty minute commute is no big deal, you can live anywhere in the metro area. Otherwise you will need to prioritize what is important and let us know.  I'd say Octoberstormxx's suggestions are a good compromise between close to UMSL and not crappy parts of St. Louis.

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Do you guys know anything about safety of the Shaw neighborhood, near the Missouri Botanical Gardens? Do students frequently live in this area?

 

Also, I saw advice against first years living in tower grove. Why is this? I have seen some well priced, nice looking apartments there!

Edited by bsharpe269

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Students do live in the Shaw neighborhood. It isn't my first pick for first years or otherwise, but it is reasonably priced and reasonably safe.

 

The reason it isn't recommended for first years is because it puts you further away from campus and the center of grad student activities (both socializing and work-related, almost all of which will happen in or near the CWE).

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Students do live in the Shaw neighborhood. It isn't my first pick for first years or otherwise, but it is reasonably priced and reasonably safe.

 

The reason it isn't recommended for first years is because it puts you further away from campus and the center of grad student activities (both socializing and work-related, almost all of which will happen in or near the CWE).

 

Thanks for the info! What about the Demun neighborhood? I've seen on here that Clayton is nice and it is right next to there so my guess is that it is a good area too?

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I wanted to thank everyone for answering all of my questions. I was able to find a great apartment in a safe area thanks to all of your experience!

 

Whoo! I'm glad you found a place and, if you're in town, I hope you're enjoying this gorgeous weather :D.

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I don't know if people have already posted what I'm about to post, but I thought I would add my two cents as I have lived in the St. Louis metro area for 15+ years.

 

- St. Louis isn't public transportation friendly. Well, at least not on the level of Chicago, San Fransisco, or New York. The buses and MetroLink do not get you close to your job or cool social areas. Its public transportation gets you somewhat close to your college campus, such as SLU, WashU, Webster, and UMSL. STL is easier to navigate with a car, bottom line.

- STL is very family friendly. There are many museums, a really nice zoo, active sports centers, and beautiful parks.

- Easy to find career in higher education, but difficult to find a career outside of higher education. There are many universities and colleges in STL, but also many across the bridge in Illinois such as Southwestern Illinois College, Lewis & Clark College, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and McKendree University. Major companies/establishments outside of higher education worth looking into: Purina, Ameren, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, and Boeing.

- The  St. Louis AmTrak station links north to Chicago, Illinois and links south to Dallas, Texas.

- If you are not into sports, STL will be a very boring city. The social life is more bar centered, and the crowd loves sports. Baseball and hockey are really big since the Cardinals and Blues are pretty decent sport teams. Rams... well... no comment.

- STL is a city with a small town mentality. Actually, I don't view STL as a city. I see it as a well known small town. STL is surrounded by many lower-middle class small towns, which some have high crime rates, while other surrounding areas are filled with small town people who aren't open to change, diversity, or culture. STL lacks culture!!! 

- There are many nice and affordable apartments and duplexes in Maplewood. Maplewood has a cute boutique environment where there are small independent shops, restaurants and bookstores. It is also close to downtown area. 

Edited by Klonoa

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Recently accepted to Wash U for Cog Neuro PhD! Haven't officially accepted yet as I have one other recruitment weekend to attend but will more than likely be attending Wash U in the fall =] 

I've been looking at Clayton on the Park, Lofts at the Highlands, and Cortona at Forest Park for apartments. Only concern is transportation to Wash U from the Lofts and Cortona (though it's only a 15 min bike). Tips?

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I live about the same distance as Clayton in the Park and drive to the med campus every day (I'm assuming this is where you're headed - neuro in DBBS?). Also, yay for WashU! :)

Biking is okay during fair weather and daylight hours, although St. Louis isn't the most bike friendly of places. With some of those apartments, you could cut through forest park and it would be a nice ride.

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