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My roommate and I ended up looking at apartments in The Loop area and decided if we wanted to move to CWE we could do that our second year. We found several 2 br apartments on Heman, Syracuse, and Kingsland for pretty cheap. However, we found another apartment thats just north of campus on N. Skinker (a block north of Pershing). It's slightly more expensive, but the proximity is very tempting even though they don't have any off-street parking. How is this area? 

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So I grew up in StL. It is a neighborhood-based city, but great number of the metro area which is considered STL lives in the suburbs (50-60s white flight). This is changing to a certain extent, espec

My PI's lab is on Danforth campus so it seems like it would be about a 15 minute bike through Forest Park and worse comes to worse, I can take an uber since the apartment is only 8 min away (according

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

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One of my friends lived in the Heman/syracuse/kingsland area and it's alright.  Access to the loop is nice. N. skinker is about the same kind of neighborhood.  If your program (+roommate's) is on the Danforth campus I'd stick around there.

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  • 8 months later...

Hi there -

 

I am leaning towards attending WashU in the fall and already have found some great info on this thread and on WashU's website. I am visiting in April but have a couple of questions:

 

1. What is the general culture like? For example, I'm from Cinci and it is ridiculously traditional and conservative here (it's not uncommon for strangers to ask me when I plan on getting married during an initial conversation, for example). I'd like to move to a more diverse and progressive area. If St. Louis is on the traditional side (I've heard it's pretty similar to Cinci), is there at least an area that will have a more interesting variety of people?

 

2. When should I secure housing? When I visited Pitt, the tour guide strongly suggested getting housing in January-March, as all of the less expensive housing in the best locations would be taken due to the large college student population. Do I need to secure housing far ahead of time in St. Louis, or will a month or two suffice like it does around here?

 

3. Anything you would recommend checking out when I visit, like niche bars or popular local restaurants? Any brunch places? I'd like to scout out an affordable walkable neighborhood that includes the following: a fun local bar, a market, a place for brunch, late night dining, a Starbucks (my friend works there and she is moving with me), and a place to study.

 

Thank you!

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Hi there -

 

I am leaning towards attending WashU in the fall and already have found some great info on this thread and on WashU's website. I am visiting in April but have a couple of questions:

 

1. What is the general culture like? For example, I'm from Cinci and it is ridiculously traditional and conservative here (it's not uncommon for strangers to ask me when I plan on getting married during an initial conversation, for example). I'd like to move to a more diverse and progressive area. If St. Louis is on the traditional side (I've heard it's pretty similar to Cinci), is there at least an area that will have a more interesting variety of people?

 

2. When should I secure housing? When I visited Pitt, the tour guide strongly suggested getting housing in January-March, as all of the less expensive housing in the best locations would be taken due to the large college student population. Do I need to secure housing far ahead of time in St. Louis, or will a month or two suffice like it does around here?

 

3. Anything you would recommend checking out when I visit, like niche bars or popular local restaurants? Any brunch places? I'd like to scout out an affordable walkable neighborhood that includes the following: a fun local bar, a market, a place for brunch, late night dining, a Starbucks (my friend works there and she is moving with me), and a place to study.

 

Thank you!

 1. I could go on and on about this, but in short: yes. MO is on the whole quite conservative but St. Louis (many parts in particular) is much more open :)

 

2. Obviously the earlier the better but we got our apartment a week or two before we moved in August and there were still many options available. I suggest looking early but you're not in any rush unless you have your heart set on one block/building. I have a map of frequently-lived-in-neighbourhoods if you would like it :). It's tailored to the med campus neighbourhoods, though. Will you be on the Danforth or Med campus? ($900/mo for a 1 bedroom (and a massive 1 bedroom at that) is the MOST expensive I have heard of among my group of friends). Some people rent houses for $1100-1200/mo split across 3 people so finding affordable housing close by is rarely a problem. 

 

3. There are lots of neighbourhoods that would fit your needs in the area. The Central West End (north of the med campus) and University City (north of the danforth campus) would probably work best for you. There are lots of other small neighbourhoods that are a short drive away from campus. The two I mentioned above are easy walking or metro distance from either campus. 

 

Feel free to PM me if you have any additional questions. I love St. Louis and I really enjoy helping people find their place here :)

 

~glow

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I'm planning on going to WashU this fall! I'm looking forward to having my own apartment but am curious about whether most people live in studios or bigger apartments and if there are any apartment buildings that have high populations of grad students?

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I'm planning on going to WashU this fall! I'm looking forward to having my own apartment but am curious about whether most people live in studios or bigger apartments and if there are any apartment buildings that have high populations of grad students?

Living in St. Louis, I would say the highest number of graduate students lies in the immediate vicinity of Washington University. As for studios versus bigger apartments, it really just depends what you can afford. I've seen a lot of people go in with roommates for an apartment with two bedrooms, making rent cheaper.

Some of St. Louis has several not-so-nice areas to live in, so don't choose an apartment that you haven't physically visited, or a five a friend to check it out for you, if possible. Surrounding areas that are generally safe to live in St. Louis but may not have a ton of graduate students includes: Creve Coeur (really expensive), Olivette (slightly cheaper), Maryland Heights (slightly cheaper), and Bridgeton (much cheaper). I personally would be more concerned with where in the city you end up living, because as I said, St. Louis has some dangerous areas.

Edited by Octoberstormxx
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Hi! I am coming from out of state and I am SO surprised about these housing prices. I am looking to live alone with a dog, near the social work campus but I am bringing a car with me. I love the idea of being close to parks and cultural areas. Are U-City or Skinker/DeBaliviere good options? Thank you!

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Some of St. Louis has several not-so-nice areas to live in, so don't choose an apartment that you haven't physically visited, or a five a friend to check it out for you, if possible. Surrounding areas that are generally safe to live in St. Louis but may not have a ton of graduate students includes: Creve Coeur (really expensive), Olivette (slightly cheaper), Maryland Heights (slightly cheaper), and Bridgeton (much cheaper). I personally would be more concerned with where in the city you end up living, because as I said, St. Louis has some dangerous areas.

 

You picked some interesting places pretty far from WashU. If people are willing to drive in, there are quite a few more that can be added onto this (I have a ~10-15 minute commute to the Danforth campus by car). That said, I can't stress enough that your threshold for safety should be the first consideration when it comes to finding a place to live, and never pick housing without seeing it yourself.  There are bad areas within walking distance of both campuses.

 

Hi! I am coming from out of state and I am SO surprised about these housing prices. I am looking to live alone with a dog, near the social work campus but I am bringing a car with me. I love the idea of being close to parks and cultural areas. Are U-City or Skinker/DeBaliviere good options? Thank you!

Pleasantly surprised I hope? St. Louis is fairly cheap, and if you haven't found cheap housing you can probably shop around a bit. U-city and Skinker/DeBaliviere are decent options.

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Thank you! Yes pleasantly surprised. I am looking to be in a safe area, I'm not sure if I will be able to visit before I start school (which sucks). Are there any other areas that I should keep on my radar or stay away from in general? I would not mind a 5-20 min drive to the Danforth campus but I don't want to stay like 40 mins since I don't know the area (as far as shops, safety, and things).

Edited by MermaidturnedMSW
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How dangerous is dangerous in STL?  I visited almost a month ago.  I was told the city was terribly segregated even around the Danforth campus but no one mentioned any neighborhoods being dangerous.  

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On 3/6/2015 at 7:15 AM, MermaidturnedMSW said:

Thank you! Yes pleasantly surprised. I am looking to be in a safe area, I'm not sure if I will be able to visit before I start school (which sucks). Are there any other areas that I should keep on my radar or stay away from in general? I would not mind a 5-20 min drive to the Danforth campus but I don't want to stay like 40 mins since I don't know the area (as far as shops, safety, and things).

If you're okay with a 5-20 minute drive, I'd add Clayton (expensive), Richmond Heights, and Brentwood to the list as pleasant neighborhoods that err on the side of safety.  I've spent the last five years living in either Richmond Heights and Brentwood.  Since you mentioned parks, I'd look into the neighborhoods near Tower Grove park and the Botanical gardens, too -- these ought to be cheaper and they have a different vibe (the further west you go, the more suburbanite the population generally). Forest Park is adjacent to the Danforth Campus which is a main park/cultural attraction in itself.

 

 

On 3/6/2015 at 7:22 AM, smg said:

How dangerous is dangerous in STL?  I visited almost a month ago.  I was told the city was terribly segregated even around the Danforth campus but no one mentioned any neighborhoods being dangerous.  

St. Louis historically ranks in the #1-5 positions as far as dangerous cities in the US go (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_St._Louis#.22Most_Dangerous_City.22_rankings).  Whether or not you consider a particular neighborhood dangerous is largely an individual decision.  There are parts of St. Louis you probably wouldn't want to visit during the day, parts of St. Louis you probably wouldn't want to put any property (real estate, your car) for any period of time, and large parts of the city you probably ought not to hang around late at night, either alone or with a friend (mostly the sides closest to IL)

What you will usually hear when you ask someone about danger in St. Louis will be something to the effect of "there are some bad spots you should stay out of and use common sense."  This is true, but not necessarily the best way to present the advice - for example, there are a lot of people coming here from Small Town America, or from other countries, who haven't really lived day to day in an urban environment at all, and therefore haven't developed what the advice-giver would consider "common sense."  Additionally, when you are from out of town, learning which pockets are good and bad takes some time.  There are also people who for whatever reason don't concern themselves too much with the crime rate here, although I tend to find that the locals are acutely aware of it. 

 

My college was in a big town/small city where anybody could roam around at any hour in 90%+ of the city without any real concern because the crime was so low. Since I am from St. Louis originally, I was pretty shocked to turn on the news there and not hear of a homicide for months consecutively.

 

Near the Danforth campus, the areas to the south and west are fairly safe. The campus itself is policed by their own department and, especially when school is in session during the academic year, shouldn't be too much of a concern.  The street immediately to the north has a lot of shops, restaurants, entertainment, and student housing; however, if you go more than a couple blocks north or northeast, you start to run into trouble.  My own rule of thumb is not to live within easy walking distance of sketchy neighborhoods, but YMMV when you ask other people.  Segregation in St. Louis doesn't just mean race; usually socioeconomic disparity goes hand-in-hand with it.  Those areas near the Danforth campus are segregated, but they're not full of African-American WashU professors or upper-middle class families like what you'd expect from most of the other neighboring areas.

 

Now, this all sounds somewhat scary, but I'm trying to be as frank as possible because 1) you won't necessarily get an unbiased view from the school, who after last year's incidents are having a slightly harder time with faculty recruitment, 2) so that no one is shocked.  St. Louis is an awesome city -- I've lived here 20 years at this point and would enjoy another 20 more.  There are huge parts of the city/metro area that are more or less unaffected by crime.

Clayton/WashU are located in great areas of St. Louis and have very little crime around them. 

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BreakerBreaker you have been such a great help! I don't plan to move until right before school but now I have a great idea of neighborhoods that I should stay in =]. What about South City? Is that a pretty good area?

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On 3/6/2015 at 10:38 AM, MermaidturnedMSW said:

BreakerBreaker you have been such a great help! I don't plan to move until right before school but now I have a great idea of neighborhoods that I should stay in =]. What about South City? Is that a pretty good area?

Really the only part of St. Louis you want to avoid is East St. Louis. St. Louis does have bad spots as any city does throughout, but the one area I'd definitely stay away from is East St. Louis. Directly south of St. Louis is Soulard. The Soulard district is known for its farmer's market. There are also a lot of bars in Soulard, a lot of people around St. Patrick's day go bar-hopping around the area. I personally am no bar-hopper, but I will say Soulard is quite a colorful scene. Soulard also consists of several small art galleries... and really just sort of artsy places in general. I personally would not be afraid to live in Soulard, but from the parts I've been to there's not a whole lot of housing there. Then again, I haven't intensely checked out the housing market there. Currently, I've invested more of my time looking at housing on the West side of St. Louis.

 

On 3/6/2015 at 9:59 AM, BeakerBreaker said:

If you're okay with a 5-20 minute drive, I'd add Clayton (expensive), Richmond Heights, and Brentwood to the list as pleasant neighborhoods that err on the side of safety.  I've spent the last five years living in either Richmond Heights and Brentwood.  Since you mentioned parks, I'd look into the neighborhoods near Tower Grove park and the Botanical gardens, too -- these ought to be cheaper and they have a different vibe (the further west you go, the more suburbanite the population generally). Forest Park is adjacent to the Danforth Campus which is a main park/cultural attraction in itself.

 

 

St. Louis historically ranks in the #1-5 positions as far as dangerous cities in the US go (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_St._Louis#.22Most_Dangerous_City.22_rankings).  Whether or not you consider a particular neighborhood dangerous is largely an individual decision.  There are parts of St. Louis you probably wouldn't want to visit during the day, parts of St. Louis you probably wouldn't want to put any property (real estate, your car) for any period of time, and large parts of the city you probably ought not to hang around late at night, either alone or with a friend (sadly, Forest Park is one of those places). 

 

What you will usually hear when you ask someone about danger in St. Louis will be something to the effect of "there are some bad spots you should stay out of and use common sense."  This is true, but not necessarily the best way to present the advice - for example, there are a lot of people coming here from Small Town America, or from other countries, who haven't really lived day to day in an urban environment at all, and therefore haven't developed what the advice-giver would consider "common sense."  Additionally, when you are from out of town, learning which pockets are good and bad takes some time.  There are also people who for whatever reason don't concern themselves too much with the crime rate here, although I tend to find that the locals are acutely aware of it. 

 

My college was in a big town/small city where anybody could roam around at any hour in 90%+ of the city without any real concern because the crime was so low. Since I am from St. Louis originally, I was pretty shocked to turn on the news there and not hear of a homicide for months (instead of days) consecutively.

 

Near the Danforth campus, the areas to the south and west are fairly safe. The campus itself is policed by their own department and, especially when school is in session during the academic year, shouldn't be too much of a concern.  The street immediately to the north has a lot of shops, restaurants, entertainment, and student housing; however, if you go more than a couple blocks north or northeast, you start to run into trouble.  My own rule of thumb is not to live within easy walking distance of sketchy neighborhoods, but YMMV when you ask other people.  Segregation in St. Louis doesn't just mean race; usually socioeconomic disparity goes hand-in-hand with it.  Those areas near the Danforth campus are segregated, but they're not full of African-American WashU professors or upper-middle class families like what you'd expect from most of the other neighboring areas.

 

Now, this all sounds somewhat scary, but I'm trying to be as frank as possible because 1) you won't necessarily get an unbiased view from the school, who after last year's incidents are having a slightly harder time with faculty recruitment, 2) so that no one is shocked.  St. Louis is an awesome city -- I've lived here 20 years at this point and would enjoy another 20 more.  There are huge parts of the city/metro area that are more or less unaffected by crime, but unfortunately WashU/SLU are not in the best parts of town.

I'm going to have to disagree with you on some of the areas you've suggested. Clayton is not affordable at all to students, just going to put that out there now. Housing actually goes into the millions in the Clayton area. As far as Brentwood and Richmond Heights go... I wouldn't say they're that much more affordable than Clayton or Ladue, although maybe slightly. Creve Coeur is even quite high up there, but not as bad as Clayton or Ladue. The reason I suggested areas such as Creve Coeur, Bridgeton, Olivette, and Maryland Heights is because they are probably the nearest, cheapest, and safest areas I can think of. U-City itself is very dicey when it comes to housing, some areas are great, others not so much. U-City is the town with, I believe, the most drastic range of poor to wealthy residents.

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Really the only part of St. Louis you want to avoid is East St. Louis.

This is what I was getting at that people have different thresholds for places to avoid.  East St. Louis falls into the "don't go there for any reason" category, but there are plenty of other areas I would say you should basically outright not look at housing in.

 

Clayton is not affordable at all to students, just going to put that out there now. Housing actually goes into the millions in the Clayton area. As far as Brentwood and Richmond Heights go... I wouldn't say they're that much more affordable than Clayton or Ladue, although maybe slightly. Creve Coeur is even quite high up there, but not as bad as Clayton or Ladue. The reason I suggested areas such as Creve Coeur, Bridgeton, Olivette, and Maryland Heights is because they are probably the nearest, cheapest, and safest areas I can think of. U-City itself is very dicey when it comes to housing, some areas are great, others not so much. U-City is the town with, I believe, the most drastic range of poor to wealthy residents.

Clayton does have a lot of expensive housing, but doing a quick search on Craigslist, you can get big 2 bedroom apartments in Clayton for $900-1400 regularly, which would be decent if you were splitting it with someone else.  Richmond Heights and Brentwood are even better - my apartment in Richmond Heights was $600/month for 2 bedrooms, 1200sqft, which is pretty amazing for being so centrally located (before that, I paid $600/month to live in Ballwin before it was developed into what it is now, and had a 25-30 minute commute). I'll also add that Maplewood can be a good option if you can nab an apartment near the Metrolink stop (light rail system) so you can just ride that in to campus every day.  Totally agreed on U-City - some great neighborhoods and some terrible neighborhoods rolled into one.

 

 

What about South City? Is that a pretty good area?

I'm not that knowledgeable about South City neighborhoods, except to say that I know several people who have lived there, and every neighborhood that they lived in was pretty nice.  For that reason I don't really shy away from it, but it wouldn't be my first pick.  If you poke around on Google Street View you can start to get a feel for what some of these neighborhoods look like.

 

On a side note, if anyone gets to the point of being really uncertain about some of the housing options they're looking at because they can't visit before signing a lease, I will offer to go and take a look around and report back about the area/local businesses/the commute if that's something that would be useful. 

Edited by BeakerBreaker
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This is what I was getting at that people have different thresholds for places to avoid.  East St. Louis falls into the "don't go there for any reason" category, but there are plenty of other areas I would say you should basically outright not look at housing in.

 

Clayton does have a lot of expensive housing, but doing a quick search on Craigslist, you can get big 2 bedroom apartments in Clayton for $900-1400 regularly, which would be decent if you were splitting it with someone else.  Richmond Heights and Brentwood are even better - my apartment in Richmond Heights was $600/month for 2 bedrooms, 1200sqft, which is pretty amazing for being so centrally located (before that, I paid $600/month to live in Ballwin before it was developed into what it is now, and had a 25-30 minute commute). I'll also add that Maplewood can be a good option if you can nab an apartment near the Metrolink stop (light rail system) so you can just ride that in to campus every day.  Totally agreed on U-City - some great neighborhoods and some terrible neighborhoods rolled into one.

 

 

I'm not that knowledgeable about South City neighborhoods, except to say that I know several people who have lived there, and every neighborhood that they lived in was pretty nice.  For that reason I don't really shy away from it, but it wouldn't be my first pick.  If you poke around on Google Street View you can start to get a feel for what some of these neighborhoods look like.

 

On a side note, if anyone gets to the point of being really uncertain about some of the housing options they're looking at because they can't visit before signing a lease, I will offer to go and take a look around and report back about the area/local businesses/the commute if that's something that would be useful.

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.

As far as other places go, I'm not sure about Maplewood, I don't think I've ever been. Although I have been to Wildwood and Kirkwood and although they are quite far out there, they are both nice. Right now, I think the absolute cheapest housing I've seen is in Florissant, honestly. Housing there is older though in general, plus it's a far drive. But for those interested in buying a house versus apartment, houses are very reasonable there,

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.

Oddly to me, St. Louis doesn't feel that dangerous, even in the worse parts... but I think sensibility is always important like not going out to questionable areas after dark and traveling with a friend, etc. I know St. Louis has gotten a bad rap through statistics, but there are far scarier cities in my opinion like Detroit for example.

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On 3/7/2015 at 11:25 AM, Octoberstormxx said:

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.

As far as other places go, I'm not sure about Maplewood, I don't think I've ever been. Although I have been to Wildwood and Kirkwood and although they are quite far out there, they are both nice. Right now, I think the absolute cheapest housing I've seen is in Florissant, honestly. Housing there is older though in general, plus it's a far drive. But for those interested in buying a house versus apartment, houses are very reasonable there,

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.

Oddly to me, St. Louis doesn't feel that dangerous, even in the worse parts... but I think sensibility is always important like not going out to questionable areas after dark and traveling with a friend, etc. I know St. Louis has gotten a bad rap through statistics, but there are far scarier cities in my opinion like Detroit for example.

Yeah, most of my high school friends lived in U City, and I had one from college who lived there, too, and their neighborhoods were nice but obviously in the better parts of the suburb.

My family's first home was in Olivette and I spent most of the rest of my childhood in Kirkwood, and they're both super nice. I think it's safe to say that if you draw a vertical line on top of 170 through the city and look west of there you can't go wrong. Sometimes I head out to the Creve Couer area just because it starts to get scenic (the lake is nice) -- the western counties are really the places that I think are best suited for raising kids and the like (less population density, more greenery, good schools and community centers, low crime), but one of the prerequisites is having decent transportation. Your recommendations are probably the first places I'd pick for anyone going to UMSL in particular and would also work for WashU's Danforth campus.

My impression of Florissant wasn't ever particularly good because they get to be neighbors with Ferguson and the few people I knew from there were in dire financial straits.  

Sensibility is really important, and something that out of towners sometimes need to pick up. There are other dense urban areas where walking around late at night in the city is not necessarily that dangerous, but I think being in STL does require a certain amount of caution.  There are other odd things here that I haven't seen elsewhere, like police in grocery stores or Metrolink employees with bullet proof vests that suggest that crime is pretty pervasive the closer you get to epicenters like North City and East St. Louis.  Creve Couer and Chesterfield are nothing like the city itself so it is pretty interesting in that regard.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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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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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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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