St. Louis Nesties
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Moving to St. Louis

Hi ladies! I am from Nebraska but my husband was offered a post doctoral position at Washington University Medical School so we are deciding if we should move to St. Louis. We don't know anyone that lives there.

 What do you like best and least about St. Louis? We would need daycare for our 6 month old daughter. Is it reasonable? What areas would you suggest we would look to live in? Any help at all would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Re: Moving to St. Louis

  • Hi! Welcome to our Board!!

    Saint Louis is a good place to live because housing is affordable, there are plenty of "family friendly" things to do such as events, museums, places to go.  Additionally, there are alot of parks and trails to always go rollarblading, hiking, bike riding, or just having a picnic. We are alsoclose to wineries and rivers to go camping/floating.

    Daycare is cheaper here in STL than it is in other places in the country, and so is housing...but with that, comes lower salaries. DH could get paid more if he was in CHicago or on the east coast, but decided to stay in STL because the cost of living is much lower here. We're better off here, than other parts of the country...in that we're blessed.  

    Saint Louis is a very spread out metro area...so as far as "areas" to live in, you're going to get a wide range of answers from folks.  First decide how far you want to be from Wash U and what time of neighborhood you want to live in.  Are you looking for older homes, but an ecclectic neighborhood/enviornment or are you looking for your typical suburbia neighborhood and schools. Where will you be working? Do you want to live close to your DH's position or close to yours?

    On a personal note...these are just my opinions, nothing more :)   I live in Saint Charles, which is outside of Saint Louis a little - I love it. We're close enough where we can go to sporting events (cardinals, rams, blues) but far enough away where the housing is a little bit more affordable.  My parents live in what's called "west county"  which is Manchester/Ballwin/Chesterfield area -- the schools are rockstar awesome, homes are somewhat affordable but there are waaay too many people in that area, trying to drive somewhere on Manchester rd or Olive is obnoxious.  University City/Clayton/Brentwood area which is where Wash-U, is very eclectic / diverse...older homes but a very neat area to live in.  *GREAT* community.  Some folks on this board live in IL, don't know which parts, but everyone has nothing but good things to say about IL...(except maybe gas prices being higher in IL than MO).   We also have some folks that live in Jefferson County / St. Charles County here on the board...so keep in mind that the further you get away from Saint Louis, like into those counties, typically the more house you can buy with your $$.  The downfall is you drive a little further to get to the city if you want to go downtown for anything.

     If you have any other questions feel free to ask :)
     


     


     

     

  • Thanks for the response lilmufish. One of the issues is that I would have to quit my job here (as an apartment complex manager) to move and I would hopefully find a new job quickly.

    We live in a LCOL area now so we are used to affordable housing and daycare. I hope that we could find comparable stuff in St. Louis. From my research the cost of living is about the same.

     One downfall is that we would not buy a house there because the postdoc is only for 3-5 years and we don't think its a good financial decision for that time. We havent' decided yet for sure, but we need to soon. Thanks for your input, it helps!

  • Hi! Wash U is located in University City, a very fun, diverse neighborhood with great ethnic restaurants and cute shops. Look into U City, Clayton, Brentwood, Maplewood, Richmond Heights. Kirkwood and Webster Groves are great neighborhoods a little further west, as well. www.apartment-search.com and www.apartment-exchange.com have STL rentals listed. www.stltoday.com and www.riverfronttimes.com are two newspapers with listings.

    Best about STL- spring and fall, great restaurants, FREE zoo, art museum, history museum, science center, AB brewery tour.

    Worst- summers can be HOT but we just had a pretty pleasant one, 12 hour drive to the nearest beach (but closer to a beach than NE is!). I was born and raised here so I don't have too many problems with STL. Maybe someone who isn't an STL native has more to say.

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  • I'll second everyone else's "bests" about St. Louis.  It's just a very livable city.  We've got all the amenities, but life is a little slower paced than most "eastern" cities, and our idea of a terrible commute or congestion or whatever is nothing compared to what other large metropolitan areas deal with.  It's a city of neighborhoods, and all the neighborhoods are so cool and offer their own sense of history to the city.  Exploring is lots of fun.

    I'm a lifelong St. Louisan (except for 7 years away for college and grad school), so I'm a bit biased.  Non-natives bash St. Louis because it can be hard to "break in" and make friends here.  There are so many lifelong St. Louisans that people are already in established social circles (there's a lot of hanging out with high school friends), so it's sometimes hard for new people to find their place.  However, I would think that having DH's job at a place like Wash. U. would negate a lot of that--I'm sure there are a ton of transplants there looking to make friends, too!

  • Hi there!!!  My DH and I just moved here from San Diego almost 2 months ago!!!

    I currently live in Chesterfield, which is a suburb West of the city.  We just bought a house in Lake St. Louis (we're builidng), so I don't know a lot about the city, but this is what I can tell so far:

    The Pros --> This area of the city/county (not sure if all of it) is REALLY clean, I love all the green areas/parks/trails, lots of stuff to do for free, very family friendly, it feels pretty safe. (We actually moved here to be able to buy a nice house, and not pay $2700 a month for the mortgage).

    The Cons --> This probably wont affect you, I think this is not a very diverse city and I wasn't used to this, but I think were I live is worse than other parts of the city, and because I'm hispanic I've been stared at, I haven't noticed it as much when I'm out with my husband (he's VERY faired skin...oh, and he's actually from Nebraska orginally!!!  He moved to SD when he was 7 though).  I've also noticed (kind of stupid, but I'll say it any way), that the radio stations play a lot of "old" music. 

    On the friends comments, yeah, a lot of people have know each other for YEARS and people that don't know each other directly "know" each other through friends of friends, and I think that's probably one of the reasons I have been stared at (even at church): people just don't recognize me as belonging there, so I'm the "stranger", but I do think you can meet people here and socialize...  If everything fails, email me (pisb at yahoo dot com)!!!  I'm just starting to make friends here, so I can definetely use one!!!

  • Pros- Free activities like the zoo are great. ?There are also a lot of very good places to eat. ?Unfortunately though, I have not found the Mexican options to be good at all. ?Traffic isn't bad, and the overall COL is low.

    ?

    Cons- Shopping is crappy, there is little diversity, and people really are exclusive. ?You will be asked where you went to high school because people want to put you in a socio-economic "slot." ?People really do have established social circles from when they were in elementary school, and it is hard to make friends. ?It isn't that people are mean, but they just don't see any reason to acquire new friends. ?The winters also suck big time.

  • Shopping- crappy. ?Not a lot of choices, many things are behind by a season, etc.

    Diversity- ?Do you see lots of non-whites here as compared to many big cities?

    Exclusivity-??I think I pretty much explained what I meant by that in my original post. ?I also would like to note that a previous poster mentioned it too.

    ?

    FYI, I also mentioned several good things about St. Louis. ?But maybe you missed that part. ?Guess what, not everyone loves it here! ?OP asked for an honest opinion of StL, so I gave her mine. ?Are you a member of the tourist council or something? ?

    Why do you care that I don't think your precious StL is perfect? ?I didn't even get into the uneducated rednecks or the prolific meth labs in Jeff Co.

  • image Crash*Into*Me:

    What are you talking about?

    There are a ton of reasons why STL and the surrounding areas are great. Even if you don't want to live in MO, IL is right across the river and has several bridges to get you there.

     

    ???  What does MO vs. IL have to do with anything she said?

    Oh, wait. Is it because there's more "diversity" on the IL side of the river? Way to prove her point about STL's being an elitist, nondiverse kind of town.


    image
  • If it is any consolation, I didn't grow up here. I've also never been asked by anyone where I went to highschool when they meet me and before they know I didn't grow up here. I also haven't had any problems finding friends or meeting new people. That's where your jobs and hobbies can be really beneficial.

    It's not a major city, but I think that is one of the reasons those of us that like living here, really like living here. However, coming from Nebraska, I would think you would like it and be able to fit right in and not be overwhelmed.

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  • I should add that your experience around the med center may be very different.  Most people around there are NOT from STL, so (imo), they tend to be more open-minded, from all kinds of different backgrounds, and generally just have more exposure to the world than most St. Louisans.

    (Also, Wash U Med School is part of Barnes-Jewish Hospital, which is in the Central West End, NOT University City.  That'll be key when you're looking for places to live. FWIW, I loved living in the CWE.)

    Good luck!


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