Thursday, July 12, 2007

I Wrote a Letter to the Government!

Last night. An email actually. To Mayor Slay. I felt compelled to do something given the challenging headline of the previous post. It's not a scathing indictment yet it's not quite a lobbed softball. And in rereading it, there's a certain geek/nerd naïveté to it. But what the hell? You gotta start somewhere.

I hope he opened and read it. I'll let you know.

[Bonus points for anyone who gets the headline/image referrence. – Ed.]

From: Chris Aguirre
Date: Jul 11, 2007 10:16 PM
Subject: Saint Louis, Slow Cities and Fast Company

Mayor Slay,

In case you haven't already read or heard, Saint Louis is one of five 'slow cities' named in the current issue of Fast Company (July/Aug). Having bounced between Saint Louis and a number of other cities nationally and internationally over the years, I think I've finally settled into being a Saint Louisan (I've been here for 10+ years on this tour). So, in light of the Fast Co. 'ranking' and as a resident of the city who also works in the city, I'd genuinely appreciate a better sense of what our plan is. What are we going to do to put and end to the overwhelming outside perception that Saint Louis is a violent, backwards or worse, dying, town? (Beyond rehabbing and building lofts which, don't get me wrong, is wonderful to see when you're already here.) I know (hope) there's more to the plan.

If you're interested, I've got a brief post on my blog with some pertinent links – not the least of which is a link to the City Vitals Report which gives one a great snapshot of our place (or lack thereof) in the contemporary metropolitan scheme of things.

Thank you in advance for your attention.


Chris Aguirre
Saint Louis, MO 63104



If you really know the city, you might recognize that my (and my wife's) address is (close to) this:

How do we get a handle on the crime?

Thank you again for your time.


Sanity said...

...the other day. I opened and read it, it said they were suckers!

PE boyeeee!

Sanity said...

Disclaimer: This post contains rampant generalizations and gross hypocracies that I am to lazy to sanitize.
St. Louis has always had a self-esteem issue in addition to publicity problem. The city is constantly on the defense. Why move to STL? Typical response 80s-90s: It's a great place to raise a family. The translation was that we had ridiculous suburban sprawl so you could live 20 miles outside of St. Louis for that great family life. Of course, those in the city knew that the city was the place to be but when you have 300,000 in St. Louis City and 2.5M "St. Louisans" living in the county who won't go east of Skinker unless there is a Cardinals/Rams/Blues game then how can you trumpet the coolness of the urban experience to be had?

STL doesn't haven an sexy industry centerpiece either. It is home to AB and nobody cares about the rest. STL seems to flirt with being a Biosciences capital but we get no thunder! No pop!

The shadow of Chicago looms large as well forcing constant comparisons of why STL is better, which in many ways it is but the tradeoffs may not make it worth it. Just because Chicago is too cold doesnt make STL a better place to live btw.