Bragging Time Part 1

Among other St. Louis blogs, I read urbanstl daily. I find it one of the best sources of local news and entertainment. They have an unwritten rule that I don't agree with however. The rule is that you cannot compare St. Louis to other cities. And, while I completely understand this rule is an effort to keep things constructive and not just too negative. However, I think comparing St. Louis to other cities is an important thing to do. My reason? Because I'm of the staunch opinion that St. Louis is the best city in the region and is much cooler than many other American cities. It's okay to brag STL-lovers! I like to hear people talk about why STL is unique to other places, for better and for worse. I love agreeing with the pros and trying to debunk the cons (not always successfully). I want to encourage the comparison of STL to other places on this site and in general. I think it would elevate our sense of pride. This is great place to live, work and play, and most people in the metro region don't even know it, or at least underestimate it.

That being said, I don't think most St. Louisians are good at bragging. On one hand, it's a strength. We are a humble bunch, as I think many Midwesterners are. Bragging doesn't come as easy for us as say a New Yorker, Chicagoan, San Franciscan, Portlander. We're not on an oceanic coast, we don't have mountains, we're not a cosmopolitan "shopping city", we're not a huge metropolis, we're not Cub fans. BUT, we are THE coolest city within a 4 hour drive (maybe 5, maybe 8).

As a whole, I don't think we could collectively be accused of being elitists or even proud for that matter. And here lies one of the problems for our region. However, I am proud. I love St. Louis. I think we're better than any city within a 4 hour drive from here.

I want St. Louis to be the bee's knees. I am firmly convinced that St. Louis is the best city within a 250 mile radius. Hell, it might even be in the top 10 in the country. That's why I like seeing those white and black "CITY" stickers. I like that people are proud of their city. Ever seen a boastful "Ellisville", "Warson Woods", "Marlborough" or "Champ" sticker? Didn't think so. Is that because those cities suck? Or, is it because they have no identity? Not sure, I just wish we had more regional pride. And maybe a merge would lead to more regional pride and unity.

Is that too provocative? I am trying to stir the pot a bit and let anyone who comes across this site know that I am up for hearing all comparisons of St. Louis to other cities in the region, Midwest or country as a whole.

I am pleased to read of Mayor Slay's recent mention of consolidation of services/govts. with the city and suburbs. I am shocked at how many opinions out there think the county would be doing us a favor by merging. Huh? I know the recent discussion is more around service consolidation than expanding the cities borders. But, if that was the case and we absorbed some county municipalities, we'd be doing them a favor. We'd allow them to identify with our heritage, cultural institutions, history, momentum, potential, namesake, world wide identity, etc. I think the county needs more of an identity. For instance, I like that Webster Groves and Kirkwood have a HS football rivalry. I like that they extend that rivalry to include a city to city rivalry. I think both of those cities are decent and nice. I wish more of our neighbors liked and were proud of their cities.

I don't think Rockwood will ever have a great rivalry with Parkway because few identify those schools with a city.

Let me get back to my bragging, though...

Let's get this straight: St. Louis is the best city in the metropolitan region hands down. I'm willing to hear all arguments to the contrary that pits a specific metropolitan city vs. St. Louis. Which city has more potential to be a world class city? St. Louis or a consolidation of 91 municipalities in the county? St. Louis.

What does St. Charles have on St. Louis? How about Chesterfield, Wildwood, Crestwood, Belleville, O'Fallon, Edwardsville, Columbia, Creve Coeur? I want to know, I really do.

Then to take it a step further, what does Nashville, Kansas City, Louisville, Memphis, Indianapolis, Springfield have on St. Louis.

I am willing to have a civil debate and compare St. Louis to any city, large or small in the region or outside of the region. Which city is better than St. Louis and why? Why is St. Louis better than other cities? Now is your chance, any takers?