79 St. Louis Neighborhoods: A Process Check

Back in September, 2009 I made it a personal goal to visit and document each of St. Louis' 79 neighborhoods.  I've come to the conclusion that it's going to take me years to reach my goal of posting on all 79 neighborhoods in St. Louis at the rate I'm going.  It's not that hard, it just takes a lot of time.  So far, I've done 9 neighborhoods in 4 months.  I'm only 11% of the way toward completion!  At this rate it will take me over 3 years to complete this task.

I am however going to plod on because I'm learning more about my city through this process than I ever would have if I hadn't have teed this up as a goal.  I am going to try to vary the posting schedules to not be too similar.  For example, following Walnut Park East with Walnut Park West might be kind of boring, so I'm trying to mix it up. 

My next 3 neighborhoods will be Old North St. Louis, Patch and Boulevard Heights.  I think some of the more industrial neighborhoods may require my scooter or walking trips because of limited car access.  In the middle of winter, I'm looking to hit the neighborhoods from my car.

79 neighborhood visits may get exhaustive and become mundane at some point.  I don't want that to happen so I'm thinking of ways to keep it fresh and fun.

Some ideas:

  1. If you are a proud resident of a particular neighborhood and would like to lead your's truly on a tour of your stomping grounds, I would be happy to accompany you.  The most time consuming part of doing these is driving around trying to find the "feel", points of interest, goods, bads, trends, historical values and looks of the neighborhood.  I feel if I could have someone who already knows the bright spots, highlights and low lights, the current happenings, etc then I would have a leg up.  If you are interested in hosting me on a tour of your neighborhood, let's talk and try to set it up. 
  2. A final summary of all 79 hoods would be quite fun.  This will keep my eye on the prize of completion.
    1. Top 5 up and coming
    2. My favorites
    3. Coolest looking churches
    4. Coolest looking signs
    5. Most racially diverse
    6. Most in need of attention, renewal
    7. Most rehab ready
  3. More recent census data.  I realize comparing 1990 to 2000 is out of touch with the current state of the neighborhoods.  I will work on finding a better site that has the more recent data (if you are aware of the existance of such info, please comment or email me).
  4. Better connections to historical research.  What buildings/previous uses used to be in a given area is very interesting to me.  For instance the Corvette plant, where was it?  Does it still stand, what's it being used for today.  If there is a website that has this St. Louis based info, I'd like to know.  Another example would be the parks in my neighborhood (Frank Leisure, Christy Park, St. Marcus) may have been a landfill at some point.  When the bike trails were being constructed and trees planted, the excavations unearthed all kinds of what appeared to be turn of the century relics (china, drams, bottles, metal cans, snuff containers, etc).  I suspect this may have been a dump.  Or at least some very unclean fill dirt was used years ago to grade the areas.
If you want to help, or know any good sources of information at the neighborhood or city wide level, or have any suggestions on how to better profile a neighborhood in 1 day or less, please let me know.

Thanks.