Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Suburbanite Misconceptions

****Negativity Alert****You've been warned!

Working in the exurbs for nearly 14 years has taught me a thing or two about the misconceptions of non-St. Louisians living in the region.

Here are a few to get me started. I realize these are generalizations, but I've tried to compile the ones that come up time and time again.
  1. St. Louis County people refer to St. Louis as "Downtown", meaning the entire city is "downtown"

  2. Very few suburbanites know where to park for free at Cardinal games (maybe this is for the better). There are many, many spots for free within a 15 minute walk of Busch-III.

  3. When many suburbanites read/hear of new businesses, restaurants opening in the city, they will say it won't last. Nothing in the city lasts long.

  4. They think you can't be a pedestrian in the city. They fear muggings. Most of all though, they just aren't familiar with St. Louis streets and neighborhoods, and don't know how to get around.

  5. Few suburbanites will admit that racist tendencies influence their school district and home choices. I realize mentioning race is inflammatory to many; but, I truly believe this to be the case in my personal experience. I actually find it refreshing when the rare person is honest about their demographics needs.

  6. They don't realize that they are NOT living/working in St. Louis.

  7. They don't know where the city starts/ends and where the county starts/ends.

  8. Many exurbanites are completely unaware that there are nearly 10,000 Bosnian/Croatian/Roma living in St. Louis and the inner ring suburbs.

  9. Many exurbanites think you need a big yard to give a kid a "good upbringing".

This of course drives me nuts. Am I missing any?


  1. When asked, they will respond that they live in "St. Louis" even if they live in the 'burbs.

  2. What that guy said. I've been looking at your blog recently and I love that you're bringing attention to this great city of ours. Anyway, a lot of people consider the city and the county together when thinking of St. Louis - well at least parts of the county. I live in Bellefontaine Neighbors and I just say I live in St. Louis because I live so close to the city (about 5 minutes south is the city line). If I was living in Webster Groves, or Kirkwood, or somewhere in West County I would probably say I live there, but I consider some cities in the county St. Louis rather than their own city.

  3. Courtney, unfortunately you don't live in St. Louis. You can't vote on our issues, have a voice in policy, live the same experience (schools, police force, refuge dept, etc), pay taxes here or anything like that. The 91 cities in the county are truly separate in every way from St. Louis. You should move to St. Louis! Thanks for reading...and until then be proud of Bellefontaine Neighbors and praise her to the high heavens. I'm sure it's a great place to live and you choose it over STL for some reason. Cheers.