Does St. Louis need to hit rock bottom?

A catch-all forum for urban discussion. If it doesn't fit elsewhere, post here.
From the owner of Crown Candy:

https://twitter.com/kzieff/status/885520744758865920

Well I have had 8 people tell me they no longer come in the city because the crime is so bad. Kinda hard to overcome that thinking.

Reality or perception is irrelevant.
warwickland wrote:
Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:42 am
just some observations from living in the city for years (i now live all the way out in university city and also had a stint in maplewood). I lived many years (6-7) in the southern part of TGS, before that Debaliviere Place most recently Dogtown. I NEVER ONCE had a crime that directly affected me (car break in, burglary, robbery, etc), maybe i'm just lucky...or cautious (i barricaded my basement door with steel beams against daytime kick-ins when that was a big problem in TGS, etc etc etc).

I have had more problems in the county, where i HAVE had my car broken into (not u-city). the crime issue is a funny one in st. louis.

what i really didn't like was when i would call the non-emergency line and report things like REALLY CLOSE gunshots, or open air drug dealing as I was watching it on the phone from my living room (i'm talking a crew on the corner EVERY DAY ALL DAY CAR AFTER CAR), i was blown off by the operator, or got no response by the PD. I ended up bothering the landlord and a social worker enough (there was a child and a mother involved) that the drug dealing parties simply took their operation right across chippewa to dutchtown around amberg park (and flip us the finger, yell at us, make a hand gun gesture as they still walked back and forth between neighborhoods across chippewa) and the whole thing made us feel like we had to deal with things like this on our own which was b.s....

Live all the way out in UCity now... didya buy Alex Ihnen's farm house?

did you live in the TGS Wedge? fwiw, I think some solid things are happening down there past 12-24 months... the CDC is doing some work there and it also seems things are getting better crossing Chippewa into Amberg Park in Dutchtown... both in the park itself as well as some of the apartment buildings on Gustine; and great diversity down there ...passing through the other night noticed Nepalese, Somali,, white, black... Puerto Rican,, everybody just a freakin. (ok, made that last Prince part up.) .
olvidarte wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:59 pm
In TGS folks seem to have become accustomed and desensitized to crime. No exaggeration, we literally have residents who have their cars and garages broken into and won't call the cops because they think the person who stole from them must be poor and must have needed to do it.
I would say this is attitude is pervasive other neighborhoods around TGP as well.

I've noticed many instances where someone mentions on social media they called the cops, or ask if they should call the non-emergency number, for something they see that is completely illegal, and the person that asks that questions or who called the police is publicly shamed on social media for getting the police involved.

I read those posts and wonder how crime is supposed to get better if people on the south side continue to basically excuse it. It's like if shots weren't involved, don't call the cops.

I realize the crime problem is going to take all sorts of approaches, and the PD doesn't need to be involved in everything, but we still need the PD and we have to report what we see.

There is this bizarre acceptance of illegal behavior.

Wow! This is just stupid.

Here in U City (one of the most diverse areas of St. Louis) we encourage everyone to report ALL criminal activity. We use social media to alert our neighbors to vandalism, auto break-ins, strangers lurking around houses, etc. The police ask us to report things such as suspicious vehicles and inappropriate behaviors, because this helps helps them build a database which can be used to provide "probable cause". That allows them to legally stop and check on known trouble-makers.

This is how you prevent crime before it happens, and build better, healthier neighborhoods.
framer wrote:
Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:51 am
olvidarte wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:59 pm
In TGS folks seem to have become accustomed and desensitized to crime. No exaggeration, we literally have residents who have their cars and garages broken into and won't call the cops because they think the person who stole from them must be poor and must have needed to do it.
I would say this is attitude is pervasive other neighborhoods around TGP as well.

I've noticed many instances where someone mentions on social media they called the cops, or ask if they should call the non-emergency number, for something they see that is completely illegal, and the person that asks that questions or who called the police is publicly shamed on social media for getting the police involved.

I read those posts and wonder how crime is supposed to get better if people on the south side continue to basically excuse it. It's like if shots weren't involved, don't call the cops.

I realize the crime problem is going to take all sorts of approaches, and the PD doesn't need to be involved in everything, but we still need the PD and we have to report what we see.

There is this bizarre acceptance of illegal behavior.

Wow! This is just stupid.

Here in U City (one of the most diverse areas of St. Louis) we encourage everyone to report ALL criminal activity. We use social media to alert our neighbors to vandalism, auto break-ins, strangers lurking around houses, etc. The police ask us to report things such as suspicious vehicles and inappropriate behaviors, because this helps helps them build a database which can be used to provide "probable cause". That allows them to legally stop and check on known trouble-makers.

This is how you prevent crime before it happens, and build better, healthier neighborhoods.

Yea Hill neighborhood is the extreme in the other direction. People call the cops because someone is walking down the sidewalk they don't recognize lol
STLrainbow wrote:
Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:31 am
warwickland wrote:
Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:42 am
just some observations from living in the city for years (i now live all the way out in university city and also had a stint in maplewood). I lived many years (6-7) in the southern part of TGS, before that Debaliviere Place most recently Dogtown. I NEVER ONCE had a crime that directly affected me (car break in, burglary, robbery, etc), maybe i'm just lucky...or cautious (i barricaded my basement door with steel beams against daytime kick-ins when that was a big problem in TGS, etc etc etc).

I have had more problems in the county, where i HAVE had my car broken into (not u-city). the crime issue is a funny one in st. louis.

what i really didn't like was when i would call the non-emergency line and report things like REALLY CLOSE gunshots, or open air drug dealing as I was watching it on the phone from my living room (i'm talking a crew on the corner EVERY DAY ALL DAY CAR AFTER CAR), i was blown off by the operator, or got no response by the PD. I ended up bothering the landlord and a social worker enough (there was a child and a mother involved) that the drug dealing parties simply took their operation right across chippewa to dutchtown around amberg park (and flip us the finger, yell at us, make a hand gun gesture as they still walked back and forth between neighborhoods across chippewa) and the whole thing made us feel like we had to deal with things like this on our own which was b.s....

Live all the way out in UCity now... didya buy Alex Ihnen's farm house?

did you live in the TGS Wedge? fwiw, I think some solid things are happening down there past 12-24 months... the CDC is doing some work there and it also seems things are getting better crossing Chippewa into Amberg Park in Dutchtown... both in the park itself as well as some of the apartment buildings on Gustine; and great diversity down there ...passing through the other night noticed Nepalese, Somali,, white, black... Puerto Rican,, everybody just a freakin. (ok, made that last Prince part up.) .
I believe the CDC opened a Police substation on Bamberger in an old multi family that previously housed a bunch of problem tenants. Has helped with crime in that part of the nabe from what I hear. Goes to the earlier point about how smaller intra-neighborhood stations could help.
We recently bought a house on Meramec Sreet in Dutchtown (We're pretty well aware of what we're getting into. We're making a decision to invest in the neighborhood.) We haven't moved in yet as we're having some work done first, but in the short time we've owned the house I've had reason to call the police twice. The results so far have been mixed.

First, copper thieves broke in and opened up some walls/stole some copper pipes. I found the front door wide open, called the cops, they showed up within about 20 minutes, looked through the house, and filed a report. About 20 minutes after that the forensics person showed up, dusted for some prints, explained that it was unlikely anything would come of it, and left. None of them were particularly enthusiastic, but it was Easter Sunday so I guess that's not too surprising.

Then on July 4th I was in the back yard and heard an escalating domestic dispute coming from one of the buildings behind us. It was on and off for a while as the guy (apparently a drunk, spurned boyfriend) kept getting chased off and then coming back to start sh*t again. The cops showed up an hour later. I left my contact info with the operator but they never tried to contact me. I have no idea if anything was going on by the time they showed up, but of course after they left the guy came back again and the fighting resumed. I ended up leaving. The next morning the news reported that a guy was dragging a woman down a nearby street and shot himself in the head after the cops showed up. I don't know if the two incidents are related.

Anyway, I will definitely be calling the police every time I see anything suspicious. But I'm skeptical about how much good it will do.
urban_dilettante wrote:
Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:41 pm
We recently bought a house on Meramec Sreet in Dutchtown (We're pretty well aware of what we're getting into. We're making a decision to invest in the neighborhood.)
I admire this. A lot of people "talk the talk" about living in the city. Nice to see people committed to investing in a home. <3

I really want to buy a property on the Northside near the water. My friends and family say I'm crazy, but I'd like to go outside my comfort zone. I'm just unsure whether there is property to buy. I've done some perusing, but no luck. Quite honestly, I don't know what's up for grabs in North City at all. Are all properties owned by McKee? The City?

Something about all the dilapidated architecture, neglected people, scars of white flight and vacancy make me want to give this area a hug. I have a hard time understanding why people don't feel the same about their own city.
SouthCityJR wrote:
Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:02 pm
I believe the CDC opened a Police substation on Bamberger in an old multi family that previously housed a bunch of problem tenants. Has helped with crime in that part of the nabe from what I hear. Goes to the earlier point about how smaller intra-neighborhood stations could help.
The CDC also got a hold of a couple properties on both sides of Gravois and rehabbed for home sale... and a few new construction homes.
Ebsy wrote:
Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:17 am
The focus on the central corridor has really obscured the fact that South City is going through a fundamental shift from working and middle class Catholic communities with lots of unionized industrial workers to an area filled with professionals of varying affluence along with a mix of immigrants and retiring baby boomers...
That's a pretty good synopsis of South CIty, Ebsy... definitely a good amount of Old School South Saint Louis is left but on top of that is layered a really nice addition of newcomers, particularly young adults and immigrants. The tapestry and flavors of each neighborhood certainly vary, but collectively it's pretty impressive, diverse functioning place. Wish a lot more parts of the region were more like it .

Also in case folks missed them, I highly recommend these recent articles on the Bevo and east-of-Grand Chippewa Street n'hoods.

The Bevo Question - What will happen to St. Louis' Little Bosnia when it's not so Bosnian?
https://www.riverfronttimes.com/stlouis ... id=6228118

Developers working to patch together a revival on Chippewa Street
http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/fash ... 17edb.html

Better yet, get out there and enjoy our great City and neighborhoods!
STLrainbow wrote:
Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:31 am
Live all the way out in UCity now... didya buy Alex Ihnen's farm house?

did you live in the TGS Wedge? fwiw, I think some solid things are happening down there past 12-24 months... the CDC is doing some work there and it also seems things are getting better crossing Chippewa into Amberg Park in Dutchtown... both in the park itself as well as some of the apartment buildings on Gustine; and great diversity down there ...passing through the other night noticed Nepalese, Somali,, white, black... Puerto Rican,, everybody just a freakin. (ok, made that last Prince part up.) .
i lived near gravois plaza. the house was in my ex's name when we bought...i guess i wasn't ready to buy then (it was right after the housing crash) but she would make 50K + now if she sold. i never had any intention of leaving TGS but so it goes.

instead i bought a year ago :lol: but the assessor has already been snooping around, i seem to have bought about a split second before the st. louis housing market (especially the inner suburban market which is frothing at the mouth crazy) went into hyperdrive.
Honestly I think the city "hit rock bottom" sometime in the early/mid 90's -

1993 was the record homicide year

there were more jobs downtown, but almost no residents outside of Mansion House - downtown was post nuclear holocaust quiet after 5

The Loop had half of the activity and storefronts as it does now and it abruptly turned into a wasteland after Limit Ave

Euclid was even pretty sleepy

S Grand had King and I and S City Diner - and that was about it

The Grove was one of the worst neighborhoods in the city, you did not want to drive down Manchester after dark

Morgan Ford was a seedy strip of dumpy dive bars where drunks picked fights

Crime, serious crime, was a huge issue in Soulard and Lafayette Square, I had friends robbed at gunpoint in both neighborhoods in 1994, a friend in Lafayette Sq moved after being burglarized 3 times between 94 and 95

Wash Ave dance clubs were alive at night - and boarded up ghost town during the day

The Landing was actually pretty cool then with Mississippi Nights, Kennedy's, Metropole, Sundeckers, even Boomers , but it kinda had to shoulder the load for the city as the place to go, it has lost a lot of its luster over the years as other neighborhoods rose.

Had a bunch of friends that rented a huge house on Compton just south of Compton Heights for 100 bucks a month after college in 1993 - the guy they rented from bought the place for 30,000 and was looking to have people in it to discourage theft - That place sold a few years ago for over 200,000

Yes a few neighborhoods have declined, but more have improved - We are fighting national trends that "legacy" cities - Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and us can only do so much about
beer city wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:33 pm
Honestly I think the city "hit rock bottom" sometime in the early/mid 90's -
Your basic premise feels about right and I don't want to be too picky, but I would take issue with some of your details . . .
Euclid was even pretty sleepy
I'd say it was more different than sleepy. There was plenty going on between the Grind and Left Bank everything else. Even the Bread Company that used to be there just seemed cooler than most. It was cheaper then. More students. More like a slightly quieter version of what the loop is now. But there were a ton of places I used to hang out there that are all gone now. It was less dense, to be sure. There was a little more surface parking, and some of the apartment buildings were smaller and older. (Though in some cases quite pretty. The buildings they knocked down for the garage-brary seemed like rather a blow at the time.) It was younger. It's a little greyer now, and it's bought more expensive clothes. But I'd not have called it sleepy, even then. Not remotely.
S Grand had King and I and S City Diner - and that was about it
Oh, MoKaBe's moved in about then. And CBGB was already there. And the same passle of Vietnamese restaurants that are still there to this day. And Jay's. Sameem was down there from about '95, maybe, until they moved to Manchester a few years back. The Persian joint was already there by the mid to late 90s. And the bookstore.

And there were already quiet rumblings around Manchester and Vandeventer as far back as '97. Atomic Cowby, Roxy's, Our World Too, the Niner Diner . . . Some of that moved west into the Grove proper and some of it moved south for a while onto Grand. And yes, that was a pretty dreary corner, apart from that one building.

All that said, I think your premise is probably not too far off. We hit bottom in the late 80s or early 90s and things are slowly pulling up in an absolute average sort of sense, but maybe we're also seeing the larger national trends locally, albeit written in smaller type. I'd guess there's more of a disparity now between the up and coming hoods and the down and out than there was then. The dying are worse and the living are better. On average, things are better, but there are surely specific areas (many) where things are worse. (Maybe much worse, even.) CWE and Clayton are the coasts. The north side is Detroit and the south side is Milwaukee, maybe. Each with its own solid spots, but both with problems that need to be addressed. And both with image problems that maybe even outweigh the real problems. And possibly also a growing shortage of good jobs as the economy shifts away from manufacturing and more to service, financial, and STEM. It can lead to a big discrepancy between the impressions of folks in different areas. Especially for those folks as feel they've been completely priced out of places they used to hang out. (I'll go out on a limb and guess that the paucity of dive bars on Washington now is likely related to rising rents. I can't imagine the area will remain short of retail for too long, but when it comes back . . . it will be trendier and more expensive even than it was before.)
My two cents: The biggest shortcomings between now and the 70's/80's/90's: lack of jobs in downtown's CBD and, as just mentioned, the rougher places being rougher than ever.

You could say that violent crime was off the hook in the early/mid 90's, and I think the stats back that up, but 2015, 2016 (and so far 2017) per capita homicides are not far behind the worst numbers from earlier decades.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crime_in_St._Louis
Not to be the internet police on good discussion, but the original question isn't really asking if St. Louis worse than it's ever been before, or what years/decades certain parts of St. Louis were in worse shape than today.

The spirit of the question was, can St. Louis improve beyond its current significant challenges if something drastic ("bottoming out") doesn't happen?

Think of a reset button. Or a forest-clearing fire. A 'blank slate.' An opportunity to pursue a "nothing to lose" approach that brings in truly new leadership and innovation. I don't think any of that will happen given the current climate and leadership. Does it need to? That's what I'm asking.

My initial gut reaction: the City has tried to pull out all the proverbial stops with traditional, incremental changes. I'm not sure such incremental changes are sustainable or will lead to long-term improvement given the amount of subsidy and diversion of investment that goes on pursuing them. Hence the question.
All of the examples of how St. Louis has improved since some time between the late-70's to early-90's are a way of saying that St. Louis has been improving and facing current challenges, has been for some time, and can continue to do so without some drastic bottoming out happening.

Also, I think the incremental changes have a way of building off of each other and snowballing in a much more sustainable manner than some epic sea change following the devastation of a "forest-clearing fire." Jobs leaving, people leaving, buildings being cleared, crime drastically rising, high school graduation rates tanking, infrastructure failing, services being slashed, the city's budget imploding...... whatever it is you mean by "rock bottom", "cratering", "bottom out", or "forest-clearing fire" would not be good for the City of St. Louis. Is that not obvious?
wabash wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:43 am
. whatever it is you mean by "rock bottom", "cratering", "bottom out", or "forest-clearing fire" would not be good for the City of St. Louis. Is that not obvious?
I'm not suggesting that such an event would be triggered on purpose. Of course it would be bad in and of itself. I just think that, overall, St. Louis is treading water. One step forward in one area is followed by a step backward somewhere else. Tax rates are tapped out. Population is stagnant at best. Leadership is the same stale group.

I acknowledge incremental changes, but am not sure the incremental changes will affect those systemic issues, all of which hold back long term growth and success. But I appreciate reading the other opinions on the topic.
beer city wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:33 pm

1993 was the record homicide year
Actually, 1970 set the record with 309. There were 267 in 1993.

This article includes a chart going back to 1934:


https://nextstl.com/2013/01/understandi ... 1943-2011/
framer wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:24 pm
beer city wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:33 pm

1993 was the record homicide year
Actually, 1970 set the record with 309. There were 267 in 1993.

This article includes a chart going back to 1934:


https://nextstl.com/2013/01/understandi ... 1943-2011/
Not factoring in population differences between 1970 and 1993 makes using a stat like that misleading in my opinion. City population in 1970: 622,236. City population in 1990: 396,685.
bprop wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:49 am
Not to be the internet police on good discussion, but the original question isn't really asking if St. Louis worse than it's ever been before, or what years/decades certain parts of St. Louis were in worse shape than today.
Fair enough, however, I think the conversation started going down this path once people wondered if we had indeed "hit rock bottom" before. Which, if so, would only make sense to discuss, learn from the past and consider how it affects the future.

I think most would agree the definition of "hit rock bottom" here is not well defined. Could it be defined as losing more than a quarter of your population over the course of a decade, seeing crime rise by a high percentage and seeing tax base shrink by a high percentage? If so, I think the 70's fit the bill and it's worth considering what (if anything) came from that.

On the other end of the spectrum what could be the absolute worst case scenario for hitting rock bottom? I dunno, a direct hit from a substantial sized meteor? (See Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event for more info). I find it tough to argue that that could be a good thing in the long run.

On a more serious note, how about this analogy: Take someone who has a serious problem. Example, someone with a prescription drug abuse problem that is causing all kinds of problems in their life. Is it best, in the long run, that they hit rock bottom? Tough to say. Sure, there are people who have hit rock bottom and completely turned their lives around and would probably say hitting rock bottom is what they needed to get help.

OTOH, I'm sure there are people who have hit rock bottom and the next stop was the morgue. And OTOOH, I suppose there are people who realized they had a problem before they hit rock bottom and made the necessary changes to get healthy again. I think of the three choices I'd take the latter.

Disclaimer: Not sure if people-to-city is much of an apples-to-apples comparison. Jus' talkin'...
bprop wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:49 am
Does it need to? That's what I'm asking.
No. There's absolutely no evidence or reason to believe that a city needs to "bottom out" before it can improve. We don't even have a standard against which to measure "bottom" so we end up crying "bottom" every time we get frustrated--as with this thread and the crime thread. With all due respect, I feel like this type of conversation is just a bunch of wheel spinning.
symphonicpoet wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:12 am
beer city wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:33 pm
Honestly I think the city "hit rock bottom" sometime in the early/mid 90's -
Your basic premise feels about right and I don't want to be too picky, but I would take issue with some of your details . . .
Euclid was even pretty sleepy
I'd say it was more different than sleepy. There was plenty going on between the Grind and Left Bank everything else. Even the Bread Company that used to be there just seemed cooler than most. It was cheaper then. More students. More like a slightly quieter version of what the loop is now. But there were a ton of places I used to hang out there that are all gone now. It was less dense, to be sure. There was a little more surface parking, and some of the apartment buildings were smaller and older. (Though in some cases quite pretty. The buildings they knocked down for the garage-brary seemed like rather a blow at the time.) It was younger. It's a little greyer now, and it's bought more expensive clothes. But I'd not have called it sleepy, even then. Not remotely.
S Grand had King and I and S City Diner - and that was about it
Oh, MoKaBe's moved in about then. And CBGB was already there. And the same passle of Vietnamese restaurants that are still there to this day. And Jay's. Sameem was down there from about '95, maybe, until they moved to Manchester a few years back. The Persian joint was already there by the mid to late 90s. And the bookstore.

And there were already quiet rumblings around Manchester and Vandeventer as far back as '97. Atomic Cowby, Roxy's, Our World Too, the Niner Diner . . . Some of that moved west into the Grove proper and some of it moved south for a while onto Grand. And yes, that was a pretty dreary corner, apart from that one building.

All that said, I think your premise is probably not too far off. We hit bottom in the late 80s or early 90s and things are slowly pulling up in an absolute average sort of sense, but maybe we're also seeing the larger national trends locally, albeit written in smaller type. I'd guess there's more of a disparity now between the up and coming hoods and the down and out than there was then. The dying are worse and the living are better. On average, things are better, but there are surely specific areas (many) where things are worse. (Maybe much worse, even.) CWE and Clayton are the coasts. The north side is Detroit and the south side is Milwaukee, maybe. Each with its own solid spots, but both with problems that need to be addressed. And both with image problems that maybe even outweigh the real problems. And possibly also a growing shortage of good jobs as the economy shifts away from manufacturing and more to service, financial, and STEM. It can lead to a big discrepancy between the impressions of folks in different areas. Especially for those folks as feel they've been completely priced out of places they used to hang out. (I'll go out on a limb and guess that the paucity of dive bars on Washington now is likely related to rising rents. I can't imagine the area will remain short of retail for too long, but when it comes back . . . it will be trendier and more expensive even than it was before.)
Yeah my memory is probably not recalling everything, - In the CWE my world was MP O'Reilly's and the Lynx club - Bar Italia where Starbucks is now o occasion - Coffee houses were not my thing at that age. I just remember it eerie and quite at night where in the day it seemed to enjoy good foot traffic, I do recall more vacant buildings and parking lots then

S Grand seemed to enjoy a nice renaissance starting in 95 -

I thought Atomic Cowboy opened in Maplewood in the early 2000's?
framer wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 12:24 pm
beer city wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:33 pm

1993 was the record homicide year
Actually, 1970 set the record with 309. There were 267 in 1993.

This article includes a chart going back to 1934:


https://nextstl.com/2013/01/understandi ... 1943-2011/
Good catch - i guess i was thinking per population
wabash wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:43 am
All of the examples of how St. Louis has improved since some time between the late-70's to early-90's are a way of saying that St. Louis has been improving and facing current challenges, has been for some time, and can continue to do so without some drastic bottoming out happening.

Also, I think the incremental changes have a way of building off of each other and snowballing in a much more sustainable manner than some epic sea change following the devastation of a "forest-clearing fire." Jobs leaving, people leaving, buildings being cleared, crime drastically rising, high school graduation rates tanking, infrastructure failing, services being slashed, the city's budget imploding...... whatever it is you mean by "rock bottom", "cratering", "bottom out", or "forest-clearing fire" would not be good for the City of St. Louis. Is that not obvious?
This is a much better explanation of what I was trying to demonstrate - I thought (correct me if I am wrong) that the original intent was saying that things are going bad and the only way to improve is start "from a clean slate" - My view was from the prospective of time - there are no "clean slates" - just cycles of decay-renewal-growth-decline but the city has been up-cycling for 20 years or so "cycling" meaning that there have been setbacks (always will) but overall there has been improvement
beer city wrote:
Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:45 pm

Yeah my memory is probably not recalling everything, - In the CWE my world was MP O'Reilly's and the Lynx club - Bar Italia where Starbucks is now o occasion - Coffee houses were not my thing at that age. I just remember it eerie and quite at night where in the day it seemed to enjoy good foot traffic, I do recall more vacant buildings and parking lots then

S Grand seemed to enjoy a nice renaissance starting in 95 -

I thought Atomic Cowboy opened in Maplewood in the early 2000's?
Some of it is probably a difference of perspective. I was a college kid running around trying to be cool sipping coffee and playing solitaire after working evenings. Never really got anywhere in the daytime. And I didn't have the scratch to hang out fancy places. I was a coffee until close and then to the Buttery or Majestic kind of guy. So I didn't see much during the daytime.Work until midnight. Sleep past noon.

I'm recalling Atomic Cowboy having moved to Maplewood in the early 2000s, but don't quote me on that. In 1997 when I was working for Grand Center and driving past every day I remember them being a part of a strip of gay friendly businesses in what is now the Gerhardt building. (Along with another nightclub called Magnolia's, I think, The Niner Diner, and a bookstore called Our World Too that later moved to South Grand.) But all that aside, the area now called "The Grove" was pretty run down then. Even that is not really in what I'd think of as The Grove now. Or even especially near it. Though the case could be made that the building was an early outlier of the development that would eventually become The Grove. It's a little tenuous, but I think it's there. (And was maybe more obvious then before there'd been so much demolition.)

But your basic point is doubtless correct. I believe you're correct in that we hit our economic nadir a goodly while back. And my point, that development since then has been uneven and has helped the top more than the middle and the bottom not at all, also still stands. The rest I will leave until the morrow.