Yesterday I got my first parking ticket so in I way I feel like I am an official city resident now. Yes, I’d read the no parking on the first Monday, third Thursday, and second Friday after a full moon signs but as a creature of habit I tend to park in relatively the same place everyday and forget which spots should be avoided on which days. Thankfully, parking my car in the path of the street sweeper was only a ten dollar fine and should help me remember to take those signs more seriously in the future.
So far, I love the historic city of St Louis. My friend describes it as many different neighborhoods connected together with the city spreading out instead of up as it does with skyscrapers in many other cities. I’m not a fan of the traffic though. Living on the south end of the city is nice and definitely has much more of a neighborhood feel, but when I drive toward downtown for work the five lanes of traffic still up my stress levels. It’s fun being able to see the arch as I drive toward the city, but I have to focus so much on making sure I can get over in time to catch my exit that I don’t really have the chance to enjoy the view.
The houses are beautiful. Mostly slim brick row houses with a quaint almost European charm. The city and neighborhood parks are charming as well and help take away the harsh concrete jungle effect that others cities have.
People love their pets here. There always seems to be someone out walking their dog. I know people all over the country love their pets, but in a city having a pet (especially a dog) has almost a different purpose. Pets are a social door. Walking a dog in the park is a safe way to communicate with a stranger without getting too close. Pets allow for friendly interactions between strangers without anyone coming across as a creeper.
I’ve also noticed that St Louis loves four way stops. It seems like when not on the interstate those red signs pop up all over the place. Four way, three way, on coming traffic has the right of way. I’m starting to get the hang of it mostly and have only gotten honked at a couple of times.
Overall, I love it here. One of my favorite things about living in the city again is that people ask you what you do for a living instead of who are you dating. It’s also been refreshing to be around different ethnic groups and to hear a foreign language being spoken at the grocery store. I love the diversity, the culture, the chance to be around intertwining worlds. St Louis has a lot of beauty, and I’m glad I get to call it home for the next few months.