Friday, February 25, 2011

SeenInSoulard #25: It's Time To Reinvent St. Louis

     Maybe it was the lack of oxygen to my brain when I decided to get my un-athletic, overweight self up to run around the Island.  Maybe it was a kneejerk reaction to seeing the census numbers. Or maybe I am just spewing nonsense.  Either way, while I was trying to catch my breath and fighting the urge to dry-heave, I took this picture of the Brewery. It made me think about these Census numbers and this article. While overall the city saw a huge decline in population, Soulard saw an 8% increase between 2000 and 2010.  There's no sense in looking at the overall numbers for the city and asking "What the heck are we doing wrong?" rather we should be asking ourselves, "What are we going to do with this awesome opportunity we have been given?" We have the opportunity to reinvent this city. Soulard is the oldest neighborhood in this city by most accounts, it's our duty to be a leader in the renewal of this city. No longer is the world's best beer company headquartered in St. Louis.  In it's place we have an awesome craft beer scene that's getting national attention (here and here). We have an awesome music scene that is being highlighted by I Went To A Show. Islanders are an integral part of both of these scenes. Gone are many vacant buildings and storefronts around the Island.  In their places, we have new residences and new businesses like International Tap House and Bogart's. In July, we'll have BWORKS, an awesome local charity headquartered in Soulard that we can all be a part of. We've got an awesome charter school in our neighborhood in Lift for Life Academy, a school that started as the city's first independent Charter Middle School and will graduate its first Senior class next year. While it may be awhile before Ballpark Village becomes more than a parking lot and a softball field, there are many things you and I can do around the Island to better this city. Got an idea and just need some help getting it done?  Comment on this post and see what your neighbors have to say. Don't want to comment and put your idea out there just yet?  Email me at ryan(at) and let's brainstorm.