hi future neighbors,
like fairiejour, my family and i will be moving to st. louis (from the chicago area,) and i'm very unfamiliar with the city/county. we're looking for an urban setting, with walkable neighborhoods, independent businesses, organic markets, a community garden, families playing outside, parks, an active neighborhood association, chickens, hippies, homeschoolers, attachment parents, homebirthers, racial diversity...this could go on, and on, but i'll stop now. my husband will be working out by the airport, in the northwest, and would like to take the metrolink to work. any thoughts you have on where we might search for a house would be so appreciated. we don't know anyone there to give us advice. (yet!)
Welcome! We have a lot of that good stuff here in STL, maybe not all in the same neighborhood, but we have it :) If your husband is taking metrolink, you might want to find a place that is near a station so his commute will be easier. So some good options are Maplewood, Lindenwood Park/ St Louis Hills, Dogtown, Shrewsbury, Brentwood and Richmond Heights. There are also areas in the city that would be nice, but perhaps not as helpful as far as the metro goes. And south county might work well, as long as it's not too far south, which would make it further from the metro stations, Afton and Oakville come to mind, but they might be a little too suburban for your tastes. You could mention to a realtor that you are looking for an active neighborhood association, or talk to neighbors when you are viewing a home. Hope that helps, good luck with your search!
thanks, tobeborn, that helps. you're right that we're not looking to be too suburban. we love being right up in the mix with lots of different people. several other folks have mentioned dogtown to me--we'll definitely look into that one. it'll be a big change from chi-town, but st. louis has such a rich history and so much beautiful architecture, i'm really looking forward to getting to know it better. just need to find my tribe!
I used to live in St. Louis!!! DH and I moved earlier this year to DC as he is in the military and we HATE it here :( We lived in South St. Louis City and LOVED it, it totally fits with the type of atmosphere you are looking for. If you are looking to purchase a house try this website www.soldonshaw.com as they specialize is houses only in the aforementioned area. However if you are looking for rentals in that area PM and I can but you in contact with our old landlord. We lived in a 3bd 2-family flat and LOVED it!!!!!
Proud Marine Wife , Mommy to One Amazingly Beautiful Charismatic Daughter (12/17/05) and Perfectly Handsome Son (6/15/2011)
Sure! I live up by the airport right now, and hope to move to mid county/south city within a few years. We love going to the zoo and science center, or anywhere in Forest Park, so we are going to look at Dogtown and the surrounding neighborhoods too. I was raised here, moved away for a few years, and came back. The cost of living here cannot be beat, and we really do have a lot of great places to go, gorgeous architecture. And a nice, diverse tribe of ap/homebirthers and general hippie-ish creatures Good luck with your house hunt and move!
There are some lovely, lovely areas in the City of St. Louis - South Grand and the Shaw area come to mind as just what you are looking for. Very up and coming - there are still pockets of very affordable housing although a lot is rising.
Word of caution though - the city schools are WAY dicey. You might luck out and get into a magnet school - more likely if you are a minority but not gauranteeed - it's a lottery system. If you are planning to homeschool or know you want private, you will be fine. The housing can be a really good deal in the city if you aren't worried about the schools. There are also 2 language immersion schools. I wanted a decent public school (not the best, but decent) and so we moved out of the city. I loved when DH lived there before we were married. I live in University City now. My area is probably a bit more suburban than you want but I'm happy. We use the public schools and have been happy with them. I live in a very economically diverse district, which also makes me happy.
thank you all, for the suggestions. we came down for a visit on thursday. while my husband had his first day of work at his new office, the kids and i checked out the science museum and then did some driving around the south city, shaw, and tower grove areas. i'm so glad you mentioned those--we hadn't thought to look south, as i was worried about getting into too long a commute for my husband (it's always been about an hour, here in chicago, and i'm aching to have him home before kids are in bed. imagine! dinner as a family!) but it might not be too bad if we don't go too south.
anyway, you're right; those neighborhoods might be just up our alley. there were some lovely old houses, and i was surprised to find the botanical garden right there. awesome! we'll be checking out university city and the skinker/debaliviere area as well (any thoughts on those? i've only been doing online reseach, so far.) the kids and i will be staying here in evanston for the next five months while my husband lives at a marriott and commutes home to us on weekends, so we've got plenty of time to really get to know the city between now and june!
thanks again, for all your suggestions and advice about schools, etc.! (while i'm thinking about it, does anybody know anything about montessori schools in the area?)
I love university city, its where I grew up. It can get a bit sketchy if you go to the very north edge of it, but not too bad. It is not as eclectic maybe as it once was, but it is a very unique area IMO. And with both the Loop and Downtown Clayton (and many other little shops etc even forest park if you really want a trek) in walking distance from many parts of it, I had a ton of fun growing up there.
Skinnker DeBaliviere area is nice too, a bit more hit and miss and you may want to be a bit more cautious there as there are some iffy pockets. However, my cousin lives there and has no car...walks and takes the metrolink everywhere and feels safe now that she has gotten used to it. There are some beautiful homes there!!
Both these locations too have pretty easy access to the airport area so should be a bit easier of a commute:)
Nicole - )0( unschooling mama to Lilah (12/21/05) and Cian (9/21/07) as well as 3 2 , 4 rats, and ducks
It would also depend on what your price point might be and what your schooling choices are. It sounds like you are interested in Montessori, so you might want to look up Citygarden and take a peek at it. I don't know a whole lot about it, it's a charter school and has limited city boundries. I'm fairly sure that the area near Tower Grove is included. I am suburban and my kids are in a Montessori school, but Chesterfield would be a hike from the areas you are looking at :). There is a school in Kirkwood (Villa di Maria I think? Too far, so I didn't look at it...goes through grade 6). There are others, but I'm not as familiar. People have given great suggestions so I don't have much to add on areas. DH and I lived in Chicago for a while...the feel in St. Louis is different, but I love both places so much. There is so much to do here, more convenient, less crowded, less expensive. I love raising my kids here :) (I grew up here too) I totally could have stayed in Chicago too though :)