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Old 01-01-2010, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
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As a Missouri native (lived in StLouis and KC) living in Maryland (working in DC, live near Baltimore), I had no idea how similar these states are.

The topography of the states are amazingly similar with rolling hills, heavily forested, lots of waterways and valleys. I know Missouri doesn't have anything like the Atlantic coast line, but overall, they are quite similar and central Missouri’s lakes and resort areas are probably one of the top destinations in the Midwest for vacations.

Ocean City vs Branson? Laugh, but I would bet they are very close when it comes to economics and tourism activity.

Weather is also quite similar. So similar, that I feel right at home.

They are both around 6 million people, although MD in a much smaller area, most of the population in MD is in metro KC and StLouis. The general population densities of the states in both the metro areas and rural areas feels about the same, MO just has more rural areas.

Baltimore reminds me more of St Louis than probably any other city. The city even has the whole "Baltimore City" and “Baltimore County" thing going on similar to St Louis City and St Louis County. They are about the same size, both have a somewhat un-impressive skyline for their size and both have some serious urban blight and crime problems that are among the nation’s worst, but both also have some great sporting facilities, and major national tourist attractions (inner harbor vs the arch), both are quite industrial and blue collar and the general architecture of the cities are quite similar for an east coast city vs a Midwest city.

Overall, it seems like StLouis has a much more vibrant and active city (outside of downtown) that cancels out more of the crime and blight than Baltimore though. But Baltimore has a much more active Downtown than St Louis and is more consistently busy as a tourism destination.

Maryland has much more “southern” culture than I would have imagined and the rural areas of the state seem to mirror rural Missouri in almost every way in that respect. But the Baltimore area has just enough southern influence and culture that you notice it, much like St Louis.

Both cities seem to have decent, if not above average urban rail systems, but have sub par bus systems and the general demographics of the cities and immediate metros seem quite similar although it seems suburban Baltimore is not near as segregated as metro St Louis while the central city of Baltimore is more like St Louis in that regard.

Both towns have great food. Baltimore with their seafood and StLouis with their Italian.

Now KC doesn’t seem to compare quite as well to Baltimore and NW Missouri in general is not quite as comparable, but the Maryland Suburbs around DC don’t really fit in anywhere in MO either, so those areas cancel each other out a bit. Although places like Frederick and Hagerstown could easily be in many parts of Missouri. Frederick even reminds me of St Joseph a bit, but built a bit more "east coast" with more townhomes, small single family lots etc).

Overall, I don’t know that there are too many states that have more in common, yet are so far away from each other.

Thoughts?




Last edited by kcmo; 01-01-2010 at 12:19 PM..
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Old 01-01-2010, 12:23 PM
 
Location: St Louis
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Fair assessment however have been in downtown St Louis recently? In every post about STL you insinuate how dead downtown is however it is more active than it has been in 30 years. I would encourage you to stay downtown for a couple nights.
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Old 01-01-2010, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brickmama View Post
Fair assessment however have been in downtown St Louis recently? In every post about STL you insinuate how dead downtown is however it is more active than it has been in 30 years. I would encourage you to stay downtown for a couple nights.
Sorry, I don’t mean to imply that it has a totally dead downtown. That might be a bit misleading. The problem with St Louis is I hold the bar high for the city because it’s a metro of nearly 3 million people, so I instantly compare it to other towns of around that size. That’s how I think.

So you have to look at Denver, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Seattle etc and when you do that, St Louis comes up short.

I know how far St Louis has come, they mirror KC in that respect. Both towns have gone from two of the absolute worst cities to quite respectable.

The Washington Ave corridor in St Louis is quite amazing now, but the rest of the CBD is lacking in activity outside the touristy areas near the Landing and Arch and around the stadiums during games.

St Louis seems to lack the building stock that KC has with the River Market, Crossroads etc. KC had massive warehouse districts at the foot of downtown they were able to convert to residential and KC also had dozens of vacant offices towers that have also been converted to residential. Dozens. KC was in bad shape. But it was all sort of a blessing because the city had so much to work with and build a massive residential population overnight. KC also had massive blocks of blight that could be removed for large projects like the P&L district.

Downtown St Louis on the other had lacks both and therefore is primarily a financial district with a lot of hotel activity and sporadic sporting event activity.

The city is getting better every year though and doing more with what they have. The City Garden is a great step. But StL Desperately needs more residential and more entertainment and dining to finish the puzzle. Just like KC needs more hotel rooms and sporting events. St Louis also has a nice downtown casino now, something KC could use.

Having said all that. St Louis outside of Downtown is one of the better urban areas in the country if you ask me. The Hill area, The Midtown area, St Louis University, Soulard, Delmar Loop, Central West end, one of the best urban city parks in the country (Forest Park) and one of the best light rail systems in the country that takes the best from light rail and heavy rail blends them well. For those reasons, I would live in urban St Louis in a heartbeat over urban Baltimore. StLouis is more “livable” to me. Baltimore has some great areas. Federal Hill is awesome. But it’s more of a place to visit than live IMO.

Great city. Just have some work to do in the Downtown area. I’m sure it will get there soon enough. But you are right, it’s 1000 tims better than it was even 15 years ago.
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Old 01-01-2010, 01:12 PM
 
Location: St Louis
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The work is being done on the downtown area and the residential pop has ballooned in the past 5 years. Residential occupancy rates for downtown are at 95% so that proves demand is there for more buildings to be rehabbed and new construction.

The problem is the recession and that one of our biggest developers that held 10+ properties went belly up. Once the recession ends and those properties are out of foreclosure and into the hands of other developers downtowns residential upswing will go nuts.

Trust me there is no lack of building stock and once these buildings are occupied there will be more new construction.

Downtown STL does come up short to Seattle and Minneapolis. Denver and B-more? Maybe...maybe not.

One thing that people do not realize is the fact downtown STL sufferend from decades of neglect and bad decisions which takes time to reverse. Rome wasn't built in a day. It is heading in the right direction and by 2020 downtown STL will be unrecognizable.
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Old 01-01-2010, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
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agreed.

I do forget about all the underused structures just west of Downtown, south of Washington Ave. The city does have a lot of potential in that area.

StL also suffers from the same thing KC does where not enough of the local corporate community has an interest in Downtown. All that corporate activity is clear out in West County or Clayton at best.

It sucks watching huge office towers go up in places like Oklahoma City, Nashville, Charlotte and Omaha that go up mostly due to local pride of local companies. In a lot of towns, that passion is missing. I think KC and StL both fit that bill. They would just assume build some office park off the freeway in some suburb that deal with building a better city by investing in downtown.
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:53 PM
 
Location: moving again
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Originally Posted by kcmo View Post

Having said all that. St Louis outside of Downtown is one of the better urban areas in the country if you ask me. The Hill area, The Midtown area, St Louis University, Soulard, Delmar Loop, Central West end, one of the best urban city parks in the country (Forest Park) and one of the best light rail systems in the country that takes the best from light rail and heavy rail blends them well. For those reasons, I would live in urban St Louis in a heartbeat over urban Baltimore. StLouis is more “livable” to me. Baltimore has some great areas. Federal Hill is awesome. But it’s more of a place to visit than live IMO.
Very interesting assesment. Ive always viewed St Louis and Baltimore as similar, never the states though. They strike me as very different. I think Baltimore is much more livable than people give it credit. Federal hill more of a place to visit than live? Its a residential neighborhood. I don't understand that comment at all. Baltimore also has many, many areas that people don't recognize as livable. People forget about Mount Washington, Cedarcroft, guiliford, homewood, roland park, hampden, Union Square, Butchers Hill, upper fells point, Canton, all around Patterson Park, Greektown, Hunting Ridge, Ashburton, etc etc and only label the inner Harbor, Fells Point, and Federal Hill as not ghetto. About Baltimore being southern, i have never felt it. Never will feel it. Southern Maryland and the eastern shore are southern. Not much else. Rural Garrett county, or Frederick, or Howard for example don't feel southern. St Louis didn't strike me as southern at all either. I don't understand when people say it has southern flares. Both cities are gorgeous and beautiful and equally livable imo. Both offer incredible parks that should be recognized more often. Both have cool things to offer. Both fly under the radar.
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Old 01-01-2010, 04:12 PM
 
Location: St Louis
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St Louis is a northern city but does have some southern qualities. A lot of people migrated from the South between 1920-1960 to work in factories. One reason why it may have a hint of southern influence. Plus its only about a 4 hour drive and your in the southern states.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Brickmama View Post
St Louis is a northern city but does have some southern qualities. A lot of people migrated from the South between 1920-1960 to work in factories. One reason why it may have a hint of southern influence. Plus its only about a 4 hour drive and your in the southern states.
St. Louis doesn't feel Northern or Southern to me, it feels like an All-American city. That's not to say that it's boring and not unique. I really like that aspect of St. Louis.

A lot of things change in 4 hours (the drive from Memphis to St. Louis) I'd say the last truly Southern town is Sikeston (about 2 hours away) so St. Louis is actually really close to the South. Although, things start looking more Southern right as you leave St. Louis County into Jefferson County.

I've noticed that most people here in Memphis consider St. Louis to be Southern. They must have never visited. People here like to think of St. Louis as the most similar city to Memphis. But I only here that from people in Memphis.
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:10 PM
 
Location: St Louis
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Both are great cities.
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Old 01-03-2010, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
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Baltimore. Love the Waterfront and the art community
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