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Old 07-13-2009, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Orlando, FL
973 posts, read 1,993,998 times
Reputation: 382

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I lived in STL for a couple years as a kid, and I still visit yearly to see some family. However, I've spent most of my adult life in central Florida. I've got a great job/career, friends, and familiarity with Orlando for the past 8 years, so that's all that's holding me here. During a recession, the job alone is a good enough reason to stay for now.

I've got two major questions specific to the city of St. Louis:
- How's the job market for software engineers during a usual business non-recession year? Where in town are these jobs located? I'd love to hear from other software engineers in the area..

- How's the dating life for a single 30-year old guy looking for a long-term relationship and family life in the future? I've met some great ladies from the Midwest while living in Florida, and I know that Florida in general is one of the better states for guys my age in the dating world. I don't have a problem meeting people in any city, but I've heard others complain about the single life in STL. In particular, that it's difficult to find attractive single women over the age of 25 with the correct priorities in life, a good education & career, and who haven't been married or have kids. In other words, the girls marry much younger up there than down here.

So, once this recession fades into recovery & growth, I'm going to either make the decision to plant myself in Orlando, or move to one of three locations that I've narrowed down to:
- Tampa (not a distant move, being close to some family, and great singles city).
- St. Louis (love the city, 4 seasons, being close to some family, Cardinals baseball, and cost of living).
- Denver (like the city, love the weather & outdoor recreation).

Anyone have experience living in all 3 to make a comparison? (Or two of 3?)
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Old 07-13-2009, 03:13 PM
 
74 posts, read 159,312 times
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You would most likely take a pay reduction, but seeing as how the cost of living is cheaper here, you might not notice it. I only know two software engineers here. Both make below average salaries for the field, but the cost of living in the majority of St. Louis is below average so it mostly evens out. To the best of my knowledge, they both make between 40 and 50,000 a year. The average starting salary, according to Computer Software Engineers (http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos267.htm - broken link), is around 56,000 per year, and the average salary is between 63,000 and 98,000. The two people I mentioned aren't just starting out, and they're making a good amount lower than the average starting salary. A friend of mine that is a network admin took a huge pay cut to move back here from D.C., but he'd rather be here so he didn't mind it. I'm not a software engineer though (late start in college due to being in the military, but I am a comp sci major), so hopefully someone on these boards is and can give you more information.

As far as the dating life goes - I wouldn't recommend someone move here specifically for dating ;P I'm a 27 year old myself, and I have a hell of a time meeting women my age that aren't married. Almost everyone I know here is from here, and the majority of people I went to school with are well established now, have careers and already have families. Since I took a detour in the military, I'm kind of like a kid again a little bit, going to college full time. Here's what I can tell you I've seen: family life seems to get started here at a much earlier age than it does in some other places. Back out in San Jose where I last lived, most college students were people my age, in similar situations as me (not necessarily due to being in the military). People out there didn't seem to 'settle in' until their early 30's. Here, it's still a little old fashioned (not saying there's anything wrong with it). People tend to marry their high school sweethearts, move across the street from their parents and start families at an early age. I don't go 'clubbing' so maybe that's where all the single women my age are in this area. Those aren't generally the type of women I'd like to pick up, anyhow. Something else to consider is the ethnicity of the women here. I'm not sure what type of women you like (if you even have a preference), but I tend to prefer women of different ethnicities. There's a large Latin population there in Tampa, so if that's something you have a preference for and you aren't very attracted to white or black women, you may have a hard time finding a girl you like here. Don't get me wrong, a beautiful woman is a beautiful women, regardless of the color of their skin, but I definitely tend to find various types of ethnic women to be very beautiful. I'm not very attracted to standard white or black women - just my preference. My last two relationships (both back when I was in California) were with a Brazilian (I looooove women with Portuguese or Spanish decent.. dark hair, dark eyes, olive skin...) and a Vietnamese woman.

As far as your other cities go, I actually have a friend that just moved to Denver from STL recently, and she's very happy that she did. She loves it out there. I've been to Denver and Tampa both, but didn't spend enough time in either one to give a legitimate comparison. I love mountains, so I woudln't mind living in Denver. I love being nearer to the ocean, so I wouldn't mind Tampa, either. But, St. Louis is a great small city if you don't care much about special scenery. With the exception of the scenery, St. Louis probably has much more 'city stuff' to offer than either of those two places.
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Old 07-16-2009, 05:06 PM
 
Location: St Louis
1,117 posts, read 2,591,643 times
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I am confused...

When was STL considered a small city. Its basically the same size as Denver.
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Old 07-16-2009, 05:34 PM
 
74 posts, read 159,312 times
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It's the 18th largest metro area in the U.S. with 2.8 million people, and the city itself is the 52nd largest in the U.S. at around 350,000 people. A little comparison: Chicago has 2.8 million people, so the entire metro area of St. Louis has the same population as only the city of Chicago does. The Chicago metro area has about 9.5 million, and NYC has around 19 million. Tokyo has 32 million - crazy. So, when you start comparing things out, St. Louis is a relatively small city. According to one list, St. Louis has the 163rd largest metro area in the entire world. Again though, we're talking about entire metro areas here (this includes the Metro east in IL for St. Louis). I can't find a full list of city only size for the entire world, but I did find one that lists the top 100, and the #100 city has 3 million people. If I had to guess, St. Louis may not even crack the top 500 in terms of city only population. Now, before someone chimes in and says "But it's not fair to compare St. Louis to such and such city" keep in mind, the entire idea of size is one that only exists with comparisons. You can't say something is large without having something small to compare it with, or visa versa. So, yes, St. Louis is a small city, but I doubt many people in St. Louis care whether it's big or small. If you're happy here, that's all that matters. If a person enjoys big dense city living, then St. Louis isn't the best place for that person to be.
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Old 07-16-2009, 06:01 PM
 
Location: St Louis
1,117 posts, read 2,591,643 times
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But what you fail to realize is that STL is much denser than most US cities. Its a much better benchmark for cities greater than 250k than the population itself. Houson is the 4th largest city however it only has 3k people per sq mile. STL has like 5500 which is almost twice as dense. Density creates healthy vibrant cities. By your methodology STL, Minneapolis, Denver Pittsburgh, Boston, etc are small cities which is not the case at all.
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Old 07-16-2009, 06:41 PM
 
74 posts, read 159,312 times
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Density of NYC - 27,440 per square mile; San Francisco - 17,323; L.A. - 8,205; Seattle - 7,179; Chicago - 12,649; Tokyo - 33,651; Boston - 12,166; Philadelphia - 11,234; St. Louis - 5,724.

How can you even include Boston when it has over twice the density of St. Louis? Anyhow, this is the listing of some city densities of the city proper only - this is not the entire metro areas. However, when you include the entire metro area, St. Louis becomes the 125th most dense area in the U.S. 125th... I think what you failed to realize was that by including density, you actually hurt your case more than you helped it. So, even though it's the 18th largest metro area in the U.S., it's only 125th most dense. What a... big city? ;P Seriously though, it's not that big of a deal. St. Louis is a relatively small city no matter how you look at it - doesn't really change anything for anyone though.
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Old 07-16-2009, 06:50 PM
 
Location: St Louis
1,117 posts, read 2,591,643 times
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I wasnt comparing density of the metro. City limits only. As you can see we are right up there with Seattle and LA
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Old 07-16-2009, 07:22 PM
 
74 posts, read 159,312 times
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Out of curiosity, have you ever been to L.A. or Seattle? I've been to both, and I can tell you that from what I've seen (which the numbers back up), both of those cities are far far more dense than St. Louis. It doesn't even remotely compare. So, I'd have to disagree and say that no, we are not "right up there" with L.A. or Seattle - not even close. Seattle would be a closer comparison, but the fact that you think we compare with L.A. in terms of... anything (size, density or whatever), just shows that you lack the necessary perspective to make a realistic comparison.

But again I say: it's not like it really matters. St. Louis is a small city, and on top of that, it's known for having a small town feeling to it (which isn't a bad thing; I think many locals consider that a good thing). Even with its relatively small size, St. Louis provides people in the area with all the city experience that they would probably want. Many of the people I know who live in St. Louis moved here from smaller rural towns in the surrounding area (most from IL). St. Louis is a big city to these types of people, so like I said - it's all the city they really need or want. If a person is looking to really live in a big city - St. Louis isn't going to be on that list, and neither will most of the cities in America. If you're looking to live in a place you can call a big city, then you're limited to a handful of cities in this country - namely cities like Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, etc.
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:09 PM
 
Location: St Louis County, MO
711 posts, read 1,869,442 times
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^ You are comparing the largest cities in the United States AND THE WORLD with St. Louis.

In that case, yeah, I guess we're a "small city." There are only 3 big cities in the United States, apparently.

You ask "Have you ever been to LA or Seattle?"
I ask "Have you ever been to a small town?"
I am from a town of 7,000 people in the real southern Illinois (south of Jefferson County IL). St. Louis is a big city.

You comparing St. Louis to NYC and Chicago is like comparing the Boston Red Sox to the Arby's All Stars in Anytown, USA.

According to the data I found in a quick Google search, there are 18,443 "towns" in the US. St. Louis ranks in the 50s for size. Yeah, St Louis is very small. A spec, in fact.

Eyeam - Do you plan on moving soon??
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:06 PM
 
74 posts, read 159,312 times
Reputation: 59
Quote:
Eyeam - Do you plan on moving soon??
Yes, when I finish school. I'd rather live somewhere else because of my interests, but I'm not unhappy here - are you? You seem to be insecure with your feelings about living in St. Louis.

Quote:
You are comparing the largest cities in the United States AND THE WORLD with St. Louis.
This is from one of my earlier posts:
Quote:
Now, before someone chimes in and says "But it's not fair to compare St. Louis to such and such city" keep in mind, the entire idea of size is one that only exists with comparisons.
Such is the nature of comparing. Are you uncomfortable with the fact that there are bigger cities out there? Does it make you feel better to believe that St. Louis is some great big city? If so, then by all means, continue limiting your comparisons of the city to rural towns in the area so you feel special. I really don't understand what the big deal is. So what if St. Louis is a small city? You're happy here, right? If so, then why do you get so offended?

Let me put this another way. Let's say someone asked you "What's the best ice cream you've ever had?" You respond with Brand A. "Oh no, you can't count brand A, that's not fair." You respond: "Oh, ok. Then my favorite would have to be brand B." "Oh no, you can't count that either - how unfair. You have to choose brand x, y or z." "Well, those aren't my favorite brands." Do you see how silly that would be? Not including BIGGER cities just because it doesn't seem 'fair' to you, is going to give you unrealistic perceptions about the world around you. I think it's important to know what else is out there. Having that awareness gives people access to more opportunities. I'm not saying you have to like those other cities - but I am saying that you have to be realistic when drawing comparisons that can be measured. This isn't a discussion about which city is better. This isn't a discussion about our likes and dislikes, or which city has the best food, music, entertainment, etc. Those are all subjective qualities and are not based on facts. This is a discussion about size, and although size is a relative quality, it is measurable, and can therefore become relatively factual based on the comparisons used.

Conclusion: It is completely fair to compare St. Louis to any other city, large or small, in a discussion about city size.
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