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Old 11-03-2011, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
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^I'd agree that Memphis has more in common with St. Louis than it does with Atlanta. And I mean the town certainly has some southern influences, but I'd struggle to really call it a southern city. It's just got an entirely different vibe.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:10 AM
 
Location: 32°19'03.7"N 106°43'55.9"W
8,288 posts, read 18,208,863 times
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I think the concept of a 'boundary' is an arbitrary one. To consider the city proper only as a measure of population gain or loss is simplistic. For me, the entire metropolitan statistical area must be considered. That is to say, one must consider St. Louis County, Madison County Il, as well as areas of St. Charles and Jefferson County to be appendages of the greater St. Louis economy. What you have essentially is families staying in the metropolitan area, but moving to areas more removed from the central city, i.e. dispersal. If you consider the population GAINS of these places, they more than offset the loss of population in the city of St. Louis. This pattern is not uncommon to St. Louis: it happens nationally. The difference is, in this instance, that St. Louis city is a smaller unit of land, relative to say, Tucson Arizona, or Las Vegas, or fill in the blank when it comes to the city at hand, usually west of the Mississippi. Even Kansas City, I remember, visiting there about 13 years ago, and I remember seeing a sign "Welcome to Kansas City", north of the city boundary, about 15 miles or so, and the road was adorned with farms, pasture. The concept of annexation, therefore, is important when considering relative population loss to gain. St. Louis's geography predates the car, so the boundary has remained static for years. Other cities formed differently, with different historical geographical distinctions, resulting in different political boundaries.

If you really want a comprehensive analysis of why this phenomenon holds, I suggest you read a book by Colin Gordon, titled "Mapping Decline". It is a wonderful read, and shows comprehensively, with maps, why St. Louis city has declined in population. Zoning restrictions, commercial incentives to relocate on the periphery, white flight, the trail of jobs then residents following them.

One of my passions in life is analysis of this subject, as you might tell!
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:26 AM
 
Location: St. Louis
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I used to think Memphis and St. Louis were comparable, but after living here I really don't think that's true. St. Louis has more in common with other Rust Belt cities like Cleveland and Pittsburgh than with Memphis. Memphis is more like Nashville and New Orleans. St. Louis just doesn't have that laid-back, Southern vibe that Memphis does. Plus, the architecture of St. Louis is not Southern at all. It just doesn't "look" Southern.
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Jefferson City 4 days a week, St. Louis 3 days a week
2,709 posts, read 4,513,557 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smtchll View Post
I don't think it's the New South. It's nothing like Nashville or Atlanta. People don't move to Memphis from other places, usually. I don't think the city of Memphis grew from 2000-2010. According to this...
Mapping the 2010 U.S. Census - NYTimes.com
The county grew 3.4%, and it looks like it was almost all from suburban growth, not Memphis growth.

Actually I think Memphis is way more comparable to St. Louis than to any New South city. We have a Central Corridor stretching from Downtown to the opposite edge of our city. I dont know if anyone here actually calls it that, but it parallels Downtown, Midtown, and CWE in STL. The difference is, instead of 1 "bad side" we have 2. Both the North & the South sides of Memphis are considered bad. The good areas are the Central Corridor, East Memphis (comparable to Mid-County) and Cordova (comparable to West County suburbs, except it's going downhill) It's weird because STL almost mirrors Memphis when I think about areas that are similar to each other.
Even if what you say is true, the culture is not the same at all. Memphis is a Southern city, regardless of whether it has experienced New South growth or not. In terms of accents, history, cuisine, and demographics, it is about as Southern as it gets. Just about all it has in common is it being on the Mississippi River and I guess it's layout. It's true that blues and barbeque spread northward from Memphis and New Orleans to St. Louis, Chicago, and Kansas City during the Great Migration, however. It's actually borderline Deep South practically, given Mississippi is just a few minutes to the south.
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Jefferson City 4 days a week, St. Louis 3 days a week
2,709 posts, read 4,513,557 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn10am View Post
I used to think Memphis and St. Louis were comparable, but after living here I really don't think that's true. St. Louis has more in common with other Rust Belt cities like Cleveland and Pittsburgh than with Memphis. Memphis is more like Nashville and New Orleans. St. Louis just doesn't have that laid-back, Southern vibe that Memphis does. Plus, the architecture of St. Louis is not Southern at all. It just doesn't "look" Southern.
Nope. Not in the least. St. Louis is a Midwestern rust belt city indeed. And the state of Missouri, IMO is overall Midwestern with some noticeable southern influences. Kansas City also shares much more in common with Omaha, Des Moines, and Minneapolis than it does with Tulsa and Dallas.
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Old 11-03-2011, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Jefferson City 4 days a week, St. Louis 3 days a week
2,709 posts, read 4,513,557 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn10am View Post
I used to think Memphis and St. Louis were comparable, but after living here I really don't think that's true. St. Louis has more in common with other Rust Belt cities like Cleveland and Pittsburgh than with Memphis. Memphis is more like Nashville and New Orleans. St. Louis just doesn't have that laid-back, Southern vibe that Memphis does. Plus, the architecture of St. Louis is not Southern at all. It just doesn't "look" Southern.
It's funny, because I once thought Louisville was more Midwestern given it was only 100 miles south of Indianapolis and 90 miles southwest of Cincinnati, vs. almost 200 north of Nashville. Boy, was I wrong. There is very little if anything Midwestern about Louisville. If Memphis doesn't have the vibe of the New South, Louisville certainly does. It is not even remotely similar to St. Louis.
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:30 AM
 
Location: 32°19'03.7"N 106°43'55.9"W
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What about Cairo Illinois: midwestern, or southern? Southern Illinois, in general, actually. I have wondered about this on numerous occasions.
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Old 11-03-2011, 11:38 AM
 
Location: West Tennessee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike0421 View Post
What about Cairo Illinois: midwestern, or southern? Southern Illinois, in general, actually. I have wondered about this on numerous occasions.
Cairo is Southern. SO IL is mixed, probably more southern south of the I-57/I-24 interchange.
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:19 PM
 
3,644 posts, read 9,563,216 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawn10am View Post
I used to think Memphis and St. Louis were comparable, but after living here I really don't think that's true. St. Louis has more in common with other Rust Belt cities like Cleveland and Pittsburgh than with Memphis. Memphis is more like Nashville and New Orleans. St. Louis just doesn't have that laid-back, Southern vibe that Memphis does. Plus, the architecture of St. Louis is not Southern at all. It just doesn't "look" Southern.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stlouisan View Post
Even if what you say is true, the culture is not the same at all. Memphis is a Southern city, regardless of whether it has experienced New South growth or not. In terms of accents, history, cuisine, and demographics, it is about as Southern as it gets. Just about all it has in common is it being on the Mississippi River and I guess it's layout. It's true that blues and barbeque spread northward from Memphis and New Orleans to St. Louis, Chicago, and Kansas City during the Great Migration, however. It's actually borderline Deep South practically, given Mississippi is just a few minutes to the south.
I didnt mean to start the Southern vs Northern discussion. That's not what I meant when I said Memphis was similar to St. Louis. I was mainly talking about the layout and where the good/bad, poor/affluent parts of town are. When I give my friends a tour of St. Louis, I find myself saying "this is like their version of Midtown" or "this is their East Memphis" and those areas are more or less laid out in the same areas that they are in Memphis, except that Memphis is on the opposite side of the river, so it's mirrored. Our Redbirds stadium is even Downtown near the river, like Busch Stadium.

When I go to Nashville, it's a completely different layout and its harder to compare to parts of Memphis, especially since Nashville isn't on the Mississippi River. Their downtown is on a river, but it's in the middle of the city, rather than on the edge of the city, like in Memphis & St. Louis. And Nashville is newer, whiter, more suburban, and more white-collar than Memphis.

I still wouldnt call Memphis a "New South" city. There's not a lot of "new" in Memphis. And even though Nashville is further North, it's more similar to Sun Belt cities than Memphis is.

Last edited by Smtchll; 11-03-2011 at 12:55 PM..
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Old 11-03-2011, 12:58 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 24,571,527 times
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That's interesting. Denver metro has around 3 million, the same as STL. The actual city of Denver has been going back up in population and is now over 600K. I think it bottomed out somewhere in the 400Ks in the late '70s/early '80s. So why does Denver grow and STL doesn't? Demographics? Different amounts of poverty? Schools?
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