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Old 03-25-2014, 04:11 PM
 
7 posts, read 6,575 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi all,

I'm moving to St. Louis this fall to start grad school at SLU, and am somewhat overwhelmed by trying to find a neighborhood to live in. I'm not *crazy* picky, but there are some things that are really important to me.

I won't have a car, so stuff needs to be walkable/have access to public transport. I'm a single woman who does not look all that intimidating, so it needs to be relatively safe. I don't need to be able to take solo walks at 3 in the morning or anything, but I would like to be able to get from my bus stop to my front door without having to worry unduly. Also being able to get to and from the campus in a reasonable amount of time is a definite plus.

I love old buildings, little shops, parks, various kinds of ethnic food, and the arts. I'm not a huge fan of bars. I'd really like to be in a lively area, but not so much in the bars/clubs kind of way. And I'd prefer not to be somewhere super loud.

I know these are kind of varied, and not every place will have all these things. But some general suggestions would be great. I've looked at the CWE, Tower Grove (south?), Lafayette Square, Clayton (though I probably can't afford it), and Soulard (can't get a read on if this is an artsy neighborhood or a rowdy one. Seems to change depending on who you talk to), and am open to any other suggestions that keep me reasonably close to SLU.

Help appreciated!
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Old 03-25-2014, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Saint Louis, MO
1,908 posts, read 4,142,667 times
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CWE and Tower Grove South are both hot spots for grad students (TGS is way cheaper). CWE can be up there with Clayton in terms of price. Lafayette Square expensive too, if renting is anything like buying. Soulard is more rowdy than artsy. Lots of bars. Mardi Gras celebration is there.
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:42 PM
 
Location: St Louis
1,117 posts, read 2,654,961 times
Reputation: 363
Why down you try looking downtown? It meets the needs of a lot of things you need and is close to public transit since you will not have a car. Take a look at the Paul Brown, Millenial Center apts, Merchandise Mart, and Gallery 500.
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Old 03-25-2014, 10:50 PM
 
131 posts, read 146,451 times
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I agree about the idea of downtown...but I've lived in the CWE for 10 years and enjoyed it (within walking distance of SLU, if you want to take a long walk!). Finding anyplace that's safe and accessible without a car is a bit of a challenge, since (in my opinion) the public transit system leaves a bit to be desired (but I haven't really taken advantage of the buses, to be honest, since I do have a car).

Agree about TGS being cheaper and still neat...that's where I'm headed (mostly for a change of pace)! To me, it depends on how close to SLU you want to be...do you want to be able to walk there? Or is it OK to wait for buses, etc? (You'd have to check out the bus stops if you thought about TGS...I think it's well-covered, but as I said, I'm not too familiar with them.) Personally I like both areas...but I would guess that the CWE is somewhat safer for walking. (No guarantees, of course.)

I'd be happy to share any other info I know about my "adopted" city...welcome here...I enjoy it (all but the cold, but that's coming from a Southerner!).
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Old 03-25-2014, 11:04 PM
 
7 posts, read 6,575 times
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Thanks so much. I am kind of charmed by the idea of Tower Grove--it sounds like such a neat place to live. But I've found some nice looking apartments on craigslist in the CWE as well. I've never lived by a park, but the Tower Grove/botanical gardens/Forest park all sound so neat, I'd love to have access.

As for walking, it would be neat to be able to walk to campus, but I don't mind a bus ride, as long as it's reasonable. I tend to imagine walks with the addition of a stuffed school bag on my shoulder, so super-lengthy walks don't always appeal. I've always bussed most places, so it wouldn't really be any different, as long as it wasn't a "get on this bus, then switch, then answer these questions three to a magical wizard to find your next bus" sort of route.

And I've thought about downtown, but I've heard somewhat mixed messages, in that it sounds like it can switch from good to bad pretty fast. Of course, this is true for any city, and is all based on stuff I've read on the internet, so I know it's all to be taken with a grain of salt. I'm just a little skittish; I'm from a city, but it's in northern Minnesota, so it's a whole different animal.

I guess another question, if you can toss out a guess, when should I start looking seriously if I plan to move in August? I'd rather not sign before--still have to pay rent on the place I'm living. I don't want to waste my time looking at places that won't be available in a few weeks, but I also don't want to look too late into the summer and get screwed.

Other than the sheer horror of trying to move to a place I've spent less than 72 hours in, I'm very excited to move down there. It looks fantastic. And the cold doesn't really bother me--the weather you guys get is something of a warm front compared to what we get up here.
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Old 03-26-2014, 04:58 PM
 
Location: St Louis
1,117 posts, read 2,654,961 times
Reputation: 363
The entire area downtown is generally safe. If you wander north outside of downtown it's gets sketchy. Most of the apartment building are the most secure and safe that you will find in the metro area.
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Old 03-27-2014, 12:57 AM
 
131 posts, read 146,451 times
Reputation: 54
As for how soon to look...I had some trouble with that myself, trying to find a place recently. It seems to vary somewhat depending on the apartment/condo/etc, as you can imagine. What I ended up doing was checking Craigslist for the move-in date of the listings at two months back, a month back...and seeing what came closest to my desired move-in date. (Then again, I don't have a great sense of time, so others may be able to give a more definitive answer, but this was my solution, and it seemed to work!). Good luck!
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