Boy Der Am Block Chillt

When people talk about the United States, it’s often referred to as a country with extreme differences. There’s an endless list of reasons why, but I’ll give you one today: neighborhoods. Yes, the different areas in a city (Saint Louis in this case) can differ like day and night. I’m not claiming I’ve seen them all, or know all about it, but I can give you a summary of the impressions I had when driving through the city. It’s a matter of hidden borders. Somewhere a neighborhood comes up out of nowhere that makes me feel uncomfortable just driving through. Other times, hipsters seem to be crawling from everywhere and occupying a neighborhood, making it a left-wing hippie town.

The biggest difference I can think of has to be a neighborhood where every window had steel bars compared to one where Starbucks and rainbow flags ruled the block. Blogging now, I realize I should have been taking a lot more pictures so I could show you the differences, but now you’ll have to do with my own perspective. One street would be full of pawn shops and feel very dark and shady, the other would have more coffee places, coiffure shops (that’s hipster French for a place to have your hair cut) and art galleries than one square mile could possibly handle. Also, the two do not mix. In Central West End (the latter of the two), you couldn’t be seen without ridiculous glasses, a long trench coat or a weird hat. Just as with the debate on abortion, the liberals do not fear coming out strongly (remember the rainbow flags?), making no sense to me in any way. Both of the extremes are very homogenic as well. One has artsy people walking along where I wouldn’t fit in, the other has only people in working clothes. It’s one of those extremes that can be very fascinating.

Did you ever cross a neighborhood line without realizing?

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4 thoughts on “Boy Der Am Block Chillt

  1. In Denver, the neighborhood lines certainly exist, but there’s generally a little melding in the in-between spaces…you gradually move from ghetto town to hipsterville. The one example that comes to mind when I think of blatant lines in neighborhoods is when I was in New York.

    Walking downtown as a tourist is no big deal (it’s generally populated with tourists anyway), but one night I got a bit turned around, but I didn’t really notice that I was going in the wrong direction (east, not west) until I crossed over to a block that was so glaringly obviously different from the other side of the street…not just in appearance, but in feel as well. It was quite a strange sensation.

    Needless to say, I nonchalantly changed direction and moseyed back to the tourist-infested part of the city. (;

    • I recognize the feeling. There is a sense of uncomfortableness that is probably coming from hints you notice only on a subconscious level. Funny how such a thing works. I bet a lot of tourists getting in trouble are either less sensitive to such atmospheres or ignoring their gut feeling. By the sound of it, I like Denvers way of easing into the differences.

  2. Pingback: Visiting California & Laughing At Myself | visitingmissouri

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