10/31/2006

"Wouldn't you Know, a Drive-By in Missouri"

I live in the most dangerous city in the country. A few million people around here claim that, but trust me, they live in the county. Night and day. Ice Cube's Summer Vacation in the city and ice cubes and summer vacation in the county. It's funny, too because the report came out at just the right time, coninciding with a few other things.



First of all, I've been reading a book about cities and what makes a good city. The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs is engaging, and what struck me at first was a chapter about the safety along sidewalks. The basic point Jacobs makes is that the more familiar faces out and about, the less likely you are to get mugged. Sounds simple, right?

I myself have been using sidewalks lately. I walk home from the metro station along a stretch of dimly lit roads every night. I've heard these sidewalks referred to as "dangerous" or "sketchy" by more than a few people. Why? Well last night was the first time I walked back thinking about what Jacobs wrote. And I only saw 3 other faces. One other guy was practically running, and two people were just pacing in the distance in front of their house.

Now, another thing you might know about St. Louis is it's also America's fattest city. Where were all these people on the block? It's an interesting thought to think that maybe people could kill two birds with one stone by getting outside to feel the fresh air every once in awhile.* St. Louis's mayor, Francis Slay mocked that St. Louis should be behind cities like Chicago or New York on the list. Well, let me just say that when I visited those cities, I didn't usually find myself alone on a street at 6 pm. People had a taxi, bus, or train to catch. So maybe Jacobs has a point.

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One other point of convergence. The Cardinals won the World Series and threw a parade. The population of the city** doubled for the day. It's interesting to think, looking at some pictures of the parade, what the city would be like if the city were this dense, and not like some old post-Gold Rush ghost town.

Oh, and one other thing. I renewed my plates today. I've heard St. Louis is the capital of getting your stickers ganked. So I stop at the stoplight after the DMV and what do I see? Crime! That's right, a car with a torn sticker from its plate.

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*What could also be keeping them inside? Gonorrhea
**City as in the city, not the county
Make your own plate

4 comments:

cassidy said...

that license plate looks like an ad for some sort of VD!!!! it burns!!! haaaa

Drew said...

it burns won out over drippage hahah

JJ said...

I read death and life of an american city for my geography class back in the day...don't know why you needed to know that...but yea

Go Cards! I want them to pick up the Edmonds option.

Drew said...

yeah, as much as he pisses me off year in year out with his whiffs on balls in the dirt... i gotta admit, he still has game. plus, outfielders are in short supply lately. at least jocketty has flexibility.