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The battle of the Mississippi: St. Louis vs. New Orleans

The battle for the Mississippi River!

  • New Orleans, Louisiana

    Votes: 21 60.0%
  • St. Louis, Missouri

    Votes: 14 40.0%

  • Total voters
    35

ilikefish0

Cyburbian
Messages
204
Points
9
St. Louis and New Orleans were both once preeminent cities. Both, however, have been superceded (sadly) by competing cities. St. Louis by Chicago, and New Orleans by Houston and Atlanta.

So, it comes down to the vote: which has-been still has it?

I've only been to St. Louis once, but it struck me as comprable to my home of New Orleans. I would like to see how everyone else thinks that they stack up.
 

DecaturHawk

Cyburbian
Messages
880
Points
22
Both are great towns, but New Orleans did not have the massive population loss that St. Louis has experienced since 1950 (St. Louis was more than twice as large back in 1950 as it is now). New Orleans drips with history and has the advantage of a southern climate. There is no better city in America to get a meal.

On the other hand, St. Louis has been very active in redevelopment and has an incredible building stock. I'll take St. Louis Univ. over UNO and the Arch beats the Aquarium. Plus, SL has much better sports teams.

Since I can make it down to St. Louis any ol' time, I voted New Orleans, mostly on the strength of their historical areas (esp. the French Quarter and the trolley system).
 

JNA

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
24,889
Points
51
St. Louis
The Arch, Forest Park, nearby St. Charles-beginning of the Katy RailTrail, TWA Dome-1st Big 12 football championship game
 

Jessie-J

Cyburbian
Messages
386
Points
12
They're filming a movie in St. Louis right now about a soccer team that grew out of one of the local neighborhoods. They're filming it in the neighborhood that it actually is based on. There was a quote in the Riverfront Times recently about St. Louis being the only place that looks like St. Louis 50 years ago. It hasn't changed a whole lot, especially the older neighborhoods.

St. Louis is pretty in some parts. It has just as much ugly as it does pretty. There are just as many boarded up buildings in the city as there are gorgeous renovated ones. Some of the boarded up buildings will make a great something someday soon.

New Orleans, however, I feel makes better use of what they have. It seems that much of St. Louis is wasting away while New Orleans has embraced their history collectively as a community and it really shows.

I voted for New Orleans.
 

ilikefish0

Cyburbian
Messages
204
Points
9
In the area of population, New Orleans has also experienced significant decline since the 50's. While St. Louis has lost nearly half, New Orleans has lost nearly a third, still a significant reduction.
 

Jessie-J

Cyburbian
Messages
386
Points
12
Webster University is in St. Louis (headquartered). Saint Louis University, Maryville University, Washington University...there are some others...but they are generally smaller....Fontbonne University, Concordia U.....
 

jordanb

Cyburbian
Messages
3,232
Points
25
I know a few people who go to SLU, it's appearently fairly prestigious.

Is the Loyola in New Orleans connected to the Loyola in Chicago in any way?
 

Wulf9

Member
Messages
923
Points
22
We lived in St. Louis two years. there is an amazing dignity in its institutions and people. That includes the first ring of suburbs. The Saarinen arch is an appropriate landmark, as it was and continues to be the dividing line between the east and west.

We visited a friend in New Orleans. It has an amazing culture, historic preservation ethic, and food.

St. Louis celebrates its frontage on the Mississippi River. New Orleans is unfortunately diked off from the river by huge Corps of Engineers levees.

Given a choice, I would rather live in St. Louis and visit New Orleans.
 

ilikefish0

Cyburbian
Messages
204
Points
9
jordanb said:
Is the Loyola in New Orleans connected to the Loyola in Chicago in any way?
They are both jesuit schools, but that's about it.

P.S. If N.O. hadn't put up the levees it would be under water.
Even still, there are riverfront attractions like Woldenburg park, Audubon park, the Moonwalk, Aquarium, Riverwalk mall...all of which are right on the river
 

JivecitySTL

Cyburbian
Messages
115
Points
6
There is absolutely no comparison here. St. Louis blows New Orleans out of the water in every conceivable category except tourism. St. Louis is a much bigger metropolis.

2000 Metropolitan St. Louis: 2,603,607
2000 Metropolitan New Orleans: 1,337,726

St. Louis has much more to offer, decline or not. It's also a much more beautiful city as a whole in my opinion. Outside the French Quarter and Cathedral District, New Orleans is a dump.

Sure, STL has its bad parts too (what city doesn't?), but so many more wonderful neighborhoods to offset them.

In closing, New Orleans is a nice place, but in no way can it be favorably compared to St. Louis. It all comes down to personal preference, and I prefer St. Louis by far.
 

ilikefish0

Cyburbian
Messages
204
Points
9
JivecitySTL said:
Outside the French Quarter and Cathedral District, New Orleans is a dump.

Sure, STL has its bad parts too (what city doesn't?), but so many more wonderful neighborhoods to offset them.

Check a map <chuckle> the cathedral is in the french quarter...

Also, all New Orleans is not a dump. The garden district, for example is a beautiful neighborhood. Although, even the French Quarter can get pretty slimy sometimes. When they hose of the sidewalks in the morning, the runoff can be pretty sickening.

Finally, I've been wondering, are all malls in St. Louis like union station. I seem to remember it had rediculous restrictions and curfews for minors. Was a beautiful building though.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
JivecitySTL said:
Outside the French Quarter and Cathedral District, New Orleans is a dump.
Take a close look. There are a few nic buildings, and there is a tremendous amount of potential in the French Quarter and elsewhere in New Orleans, but it seems like there is no real interest in restoration. Beautiful old buildings are simply left to rot, when there is a market for rehab.
 

Jessie-J

Cyburbian
Messages
386
Points
12
Michael Stumpf said:
Beautiful old buildings are simply left to rot, when there is a market for rehab.
Interesting, I feel that way about St. Louis.... there are so many boarded up buildings along the 40 corridor that are just left, stagnant. Owners are sitting on them until property values go up....imo.

I see more potential in the bad parts of New Orleans that I do in the bad parts of St. Louis.
 

JivecitySTL

Cyburbian
Messages
115
Points
6
Property values in St. Louis are going up. Buildings are being rehabbed left and right (I am a city real estate agent).

Here's a link to development activity in St. Louis City, and of course it doesn't include smaller-scale projects like homes, flats and storefronts:

City of St. Louis development activity
 

ilikefish0

Cyburbian
Messages
204
Points
9
JivecitySTL said:
By the way, Washington University in St. Louis is a top-notch university, ranking #12 nationally-- ahead of any in New Orleans, and ranking ahead of such prestigious universities as Cornell and Johns Hopkins. Wash. U. kicks ass.
No kidding. I almost went there for college, but I couldnt get the money together.

Also, while still lower than Wash U's #12, Tulane is no slouch at #43.

P.S. anyone want to start drawing some other parallels, making the discussion a bit more objective? Like NORTA's streetcars and St. Louis' rail system. Or comprable major suburbs? Let's have some fun with this!
 

Xing500

Cyburbian
Messages
112
Points
6
Yeah, St. Louis definately has the rehab going. Washington AVenue is remembering it's history by fixing up most of the old buildings, Soulard, North St. Louis, Lafayette Square, the Central West End, and much of the South Side are also having their share of rehabs.


995DSC05971.jpg

995dsc05371-med.jpg
 

DecaturHawk

Cyburbian
Messages
880
Points
22
Although I picked St. Louis U. over UNO, I will put in a plug for Xavier University in New Orleans, founded by St. Katherine Drexel. Xavier is the only historically black Catholic university in the US. St. Katherine's story is fascinating: she founded schools and missions all across the US for native americans and blacks at the end of the 19th century and into the 20th. You can read about her here:

http://www.katharinedrexel.org/history.htm

They have a great, compact Gothic-style campus west of downtown.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
ilikefish0 said:
P.S. anyone want to start drawing some other parallels, making the discussion a bit more objective? Like NORTA's streetcars and St. Louis' rail system. Or comprable major suburbs? Let's have some fun with this!
Sorry, but I am not very familiar with either city. I have stayed in New Orleans for 4-5 days on a couple occassions. Since I did not have a car, I did not get much beyond downtown and the Franch part, except to and from the airport. I have passed through Saint Louis on several occassions, going through the city east-west and heading south along the river.

From these experiences, I would choose New Orleans if I was just going to visit for a while. If I had to choose which one to live in, it would be Saint Louis.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
Isn't Nelly from STL? He's got hot chicks in his videos, I vote STL
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
Being that I have spent many occasion and have had many friends from NO during undergrad at OLE MISS and for some reason have had several good friends, girlfriends from St. Louis during that time as well. My wife is from a town about 3 hours south of STL and I have good friends who live there now.

Anyway, having of been to both towns many times and being shown the “tour” eveytime I would have to say that if I had to chose a city to live it would be STL, hands downs. Unless I became filthy rich and then NO might be some fun.

However, If I had to choose a city to go for the weekend or a conference, It would be NO, hands down.

I associate NO with party and debauchery and STL with family values and suburbia (even the “in-town” areas).

That’s my 2 cents.

But as I stated earlier, I still vote for Memphis as Queen of the Miss-a-sip.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
This is an interesting discussion in that I can see the appeal of the history in both cities.

I picked St Louis over New Orleans partly because of my stubborn, still kicking old Baptist streak. I just don't like a town whose economy is now largely based on stupid tourists getting drunk and throwing up all over the sidewalk. Plus, a city where the police force has historically been the largest, best armed criminal gang. Still, it is a fascinating place with a unique culture-a uniqueness that I'm not sure Saint Louis can compete with.

That aside, I love the brick architecture of Saint Louis, I prefer (not by much) the climate (no 100% humidity for me, thank you), think it has nicer suburbs (especially out west), and I'm a yankee through and through, so southern culture doesn't appeal much to me as a place to live.

Off Topic: New Orleans is a better setting for novels, though. I am reading a quirky little book now called "Fat White Man Vampire Blues" about a vampire grown corpulent after years of dining on New Orleans', sall we say, well-nourished residents. His comfortable life is threatened by a new Black Power vampire, Malice X and a "plus-size" model who is a vampire hunter on the side!
 

JivecitySTL

Cyburbian
Messages
115
Points
6
Huston-- out of curiosity, why do you think St. Louis City feels like suburbia? It's a very old urban and dense city. Many people think it reminds them of Philadelphia and Baltimore, with rowhouses, multi-family flats, stately highrise apartment buildings, etc. all over the city-- hardly suburban. The suburbs are suburban though (obviously).
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
JivecitySTL said:
Huston-- out of curiosity, why do you think St. Louis City feels like suburbia? It's a very old urban and dense city. Many people think it reminds them of Philadelphia and Baltimore, with rowhouses, multi-family flats, stately highrise apartment buildings, etc. all over the city-- hardly suburban. The suburbs are suburban though (obviously).
Of course there is a mix, but the over all “feeling” I got was of suburban mentality, especially compared to NO. I have been many places in STL, the brewery, downtown, to the riverfront historic area, the arch, to the hockey game, to the baseball game, to the zoo, to the hospital area, to the loop, to the museums, ate at Ozzy’s, ate on the Hill, spent time at WASH U, SLU, stayed in Clayton, Ladue, St. Anne and West County (suburban neighborhoods, I know). Remember, I have only visited and never lived there. So I am sure there is much I don’t know about both cities. I have visited all over NO as well, including the suburbs, which strangely seem less “suburban”.

I like STL though, so I hope you don’t think I am knocking it, because I am not.
 

JivecitySTL

Cyburbian
Messages
115
Points
6
Your opinion is perfectly valid, although I seriously disagree. New Orleans, while charming, feels much more townish than the larger, more metropolitan-feeling St. Louis. St. Louis also was built to be one of the largest cities in the United States. Its population peaked in 1950 with almost 900,000 people packed tightly into only 61 square miles. A LOT of that high-density infrastructure exists today. I think STL feels much bigger and much more urban overall.
 

ilikefish0

Cyburbian
Messages
204
Points
9
JivecitySTL said:
New Orleans, while charming, feels much more townish than the larger, more metropolitan-feeling St. Louis. ... I think STL feels much bigger and much more urban overall.
Somewhat agreed. St. Louis has a large expanse of high desity urban "style" buildings. (Rowhouses and the like.) In New Orleans, however, these types of development are compressesed in to a somewhat smaller porion of the city. One of the strengths of NO, in my opinion, is they great variety of the city. The CBD has its modern skyscrapers, Canal Street and the surrounding area has a lot of tradional urban buildings similar to those in St. Louis, historical disctricts are throughout the city, homes almost suburban in character fill the lakefront area, and in the easternmost portion of the city limits, there are camps and fishing villages.

New Orleans, I think, has also managed to escape sprawl to some extent. Wetlands and bodies of water form natural boundaries in nearly all directions, chacking sprwl to a large extent. Even developments that spread up tthe river have their own industrial base. The only place that has problems with sprawl is the North Shore (across the Causeway [ the worlds longest bridge]). Rapid suburban development in this area has strained the rural infrastrucure. (<rant>but no one from the south shore really has any sympathy! Its their own fault for moving there! </rant>)
 

Jessie-J

Cyburbian
Messages
386
Points
12
ooooh, I was stuck in traffic in a lightning storm on the causeway once. Lightning actually struck the car 5 ahead of us- totally knocked out the electrical components, and ther was a hole in the bridge under the car! wierd stuff! It was cool seeing lightning hit the water all around us though.
 

ilikefish0

Cyburbian
Messages
204
Points
9
How's traffic in St. Louis? Down here, I-10 always seems to be at a standstill. US 61 is just as fast coming from the west because of the sheer volume of traffic on I-10. It all seems silly to me. The main problem is the outdated cloverleaf interchange at Causeway Blvd (approach to the bridge) the cloverleaf cannot handle the volume, and traffic starts backing up. (but they're putting in a flyover! yay!)

Also, I like seafood better than barbecue (even ribs).
Incidentaly, what are St. Louis-style ribs.
 

Jessie-J

Cyburbian
Messages
386
Points
12
Think drivers are slow in Louisiana? Reduce that by about 20 mph. The speed limits here are incredibly slow, and there are a lot of old drivers, and people can't merge and they don't actually stop at stop signs. Traffic here is terrible. I-40/64 is the worst. Pretty bad most any time of day, although 55 isn't much better.

St. Louis style ribs are tangy. Kansas City style ribs are sweet. Texas style ribs are a little on the spicy side. That's my observations anyway. ok, now that my mouth is watering........
 
Messages
2
Points
0
I chose St. Louis.

When I went down to New Orleans I was struck at how similar both cities are in architecture and history.

I grew up in the STL suburbs (St. Charles) and never made it to the city much, in fact I thought STL was a dump and wanted nothing to do with it.

Last year I moved into the inner ring of suburbs, and happened to take up photography, my photography opened my eyes to the AMAZING architecture STL city has to offer, and all of a sudden I was in love with STL. It is rich in history, and while people here take WAY too long to make any kind of change, it's happening fast and furious right now.

Downtown is experienceing a residential building boom. Downtown is clean and there is a lot of rehab going on, Washington Ave. has sprung to life and there are building being renovated for lofts and apartments on Locust and Olive and soon the Old Post Office district. The remaining Cupples Station buildings on the south side of downtown are slated to be converted into apartments and the old City Hospital will be converted into condos, and with McKree Town being torn down and redeveloped with market rate houses, I think South St. Louis is going to get a whole lot stronger than it is. North St. Louis has a long road ahead of it, but hey, all cities have their problems.

Layfayette Square, Soulard, the Central West End, Tower Grove South, Dogtown, The Hill (I LOVE Dogtown and the CWE) so many beautiful URBAN neighborhoods. STL is far from suburban. Top notch hospitals and universities make it a great place too. FREE world class art museum and Zoo, not to mention the whimsical City Museum, the Fox Theatre and new Contomporary Art museum in Midtown cover all your arts and culture bases.

This post wouldn't be complete without mentioning Forest Park, which is looking INCREDIBLE these days, can't wait until the Grand Basin is finished up, and beautiful Tower Grove Park, which is one of three U.S. parks (along with New York's Central Park and Boston Common) listed as a National Historic Landmark.


Plus property values are going up faster in the city (i think the number is 50% but i'm not sure) than in the county. Hopefully the momentum will continue.

New Orleans was a great place to visit, no doubt, but it seemed to me that its only reason for being was to cater to tourists and the party going crowd, not that that's a bad thing, but it's just not for me, nice place to visit, wouldn't want to live there kind of thing, it does have some incredibly beautiful neighborhoods as well.
 
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ilikefish0

Cyburbian
Messages
204
Points
9
olvidarte said:
I chose St. Louis.

Downtown is experienceing a residential building boom. Downtown is clean and there is a lot of rehab going on, Washington Ave. has sprung to life and there are building being renovated for lofts and apartments on Locust and Olive and soon the Old Post Office district. The remaining Cupples Station buildings on the south side of downtown are slated to be converted into apartments and the old City Hospital will be converted into condos, and with McKree Town being torn down and redeveloped with market rate houses, I think South St. Louis is going to get a whole lot stronger than it is. North St. Louis has a long road ahead of it, but hey, all cities have their problems.

first, wow this thead got dredged out of the archives.
second, new orleans has already converted dozens of warehouses into apartments and condos near the CBD
third, you can't beat the brown sludge the steam clean off the sidewalks every morning
 

Xing500

Cyburbian
Messages
112
Points
6
ilikefish0 said:
first, wow this thead got dredged out of the archives.
second, new orleans has already converted dozens of warehouses into apartments and condos near the CBD
third, you can't beat the brown sludge the steam clean off the sidewalks every morning
And St. Louis has converted just as many in the same place as N.O.s, the CBD.
 
Messages
94
Points
4
I've never been to St. Louis other than an overnight stop at the airport, but I've been all around New Orleans and its a special place from the French Quarter, to the Garden District, to the preserved plantations just outside of the city. From what i've seen on St. Louis on these various forums and heard from its forumers, I would chose the Big Easy over it based on its vibrant atmosphere, culture, and history.
 

passdoubt

Cyburbian
Messages
407
Points
13
I've only been to each of these cities a couple times, but New Orleans always struck me as being a mis-managed planning nightmare. From what I understand and observed, I-10 virtually destroyed the neighborhoods that were under it. I was a little taken back when I saw the black commercial area (...Northeastish of the French Quarter?) where they tore down all those old trees to put in the expressway, and people painted trees on the side of the concrete holds in memorial of the former greenspace!? That's about the most sad physical testiment against urban freeways I can think of. The disaster of the Desire and Florida housing projects also strike me. After they were torn down it seemed like there was a great mantra of blaming the problems on density.

My knowledge of New Orleans' history definately makes my choice biased in this case because it seems more like a city fallen from grace. I get remniscent for the days of A Streetcar Named Desire when I think of what the city once was. When I visited St. Louis I didn't have many expectations and was pleasantly surprised.
 

JivecitySTL

Cyburbian
Messages
115
Points
6
Ever seen Meet Me in St. Louis?? Talk about a fall from grace-- St. Louis was once the 3rd-largest city in America (bigger than Chicago)! It's peak population in 1950 topped the peak populations of Boston and San Francisco. St. Louis was a MAJOR player not that long ago. New Orleans was always a major city, but never to the level of STL, and it still isn't.

p.s. A Streetcar Named Desire was written by St. Louis's own Tennessee Williams, who lived about a block and a half from where I am sitting at this very moment. Other notable St. Louis literary masters include:

T.S. Eliot
Kate Chopin
William S. Burroughs
Joseph Pulitzer
Mark Twain (not from STL, but it was the big city that won his heart)
Sara Teasdale
Maya Angelou
W.E.B. DuBois
Howard Nemerov

...all were raised or lived in St. Louis at some time in their lives. It's a very literary city.
 

adavids1

Member
Messages
10
Points
1
NOLA's got it

Cardinal said:
Take a close look. There are a few nic buildings, and there is a tremendous amount of potential in the French Quarter and elsewhere in New Orleans, but it seems like there is no real interest in restoration. Beautiful old buildings are simply left to rot, when there is a market for rehab.
Actually New Orleans has an amazingly active rehab market. Unlike so many other places in the United States, New Orleanians as a whole value their older buildings much more than new ones and want to keep them. I heard from an architect friend of mine in NOLA that the city is #1 or 2 in rehab projects in the country. While this is partly reflective of the need, it is also reflective of the desire.

I would give St Louis good marks for transit. The new metrolink system is fast and convienient in the areas that it serves. The streetcars in nola, though filled with ambiance and history are s-l-o-w. The four-mile St Charles Streetcar takes about an hour to do its route, one way, and never keeps a schedule anywhere close to its printed one. The buses run faster if you really want to go somewhere.

Also, I would agree that as whole the economy in nola is much more dependant on tourism than it should be, which does make job prospects bleak and probably gives St. Louis the advantage in livability, but apart from that factor I would much rather live in NOLA with 9 months of glorious weather each year, a low cost of living, wonderful food, fabulous festivals, just plain fun things to do all the time, interesting and varied people, unique architecture and good recreational opportunites than the colder, duller St. Louis. There is so much more to NOLA than the quarter people! :)
 

Jaxspra

Cyburbian
Messages
3,517
Points
24
I have never been to New Orleans and I grew up and still live in St. Louis (well not in the city but I spend most of my time there outside of work). St. Louis is an incredible city with so much going on. There are hundreds of true urban neighborhoods, beautiful architecture, tons of things to do. I think there is a lot of rehab that needs to be done in many areas of the city, northern parts especially. I wouldnt want to live or raise my kids anywhere else.
 

The One

Cyburbian
Messages
8,289
Points
29
The Big Easy....

Oh gawd....how could you compare the two.....St Louse (not a mis-spelling) is nasty......so is NO, but at least it has Character and a degree of charm.... :-|
 
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