I have been out of town for the last few days. And for good reason, business development. And I narrowly escaped the Big 12 Tourney centered at the Power and Light District in Kansas City. Staying another night, going to the Mizzou Game, would have turned my week upside down.
I did enjoy the work that the development had done in that area, the re-development, a newer outside mall with bars and restaurants and events. Fairly impressive use of space, but word has it the center has struggled a tad and that the retailers are hanging on for life. I hate hearing stuff like that, reminds me of...um, St. Louis.
I like going to other cities to check out the boldness of their (re)development initiatives and other reach outs with the money bucket. Most of the stuff you see these days come from tax credits to kick things off, construction financing on short term deals from the banks to be rolled up later. The crazy way thing s are financed today. Only a certain group knows how to get things done.
Nope, you never really know much about anything until you venture out and see what everyone else is doing; what other cities have embarked upon; what developers and stakeholders conjure up. And then there is the good ole benchmark that we compare everything to, St. Louis.
Hey, we do some things very well here in the Lou, like education. We have wonderful public and private k-12 schools committed to excellence, same with higher education. The choices are amazing. Of course, we have our under achievers, but so does everyone else. I think the reason our education system is so good, in both public and private sectors. There is a beacon, a heartbeat, throbbing from the blue blood epicenter, somewhere around the crossroads of Forsythe and Hanley. God bless the blue bloods for their utopia, a town where we (others) continue to have to come up with our own fortunes on our own kids education. The more blue blood money to build infrastructure, bricks and mortar, increased services...the higher the fees. They will keep giving, designating, we will keep paying more to accommodate the operations costs. There are two exclusions in this area, they know who they are.
You know what else St. Louis is good at?--ball sports, duh. Or perhaps it would be said better: "St. Louis has a lot of sport venues that charge out the ass to attend but people still seem to go". This is likely the perception in every city with pro (ball/puck) sports. Think merchandise sales here too folks. I paid fifty bucks for a Rams Jersey. Thirty Eight bucks for four dogs and four cokes in my 200 per seat tickets.
St. Louis has an incredible music scene. Especially in the blues music genre. I am not sure you can beat it. And this commentary comes from the musicians themselves. Unfortunately, there is a tremendous amount of competition that drives down the "St. Louis musicians" ability to get a higher wage. As a result you see the best music in the country by walking out your back door. Since St. Louis is still has a moderately priced cost of living, we get to rub elbows with the big time.
And one more thing, Mountain Biking. Nuff said. Our mountain bike trails are some of the most abundant and challenging in the country. We are lucky. And you know what is cool about it? They are built by volunteers.
The purpose of this rant? Not sure, but I am getting anxious to get the hell out of the house with spring coming, a little less focus on the conventional way of thinking, a little less influence from the status quo of the blue blood culture. More t-shirts, hats, racing, music and interesting things to write about. There ain't no place like home.