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Downtown's Not Dangerous

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Trust me, I know

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A lot has been made about the Blues' lack of attendance. There is hardly a home game that goes by without some self-righteous Blues fan on Twitter harping that he saw an empty seat. Saint Louis always shakes out as a favorable TV market. but ticket sales are lacking. At the recent All-Star Game, St. Louis was tied for 4th in the ratings with only one participating player. If you listen to any sports radio personality or read any newspaper writer you will know there can be only one reason for lack of attendance: the crime in downtown St. Louis is so terrible that if you even think about going your tires will flatten and you'll develop a black eye right in your recliner!

This couldn't be farther from the truth. I live in Downtown. So Downtown that I walk to the Blues games and could hit the Arch with a baseball from my balcony. Not only that, but I don't own a car. I bike everywhere. That means that in the dead of night if I have to go somewhere I pedal down these dangerous streets alone. I have lived here over a year and I have never had a problem. The problem is the misconception of what and where Downtown is. To people living in suburbs or those who don't regularly visit the city, anywhere in the city is Downtown. Someone got shot in the 'Ville? I'll never go downtown again! A fatal car accident in Baden by Calvary Cemetery? Downtown drivers are nuts! For those of us who call this city home, you know The 'Ville and Baden are no where near downtown, nor are they anything alike. Saint Louis is divided into neighborhoods. Each neighborhood is different. They look different, the people are different, the crimes are different. Driving through Dogtown you will see Irish flags waving from porches. Turn of the century connected brick buildings with cobblestone sidewalk more your thing? Try Soulard. A fan of pasta and big families? You'll find your home in The Hill. The best ice cream you've ever had and steel drum music next to a chess park? You'll love Old North. I'm not saying that crime doesn't happen downtown, it does. Crime happens everywhere. What I am saying is that after spending the last year in the emergency medical field, I know where every assault, robbery, stabbing, and shooting are in the city. There are areas of the city that I would and do avoid. Downtown isn't one of them.

Saint Louis' downtown is rejuvenating itself. Formerly empty buildings are being re-purposed as lofts. It is the fastest growing region in the city by population. Younger people are moving in, and as they do the area is changing. Parks are springing up. New restaurants are opening. Don't let a misconception about crime coming from someone who doesn't live here sway you from seeing your favorite team in person. I fell in love with the Blues after I saw my first ever hockey game at the Scott. At night, I bike up there to see the statues. Make the Scott as sacred as Busch. This is our city - don't let some fear mongering, desperate for something to talk about, media type tell you it's not worth being proud of.