The low-trust city

It’s impossible to describe St. Louis, the city with the world’s seventh highest homicide rate (~88 per 100k), as a “high trust” community. Even though I live well outside the high-risk neighborhoods, I’ve found the entire experience of living in STL is colored by its crime rate. There is no escaping the second- and third-order effects of low social trust.

The physical world

I spend a lot of time sitting in front of a screen. I have a mentally taxing 50+ hour-a-week slide-making job that also requires me to travel three weeks out of the month (on average). In my scarce free time on the weekends, when I’m grounded in St. Louis, I’m often anxious to get out of the house and away from computers and TVs. As we’re increasingly atomized into our comfortable homes, big cars, and zany online personas, it feels important to habitually disconnect and see the world for what it is—in other words, to touch grass.

Retrospectives on London

My wife and I spent a week in London in May. Of all the international destinations we could’ve picked for a weeklong vacation, it’s not the most exotic or adventurous—transatlantic flights are as comfortable as they’ve ever been, and few cities are better at accommodating American tourists. But still, having traveled little since 2020, it was exciting to be somewhere other than the US.

Thoughts on the 2023 St. Louis General Municipal Election

On Tuesday, April 4th, St. Louis has completed a long-overdue right-sizing of the wards that comprise the Board of Aldermen, shrinking the city’s legislative branch from 28 members to 14. This week’s election was “Aldergeddon”—an unforgiving set of showdowns between groups of incumbent aldermen who were redrawn into the same ward, in addition to the usual contests between incumbents and prospective newcomers. Few had the fortune to avoid a challenge in the most consequential aldermanic election in the city’s modern history.