St. Louis is a city of neighborhoods, inhabited by people who love them enough to wave hyperlocal flags from their front stoop. It's a city where driving is a necessity, lest you attempt to figure out the limited in accessibility (and understanding ) Metro system. Cities and suburbs are separate, not only in theory or geography, but as explicitly laid out by local politics. Yet they are emotionally immeshed. Here lies the fundamental problem. The "not my neighborhood, not my problem" mentality many people have living in St. Louis City/County regarding parts of the region that have seen demise.
As the old adage goes though "all roads lead to home." The closer you get to this destination, where ever it exactly lies for you, the more vividly you can see the truth in this. Where I live in South City, I can take Hampton Ave. or Kingshighway to directly turn on my street. If I were to go home from work, without using the highways, I would go down streets such as Compton Ave., Boyle Ave., Newstead Ave. I can't speak negatively about this because frankly, I don't know these streets well enough to. Do most people? I would have to guess not based on the sole fact that no major businesses, landmarks or otherwise rest on those streets. You could argue for Compton and Boyle, but again could you (see the map images below)? Mind you these are in the City, an area that should for all intents and purposes, be dense in traffic and business.
Of course there are plenty of other streets here where business and community thrive. Some even that have been dug from the depths of near despair. These streets though need everyone's help to continue seeing prosperity and life. They need bridges. Streets that connect one neighborhood to the other by way of local entrepreneurs opening up doors and lots. It's absolutely fantastic to be a city of neighborhoods, each one being unique in its roots and tradition. It adds to the overall diversified culture of the area. We can't, or shouldn't, brag about them to the extent we often do if they're not being explored as they ought to though. So open up your door, walk to your car and see something you either never saw, or haven't seen in some time. Then think about what it would take to get you there more often. I'll bet you it lies in accessibility, convenience, and - the underdog - frame of reference. All concepts our behavior and actions have the power to change this.