A year of shopping locally

A man at the library handed my wife a card this morning. He and his wife are shopping locally for a year in St. Louis, and writing about it.

Great idea!

A couple of years ago, my family spent a 3-day weekend in Indianapolis. Indy’s easy to get to from St. Louis, and since they’re both Midwestern cities, we expected it to feel familiar, and we wanted to find just what made Indianapolis different from St. Louis, besides their love of basketball instead of baseball.

The sad thing was, we had a hard time finding much. Mostly we found it was overrun with chains. Some of them originated in the area, but those same chains have been in St. Louis for as long as I can remember. We had a hard time finding non-chain casual restaurants, and that was sad. What’s the point of going on vacation and eating at the same places you can find a mile from home?

So I decided to do some research from back home, but that was the consensus I found. There are neat places to go, but as far as restaurants go, it’s overrun.

Fortunately, St. Louis hasn’t become completely overrun yet.

St. Louis still has some local chains that haven’t branched out all that far. They’re not destinations when they have 20 locations, but of course it’s still different from eating at, say, Arby’s. And there are some St. Louis destinations that only have one or two locations, still.

If you want to know about some of those places that are still single-location shops and might get overlooked by the travel guides, or about stuff that isn’t a restaurant–there’s more to life than food, after all–this blog is a good place to find out about it.

It sure would be nice if every city ended up with a blog like that. Before there’s nothing local left for them to blog about.

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