Tuesday 12 July 2011

News: East St Louis Toodle-oo

Malcolm McLaughlin is just back from his trip to East St. Louis, IL, and brings us a few snaps from his travels around town.

People are quick to lay into East St. Louis and to demonize it (and stigmatize its people) for its notorious urban blight, crumbling industrial wrecks, and for its high crime rate – and generally to write it off as a no-hope case. However, there is far more here than meets the eye. True, examples of abandoned factories abound:

And there are many broken down abandoned homes – this one is the classic “shotgun” style house:

But too few people talk about the redevelopment, in places like Emerson Park – perhaps the most successful new community development of recent years. Here, neat tree-lined streets run into a central square with a well-maintained playpark for children.

And, Miles Davis is just one of the numerous high achievers to have grown up in this city. Here is his house, on the street now named in his honor. 

And that’s not to mention the strong community spirit here, and the countless men and women volunteers and non-profit organizations working to make their city a little bit better every day. 

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