St. Louis 101

Hey, students: Here's how to live the high life -- and the low life

Hello, young college students. Let us be the first to welcome you to our fair city on, or nearabouts, the gorgeous Mississippi River. You've probably received an orientation packet from your RA detailing the "important" and "useful" locations in your new town: laundromats, grocery stores, free health clinics and the like.

We're here to fill you in on the actual important places in town. Our choices take into account your unique status as a student (i.e., broke, without a car and perhaps looking to meet someone of the opposite sex). We've also factored in the understanding that, although most of you seem to dress and look alike (just kidding, sort of), you're all different people with different tastes and backgrounds. So, we offer both low-life options (courtesy of Mr. Night) and high-life options (courtesy of Ms. Day) that should appeal to people who like to dress up prior to going out -- and to those who own just the one pair of pants.

When hunger strikes, Mr. Night likes the grocery stores on Saturdays. The big chains sample all sorts of comestibles, and if you can get a ride to the store, you get lunch for nothing. It may be mostly crackers and snack food, but it's still lunch.

The groceries are all well and good, but Ms. Day knows sometimes you might be craving something a little bit fancier. Head to Modai Sushi Lounge (6100 Delmar Boulevard, near the Delmar MetroLink station; 314-725-8330 or www.modailounge.com) for free sushi on Tuesday nights from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The food's good there, and the ambiance is better.

Entertainment is in abundance in St. Louis. Of course, you'll be busy studying most of the time (wink!), but if you choose to go easy on yourself one night, scholastically speaking, you might want to get a movie. But who's going to pay for that? Nobody, dude. Your university-supplied library card works at most branches of both the city and county libraries (for locations visit www.slpl.org and www.slcl.org, respectively). Almost all branches have DVD and VHS selections, some of which are sweet and some of which are mind-bogglingly old. But beggars can't be choosers, so take your chances. You're paying nothing as long as you return the film on time.

But even though you'll be broke most of the time, there'll be at least one week during which you'll cut back on coffee and cigarette consumption just to have enough money to see a first-run movie. And when that week comes, be sure to go to the Moolah Theatre (3821 Lindell Boulevard; 314-446-6868 or www.stlouiscinemas.com/moolah). There, you get to lounge on plush leather couches and consume adult beverages -- if you're old enough -- while you take in a flick. (Plus, there's bowling in the basement for some after-movie fun.)

Of course, if you'd like to do everything in one evening, you can't do better than the City Museum (701 North 15th Street; 314-231-2489 or www.citymuseum.org). Admission is $8 after 5 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, you can order sandwiches or circus food for dinner, and your entertainment is the museum itself, which is really more of an adult-size playground. This is also the surest way to meet someone of the opposite sex, because if you can't find romance while crawling through a concrete tunnel all hopped up on cotton candy, there's something wrong with you.

 
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