Best Frontier Neighborhood - 2001
North Broadway area
Now that the developers are nudging the frontier spirits out of downtown -- you've served your purpose; now move on so we can jack up the rent! -- where are they to go? Zipping north on Broadway downtown, just keep going. If you're from the South Side or West County, the imaginary Great Wall just north of the Dome at America's Center is, believe it or not, penetrable; Broadway does in fact continue on. Pass the big green Vess bottle, cross Interstate 70 and, like magic, you've breached the wall with nary a scratch, and what's on the other side is wonderfully untapped -- and five minutes from downtown. Gorgeous turn-of-the-century warehouses stand a stone's throw from both the Mississippi and the Arch. And, it seems, no one but the blue-collars who work in the warehouses know of their existence. A few art types have been sniffing around over there, and others are discreetly poking at some of the greatness to be found. But by and large the district, which has no fancy name yet, is a diamond in the proverbial rough.