Best Place to Live - 2010
The Shaw neighborhood
When New York Times travel reporter Dan Saltzstein visited St. Louis in June, he made special note of Shaw, a "leafy neighborhood" where "stately architecture mixes with hip spots." Saltzstein's observations are brief but astute; it is precisely Shaw's natural beauty, historic housing stock and thriving businesses that make it a great place to visit — and an even better place to live. Anchored by the Missouri Botanical Garden and the majestic homes of Flora Place, Shaw is a culturally diverse neighborhood where folks of all ages and backgrounds can be found catching live music during the annual Whitaker Music Festival or lingering over plates of down-home cooking at Mama Josephine's. This is no fabricated, pre-planned Stepford; Shaw is a vibrant urban neighborhood that has survived all the ups and downs St. Louis had to offer for the past 125 years. Today, to live in Shaw is to experience an ongoing renaissance, in which homeowners continue to make improvements on their historic houses, and savvy businesspeople take a chance on that once-boarded building on the corner. The past few years have welcomed new hotspots such as SweetArt (a bakery-art gallery owned by acclaimed local artist Cbabi Bayoc and his wife, Reine) and Sasha's on Shaw (a larger, airier version of the beloved Sasha's Wine Bar in DeMun). The Shaw Dog Park is the perfect place to meet neighbors with pups, and the annual Historic Shaw Art Fair brings together artists from across the nation. Shaw is a place where residents understand the past, welcome the future and live fully in the present — while offering a friendly hello to anyone who might pass by on the sidewalk.