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People & Places

Staff Pick

Best Place to Live 

Old North St. Louis

Folks who assume "north side" equals "vacant wasteland" haven't visited Old North St. Louis lately. Perched just above downtown on the map, the place is flourishing, thanks in part to a $35 million overhaul of its main drag, Crown Square Mall on North 14th Street. It was completed in 2010, and since then, merchants have claimed about 80 percent of its commercial space, while the residences above it are full. Total crime in the neighborhood has fallen by almost half, and the weekly summer farmers' market even offers yoga. This renewal comes just in time: The neighborhood, which is overlapped by three districts on the National Register of Historic Places, will celebrate its 200th birthday next year. Old Northers are a tight-knit bunch, evident at a recent happy hour at the local restoration group's gallery. "Everything we do is potluck," says resident Travis Sheridan, who loves sampling the food. He also likes strolling to Crown Candy Kitchen for a malt — and quite often, it seems: "I live 162 paces away."

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