An unidentified man waves across the economic great divide that is Delmar.
The BBC Magazine has a weekly video feature entitled "Altered States" that examines economic conditions on the local level here in America. This week's feature is on the two St. Louis' -- the one north of Delmar Boulevard, and the one south of Delmar. It can't be embedded, but you can watch it here
If you've lived in the city for any length of time, nothing in the video
will come as a surprise. The black people (nobody is identified in the
video) are passionate about their Academy/Sherman Park neighborhood, but
lament the disparity between personal wealth, economic opportunity and
living conditions on their side of Delmar, compared to the
mostly white neighborhood to the south. The white people talk about
their beautiful architecture and how lovely it is in the Central West
End, and then express some vague regrets about the economic devastation
to the north.
At no point does the BBC sit down with a black St. Louisan and a white St. Louisan and ask them to discuss the matter, but that burden isn't really on the BBC. That's our responsibility to bear, and we rarely wish to discuss it among ourselves or with each other. As that one man astutely notes, "I think we've just gotten used to it."
Still, as an outsider's look at our city (or cities, as it were), it's interesting to see how we come across to people unfamiliar with our strange divide.