ST. LOUIS — Though Horace Greeley had something else in mind when he famously stated, "Go West, young man," Memphis, Tenn. writer Chris McCoy penned a journey of his own with a visit to St. Louis.
Go North, young man.
McCoy, a travel writer for Memphis Magazine, recently visited the Gateway City after successfully pitching a story about the city upon realizing it had been a while since Memphis Magazine had published material that left a positive mark on the area.
'St. Louis' Charm Offensive,' reads the headline. It's a lead that captured the eyes of their neighbors to the north.
In it, during a detailed, three-day journey with his wife, McCoy wrote that he and his companions in the Home of the Blues may carry just the slightest blind spot for St. Louis, partially due to the Gateway to the West dropping out of the radar a bit.
"Just generally a really good impression as soon as we got into town," McCoy told 5 On Your Side. "It really felt like a city that had turned a corner and was on an upswing which is how we feel about Memphis as well. So, I think our two cities have a lot in common."
No neighborhood went untouched in their expedition. Lafayette Square, Kirkwood, Webster Groves and all in-between felt the tale of the two McCoy's.
But, he said the best thing going for St. Louis and the surrounding area is something everyone can relate to, regardless of belief or location.
"We didn't have a bad meal. We didn't have an unexceptional meal the whole time we were there," added McCoy. "Get out the word because your great restaurants... was really what we enjoyed the most and what we were most surprised at."
Although the overall food experience won him over, which St. Louis eatery took the crown? That elusive award belongs to The Hill's Charlie Gitto's.
Still, there's more to St. Louis. There's heart, there's soul, and more importantly, there's unique fun.
"The City Museum is one of the most breathtaking expansive artworks I think in my experience," he said. "I had heard some people say, 'You've gotta go there,' and I'd be like, 'Why do we have to go there?' and they're like, 'You just have to go.'
"They have a Ferris wheel on the roof... I mean, what [else] do you want?"
And, of course, there's the talk of the town, even during its off-months: baseball.
"'Obviously, baseball is big in this town, says Don the waiter, as the bustle of a busy restaurant in an Italian neighborhood swirls around us. "You have to visit Ballpark Village and go to a game,'" wrote McCoy.
He described the Cardinals as 'what basketball has been to Memphis since long before the coming of the Grizzlies, baseball has been to St. Louis for well over a century.' However, he joked that he was unaware the Busch Stadium he visited for U2 in 1992 was not the same Busch Stadium that stands today. But, it's forgivable because 'we're not big sports fans anyway,' wrote McCoy.
The self-described "mostly culinary tour" of St. Louis left a positive message with McCoy, and we hope, with the City of Memphis as well. Eat on, St. Louisans. There's much to brag about.
Read the full article, here.