Introducing the ‘Best of St. Louis: Beyond the Bubble’ special issue
It is impossible for me to count the number of times I’ve heard people hate on St. Louis. Both at home and here at Washington University, people rarely provide any sort of evidence for their hatred of the city beyond “oh, it’s so dangerous” or “there’s nothing to do there and the food sucks.” It makes me angry and frustrated: the arguments (often racist in one way or another) are just flat out wrong. But it also makes me sad, because people are missing out.
Each year, Student Life typically publishes some sort of special issue related to dining and entertainment at Washington University and in the surrounding areas. During my freshman year, we published the “Dining Guide,” a collection of short articles and listicles that provided an overview of food options on campus and nearby, as well as Student Life staff opinions. The next fall, the staff began to pivot, expanding the “Dining Guide” into a “Dining and Entertainment Guide” that focused not only on food but on sports, concerts and other fun things as well.
And then, that spring, COVID-19 arrived. There was no special dining or entertainment guide last year, because there was little dining or entertainment to be had. For the majority of the last 18 months, most of us relegated ourselves to dinners at home or the occasional outdoor picnic experience. Countless new WashU students did not get the chance to explore St. Louis and become a part of their greater community.
So when it came time for us to consider what we wanted this year’s dining or entertainment-related special issue to accomplish, we thought about how this edition could serve to broaden students’ horizons. It is easy for WashU community members to become reliant on the options that are closest to us — the dining halls, the Loop, ordering in, etc. — and the pandemic has often served to exacerbate that reliance. The “WashU bubble” is dangerous in how much it constrains us, sometimes without us even becoming aware of it. With so many good options nearby, many of us never challenge ourselves to step out of our comfort zones.
We knew that a single issue of Student Life will not change that, but we figured we would do our part to help try. To that end, this year’s special issue strives to highlight food and other things to do in St. Louis beyond the areas immediately surrounding campus. Instead of focusing on places on campus or the Loop, we’ve selected things to eat and do in other areas. Rather than relying upon Ubers or driving, we’ve included public transportation directions so that community members can take advantage of St. Louis’s buses and metro. So many students here have not had a chance to fully experience the city, county and region. This issue is an attempt to help change that.
I hope that this special issue exposes you to new things and encourages you to take a trip somewhere you’ve never been before. Whether you are in your first year in St. Louis or you have been here for decades, there is something for you. Enjoy Best of St. Louis: Beyond the Bubble!
Read the online version here and be on the lookout for the print edition of this special issue next Thursday, October 14th.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any comments, questions, concerns or ideas!
Enjoy your Fall Break everyone!
Student Life Editor-in-Chief 2021-2022