Forest Park Southeast

With student loans and me working nearby, we returned to paying rent and moved into one of St. Louis’s classic 4-shotgun-flats apartment buildings in Forest Park Southeast. It was not a pleasant neighborhood at the time. There was a jersey barrier placed in the ally just behind us to prevent drive-through traffic. This served as the local gathering point for dealing and consuming crack, at all hours and in plain view.

We had a charming neighbor downstairs and spent evening on his porch. He was an old black St. Louisian who told us stories from before the interstates and post-war suburbanization drained the city of its vibrancy.