Comment from Randy Vines 2003 Sep 08

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From: Randy Vines
Date: 2003 Sep 08
Subj: Re: St. Louis

Your STL essay was funny as hell. How ironic too, that you have proven yourself to be about as ignorant and sheltered as you consider St. Louisans to be. St. Louis is a metropolitan area of nearly 2.8 million people. You couldn't possibly explore everything in a single weekend. It's a shame you missed the bustle of Soulard Market on Saturday morning and the wonderfully historic neighborhoods that surround it. Sorry you passed up the ethnic melting pot of South Grand and the stately Victorians of Lafayette Square. Sucks for you that you didn't get to sample some of the finest Italian cuisine in North America in our beloved Hill neighborhood. Basically you did the typical touristy crap with a sorry-ass detour through some blighted neighborhoods in between (as if every major city doesn't have crappy, abandoned neighborhoods).

As near as I can figure out, Randy is mad at me because, though I like St Louis, I don't like it for the right reasons.

Nonetheless, it is ultimately your loss that you didn't explore and enjoy STL to the fullest. We St. Louisans aren't impressed because you come from a more popular city than we do. We love our well-kept secret. It may do you some good to keep an open mind when visiting other cities. After all, it's you who sounds like a snotty "yuppie" when you pompously assume that you experienced all there is to do in St. Louis in one visit. There's a bigger world out there, you should come out of your West Coast-minded bubble. And come on-- how ridiculous is it that you poke fun of the Central West End as being overrun with yuppies when you hail from San Francisco-- Ground Zero for yuppie, SUV-driving, trend-seekers.

Randy thinks I thought I'd done everything there was to do in St Louis. Yet I went back to St Louis. Randy points out that San Francisco has a yuppie problem similar to the CWE. Maybe he was inspired when I pointed out that similarity in the travelog he'd just read. Randy Vines ignores facts that don't match his pre-conceptions.

It's also funny that apparently unbeknownst to you, St. Louis was a huge thriving city at the turn of the 20th Century when San Francisco was a little bump in the road where the horses stopped to take a piss. Respect your elders!

Randy V.

Randy didn't recognize the book I quoted a couple of times, A Mechanic's Diary, written by a St Louisan back when St Louis was thriving and growing. This isn't an obscure book--when you start studying St Louis history, you quickly find references to this big, readable primary source. My best guess: Randy doesn't know much St Louis history, but thinks it's a safe bet to accuse a San Franciscan of similar ignorance.

I don't think that St Louis folks are ignorant.
I make an exception in Randy Vines' case, though.
And then a week later, Randy wrote again:

From: Randy Vines
Date: 2003 Sep 15
Subj: Re: St. Louis

Larry, once more you have amused me with your responses to my comments about your STL diary. To tell you the truth, it didn't take me very long to read through your condescending bullshit. I love the way you talk about how St. Louis actually has "lawns," as if you've never seen them before. I've been to San Fran, and I know you have lawns there too.

Randy thinks it's strange when people notice huge lawns within blocks of St Louis' downtown.

Your positive comments about STL seem rather patronizing, and I think your tone sounds as if you think you're holier-than-thou because you're not a Midwesterner.

I don't think I'm "holier-than" Midwesterners.
I make an exception in Randy Vines' case, though.

What was that comment about white trash and stretch fabric prints on the Metro? I'm disappointed. I'm sure if you're looking to insult, you can do better than that. St. Louis is rugged and raw, moreso than many cities, and we don't give a shit if you or your snooty "cosmopolitan" counterparts think we're behind the times when it comes to fashion. In fact, even bringing it up makes you sound incredibly superficial.

Who brought up fashion? I don't follow fashion. I guess Randy does.

Glad you "liked" St. Louis, but you only experienced a tiny fraction of it.

Thank goodness I experienced enough of it to know that plenty of people there aren't like Randy.