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Before our local TV news finished for the night, they ran a fluff piece describing the local connections to a recent national list of the best places to live. Compiled by the website Niche, its list is targeted towards people who are moving into a new city and are looking for the best schools and neighborhoods. Amazon are you hearing any of this? It’s not too late yet. I don’t know why this list is any more special than any of the hundreds of similar ones are, except maybe in this case for some bragging rights.

In Niche’s 2018 list of the best places to live #1 was Carmel, IN, a suburb of Indianapolis. Three Saint Louis based places made the top ten: #4 Richmond Heights (Beating out #5 Okemos, MI) and local rivals #7 Clayton and #8 Brentwood. Ohio State in the form of #10 Dublin nosed out Michigan, leaving Ann Arbor at #11. All of these places received A+ school and overall ratings.

Niche defines a place as a non-rural town. This seems somewhat misleading, using the most generic of geographical terms, a place, as a discriminator. On the other hand, these are the type of locales where most Americans live. Niche appears to be transparent with its methodology. I did not bother to study it. I mean, if you are already getting an A+, do you really need to study?

In the last century, when we first moved here, there was no Niche. There wasn’t even a gleam in Al Gore’s eye. We called ourselves babes in Toyland, because that’s how we felt. Luckily, we landed in this place, this nice part of Saint Louis. First renting and then buying, we’ve lived in this place for almost 40 years. The place has changed, but also remained the same. Mostly, it has changed for the better and mostly it has kept its good stuff too. I can see why we’re an A+ place.

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