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"I'm Not a Fan of St. Louis:" New York Critic Bashes STL in Meet Me in St. Louis Review

Meet_Me_In_St_Louis_Poster.jpg
via Wikipedia
What's not to like about Meet Me in St. Louis?
New York native and writer Anthony Stoeckert could have started his CentralJersey.com review of the beloved musical Meet Me in St. Louis with a note about the stars, the charming score, the set design or, really, anything about the show.

But he didn't. Instead, he came after St. Louis, wondering incredulously how people could actually live there when they have overcrowded, ridiculously expensive islands like Manhattan to move to.

"As a proud New Yorker born and raised on Long Island, I cannot imagine anyone preferring St. Louis to New York," Stoeckert says in his theater review. "New York has Broadway, museums, Carnegie Hall, Coney Island and Yankee Stadium. The best St. Louis has to offer is a giant McDonald's sign."

Stoeckert seems to be making a feeble attempt at humor out of his supposition that St. Louis has absolutely no art, musical theater, roller coasters or sports. Either that, or he's just confusing his lack of knowledge about River City as proof that there's nothing worth knowing.

At the very least, he reveals how little research he performed before writing his opening paragraphs. If it's McDonald's that Stoeckert has a problem with, he can take that up with Orlando, where the world's largest entertainment McDonald's and PlayPlace has an arcade and a waterfall. If it's the giant sign he's annoyed by, tough: St. Louis will not apologize for having the world's largest Amoco sign or any other interesting quirk in this city's storied history.

See also: "You Just Don't See That In New York:" MTV Exec Studies the Millennials of St. Louis

In his review of a New Jersey community college production of Meet Me in St. Louis, Stoeckert admits he just can't get past the scene when the family patriarch tells his wife and daughters that they'll soon all move to New York from St. Louis. The sisters can't stand to leave their friends, schoolwork and girlhood crushes behind, especially before the big event that would put St. Louis on the map, the 1904 World's Fair.

Stoeckert doesn't seem to be moved by friendships, first love or even the historic worldwide gathering that descended on Forest Park in 1904. He dismisses the women's protestations as an "ovation of disappointment." (Here at Daily RFT, we're still struggling to understand what that even means. Since "ovation" comes from the Latin root meaning "to rejoice," we like to think an ovation of disappointment from Judy Garland would sound like this: "Oh, brava, Daddy, wonderful job dashing all our hopes and dreams to bits! How extraordinarily delightful that you're separating us from all we've ever known or loved!")

Nothing -- not the clanging of the trolley, not the ringing of the bell -- could warm Stoeckert's heart to St. Louis before he sat down to write review. It wasn't long after he published that he started seeing frustrated reactions from St. Louisans.

Oh, Stoeckert. If our feathers are ruffled, it's because we had to rustle through them to pick out the pest that was bothering us.

H/T Alex Heuer

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.


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84 comments
Jim Reid
Jim Reid

Thanks. I favor rationality over anger.

Walter Sullivan
Walter Sullivan

No, Robin Miller, I was born and raised right here in St. Louis. I 'get' St. Louis, I just don't have blinders on about the city. And the World's Fair? New York had on too, you know...

Robin Miller
Robin Miller

STL is the best - thats their problem if they dont get us - and remember we had the worlds fair here in St. Louis - so there all the jealous people

Katherine Lawson
Katherine Lawson

Good comeback to a snarky language nazi. I just did the snarky language nazi thing to my own mother. I am ashamed.

Bradach Ryan-Sir
Bradach Ryan-Sir

Funny and sad part is back then St. Louis had more of a argument vs NYC than it does now. The 2 have gone in different directions

Jason Gerfers
Jason Gerfers

You cant please all the people all the time.

Mark Sullivan
Mark Sullivan

My Jewish friends taught me a really good word to describe people like this...Schmuck!

Patty Johnson
Patty Johnson

Well who needs an Anthony Stoeckert to validate an amazing play or movie.? He is a critic so he gets to criticize as he wants...sure he comes off as arrogant, mostly likely for a good reason. Although it is one of my favorite movies of all movies...it's mostly because I love both STL and NYC. He's one in a million in NYC, nothing special about him.

Raimund Stoehr
Raimund Stoehr

Waiting for New York to think I'm cool? No thanks. I'm good.

Ken Cotton
Ken Cotton

Get his ass out here on the first plane leaving Lambert...fuck him!!!!

Steve Mincer
Steve Mincer

seems like the staff at the RFT don't like much of saint louis either.

Jim Reid
Jim Reid

My bad. It's cesspool: an underground container for the temporary storage of liquid waste and sewage. It's a metaphor.

Rosanne Falbo
Rosanne Falbo

Don't like the Lou? Stay in New York, with it's crime, it's foolish high cost of living, it's rip off artists, it's overpriced restaurants and all the rest of your crap. You are not wanted in the Lou but... you would be welcomed, cause that's how the people of St. Louis roll.

Walter Sullivan
Walter Sullivan

And? Some people don't like St. Louis. Some don't like New York. Personally, I don't like either very much, but I don't see any reason to get bent out of shape about it.

Lance Lingle
Lance Lingle

Heading down from St. Louis, we should be there around 6 keep a light on for us

Sharon Walker
Sharon Walker

I'm okay with the fact that others "don't get STL" like we do. We are a hidden gem. Let them go look elsewhere.

Paul Hibbard
Paul Hibbard

I think you're putting too much weight and credibility on a review from a publication/website no one has heard of.

Jimmie Thomptson
Jimmie Thomptson

was n New York less than 2 hours & nearly got mugged, hate it, it's a sewer...

Jim Reid
Jim Reid

NY is the cest pool of the western world.

dalediversity
dalediversity topcommenter

He makes good points. We have way too many fat hoosiers in South St Louis (State Streets) and North St Louis is a jungle.  

smu1976
smu1976


No need for the city, maybe the kids like it, but it's not a place to by a home and have it appreciate (South City, except for a few zip codes), but the crime element is everywhere.  Murders are up to new records, hot spot policing is a joke.  The State Streets are a mess. 


No need for New York, but we can do better here without posting how good we are.  


If you think our city is good, drive up in North City from North of Washington to Baden, North Grand, Goodfellow, West Florrisant, Walnut Park for a few nights.  I home you make it alive!!


Remember 6000 vacant homes in North City and the rate is climbing.

The city made a big press release that it was tearing down two hundred.

They don't have the money to do it.  Imagine the tax revenue that is lost to all these homes that pay no taxes to the city for upkeep and services.

The math does not work, and the equation is getting harder each year to balance.   The financial Detroit picture will be here very soon.

Laura Dee
Laura Dee

Huh. Here I thought it was /travel/ critics who are supposed to review cities.... not play critics.

smu1976
smu1976

Not a fan of St. Louis either, and I live here.  There is a murder or two every night, the city and county government are pretty crooked.  Metro Link does not even run to anywhere in the county to stop rush hour traffic, the only thing downtown is the Cardinals.  Entertainment districts have a solid crime element.  Union Station, 

St. Louis Centre, The Landing, The Central West End, Washington Street, The Delmar Loop are prime examples of failures, some a shell of themselves.  There are 6000 vacant houses in North St. Louis, crime is spreading South, and soon there will be little property tax revenue to float the city (hence, why the want to merge with the county.  I grew up in North City, now a war zone, lived in South St. Louis, Maplewood, South County, and now West County.  No need for the city, maybe the kids like it, but the crime element is everywhere.  Murders are up to new records, hot spot policing is a joke.  No need for New York, but we can do better. 

Genia Ackworth
Genia Ackworth

As if NY, with its bastion of languages, cultures and rude people is some great city?! With all the diversity it should be but it isn't.

Bob Greenhouse
Bob Greenhouse

This schmuck isn't a REAL New Yorker like me -- he lived on Long Island which is like living in Bulgaria, and he writes for a New Jersey paper. Need I remind you that New Jersey is the land of polyester and the Jersey Shore.

Mark Sullivan
Mark Sullivan

Having grown up in St Louis, and lived in Virginia Beach for 21 years, then moved back to St Louis, I can assure you, New Yorker's really do think their shit doesn't stink. They come to VA BCH every summer and act as if the world revolves around them, they feel that if there is a line to get into a restaurant, they should be first. They are rude, pushy and ignorant of anyone else but themselves. They allow there bratty children to lazer light F/A-18 Hornets landing at Oceana Naval Airstation, and then get offended if someone yells at their brat for doing this. So, STL, I wouldn't be too upset, these people have no sense of community, and no sense of pride in community, they only value what they feel is status. Most New Yorker's I've met or spoken to are self absorbed slime, and the critic shows this through and through. Besides, he's a critic at a community college play, he must not be too good in the first place.

John Null
John Null

He's thinking of New Orleans. Dumb motherfucker didn't even get the city right. Hope he gets run over by the trolley and his remains resemble an exploded can of Chef Boyardee in the microwave.

Robin Miller
Robin Miller

We have forest park where the actual Worlds Fair took place St. Louis is awsome

Robin Miller
Robin Miller

Love Meet me in St. Louis my favorite movie and love it when they do it at the Muny - go St. Louis

Robin Miller
Robin Miller

that guy needs to get over himself - st. louis are the best in the world - so there new york !

Kathe Spence Myer
Kathe Spence Myer

Born and raised in NORTHERN New Jersey and have lived in STL for 29 years. LOVE St Louis and my NJ family LOVES coming to visit so don't let one bad apple make the rest of us nice NJ folks look bad !!!

Matthew Laws
Matthew Laws

there are plenty of reasons to be pissy towards STL...Especially if your in the arts...and even more so if you don't have LARGE sums of old money. New money works too but you might have to live in Saint Charles...Not sure what the rule is there.

Lisa Landrum Troxler
Lisa Landrum Troxler

Odds are - MOST IF NOT ALL of us - feel the same about the NORTH EAST area !

smu1976
smu1976

Not a critic, just the facts Mam

themightq
themightq

Have you ever actually been to NY?

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