The Nine Types of St. Louis Drunks

Categories: Of the People

Jon Gitchoff
Can science explain these drunks?
A University of Missouri research study on "types of drunks" has been blowing up the Internet for the past few days, generating snarky dispatches in Time, New York Magazine, Jezebel, Huffington Post and a host of others, including international outlets. Basically, it's viral clickbait heaven.

The study, according to researchers, used a version of the Myers-Briggs personality test to separate drunks into four categories. There's the "Ernest Hemingway," who appears barely affected by even heavy boozing; the Mary Poppins, who becomes more cheerful and helpful with every shot; the Nutty Professor, a quiet, introverted friend whose inhibitions disappear after a few daiquiris; and Mr. Hyde, the aggressive asshole whose intoxication usually ends with property damage and a stint in the county jail.

But we're calling shenanigans on this science stuff. Identifying drunks is a gut feeling, one derived from extensive field work. You have to take things like geography, sports fandom and socioeconomic status into account, not some egghead's psychological surveys.

What we need is an unscientific breakdown of St. Louis drunks, a study based on nothing more than subjective drinking experience and stereotypes. This is that study.

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PHOTOS: St. Louis Firefighters Battle a Blaze at Woodworking Studio

Photos by Danny Wicentowski
Firefighters such as Aaron Buchanan, in the white shirt, are never really off duty.
Gray smoke filled the sky above a St. Louis woodworking shop yesterday as flames spread through a lacquering shed holding antique furniture, church furnishings and commissioned pieces awaiting a craftsman's finishing touch.

The blaze started around 11:45 a.m. Thursday when workers preparing to pave the store's parking lot noticed flames and smoke billowing from front of the structure. Daily RFT happened to be at the scene before the firefighters arrived and captured this photo diary of the department at work -- including the removal of many beautiful, but ruined, pieces of antique furniture from the building.

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Why Every American Should Visit St. Louis

Categories: Of the People

Joseph Novak via flickr
Looking for a historic hidden gem of a city to visit this summer? The travel website Orbitz says St. Louis should be on your bucket list.

In honor of the long Fourth of July weekend, Orbitz senior editor Jeanenne Tornatore published a list of the five beautiful places every American should visit. St. Louis earns a spot on the list with its historical attractions, including the Old Courthouse, the Museum of Westward Expansion, the Museum of Transportation and Forest Park, home to the 1904 World's Fair.

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Why St. Louis Should Stop Turning Its Street Grid Into Cul-De-Sacs [VIDEO]

Categories: Of the People

Lindsay Toler
We could have two cul-de-sacs facing each other, or St. Louis could open up the streets and heal the grid.
Sometimes, getting around St. Louis by car feels like driving in a maze.

A straight line is not the shortest path from one neighborhood street to another when the road is blocked off by planters, barriers and Schoemehl pots -- the concrete sewer pipes filled with dirt named for former mayor Vincent Schoemehl -- to make a cul-de-sac.

An electrical engineer and the man behind the @STLUnite Twitter feed, Richard Bose, says if he had his druthers, St. Louis would ditch the cutoffs, open up the streets and, as he puts it, "heal the grid."

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Alderman Ogilvie Introduces Resolution to Remove Elevated Lanes of I-70 from Downtown

Categories: Of the People

The section of I-70 in question.
Alderman Scott Ogilvie is trying to get City Hall to talk about eliminating the elevated lanes of I-70 to provide a seamless connection between the riverfront and downtown.

Today at the Board of Alderman's full meeting Ogilvie introduced a resolution that calls on the board to "work toward the removal of the elevated lanes of Interstate 70 and their replacement by a suitable at-grade roadway upon the opening of the new Mississippi River bridge [in 2014]."

You might remember chatter about the idea amidst the City + Arch + River design competition in 2010. An editorial in the Post-Dispatch once called that stretch of highway near the Eads bridge "the scar that separates the Arch from the public."

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St. Louis Dreams Come True? Creatives Launch Crowdsourced Marketing Campaign

Categories: Of the People

rally text.jpg
Try Googling 'Rally Saint Louis.' In between recent news items about a shooting at a local fast food chain and a final campaign push from Todd Akin, you'll see that a new organization seeking to market and promote St. Louis' reputation has gained an enthusiastic following.

Rally Saint Louis held its kick-off event at Plush last night, and Mayor Francis Slay, half of all the marketing and creative professionals from across the greater metropolitan area, and some especially savory pastrami wontons were on hand to celebrate the project that has produced so much buzz this week.

Aaron Perlut and Brian Cross, partners at the PR firm Elasticity and the pair behind Rally Saint Louis, are asking residents to submit ideas that they think will improve the city--or maybe just the city's image--to a website that went live last night. On December 1 the public will be allowed to vote for their favorite projects and then, after a few more voting/judging rounds, choose to fund the ideas they like most. The winningest ideas will be put into action by Elasticity, other creative firms, and volunteers around the city.

All you have to do is stop Googling kitten gifs (for a few minutes) and submit an idea to

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Despite Aggressive Home Defense, Help from Slay, Woman Forced from Home of 21 Years

williams eviction
Leah Greenbaum
Movers from the sheriff's office ignore protesters, as they empty 4665 Penrose.
What do you say to a woman who is losing her home of 21 years, watching as strangers drop all of her possessions in trash bags on the curb?

"If anyone interferes with our movers, we're taking all of your things to the dump," a sheriff's deputy told Angelia Williams, who stood outside her Penrose home in tears this morning.

After years of trying to get through to Wells Fargo for a loan modification--and despite direct help from Mayor Francis Slay--Williams was finally evicted today. About 30 activists protested the forced eviction on Williams' lawn and several risked arrest to forcibly prevent sheriff's deputies and movers from entering her house.

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Cuts to Firefighter Pensions Pass City, Firemen Take Fight to Court

Call it a burn, or call it cleaning up house. This firefighter is ready for either.
The Board of Alderman finally voted today to pass Mayor Francis Slay's firefighter pension overhaul, a bill that eliminates benefits that the city has deemed unaffordable.

Demetris "Al" Alfred, a firefighter and union representative to IAFF Local 73, said he was disappointed by the vote but that the firefighters union is ready to protest the cuts in court.

"We were willing to negotiate, we were willing to take concessions," Alfred said. "But the mayor played hardball."

The firefighter pension system's trustees have filed suit against the bill, and last week, a judge blocked Slay's move to stop them. A ruling on one part of the suit is expected later next month, but it looks like it'll be a long, hot summer in court for the city's firefighters.

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Aerotropolis -- Voices from McGurk's

Categories: Of the People
Albert Samaha
"I think the state legislators are correct in cutting it down to size," said Manley.
We're deep into the third week of the Missouri legislature's special session and the economic development package featuring the "St. Louis Aerotropolis" proposal is still in the midst of serious debate. The gridlock emerged due to disagreement over how much tax credits should be allotted to the project and how those tax credits should be doled out. In fact, there's now talk of ending the session because it appears increasingly likely that the sides won't come to an agreement anytime soon.

The Aerotropolis project has elicited debate from the start. But while it began as a big picture back-and-forth on the overall legitimacy of the idea (as well as whether it is worth the cuts to low-income housing and historic preservation programs), it has recently evolved into a complicated discussion rooted in wonky policy talk-- from whether Aerotropolis should happen to how exactly it should be done.

So in this week's edition of Of the People, we went to John D. McGurk's Irish Pub & Garden to hear what the people thought.

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President Obama's Jobs Plan -- Voices from Barrister's

Categories: Of the People
Albert Samaha
"Stimulus has become a bad word," says Lasky (left).
Last Monday in his jobs speech, President Barack Obama made a serious effort to wrest control of the Narrative away from the Republicans.

For months Democrats have complained about how they kept ending up negotiating on Republicans' terms, how Republicans dictated the discourse. But of course Republicans dictated the discourse, they controlled the Narrative. While Democrats worked to persuade people by reciting numbers and expert testimony, Republicans connected with people by telling a story. Numbers feel arbitrary; stories make sense.

All this came to a boil during the debt-ceiling debate, and Obama has since learned his lesson. Now he is telling stories the way he did in '08. Now he is recognizing the importance of the Narrative.

In the speech he explained that the $447 billion American Jobs Act will spur the economy through a variety of mechanisms: tax cuts for workers and small businesses who hire, with added cuts for hiring veterans and the long-term unemployed; investment in infrastructure -- from roads to schools -- to provide jobs for construction workers; and funding to prevent teacher, police, and firefighter layoffs.

A major goal of the speech was to highlight the tools the government has to improve the economy, to dispel the growing notion that the government needs to just get out of the way and let the Free Market correct itself.

But did his message resonate?

In this week's edition of Of the People, we headed over to Barrister's in Clayton to find out.

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