America's Best Kept Secret: St. Louis

America's Best Kept Secret: St. Louis

Nestled along the bank of the Mississippi River is a hidden gem just waiting to be discovered.

Whenever you think of the best cities in the United States you can’t help but think of New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago, to name a few. But what about those underdogs that are making a name for themselves and contributing some of the best this nation has to offer in culture, entertainment and generosity? Well, today I’ve decided that it’s time America’s little brother stopped hiding in the shadows and came out for the world to take notice. Today I present to you St. Louis.

The Gateway Arch (The Gateway to the West)
Stunning view from all around and a rich history of importance, the Arch offers all a chance to overlook this great city from 630 ft. up.via [fineartamerica]

The Arts Thrive – It’s a Right, not a Privilege
It’s rare to find a city with so many free options to help add more culture in your life. But in St. Louis it’s rare to find places that cost money to add culture. From the Zoo (the number three zoo in America), Art Museum, History Museum, The St. Louis Muny and Science Center are among some of the free locations here to enrich the lives of all.via [explorestlouis]

The Greatest Sports City In America
Win or lose, St. Louisans know how to cheer on their teams. From the 11-time World Series Champion Cardinals, the St. Louis Blues, and The Rams football, St. Louis is here to make an impact on and off the field.

via [missourinet]

Cost of Living is Great for Post Grads
According to Forbes, St. Louis is a great place for more post-graduates if they're hoping to land a job, rake in a decent salary, and be happy.

via [parentingteens]

Speaking of University, St. Louis Has Them All
St. Louis has upwards of 50 universities to choose from. From cost effective community colleges to nationally ranked prestigious schools, there is something for everyone.

via [wustl]

Love Wins, Especially in the Grove
In the Grove you can find several independently owned restaurants, night-life, and shops, and it is a flourishing area for the LGBT community, independent artists, and bicycling community.

via [urbantimes]

Brewing Up Success
From the internationally recognized Anheuser-Busch, Schlafly Beer, and several micro-breweries, St. Louis is a great destination for all of legal age.

via [builtstlouis]

From historic buildings, skyscrapers, national monuments, and Victorian-styled housing, St. Louis’ rich history is proudly projected around every corner.

via [lifeisaprayer]

St. Louis is currently ranked number 1 for most charitable cities in America. The 54 largest charities in St. Louis had more than $11 million in assets in 2014, compared to the national median of $6.5 million. St. Louis charities also raised $3.7 million in contributions through donations and grants, compared to the national median of $3 million.

via [mlb]

Whether looking to add a new vacation destination to your list, settle down in a thriving city, or just take in breathtaking views while passing through, don’t count out St. Louis.

via [phoacrossamerica]

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No Matter Who's Playing, I Love The March Tournament

The sun is round and orange. Where is the hoop?

Ah, tournament time. There’s a certain feeling about the atmosphere to me, a certain je ne sais quoi, so to speak, that makes March Madness different from any other event. Think of me as some kind of basketball Nicolas Cage, with a cork board of brackets surrounding me trying to figure out what they mean. I’m going to try to explain what tournament time means to me, even if I’m not quite sure myself.

It all started when I was a kid, hyperactive and glued to the television at all times. I was already a bit of an information hound (too many game shows), so when March came around and there were all these numbers being broadcast, it was almost like a video game, another hobby dear to my heart. This kind of sensory overload was the best sensation, with games on seemingly every channel. I could flip from CBS to TBS to TNT to some other channel I had never heard of and there would be another tournament game going on. There was always some new sensation to chase. Would this year be the year that a 16 defeated a one? Can this superstar from a mid-major program drag his team to victory kicking and screaming?

As I got older, I started to really dive into the arcana of stats. I learned what RPI and defensive efficiency were. It was a grand puzzle, and if I could put together all the pieces, I could pick a perfect bracket. I was obsessed at this time with the bracket structure and, more importantly, being right about something. Picking the perfect bracket, ah, now there’s a pipe dream. No matter how many stats you look at, or for how long, you are never going to know enough to sniff out every potential upset. Even if you could, why would you want to? Doesn’t that suck the fun out of March? To answer my own rhetorical questions, money and no.

I’ve neglected to talk about the sport itself. Compared to the NBA, which can often feel like players aren’t giving it their all, college basketball explodes with emotion. The screen comes alive. There are bench players slapping the floor and swinging towels around, fans screaming and chewing their nails when their team is down. At the end of each game, at least one guy is crying, face down on the hardwood. The game feels like it truly matters, because inside the television everyone cares so deeply. The announcers, our guides down this basketball Styx, convey to us that this journey takes so much of a toll on everyone. From the bracket’s release to its conclusion, it is most assuredly a wild ride that tugs at the heartstrings and racks the brain.

March is the month for these players where everything comes to its rightful conclusion. Every team is on equal footing now, and there is only one rule. Just win baby. I’ll be in my cave examining the 7-10 matchups this year and hoping for a Butler miracle.

Cover Image Credit: Sports Illustrated

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Why A 16 Seed Will Win TWO March Madness Tournament Games And Make It To The Sweet 16

I believe their two opponents, Virginia, and then either Kansas State or Creighton, are severely overrated.

A historical sports feat that has never occurred yet is a 16-Seeded team in the Men's NCAA tournament. Every year, I pick one 16-Seeded team to win a tournament game, and always lose on that. However, I have a good feeling that this year is the year where a 16 Seed finally wins. And I am not projecting this team to win just one game, I am projecting them to win two games and make it to the Sweet 16.

The University of Maryland Baltimore County comes in as heavy underdogs to win the National Championship, yet alone a playoff game. Coming in at a number 16 seed, the Retrievers face an uphill battle just to get out of the first round. However, I believe the UMBC Retrievers have potential to win not just one, but two NCAA tournament games this year. First of all, I believe their two opponents, Virginia, and then either Kansas State or Creighton, are severely overrated. When those two teams face stiffer competition in The Big Twelve or The Big East, they just come out flat. When UMBC played against #3 Arizona in the early stages of the season, they came out flat, but were very competitive. Only losing to the powerhouse Wildcats by 25 points. If the Retrievers can only lose by 25 points to one powerhouse who I don't think is overrated, imagine all of the damage they can do to a team that is vastly overrated such as the Virginia Cavaliers. The Creighton Blue jays or the Kansas State Wildcats would not be able to hold up against the Retrievers since they would have all of the momentum in the world after beating the overrated Cavaliers. Unfortunately, this team would not make it all of the way. As in their Sweet 16 Game, they would play Arizona again, who is by no means overrated, and while they would be more competitive the second time around, UMBC's historic run would end there because Arizona is going to the Final Four. All in all, I believe this is the year where a 16 team will win a game.

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia

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