Arch 2.0

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I’m trying a little behind the scenes recruiting to get O’Reilly to put on a scripting, Ajax, and web development conference here in St. Louis. After all, what can we offer:

Location: St. Louis is centrally located for every part of the country. Rarely do you have to fly more than 3 or 4 hours to reach our city. Even if you come from another country, chances are we’re closer than California.

Cost: California is not a cheap place to visit. It’s expensive to host a conference, and hotel rooms are usually pricey. St. Louis is city that’s ready to welcome the world, not bankrupt it.

Facilities: St. Louis has one of three top rated botanical gardens in the world. St. Louis has one of the ten top rated zoos, as well as top five rated art museum. That’s in addition to the Arch, Forest Park, the waterfront, the rivers, and so on. We have a light rail system, conference facilities, plenty of hotels including a terrific one at Union Station, which is actually wrapped around a wonderfully funky shopping center that used to be the main train station here.

Weather: Summers aren’t great in St. Lou, but we make up for that with the weather we have the rest of the year. We have beautiful springs and falls — we can rival New England for fall color. We have so many spring flowers, you’ll think you walked into a florist shop. Only better. As for winter, rarely do we get snow above a couple of inches, and then it usually melts within a day. We’re sunny, and even when it rains, the rain comes in, does its thing, and moves on.

History: Mark Twain, Truman, Lewis and Clark, the westward expansion, Sprit of St. Louis, you name it, and St. Louis and Missouri have been a part of it.

Things to do: Where do I start? I’ve already covered the zoo, Forest Park, the Botanical Garden, and the Art Museum. Then there’s the dozens of parks and trails, Katy trail where people can rent bikes and ride gently along the Missouri river. Tower Grove is this country’s last Victorian walking park, with its pagodas and faux greek ruins. St. Charles for walking, LaClede’s Landing, the old Chain or Rocks Bridge. About an hour away is one of the world’s largest underwater lakes, where you can ride a boat, take a walking tour, OR do a little fresh water diving. There’s Laumeir Sculpture Park, with its outdoor works of art, nestled among trees, deer walking here and there. This is in addition to the Basilica with its world class collection of tiles, or the wonderful Fox Theater, with its ornate moulding and rich red tapestries. This is a city that was once the third largest in the country, and one of the most cosmopolitan. Much of the architecture from that time is still standing, making it an amazing place to explore.

As for night life, honey you ain’t heard the Blues until you’ve heard it in St. Lou. As for food, well, there’s Italian at the Hill, amazing southern food practically everywhere, not to mention world class gourmet restaurants such as Puck’s at the Museum. Then there’s toasted ravioli, gooey cake, and Ted Drewes frozen custard. This is Anheuser-Busch’s corporate headquarters, where you can go visit the horses, and sample the brews.

Did I happen to mention that St. Louis was, I believe, one of the first, if not the first city to have the downtown wired for free wireless?

I don’t know about anyone else, but I for one am getting tired of conferences held only along the coasts.

Arch 2.0. It works.

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