Hailing from New York City, I was both excited and worried about moving to St. Louis. On one hand, my new apartment was really big, there was an actual garbage disposal in the sink, and my stove worked — and all for much less than I paid for my closet-sized apartment in New York. I still get a thrill every time I can drive my car to the grocery store, something that would be nearly impossible in New York. Despite the fact that my life is much easier in St. Louis, I worried that I would miss some intrinsic big-city qualities. What if I had a craving for Thai food at 4:30 in the morning or I wanted to eat at a restaurant that combined classic BBQ with the bold flavors of Indonesian cooking? As it turns out, I don’t have time to miss many of the amenities of big-city living. St. Louis has plenty of restaurants, neighborhoods, and parks to explore in my limited free time, and it’s a much more sane and affordable city.

— Frances C., M1