There is very little to do in the surrounding area that I feel safe walking to from my apartment. While you are only steps away from the Blues stadium, Cardinals stadium and school, you often encounter situations walking to these venues that are unnerving. There also aren't as many grocery stores and affordable restaurants close by. Other areas of St. Louis provide a greater selection and are more amenable to students.
In terms of convenience for school - it's GREAT. Everything else is terrible. There are very limited food places around here. Most places span to 10-25 min drive depending on what you want. Same with grocery stores. The downtown and soulard bars are close which is nice. However, in the 3 years I have lived here, there have been 4 shootings on the street outside, my car has been broken into twice (in the connected parking garage), and I was harassed by a building janitor. It's not worth it.
I am used to living in cities and I tend to be able to turn a blind eye to random acts of violence because in any city it is tough to feel 100% safe. There are shootings down here as well as more petty crimes. People are desperate just as they are anywhere that packs people in but does not have enough well-paying jobs or mental health clinics to support the population. The neighborhood is getting better though, as I have seen many businesses pop up since moving here 8 months ago. These businesses have been primarily black-owned which is amazing to see and the diversity of the neighborhood is wonderful. I hope that it does not lose its charm as it becomes more popular.
The streets in Downtown generally are somewhat clean. There are also many restaurants & coffee shops in downtown, and it is very walkable/bike-able during the daytime hours.
St. Louis' reputation for being unsafe precedes it, and is a bit exaggerated. But not entirely off-base, from my personal experience.
From about sunrise to sunset, speaking as a man, I am comfortable walking outside. Foot traffic is generally very light and most streets have sufficient sidewalk space.
Not to fearmonger, but I have personally erred on the side of caution when it comes to going out at night. I do go out to Bar Reviews and friends' house parties once a month or so. I tend to get home anywhere from midnight to 2am. I have never seen any violence, or concerning behavior, with my own eyes. Anecdotally, I have heard from another friend in Downtown that they have seen people cruising around in a car with guns on one occasion, very early in the morning/late at night.
Gunshots are not rare, but also not frequent. My personal estimate is that I hear what could plausibly be gunshots once every two weeks or so. They occur most often in the midnight to 4am block of time.
Car-break-ins were the second-most raised point about safety in Downtown. I have not been the victim of a break-in myself. However, I have seen cars parked in the same spot on the street all day go from having an intact window in the morning to a busted window by the end of the school day. I strongly recommend securing garage parking if you have a car, either in your own apartment complex or a nearby external garage.
Downtown St. Louis has a homelessness problem, unfortunately similar to most other major cities in the US (Austin, TX and Los Angeles, CA come to mind). The homeless & city have a tragic cycle of homeless people occupying the parks near the law school & city hall, then being cleared out by city officials when a major event is being held at or near the parks, and drifting back in, days or weeks after the event. I have seen homeless people sleeping along the St. Charles St. side of the building, and further up the street. I have never been personally accosted by anyone, but it can contribute to feelings of overall decreased safety.
There’s not much nightlife, not a lot of walkable places, not super safe to walk alone at night. However, I’ve never felt unsafe in my building. It’s very worth it to live so close to the law school and live near other law students.
Downtown near the school on Washington Avenue. Busy at night, safe to walk home from school.
Gunshots every weekend and there is no grocery store close. I’m afraid to walk outside by myself, even during the day.
Great food options. Close to the highway. Everything I need is within a 15 minute drive.