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Finding an apartment in Saint Louis
(Click on the images for a larger version.)
A few days (for Ilaria) or moons (for J) after our postdoc interviews in Saint Louis, Ilaria and I decided to make the break from the great city of Boston and move to the Cohen and Gordon labs at Washington University in Saint Louis.

We planned to start our postdocs in March 2008, so we flew to Saint Louis in January to find a place to live.
Betsy Jerry Jennifer Emily Ilaria
We stayed at some old friends of mine from when I was a little kid living in St. Louis: the Schmutzes. My mom watched Jennifer when she and I were babies. Now she's all grown up and married to a dude name Phillip. Emily (the girl with Blonde hair) didn't exist when I used to play with Jennifer, and now she's in college. And Betsy and Jerry, the heads-of-the-house, were grown-ups when I lived in Saint Louis, and now they're not that much older than I am...

I like how getting older makes everyone more equal.
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Our postdoc interviews were on some of the hottest days of the year. Our apartment hunting occurred during the largest St. Louis snow storm in five years.

We know how to pick our trips.
Del Coronado Saint Louis
Ilaria looked at about six apartments in downtown Saint Louis and in the Central West End. After much unnecessary worrying that we would find the "right" place, we finally decided on Del Coronado in the Central West End.
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$1100 in Boston got us a 500 sq.ft. 1br in a nice neighborhood in Boston. $1000 in Saint Louis gets us a 1200 sq.ft. 2br with a doorman, gym, and parking spot.
Center for Genome Sciences Wash U
We made a stop in at our future work place. To say high to folks, fill out some paper work, and have a couple meetings.
Center for Genome Sciences Wash U sign
We would soon see this sign every, single day.
moxy central west end
At night, Ilaria's lab had a group dinner at moxy in the Central West End.
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I had some duck with a blueberry sauce. tasty.
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Ilaria had a rack of lamb.
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It was a fun dinner with Mike, Josh, Christina, Jay, and Justin.
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On our last day in Saint Louis, our hosts Betsy and Jerry took us on Jerry's Deluxe Saint Louis Driving Tour.

Jerry even bought a new car the day before so we could ride in extra style.
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First stop: Sam's Club.
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This stop was intended to give Ilaria a taste of the
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real America. Not just big American sizes, extra-jumbo-big American sizes.
Carls Deli Saint Louis
After looking at all of the large stuff in Sam's, we went to Jerry's favorite sandwich spot in St. Louis: Carl's Deli.
Carls Deli Saint Louis Roast Beef
I had a hot roastbeef.
Carls Deli Saint Louis Pastrami
And Ilaria had Jerry's favorite: Hot Pastrami on Rye.
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With our full bellies, we drove by the house I grew up in
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nearby the Concordia Seminary.
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Most of my clothes when I was a kid came from this used clothing store.
Amoco sign Saint Louis
The only thing I really remember from my childhood days in Saint Louis is the Amoco sign.

After this trip, I understood why: this gigantic sign was only a couple blocks from my house.
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Jerry's driving tour continued on through the gigantic Forest Park, where Jerry taught Emily how to drive. Lots of folks were outside ice skating.
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Other folks were staying warm by the fire.
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Our tour made its way downtown
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making the obligatory pass by the Arch.
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We even bumped into all of the folks attending Mardi Gras in Soulard.

Overall it was a successful trip, we found an apartment we liked, and thanks to Betsy and Jerry we learned a lot about our soon to be hometown of Saint Louis.