After living in Chicago for a few years, St. Louis natives Anne Pennick and John Smith returned home shortly before the birth of their son, Evan. Missing the urban, walkable lifestyle that Chicago offered, the  couple moved to the Central West End in fall 2011. Anne, a faculty manager for Kaplan’s online classes, and husband John, an attorney with Callis, Papa, Hale & Szewczyk, appreciate the closeness of everything the CWE has to offer, as well as the diversity of their neighbors. We asked Anne to share more about the appeal of the Central West End.

What are some of your favorite spots in the neighborhood?

We live closest to the intersection of Maryland and Euclid, which is one of the hubs of the Central West End. We’ll stop by Coffee Cartel to get a cup of coffee and people-watch, or go across the street to Drunken Fish—Evan (now 3) actually likes sushi, and they’re great with him there. At the other intersection of Euclid and McPherson, we’ll go to Left Bank Books regularly; and that area has a couple of our favorite restaurants: Pi and Dressel’s. And we’re excited for the opening of the new taco place, Gringo, from the owners of Pi.

What’s an ideal way to spend an afternoon in the CWE?

We might start the day with brunch, maybe at the West End Grill and Pub, where we’ve eaten a few times. Then we’d walk back toward Maryland and Euclid, so Evan can play at the fountain in Maryland Plaza, then head to the library (Schlafly branch) so he can pick out some books and a couple movies. We might stop by FroYo on the way home, or if John has his way, we’ll go by Lester’s to watch whatever sports game is on.

What’s the family’s favorite neighborhood tradition?

A lot of people know about the adult Halloween party here, but there’s also a children’s parade during the day, which is great. They close off the streets and have lots of family-oriented activities, and everyone goes trick-or-treating at the stores and restaurants. The neighborhood also has a Christmas event in December with a petting zoo, children’s activities, pony rides (complete with reindeer antlers) and a visit from Santa. There’s also a window decorating contest for the businesses and the restaurants set up food and drinks outside. We’re looking forward to it again this year.

Neighborhood Notes

Vicki Armor, Dielmann Sotheby’s International Realty

It’s all about location. Everything you need is within walking distance in the Central West End. One of the best grocery stores in St. Louis, a wonderful movie theater, a library, great shopping and outstanding coffee shops and restaurants are all just steps away, and Forest Park is your backyard. Whether you are looking for a classic period home or a modern condo, the CWE has it all. It’s urban living at its best and offers something for everyone!