From 2005 to 2007 — the peak of the housing bubble — the most popular destinations for footloose young adults were places such as Phoenix; Atlanta; and Riverside, Calif., where homes were cheap and construction and real estate drove a lot of job growth. When the housing market crashed, those jobs dried up, and places with more balanced economies, such as Denver and Seattle, now top the migration charts. While St. Louis has certainly suffered in the recession, it has fared better than many places and is one of a handful of cities — such as Pittsburgh, Baltimore and Boston — to flip from negative migration to positive.
Changing fortunes? Keep in mind that not every Rust Belt city is sporting a brighter side to the migration story. I know from firsthand experience that Saint Louis has a wealth of urban charm that appeals to the geographically fickle.
The Midland would not hold much interest to a person searching out accents were it not for three enclaves that have retained unique speech: St. Louis, Cincinnati and, in particular, Pittsburgh, which seems to be the Galapagos Islands of American dialect.
I didn't realize just how quirky the cuisine is in St. Louis until I worked with someone from the region. You've likely heard of New York and Chicago-style pizzas. How about St. Louis-style? A good history of St. Louis food history can be found here. If you want to try some St. Louis pizza, Imo's will ship some to you. Nothing says diaspora demand quite like using Fed Ex to get some comfort food.