Mark Byrnes is a senior associate editor at CityLab who writes about design and architecture.
"St. Louis is sort of an underdog. We're scrappy. We're gritty. This city has been through a lot of shit."
Today's Postcard comes from St. Louis, where photographer Mark Regester is still soaking in his adopted hometown, scars and all.
Regester has been living in St. Louis' South City area since 2010, when he moved from California with his wife and children. "The landscape here is so incredibly different from Santa Barbara where I grew up," he says. "I probably shot more photos the first six months I was here than any other time of my life."
Regester particularly likes shooting the city's collection of red brick buildings. "I love how its appearance changes with the seasons," adding, "there's magic in them bricks."
The photograph that symbolizes the city the best to him would be an image of the former "Get Rich Studio" building in North St. Louis. "Apparently at some point you could have gone to this place, got yourself a haircut, picked up some rims and a pager, maybe some socks AND recorded a demo," Regester explains in an email. "I don't know if what really went on behind those doors was legit or not and I don't want to know. All I know is what's on the outside. That's hustle and hope. The American Dream."
Three years after moving in and shooting his new city at length, the photographer seems more attached to St. Louis than ever. "St. Louis is sort of an underdog," says Regester. "We're scrappy. We're gritty. This city has been through a lot of shit. It still has the scars to prove it."
Correction: A previous version of this article referred to South City as a neighborhood in St. Louis. As a reader points out, it is the southern section of the city and home to multiple neighborhoods.