Friday, March 31, 2006

Education Vouchers For Missouri?

From the tone of yesterday morning's Wake Up call show on WGNU radio, it sounds like a bill to bring education vouchers to Missouri is gaining momentum in the state legislature. The topic was being discussed by Quincy Troupe, Irene Smith, and Lizz Brown. They were looking for St. Louis to be excluded from the proposed law.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

STL Must See: The Wabash Frisco and Pacific Railroad

St. Louis is blessed with some of the country's finest family-oriented amenities. The St. Louis Zoo, the Science Center the Magic House, and the City Museum are just a few of our region's great recreational and educational attractions.

One of our favorites is the historic Wabash Frisco and Pacific Railroad located in Glencoe (near Eureka) Missouri, off of Route 109. Most young people love trains, and these narrow guage steam locomotives are a pure delight.

You can ride a train at the Zoo and Grant's Farm, but for an authentic railroading experience, the Glencoe trains are the real deal.

Coal and oil smells. The hissing sound of steam from the boilers. The ear piercing whistle of the steam driven horn. The tinkering with valves and controls by the engineers. Followed by a 20 minute ride along the Meramec River, through dappled sunlight shining through the trees of a Missouri forest.

If you don't have kids of your own, still check out this place. For more fun, bring a young relative, and a camera. It will make a memory that will last a lifetime.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Eisele's Would Be Proud

Eisele's Black Forest on Cherokee and the Bavarian Inn at Gravois and Arsenal were two long-time German restaurant standards on the city's south side. Years ago, the Black Forest closed, followed some years later by the Bavarian Inn. Now, I don't think you can find a German restaurant in the city.

Not far from where the Black Forest and Bavarian Inn were located, a new restaurant has opened bringing added life to the city's Tower Grove East neighborhood. It's called "Pestalozzi Place", located at the corner of Virginia and Pestalozzi in a beatifully renovated, one hundred-plus year old building. We visited Pestalozzi Place for the second time this weekend.

I had the stuffed pork chop. The chop was stuffed with fresh spinach and andouille sausage. Delicious (and our server's favorite)! For a city built by lots of Germans, it's hard to find a good German meal in town.

Pestalozzi Place isn't known as a German restaurant, but their stuffed pork chop would make a fine addition to the menu of a German restaurant anywhere!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Teen Sex

St. Louis leads the country in V.D. cases. This stat probably has more to do with our goofy "city in a donut" status, but is a bad thing regardless.

Yesterday marked Matt's 13th birthday. In the past week, we've heard stories about two young teenage girls becoming pregnant. Teens having unprotected sex is probably the number one reason.

Blame the boys and to some degree the girls? Mostly the boys. Rumor has it that the impregnating boy of one the pregnant girls mentioned above is bragging to his friends about it.

Hormones are raging for the kids in Matt's seventh grade class. Phone calls from girls and "instant messaging" is a daily routine.

Girls have crushes on Matt, and he has crushes back. As a parent, trying to pull in the reigns on these young romances probably just makes them more alluring to the kids involved.

Add to that the peer pressure and a culture that pushes casual sex, and these kids are facing a tough challenge for the next few years.

Maybe all-boy and all-girl schools would lessen the pressure on them?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Servant Rider

Andy Krumseig, the Executive of the Jubilee Christian Development Corporation, a branch of the Jubilee Community Church based in the city's Lindell Park neighborhood, is leaving today for California, about to embark on a 2,600 mile, coast-to-coast bike ride to raise funds for the church and its ministries.

You can help Andy and Jubilee by sponsoring the ride by the mile. A penny a mile is $26.00. Ten cents a mile, $260.00. In total, the ministry is working to raise $500,000 to convert a vacant grocery store on North Grand into its new home.

Last year, the Landmarks Association of St. Louis recognized the Jubilee Community Church for the rehab of their current 3118 North Grand location as one of the "Most Enhanced Sites" in St. Louis. Through the Jubileee Christian Development Corporation, the faith-based organization is continuing to renovate homes in the Lindell Park neighborhood.

They can really use your support. Please consider making a tax deductible contribution in whatever amount you can afford. Thanks. More information is available at:

Safe and happy riding to you, Andy! We'll see you when you get back.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Retirement Planning: STL Style

People often comment on the lower housing costs offered in the midwest compared to the coasts. Having lived for many years in California, we know that cost savings in St. Louis extend to all aspects of everyday life.

Presently, we are in the market for a new trombone. We are comparing prices in St. Louis versus California.

The retail price for the trombone pictured above is $300 higher in California compared to what it sells for here in St. Louis. And in California, the product must be back ordered, while here in St. Louis, the store has three in stock.

If you're ever thinking about retirement, consider how much faster your retirement savings could accumulate by living on a St. Louis budget!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Blogger Courtesy

I will defer to the comments of my fellow blogger on this topic.

Maybe if they added some shrubbery?

Monday, March 13, 2006

Moving Downtown?

We're considering moving downtown into one of the new Ballpark Village condo towers. Some questions we need to consider....

Are there dog walking services available? We wonder how much they charge...

Any predictions on the price of a 2 bedroom condo facing the new ballpark?

Or, we'd be interested in a unit with an Arch view, as long as the designers provide a roof top deck with views of the ballpark...

Any idea of the timing of construction and sales? And what about high school choices for downtown teens?

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Future Role For Avalon Theater?

From an email sent to the Southampton email list:

We are professional actors and Southampton Neighborhood residents who have founded one of St. Louis' newest professional theatre companies, Avalon Theatre Company. Organized as a not-for-profit 501 (c) 3 organization, Avalon is dedicated to the professional theatre artists who have chosen to live and work in St. Louis. In recognition of its artistic vision and commitment to St. Louis theatre artists, Avalon was recently awarded a grant from The Fox Associates Foundation.

Our inaugural production was the St. Louis premiere of BOSTON MARRIAGE by David Mamet. Our next production is Lee Blessing's A WALK IN THE WOODS, which runs March 17 through April 2, 2006 (preview performance March 16) at Union United Methodist Church, 3543 Watson Road. Directed by Heidi Winters Vogel, the production features Gary Wayne Barker* as Honeyman and John Contini* as Botvinnik.

The place is a "pleasant woods on the outskirts of Geneva," where two superpower arms negotiators, the Russian, Botvinnik, a seasoned veteran, and his American counterpart, Honeyman, a newcomer to the arms-control talks, meet informally after long, frustrating hours at the bargaining table. Through their absorbing and revealing conversations we become aware of both the deepening understanding between these two wise and decent men, and also of the profound frustration they increasingly feel – that the elemental differences in their two systems of government will continue to exacerbate as long as the real power rests in the hands of those burdened by the bitterness of the past.

Performances are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 3:00 pm. Ticket prices are: $28 adult; $23 student/senior; $20 preview (Thursday, March 16). To learn more about Avalon Theatre Company or to make convenient ticket purchases online, please visit ATC's website at or call 314-351-6482.

Avalon also has two volunteer usher/concession positions available per performance. Ushers see the show for free. If interested, please contact the theatre.

Thank you.

Larry Mabrey, Artistic Director
Erin Kelley, Managing Director
314-351-6482 -

*Member Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the United States.

Affton PeeWees Vie for State Championship

During the regular season, the two Affton "Gold" House PeeWee hockey teams finished 1-2 in the standings.

Now, as the playoffs reach the final game, the same two Affton teams square off in an in-house rivalry to determine this year's Missouri state champions in the gold division.

Along the way, the teams defeated regional rivals, the St. Peters Spirits and the Twin Bridges Lightning, to make it to the championship game.

Matt's team is in the finals. If they win tonight, it will be his second state championship in four years.

The puck drops at 5:30 PM at the Kirkwood Community Center ice arena on Geyer Road.

RIP Kirby Puckett

Ever since the 1987 World Series, St. Louisans have a hard time appreciating Minnesota's brand of baseball, especially with their "Glad Bag" stadium wall. But we all respected Kirby Puckett. Puckett was a big factor in the '87 Twin's World Series victory over the Cardinals.

Way back before ballplayers routinely started charging for their autographs, I remember the time we sent a baseball book up to the Twins, attention Kirby Puckett. Puckett mailed it back to us with his autograph and a personalized note.

There weren't very many ballplayers who earned the widespread admiration of Kirby Puckett. He was a tough competitor and a great representative of the game. He would have looked great in a Cardinal uniform, but, turning down more lucrative contract offers, he would play his entire career with the Twins.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Cold Frostys

There was a time when St. Louis had more breweries than almost any other American city.

Based on the age of car parked in front, the picture above probably dates back to the Bevo Mill's alcohol free days.

I wonder what a cold beer at the Bevo Mill would have tasted like right after the end of prohibition? Pretty darn good I bet.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

"The Oldest Road In St. Louis County"

"St. Charles Rock Road, the first road through St. Louis County, was laid out in 1772 as “The Road to St. Charles” by the Spanish. The road began in St. Louis (where it was called “Kings Road”), followed in a general direction the route now used and led to the bank of the Missouri River opposite St. Charles. In 1819, St. Charles Road was established as a post and stage road; in 1837 it was first incorporated as a turnpike. In 1865, St. Charles Road was rebuilt with macadam (successive layers of small broken stones) and renamed St. Charles Rock Road. In 1921, it became the first concrete state highway in St. Louis County."

Excerpted from the official website for the City of St. John, St. Louis County, Missouri.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Free Downtown Baseball

The Harris Stowe Hornets have started their 2006 college baseball season on their home field, located at the northeast corner of Compton and Market in the city of St. Louis.

They are playing their first game today against Webster University.