Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Old time St. Louis alive and well

This post isn't so much about St. Louis rising as it is about St. Louis at its best.

Epiphany Church on Ivanhoe is one of the city's many Catholic parishes.

Epiphany has its own bowling alley and a few years ago the parish installed mechanized pin setters to take the place of the old hand setters.

In 2010, the church is launching a blog. You can visit the site here: Ephipany blog. Epiphany's new website contains much more information than is usually found in blogs.

The site contains plentiful information about the church and parish, and even includes one of those elusive parish boundary maps, along with a legal description of the parish boundary. In a city known for having many overlapping boundaries and districts, some of the most interesting of all are the boundaries of Catholic parishes.

Ivanhoe is one of those classic historic streets in St. Louis. Within walking distance of the church, you find lots of gems. One of those is Pizza A Go Go. The pizza is some of the best in town. Pizza A Go Go has excellent pizza but is also known for some quirky rules.

Pizza A Go Go's website is actually a blog. The comments there are a testament to the quality of the pizza, but be sure to also read the strict enforcement of the house rules for ordering pizza. Pizza A Go Go does not sell beer, but customers have been known to bring their own, keeping it chilled in the cooler located in the small dining room. If you think the building is an old service station, you are probably right.

Across from Pizza A Go Go is Killer Vintage. Killer Vintage specializes in vintage musical instruments and amplifiers. The store has one of the finest collections in the midwest.

With so much diversity at a walkable scale, old neighborhoods are cool and interesting places. They have lots of unique small businesses, historic homes, bowling alleys, and churches. A mile or so west of Ivanhoe is Sutton in Maplewood. Sutton competes with Ivanhoe for being one of the nicest neighborhood settings in St. Louis. Along Sutton, some of the historic homes are finding new uses as professional offices.

And there are also cool churches, including the one shown below, ornamented with tons of terra cotta. I have not seen the inside of this one, but according to local legend, the interior of this church served as one of the sets for George Clooney's recent "Up In the Air" film.

With so much going for it, Sutton also boasts what is possibly the coolest bowling alley in St. Louis, the Saratoga Lanes, located on the second floor of this building:

If you buy an old guitar at Killer Vintage, you will need a place to have it repaired, and Goez Stringed Instrument shop is a place to go. They're located in this building, also on Sutton:

And when you have that vintage instrument sounding its best, there are a number of fine venues along Sutton for performance, one of the best being the Focal Point:

The St. Louis area is blessed to have many areas like the very walkable Sutton and Ivanhoe neighborhood districts. They offer charm and a sense of place that increase the quality of our lives. If you're looking for an interesting place to do some shopping, spend a leisurely afternoon or evening, or find a new home, check out these places and our other friendly neighborhood choices.


Michael R. Allen said...

Great post.

Court said...

Don't forget Ivanhoe's newer addition, Farmhaus at 3257 Ivanhoe. From Kevin W. of Erato in Edwardsville, the place is now serving dinner, but my fave is following the Blue Plate Lunch Specials at twitter.com/farmhausstl. Homestyle cooking for $10.

Fr. Tom Miller said...

Great post and thanks for the comments about the parish and neighborhood! I would second the comments on Farmhaus, great addition to the area.