Thursday, November 30, 2006

City Snow

When snow hits a city, it's beautiful. The picture above is of Annapolis, Maryland.

In St. Louis, snow does wonderful things with our historic buildings too. And it's magic when coating Christmas decorations.

Snow even makes our LRA buildings look good!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Cool New Anonymous Blog

Seeing St. Louis

Town Talk of the Week

Town Talk keeps Journal readers coming back by offering the widest possible range of opinions and local personas anywhere in St. Louis media. Week to week, Town Talk readers keep tabs on the unfiltered and unedited thoughts of their St. Louis neighbors.

Sometimes the themes carry over from week to week. Last week there was a comment from a city resident stating how you had to be a "real man or a real woman to live in the City of St. Louis". In reply, this week, there was a call from a County resident stating that some people are unable to defend themselves in the City of St. Louis, the top-rated most dangerous city in the country, and therefore must stay in the County for their personal safety. It's hard to tell whether people are serious or not with their comments, but either way, they do entertain!

As a Town Talk reader, it's fun to try and figure out who the anonymous caller might be, or from which demographic group the caller might fit. Our selection this week is inspired by recent news reports highlighting research proving women are two times more verbal than men. The research has discovered that the part of the human brain dedicated to communication is twice as large in women than men, and as men age, this part of their brains shrinks even further. Based on the few words in this comment, I'm thinking the caller was male.

Big cars are best

I WAS WATCHING the news tonite and they had on about cars. A bunch of experts or somebody in the United States said the best cars to buy and showed them. All foreign or foreign-owned Suzuki's and different ones. That's a shame. You ain't going to catch me buying a Suzuki. Or any of them small cars. I'm a big car man. I'm a Mercury or Ford man. Now that's a shame but somebody here in the United States says buy foreign when the car companies are having such a hard time.

Best Weather Euphemism-Ever!

Listening to the morning news, the weather lady just stated that when the winter weather hits tomorrow, there will be "increasing accumulations along the highway 44 and 70 corridors."

Highway 44 and 70 corridors? That means St. Louis is right in the bullseye of this storm! We're gonna get hammered!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I don't understand it...but I like it!

You never know what you might hear on St. Louis' own community radio station, KDHX. The last show I heard was a rock and roll and soul presentation of Native American tribal music.

I've never heard anything like it. The native words made no sense to me but still the sounds, the stories told in english, and the passion in the singer's voices had a hard hitting edge. Indian messages, rock and roll guitars, solo tom tom drums. It was truly original. Uniquely American.

It made me stop and think about Native American connections to St. Louis. It made me think too about the many voices in this town. It made me appreciate how here in St. Louis there's no one regional accent.

I have a friend who does great impressions of St. Louis voices from different parts of town, like the Patch and Southwest city. There definitely are some unique differences.

At the same time, with our mix of northern, southern, and western influences, a person with no detectable accent isn't automatically pinpointed as a non-native.

It's an easy place to fit in. For a sense of our diversity, check out KDHX.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

New STL Rising Feature: Town Talk of the Week

Thanksgiving is all about tradition, so it is appropriate that this week we will be starting a new tradition at STL Rising: Town Talk of the Week.

Nothing quite sums up life in St. Louis like the Suburban Journal's weekly "Town Talk" feature. Town Talk is a collection of anonymous reader comments phoned in to an answering machine and then chosen by Journal editors for publication in the paper's editorial section.

Whether comments about alleys, street cleaning, dumpsters, the mayor, neighbors, or various cultural traditions, Town Talk provides St. Louisans a unique opportunity to offer their true thoughts about life in our neighborhoods and city.

So, once a week, STL Rising will feature a Town Talk comment that especially reflects the unique nature of life in our city, as made by one of our neighbors.

For our first selection, we have chosen a comment entitled,

Senior glut

"I DON'T MEAN to be disrespectful to our seniors in the area, but when it came to voting day, as someone who has to be at work at 8, I get to the polls early. There is absolutely no reason in the world that they need to be in line when they have all day to vote and they tie it up for those of us who need to get on to work. So I would just like to ask them to be more conscientious to the working people. And it goes for those shopping on the weekend as well. Do your errands during the week when the rest of us are at work so that we've got the weekend to do our thing. The voting is really an important thing so leave that time for those of us that work."

"Noodles" Coming To Hampton Village

In the ongoing quest to balance amenities available in the City of St. Louis with suburban neighbors, the City of St. Louis is landing the popular "Noodles" themed restaurant in Hampton Village. Noodles will be moving into the space of the B. Dalton's bookstore.

Pull quote from the Suburban Journal article:

Serafin (Noodles owner) said they wanted to locate in St. Louis Hills after visiting the neighborhood.

"When we got to St. Louis Hills we tried to do anything to find a location in that center. We don't have neighborhoods like that in Denver," he said.

STL Rising: Results

"Do It, Did It, Done It" or "Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda..."

In St. Louis, we have more and more of the "Do It, Did It, Done It" types, and it shows.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

STL - Civic Engagement

One of the best things about St. Louis is how accessible our public realm is. If you want to become active in public life, St. Louis is a place that offers everyone multiple points of entry.

Whether in neighborhood organizations, elected office, or nonprofit groups, there are countless opportunities for citizens interested in making St. Louis a better place to get involved.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Bay Area's A's, Niners Going Suburban

Bucking recent trends, two of the Bay Area's professional sports franchises are moving out of their urban settings to suburban locations.

The Oakland Athletics, unhappy with their current stadium facility, are moving to the South Bay suburb of Fremont.

The San Francisco Forty Niners have announced plans to leave Candlestick Park in San Francisco for a site across from the Great America amusement park in Santa Clara.

For years, despite many championship seasons in Oakland, the A's have struggled to maintain fan support. Locals would often say, "there's just too much else to do in the Bay Area." This year, things had gotten so bad, they closed the entire upper deck and covered it with tarps.

The Forty Niners have been negotiating with San Francisco officials for a major mixed use facility including a new stadium. However, negotiations failed. Now with the Forty Niners announced departure from "The City", San Francisco's bid for an upcoming summer Olympics has been called "dead".

Frustrated San Francisco officials have threatened to sue the Forty Niners in an effort to prevent the team from continuing to use the name "San Francisco" Forty Niners. It is doubtful, however, that the NFL would support the city's case.

Meanwhile, South Bay residents are pleased with the two announced moves; it will make attending games much more convenient for them. On the other hand, for most residents of the sprawling ten-million strong Bay Area, moves south will mean much longer drives to games and increased traffic on the Bay Area's already congested roadways.

For comparison, consider St. Louis, whether as destination or hometown, a place providing families, young creatives and high tech professionals a convenient and affordable lifestyle with center city major league attractions, affordable housing, a strong job market, and tight knit neighborhoods.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Coming Attractions: Macklind Avenue Deli

From the Press Release:

Macklind Avenue Deli to open Thanksgiving weekend

Macklind Avenue Deli will be celebrating its grand opening with an open house on Saturday, November 25 from noon – 6 p.m. The event will include several samples of the outstanding food that Macklind Avenue Deli will have to offer, as well as a wine and beer tasting.

In April, Dick and Carol Krekeler, owners of the Macklind Avenue Deli, decided to move their efforts in a new direction. They closed Krekeler's Market after over 20 years of business to focus on bringing customers a unique dining option in south St. Louis city.

"We won't be carrying a full grocery line like we did in the past, but our prepared foods will be expanded, offering something for almost any taste," Dick Krekeler said. "We have worked hard to provide a comfortable atmosphere for dining in and our carry-out customers will find it easy to get dinner on the run." There will, however, be several similarities between the offerings of Macklind Avenue Deli and its predecessor, Krekeler's Market.

"If you shopped at Krekeler's Market and loved the Karl's Special Poorboy [sandwich], you'll still be able to find it at the Macklind Avenue Deli," Carol Krekeler said. "We will also carry several of the cakes that our customers have missed over the past several months. Our chili and lasagna and several other dinner options that were popular at Krekeler's Market will still be available as carry-out items."

Macklind Avenue Deli will offer its customers a large variety of freshly prepared deli sandwiches, both hot and cold, as well as several entrees and sides prepared in house.

"We will have a core sandwich and entrée menu, and will also offer several daily specials, hot soups, coffee, tea, fountain and gourmet sodas," said Dick Krekeler.

Macklind Avenue Deli will also offer a large selection of beer and wine. The beer selection will include everything from Anheuser-Busch and Miller products to microbrews such as Schlafly and Shiner to imports like Unibroue and Heineken. The wine selection will include premium domestic wines and imports from Italy, Australia and other countries.

"Along with having a large selection of six- and 12-packs of beer and bottles of wine, we will also offer single bottles of beer and glasses of wine that our customers can enjoy with their meal," Dick Krekeler said. "We will also sell mix-and-match 6-packs of beer for those customers who like to experiment with new and different beers."

The Macklind Avenue Deli will open for business on Monday, November 27 at 10 a.m. and is located at 4721 Macklind Avenue in south St. Louis city. The deli’s hours will be 10 am – 8pm Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Sunday. For more information call the Macklind Avenue Deli at 314-481-2435.

Seeking STL : Some Nice Riverfront Property Along River Des Peres

Recently, we were analyzing some of our retirement options and thinking, hmmm, a nice riverfront property along River Des Peres wouldn't be too bad!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

St. Louis Times

Mention St. Louis to some people, and images of "Corkball", "Bottle Caps", and "Brain Sandwiches" come to mind.

Nowdays, for most, these STL traditions are a distant memory. It's hard to find a brain sandwich any more. Corner taverns no longer have corkball leagues. And bottlecap games, well they were probably the first to go.

They must have been fun times. Imagine being outside in the back of a neighborhood bar, poles and metal screening enclosing the area, with wild 3 or 4 person games of corkball going deep into the night.

Summer nights in an alley, young boys and girls hurling high speed bottlecaps at pint-sized batters, the hitter swinging a broomstick-bat, trying to make contact with the sailing, curving discs.

Or old-timers sitting on bar stools, feasting on greasy, breaded, brain sandwiches.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Indoor or Outdoor?

STL City voters just approved a 1/8 cent sales tax increase to fund community center improvements in the city. Plans are in the works for brand new, state of the art community centers, one north and one south.

The south city site is planned for the eastern end of Carondelet Park. In north city, there is talk about locating a new center in O'Fallon Park.

New swimming pools are planned. Would you rather see them built indoors, outdoors, or perhaps both?

If we only get one choice, I say build it outside! Summers in St. Louis are better by the pool!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Like an Emerald City

People talk about the subtle nature of St. Louis. It's a place with both great and elusive qualities. A good or bad St. Louis experience depends on where you engage it, and it varies with time.

As a conventioneer, my late father-in-law visited in the 1960s. He had lasting memories of St. Louis as a hell-on-earth, and discouraged us from ever moving here. Then there are others who get mild impressions, mostly from passing by on highways (from the air, especially during summer, we are a beautiful, "emerald city").

You might enter in and see a place of beauty, with riches to be uncovered, often strange, even haunted places, great history, and discoveries to be found.

Or you might come and still miss it all. You have to be open to it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Monday, November 06, 2006

Decision 2006: CNN On Location at Hampton Village

The day before the election, Claire McCaskill was on the campaign trail greeting shoppers at the Hampton Village Schnucks. Outside the store was a CNN film crew interviewing St. Louisans about Jim Talent, Claire McCaskill, the war in Iraq, and stem cell research.

Friday, November 03, 2006

STL: A Great Home Town

We are getting to one of the favorite times of the year in St. Louis. STL people like to decorate and dress up, and Halloween lets us do both. The tradition makes STL more beautiful and interesting. Go to the lake, and you find St. Louisans with decorated campsites. Drive through STL neighborhoods and you see decorated houses.

When a whole block decorates, it turns the neighborhood into a wonderland. We closed our street for a Halloween night block party. The shots above are from our place.