It's funny that things that are listing are about to tip over. I like the double entendre here. That these items are both getting ready to topple, and/or are reaching their tipping point. Fielder's choice on the following; though I am taking the literal of listing as a form, I choose to think that these are all things that others are about to realize, and the sooner, the better.
1.) This is the last week of our blog on stltoday.com
Sarah and I (and a host of our friends) have enjoyed hitting the dives we've always driven by and answering our own cusiosity about what else is out there in the world of bars. Let's not kid ourselves, we live in a bar, so if we can find places where we still want to be, that's a good sign. Check out my latest post, on Dapper Dan's downtown... and then check out Dapper Dan's.
www.stltoday.com/blogs (click on $20:Code Red at the top left corner of the page)
Moreover, get out, start exploring different parts of the city and find your own new haunts. Don't just take our word on it.
2.) Driving to the North side, yesterday and today, in haze and semi-darkness, I was once again struck by my favorite part of 44. Headed east towards downtown, just before you hit 70 west to bend around the city, there is that beautiful view of Soulard up ahead, the factory chimneys and church spires dominating the skyline... and then the Arch. There is nothing to make me love this city more each morning than hitting that bend, the red brick glistening in the late dawn. It reminds me where we come from, as a place, and where we are headed. Moving from our industrial and religious routes into some new frontier, and better yet, it's a frontier we are stil defining as a city.
3.) On the N. side, I took Natural Bridge east towards downtown the other day. Driving past burnt down and boarded up buildings, I was left with one image-- that of an old corner building made into a church. Above the door, where it once had more painted words, there was just one left: FAITH. That one word painted in black on that white building made me see it all differently-- that drive, that part of the city, and what we're all doing today. It seemed like a mission statement, or a request: hold on, we're coming back, the N. side in all its glory.
4.) That was echoed by my drive home from school today. I generally go up there via 44/70 and then circumnavigate my way through the city back to the south. Today, I took a straight course on Union towards the park. Passing Soldan High School, I delighted in seeing the high school marching band and its dancers completely closing off one whole block of a side street as their horns blared and bowed and young girls waved flags. For a school that can get a bad rap, it was great to see this music and dancing literally shutting down traffic and breathing life... and all those kids the ones doing it.
5.) On a more personal note, today I received several letters from my students as part of an activity in class. Previous to that though, a sixth grader walked in with a thank you letter for me she had made over the weekend. In the middle, in between what she has learned, it simply said, "Thank you for believing in me." Later, another student new to my room wrote me a note that said, "Thank you for choosing me to learn." For anyone out there who doesn't think kids are curious or that they want to learn, head on up to the N. side. I am constantly amazed at how bright my students are, how curious they are, and how much they want to think-- really think. Case in point, today, my fourth graders and I had an amazing conversation about Henry David Thoreau and how he thought about truth. They got it. The quote: "It takes two to speak the truth-- one to speak, and another to hear."
On that note, maybe when some of these things are noticed again, by others, instead of them listing, their tipping point will begin.