Saturday, January 27, 2007

30 in the year of thirty

I know it's been a while, but in honor of my recent ascent into a new decade, I decided to make a list of 30 things I want to make sure I do this year in St. Louis. Somehow, the normal STL things seem to always escape me, creep up on me, or I just take them for granted and pass on them, assuming they will always be around. But no more! So, I made a list.

The following list appears in no certain order. Many of the things are things that I have done, and some surprisingly are things I've never managed (like Mardi Gras or St. Pat's... I used to work in Soulard). Regardless, I'm hoping to hit all 30.

1. Drive go-karts at the I-70 indoor speedway
(note: I went to do this last weekend and found it slightly disappointing. For go-karts that can go so fast, they gave you a track with curves where, seemingly, they can't. I wanted speed and it was not what I was looking for.)
2. visit Luckett's Lounge
3. take a tour of the Fox Theatre
4. see the Mardi Gras parade
5. go to the St. Pat's Parade in Dogtown
6. be downtown for the opening day of the Cards (or for Cards/Cubs if working opening day)
7. climb around MonstroCity at the City Museum
8. eat at the Blue Owl in Kimmswick (ok, technically not in STL, but my mom really wants to go there, so it made the list)
9. spend a whole day at Dapper Dan's
10. drink at the Geyer Inn
11. ride the Metrolink all day
12. find the greatest nachos in town
13. see Chuck Berry live (it just seems like I should)
14. rent a boat in Forest Park (ditto-- I have no desire, but it seems almost requisite for a resident)
15. go iceskating in Forest Park
16. skate at the Skate King again
17. drink beers by the river
18. ride the whole Riverfront Trail
19. run a 5K race in STL
20. have a bratzel at Gus' Pretzels
21. go to the Muny (yep, never been... Why do they start the season so late? It's sooooo hot then.)
22. have a picnic during Shakespeare in the Park (one of my favorite nights, though I usually daydream instead)
23. watch Pridefest (the fire trucks with the big American flag spanned between them is, oddly, my favorite)
24. eat food at the stands during the Festival of Nations
25. go to hip-hop night at the Halo and eat hot dogs out front (done, last weekend)
26. visit Shady Jack's
27. watch the sunrise over the river
28. be at Soulard Market at sunrise to watch the bustle
29. go to the Gypsy Caravan (despite heat or rain)
30. finish taking photos of all the STL neighborhoods

Contenders in surrounding areas:

-return to the Peveley dirt stockcar races
-go to Cahokia
-go to Gateway
-visit the dogtrack
-return to Pere Marquette and the River Road in October

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Handwritten Fears (in the 20th Ward)

All signs were seen at the flowershop on the corner of Cherokee and Compton in the 20th Ward, home of the aldermanic race between Galen Gandolfi and Craig Schmid.

For those of you in the Gandolfi camp, check out his fundraiser held this Friday evening (Jan. 12) at the Typo Cafe/Tin Ceiling (also on the corner of Compton and Cherokee--across the street from these signs).

Gandolfi 2007 Fundraiser
Bands of the 20th banding together:

Walkie Talkie USA
The Adversary Workers
Bad Folk
The Beating
Bravo Company

Friday, January 12 at Typo/Tin Ceiling

Doors at 7:00
Bands at 8:00

And check out the Typo; I hear Tim Rakel's done a fine, fine job.

Friday, January 05, 2007

South Grand: Check Out the Red and Black

South Grand seems to be ringing in 2007 with a much higher profile, and I, for one, am ecstatic. This afternoon, on my way home from lunch at Mangia, I saw a red and black jacket ahead of me on the sidewalk. "South Grand Guides". I ran to catch up with the poor guy because I was so excited.

Apparently this week marked the beginning of the South Grand Guides, which will be patrolling the South Grand area as an offshoot of the CID Guides downtown. These friendly folks are there to answer questions, give recommendations, act as secondary public safety officers ( escorting S. Grand patrons and workers, reporting problems, etc.). The man I spoke with today is also a CID Guide downtown, so he's used to the drill, and even better, he himself lives on S. Grand.

I don't know of any other neighborhoods that have rolled out these guides, but again, if S. Grand just got them, perhaps this is part of a larger city initiative. One way or the other, in my eyes, those red and black jackets make S. Grand officially a destination for people who don't live around here, and they sure as heck make it a little safer and more pleasant for those of us who do.

If you see one (and you will), stop and say hi. They like to talk and like to help. I am pretty damn excited.