Thursday, September 28, 2006

diggity and the best of

I have been slacking bad on posts. I wrote one up, but have decided to edit myself. A bit too, hmmm. Not sure it is proper for public consumption.

I do have several unwritten, but in my head ready to go, just been too busy to write out and edit. I got the written and unreleased "old white man obsessed with hot rods and black guys", the unwritten "getting held up by Public Safety", "Pimped out regal bridges" and the guest post "Unknowingly propositioned by a white wine John Madden neighbor". I have looked over my posts this past month and it is a pretty weak lot. And I have to pony up a piece for the 52nd City issue of "Drink" on what it means to live above my joint. And a hint on what that means? I live in a Public House and that means I live a public life which means I have no privacy. "Me time." Me time means me and every person in this city who comes to my house. Funny. Seven days a week! I am quite insane.

I am going to the auction at Stern tomorrow. I got to pick up a mess o gear for the new project. We made some progress at the Block Unit meeting on Tuesday night. We answered a ton of questions from the neighborhood citizens. The neighborhood was pretty much unanimously supportive. They were pretty excited. But there was one person in staunch opposition, but no surprise there. It is good to know the people are down with it.

But quickly I did notice a few amusing things in the RFT Best of issue this week.

First off Casa Lupita, Best Mexican, located on Cherokee, has been closed for months. Yes, tasty food, but the place didn't last all that long. It had a great variety of country style Mexican food indeed, but it is not only been out of business, but sat vacant for a good while and is now reoccupied by another Mexican restaurant. But it had a good selection either way. This new joint just opened too, and they are likely to get the bump. Good for them, but I pick El Bronco for the best.

But who cares about that, more to the proper propers- Mucho praise to Mister Galen Gondolfi who won Best Citizen! What a cool award!

And best website- the Archdiocese website! I use it often as a reference tool.

May the Lord bless Miss Julie Layton. Oh how I miss her witty morning banter on her radio show on KSLU with MC Rolf and John (S)Kavanaugh.

And Bill Streeter as best cheerleader. ha ha. I just think of him in a short skirt kicking in the air and pom poms. And wasn't GW Bush a cheerleader? Good call though. Bill is a smart cat with a sharp eye and a wicked cool website.

There are some other decent picks too, but they have a pretty big circulation and I don't think this is a necessary forum to find out the Best Of picks from the RFT.

I got to do my own Best Of. And I got to edit down some footage I have taken on my phone and camera.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Article on Neighborhood Revitalization

Here is a great article in the Southside Journal on the great Tin Can Tavern, a neighbor of mine over on Morganford.

Some interesting quotes in the article:

"There was really nothing going on when we got down here," Alt said. "When we came down here, probably 80 percent of them were boarded up."
A business association started for the area and the mayor and the local alderman, Joseph Vollmer, D-10th Ward, took an interest in the street, Alt said.

Business is great, Alt said. "It's actually better than what we had expected it to be," he said.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Anti-Love letters

Oh, the anonymous posters writing anti-love letters of the STL! I think it is funny that people that have this anti-love bother reading a site called STLstreets, even from overseas.

These posts remind me of a potent scene from a great movie, 25th Hour, with Edward Norton directed by Spike Lee. There is a scene where he spews his anti-love for the great American city, New York. The bit reminds me of many of the "anonymous" posts I have approved and many that I have not approved. This bit scene is quite offensive, but seems reflective of the negative posts. Click here for the link to watch this scene on youtube. (Warning: this is not a family friendly clip. It is quite offensive.)

I find these passionate anti-love posts are actually more flattering than insulting. Think about it. Someone reads a blog site called STLstreets and then posts on it with fire. That is far better than ambivalence. We are not above criticism, even if it takes such amusing, misdirected or offensive forms. It means far more than indifference.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


About three or so years ago I was invited over to Forrest Robert's house on Crittenden. We wound up lighting off fireworks. I was dressed like I shoveled coal into an steam engine.

Forrest was by for brunch on Sunday. He said he found this pic from that day and he sent it to me later that night. From the left: Forrest Roberts, me, and Andrew Bird. Funny. We look like freaks.

Monday, September 11, 2006

NYC Departure

I have an old friend who had her farewell party last weekend. I met up with her on her binge crew through Soulard. I don't know all the details surrounding the move, but she is moving to Manhattan to work for a brokerage firm. She is really excited. It was really funny, everyone wore T-shirts for her that said "I (heart) jenNY."

She is a born and bred Saint Louisan, a lifelong member of the Conn Street Posse and a fierce patriot. She is a bit older than most people who leave town. Most people if they move out, take off anytime after HS to maybe 25 or so. She is my age.

So my friend gives me an extensive apology for going to New York. I thought this a bit odd. Why would she apologize for making a big and bold move? I was really excited for her. A bit jealous. She had not committed any sin. I think it would be fun. There is no need to apologize for that.

I know that there is a league of Saint Louis haters that have departed our fair city in spite, but I know that this was not the case for my friend. Apology... I didn't know I was offended. I hope she represents us well. I know she will rep us much better than the STL haters.

The only downer in my business is that I would like to travel more. I would like to take working trips to other cities, but it is not really called for in my occupation. I would like to know more intimately on what it is like to live in other interesting places. That is why it is great to visit friends who live elsewhere. Now I got another peep in the NYC. Yay!

I know she will do quite well in NYC.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Upcoming special guest post this week

Yeah, I have a story. Well, it is not my story, but it includes me. My friend is going to write it up. It is really rather funny. It happened last Friday. I will go into the details later. Hopefully she will write it up early this week. I got a bit of a setup on it that I may write later tonight.

I hope to finish up a couple of other posts this week at some point.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Important story on neighborhoods

There was a great editorial on neighborhood development in one of my favorite weekly publications that I subscribe. This is a very accurate and acute observation on how we can improve our neighborhoods.

State of Iran

I had wondered what the state of society, freedom and such in Iran. I did a little bit of sniffing and found some interesting articles and publications.

Here is a little interview that you can watch online that sort of fills out the answer to the general question by Iranian American journalists Afshin Molavi and Azadeh Moaveni. The fact that they were allowed into Iran was interesting.

Here is a show called Wide Angle, a PBS show with the story:
Red Lines and Deadlines

Twenty-six years after the Islamic Revolution, Iran is struggling for political reform. WIDE ANGLE films behind the scenes with the young reporters at one of Iran's new pro-reform newspapers as they grapple to report the news without incurring the "blade of censorship" that is an ever-present threat in Iran today. Shargh is one of the leading reformist papers and has built a loyal readership among Iran's intellectuals, opinion-makers, politicians, and the young. This update features new footage of Shargh reporters covering Iran controversial presidential elections in 2005.

Around 200 newspapers have been shut down in Iran in the past five or so years. The courts do it. The show is pretty interesting on how dissent exists in Iran. I think there is hope for positive change. It is so badly needed in this repressive regime.

I got several "local content posts" coming up. I just need to get to it!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Rock Star 80s flashback

Al Swacker and my big sis Jenny Smith(Schmid) circa 1984.

Thank you sis. I need large unmarked bills or I scan the poetry.

Speaking of flashbacks from the 80s(and early 90s), I was just contacted by the people putting together my 15 year HS reunion. This is funny.