Wednesday, September 26, 2007

DC video #1

This is my first of what I think will be about five or so videos of my trip. This will be my only one of DC. Tell me what you think, and if you can see the video. I am trying to avoid using Youtube by all means, but Mac is making it easy for me to do it if I so choose.

Outlined is my time in DC from Sept 10-13th. I was in the Capitol, checked out the Senate, checked out the hearings by the Senate Foreign Relations Comittee with General David Petraus testifying and friends. I also have some street scenes and such.

Here are some links to my three videos I did on DC on my trip there last year.

2006 DC Video #1

2006 DC Video #2

2006 DC Video #3

I hope to have video up of Saugerties, NYC, Philadelphia up in the next few weeks.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday Morning Book Reviews and News Analysis

I have always liked Alan Greenspan. Ever since I was a kid.

Here are some excerpts from his new book. Interesting stuff:
He observed that the Republican President Bush made "a major mistake" by not vetoing items on funding bills passed by a Republican Congress that ballooned our Federal spending.

Why have people always said the Republicans are for smaller government? Certainly not Reagan. Certainly not Bush I. Or the W.

Greenspan makes this very simple observation:

"I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil."

Greenspan also writes George Bush and the Republicans have been "...swapping principle for power. They deserve neither."

Greenspan also takes on another President. He observed that Bill Clinton was a "risk taker" and had a "consistent, disciplined focus on long-term economic growth."

I knew Alan Greenspan was a smart guy.

Greenspan also made mentions that he was surprised about the housing slip. And now that it is happening, we should not be surprised anymore by what is happening around us.

And somehow we should hardly be surprised about this either. Too much boom boom. We have plenty of new/rehabbed housing supply. It just ain't selling. And it is not a blip. Let us open the market for filling out our commercial businesses to make our neighborhoods the place to live and work. We need to have more reasons on why people feel connected to this particular part of town. We got the houses. We got the ideal layout. We need more meat. Soy is fine, we just need the iron and protein, but we need it badly.

Besides, people still need to live somewhere, ya know? It is healthy to have some degree of exclusivity, but that exclusivity must driven by people wanting to buy. We need to make sure that there is a reason people want to buy here than elsewhere. And there must always be a certain balanced supply with a healthy amount of affordable introductory ins, as well as various levels of finished products. Certain levels of the current local market have stale/declining/glut price and shelf life are signs of a housing bust, and a sign of a continued housing bust is a sign of a neighborhood in decline, and we don't want to slip back to those times. We are lucky on the commercial side, for the commercial property market has been far more stable, even though there are some spec props out there with silly price tags. So while the commercial side of the market is more stable, it is by no means producing enough. We need a healthier commercial side that is producing active public businesses in order to drive the the residential market through this time.

It is all a risk, so lets do what we can to ensure our survival, increase our appeal and enhance our prosperity. So as Davy Crockett said:

"Be sure you are always right, then go ahead."

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Pix from Philly and DC update

Fellow associate Patrick and I in front of the Blue Horizon in Philly, just before the fights on Friday. Please note that while not in the picture, Patrick is wearing new shoes- just purchased earlier in the day.

Forrest Roberts, one of my accomplices from my tour of Philly posted up his pix on Flickr. It will be a while until I get mine together for it is mostly video and I am still learning on how to edit.

I got to DC Monday night, and have survived 9/11 walking around the Capitol despite the alarms from my more conspiratorial comrades of chatter and false flags. Big highlight today- and I will get pix up, well, not for a while, but I will- I attended the Senate Committee on Foreign Relation's Hearings with General Petreaus. That was downright moving. I was witnessing history on a first hand basis.

I text messaged Tom Weber that I was at the hearing, and he told me if I got up and yelled that I would be on KWMU that night. I declined the suggestion in order not to be that guy. Tom is a bad influence. If only my grandmother knew what kind of trouble Tom Weber was encouraging me to get into.

I also got a tour of Claire McCaskill's office by top aide Phil Hatchett(thanks!), I got to see her on the floor(from the gallery), checked in w/ Russ Carnahan- no luck so I left a note, and I ran into Lacy Clay in the hallway outside his office. My News Hour connection just started a new gig at the BBC, so it doesn't look like I will get to see Gwen this year. So sad.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Very nice

I don't have time to get into it, but Philadelphia is nice. Very nice. Top city IMO. I loved NY, and I like DC, but Philadelphia is in the truest sense a very, very cool city. NY can be obnoxious, and DC equally so, but Philadelphia is so well balanced and a very, very real town. I will remove the STL and Chicago from the equation for I am overly biased both consciously and subconsciously with those towns, so right now my favorite US cities are bordering between Philadelphia and Memphis. I have spent a decent amount of time in many American cities, but so far Philly has just come out heads and shoulders above these. It is a real town, it is thriving on an organic level from the deep roots it has laid. Walkable, thriving, deep history, strong sense of place, distinct character, and it doesn't seem to be trying too hard to please but just is. Real commercial roots that have developed naturally over the years. It is diverse in more real ways than just a Benneton ad, and is not self righteous or obnoxious. In fact, it is hard on itself which can be endearing and something I identify with being a Saint Louisan. It is a real city, and I don't mean by population, but by balance. Real cities are stand alones. Without gambling, Vegas would not exist. Without government, DC would not exist. Philadelphia exists for many many wonderful reasons which give it a great equilibrium in which to live.

So if I had to relocate, and I am not looking to relocate, but if I did both Philly and Memphis would be on the top of the list.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Philadelphia Itinerary

So here is my Philadelphia Itinerary. Patrick and I have met up with Forrest in Philadelphia. I think we may wind up buying the town considering the "you break it, you buy it" rule. NYC was a blast, I will give full details later, the threat level has gone back down to yellow due to our departure from our nation's Metropolis. All is safe.

We will be deviating from this itinerary. We have already taken the tour of WXPN/World Cafe, which in short is incredible. It is an incredible station. But here is the loose plan:

Philadelphia 9/7 to 9/10

9am set off for Philly from NYC on the Chinabus

Go to World Cafe for lunch and free concert David Falcone
3025 Walnut Street

1:30 pm
Take tour of WXPN
3025 Walnut Street

Take off to go check in to Hotel and get ready for the fights

Go to eat open for suggestion close to hotel or Blue Horizon

Fights at the Blue Horizon
1314 N. Broad Street
Avenue of the Arts

11pm go get a drink at Happy Rooster
16th and Sansom Streets

get a sip at Nodding Head
1516 Sansom Street

Take Italian Market Tour

Italian Market
9th Street and runs from Wharton Street to Fitzwater Street

sip at Anthony's Italian Coffee House
903 South 9th Stree

2pm Constitutional Walking Tour

4pm Reading Terminal
12th & Arch Streets
eat at somewhere there

5:30 go to hotel and cleanup for night

Wrestling at Newalhambra $20
7 Ritner Street

10:30 pm
Go to Natalie's Jazz
4003 Market
click on link, way cool!!

Sunday Philadelphia

Warmdaddy's Jazz brunch
11, 11:30, 1:30 & 2 for brunch

Rodin Museum
Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 22nd Street

Mutter Museum
19 S. 22nd St., Philadelphia, PA

liberty bell

Church at the Cathedral
1723 Race Street
Philadelphia, Pa. 19103

Chinatown for dinner

or Dimitri's
795 South 3rd St
Mon-sat 5:30
Sun 5pm

Jim's Cheese steak
South Street at 4th

Monday Philadelphia/DC

Sabrina's Cafe
Italian Market for breakfast
910 Christan Street

Eastern State Penitentiary

Try to hit before heading out:
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
Broad St. and Cherry St.


depart for DC

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer hit the big city

So yeah, Patrick Landewe and I have a lot in common. We both run public houses in which we reside. He runs a lighthouse/bed and breakfast, and I run a tavern. Sometimes he has drinks at his place with his customers, and I open to the masses to tipple in my house and I occasionally take in boarders when friends pass through such as Patrick and other wandering roustabouts. Patrick and I have had similar experiences since we both started in our enterprises two years ago. He is the lighthouse keeper, a major figure in Saguerties NY. Everyone knows Patrick. Every little thing he does is known in the entire town. He throws a guy off of the grounds, and it is big news around town. There is talk of how good the food is that he makes for breakfast. How nice the place is now that he is there. Everyone wants to talk to Patrick when we go to town. People visit him all the time, often when he is supposed to be off work and in inappropriate situations. It is funny.

So I had my Tom Sawyer epiphany when I got to Saugerties. I have natural rambunctious boyish qualities, for I like to cause trouble and get into things. Patrick is versatile and a wild woodsman like Huck, and I am more of a savvy rough around the edges civilized player like Tom. It is funny, for Patrick and I have caused quite a bit of trouble over the years, but relatively wholesome trouble not unlike Tom and Huck. Nothing really to be ashamed or embarrassed about, just good fun like boys who came of age in the Mississippi valley.

So I knew I was more of a Tom Sawyer when I realized I didn't bring anything but nice slacks and a pair of proper shoes with me. So to adapt I stripped down to my sleeveless shirt and rolled up my pants to my knees and went barefoot like I was on Jackson island. But this island had a lighthouse that needed to be taken care of, so I helped strip the beds, haul the linen and do the dishes. We hauled the linen onto the skiff and hit the trail halfway, for the trail to get to the lighthouse is a half mile through often a couple feet deep water during high tide. We then put the linen on the back of a trailer hooked to a bicycle and hauled it into town to have the laundry done. We gutted it up hills and the flew down the hills. All with the dress pants hiked up. Then we picked up the clean linen and took it back, hauled it by foot down the trails, onto the skiff and back to the lighthouse. Fun.

We headed into NY City this afternoon and got cleaned up and dressed up to hit the town like civilized young men. We even went in a bus like regular passengers and purchased tickets. Patrick even put on shoes when we got to his brother's apartment in Greenwich Village. Patrick hadn't worn real shoes all summer. Seriously. So just as we walked down the steps from his brother's apartment he started tripping in his clumsy shoes. Huck Landewe is so uncivilized. We started walking down the street and after a few blocks he just took off his shoes and walked barefoot down the streets for the rest of the night in Manhattan. He couldn't take it anymore. I smiled as I walked comfortably with my rubber soled shoes. I, on the other hand was civilized by my Aunt Polly, Grandma Elaine. One of the many qualities she instilled in me were that shoes are a sign of civilized manhood. Grandma would never stand for me running around town without shoes on. I had to stand at the door and wait, for Patrick kept having to put on shoes before we entered into the taverns.

Huck and Tom out on the town in NYC.

Monday, September 03, 2007

NYC spots

I just go to the Saugerties Lighthouse. Things are going great- Patrick picked me up at the Albany airport- we stopped in DT Saugerties to pick up some supplies and eats for dinner. We headed out to the Hudson on a sailboat and had couple of Saranac Pale Ales. We got back and had bbq w/ fresh fish, garden vegetables, corn, fresh mozzarella, olives. Yum. The Lighthouse is a trip- there is only one power line that goes to it, and it can run the fridge, the wireless and just a few lights. Those high efficiency bulbs come in handy. I will give out some more interesting details on this spot when I get a chance to type more. I am going to hit the hay in a sec here.

So we are headed into the city tomorrow. A bus likely. Below are the places I am going to try to check out while in NYC. I will only be able to hit a fraction of these places, but I have until Friday. We will be heading to Philly on Friday to check out a few more things. I will post up the itinerary later for that.

New York

Beautiful structures:

Former AT&T Building
195 Broadway

Chanin Building
122 East 42nd Street (southwest corner of Lexington Avenue)

Woolworth Building
233 Broadway

Convent of the Sacred Heart
E 91st St
Upper East Side

Barclay-Vesey Building
140 West St.

Belmont Madison Building
183 Madison Ave

NY Public Library
Fifth and 42nd
go to the reading/reference room

GE Building
30 Rockefeller Plaza

Chrysler Building
42nd and Lexington

Swiss Center Building
608 Fifth Avenue

Irving Trust Building
One Wall Street, at Broadway

Dime Savings Bank
DT Brooklyn

Pierpont Morgan Library
225 Madison Avenue at 36th Street

Surrogates Court
31 Chambers St,

US Bankruptcy Court
40 Center St

City Hall

7th Regiment Armory
643 Park Ave
Upper West Side

Appellate Courthouse
27 Madison Ave

Bowery Savings Bank
130 Bowery
Lower East Side

Williamsburgh Savings Bank
tallest building in Brooklyn

Boxing Gym:

Trinity Boxing Gym
110 Greenwich

Gleason's Boxing Gym
83 Front St # 2
Brooklyn, NY

Drinks and Eats:

50 Clinton Street
outstanding bar with scientific drinks open 6-11
212.477.2900 reservations reccomended

PJ Clarke's Bar
915 Third Ave.
open during day!

Corner Bistro
331 W 4th St
good for a beer, go off peak times, listen to jazz

Gage and Tollner
good eats!
372 Fulton Street

Katz's Deli
classic deli
205 E Houston St

Jimmie's Corner
140 W 44th St
great boxing shrine

Grand Central Terminal
Oyster Bar
Great Seafood! Beautiful locale

and Restaurant and Campell Apt Bar(open at night)
open at 3

McSorely Pub
15 E 7th St
Lower East Side
open at 11am

Von Bar
3 Bleeker Street
open at 4

Beauty Bar
14th street between 2nd and 3rd
open at 5

Zebulon Cafe
258 Wythe
open at 4

Union Hall
cool bocce club/music venue/restaurant
th Avenue on Union Street
opens at 4

Pegu Club
77 W Houston St
outstanding drinks again, very fresh, quality

Milk and Honey
134 Eldridge St
212-625-3397 opens at 9pm
Reservations a must and not necessarily taken. Speakeasy type of spot, in which you likely have to know someone to get in, and it has stern rules for behavior. Not sure I will be able to get in.

Brooklyn Social Club
Matt's Ginger Old-Fashioned (bourbon, ginger, sugar, cherries, orange, and soda) and the Society Riposto (vodka, tangerine slices and fresh rosemary),
335 Smith St.
open at 6

131 Atlantic Avenue
Bocce Club
opens at 5

Union Pool
484 Union Ave

Shops, museums and cool stuff:
Steinway Hall
109 W 57th Street
Piano showroom- beeyotiful room

Paul Mole Barbershop
1031 Lexington Ave
East Side

Lower East Side Tenement Museum
90 Orchard Street at Broome

Whitney Art Museum
945 Madison at 75th

Chelsea Market
75 9th Ave

Union Square

Fort Tryon Park, 99 Margaret Corbin Drive

Sunday, September 02, 2007

I have a new crush

I have only heard her music, and I hadn't even seen a picture of her until I looked up the video just now, but Lily Allen is dreamy. Lily is a limesucker cross between Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott and twisted English nursery rhymes in a bubble gum pop sound with a hardcore hip hop attitude. The video is just wrong and so right on, and read the lyrics to this song LDN and watch the video for that below. I think she sees London not unlike I see Saint Louis much of the time. This is highly unusual for me, for I never ever watch music videos, nor have I ever really since Friday Night Videos in the fifth grade.

Sometimes it is hard to understand Lily's lyrics with her limey accent and all, but she is such a dream. Clever, dangerous and hardcore with such flowery pleasant presentation of her edgy street ethos. Oh my stars Lily!! I would love to take her out for ice cream. Maybe I will marry her. Oh how I swoon!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Very impressed X2

About a month ago I went to the Old Rock House. I was very, very impressed. I went again yesterday and again, wow. It is located on 7th Street, a block south of Chouteau, near Eat Rite.

I don't have time to get into just how nice of a job they did on the building. They should get an award of the best reuse of an old building with new construction. Obviously they spent a big chunk of change, but they certainly have done an excellent job on where they put there funds and also the phases in which they have implemented their plan. It is not done yet, for there are plans for much more expansion, but it is ready to make money. It is too early to tell where the more organic vibe side of the business will take it, the booking still is new and seemingly not at full throttle or even halfway there, but that will develop with time. So far it is a great start- such wonderful detail, and NOT TACKY like so many newer places downtown and surrounding areas. In about a year it will look like a 180 year old building with an expansion in 1890 and another around 1905. This is not the case at all, for there is only one original building. The interior is pretty much spot on in every detail from the flooring, booths, ceilings, chairs, bars, second floor area and balcony, the brickwork, the stonework, the layout, the bar setup, the back of house facility setup, outstanding basement, the courtyard, the ease of access and bar. The food was impressive for the bit that I had. Any criticisms at this point would be very minor and picky. So far they are totally on top of the game.

The building and structure will be fertile grounds for many many years. And if those in charge continue to have vision and put effort into the project, it will make a whole lot more money and become an institution. Very impressed. Stop down, get a drink and just take a look around at the whole place.

And I would like to suggest Randalls Wine and Spirits on Jefferson next to the old Johnny Brock's Warehouse. Apparently there is one in Illinois, and they have an outstanding website that I had checked out before they had opened for they sell all sorts of things over the site. It is about the size of a Walgreens and they have one of the best selections of any liquor store I have been to. It is long, long, long overdue that we get a decent liquor store in this town. I wonder why?

Well, they did get jammed up in their opening, and I still can't buy cold beer- this really is a big quality issue, and they can't sell small bottles of liquor- this makes it difficult when I am looking for a smaller amount just to try things out. Instead I have to buy enough booze to get several horses intoxicated. I like to buy 200ml bottles to try things out. But alas, this is all supposedly to protect(placate) the alarmists in the neighborhood. A bit severe of a measure that won't have any real effect on the neighborhood other than limiting the quality and selection of an excellent business.

Alas, they do have an outstanding selection of booze. It is so refreshing to see something other than in the mega grocery stores. Different competing places allow for a greater selection and push for greater quality service and presentation. Very impressed. It would be great to see a place like this open up a series of places in town. It is a much higher quality than the old 9-0-5 (bow head in silence), and offers more to more people.