Hot Town, Spring In The City

Sunset in the window

Sunset in a window decorated by my lady

It has been bizarrely hot in St. Louis today. I’ve been tolerating it with the windows open, strategically drawn shades to block sunlight, and ceiling fans circulating, but I feel bad for our long-haired pets. It’s a good time to think about any neighbors or relatives who are elderly and might need someone to check in on them when the temperatures elevate this summer. Now on to other local news:

Scarlett Garnet is opening up a location on 2619 Cherokee Street (just west of Jefferson). The grand opening is Friday, April 6, from 6 – 10 PM.

LaBeeBee’s Mid-East Cafe should be resuming their usual restaurant hours in April some time. I can’t wait to get back there for a falafel wrap or tabouli salad. They’re right next door to Foam, and the owner is really friendly.

Local Harvest Grocery, Café, and Catering shared big news today. They will be opening two new locations in 2012. One will be a grocery in Kirkwood and the other will be café and catering in downtown St. Louis. Fear not, the spots we love on Morgan Ford will still remain open.

It’s an exciting time to be a part of the store, and I’d say this is one sign that our local food-producing community is getting stronger. For many of us, it’s much more than a fad. We grow and support growers because we believe it is a worthwhile way to live life and to get our nourishment. And the green horns like me don’t hold a candle to the people who have this in their family history. Just check out the book Missouri Harvest: A Guide to Growers and Producers in the Show Me State, and you’ll learn about lots of Missouri farmers who have been doing this for generations. Many of us are ready to carry on those types of traditions. It may be a hot spring, but it’s an exciting one, too.

Hyperlocal News Reports

One purpose of this “Info Wrangling” blog is to deliver hyperlocal news items. It has happened in a few of my posts in the past, but I am starting it up again. I like that we can share and chime in on big news stories on the Internet, but I also think that the Internet could be a place where all news has a voice. Social media time-lines offer one way to share local news, but I want more than that. I want local news reporting that shares what’s going on in a more in-depth way and more voices generating it.

I don’t really know anything about journalism, but this is something I feel like I need and something communities might need too. The traditional news reporting outlets get a lot of stories wrong, or at least not-quite-right. How many of you who have been interviewed for a newspaper or television story have found yourself misquoted? Or how many times has the message of the article not accurately represented you? There is no sense in asking for perfect correlation between what we see as reality and what the news says, but I feel like opening up the stage for more voices to report stories could help us feel better represented. Or it could lead to further fragmentation. I don’t know, but I think it’s worth a shot for all of us to try on our press fedoras every once in a while.

One place I go for very local current information is The Cherokee Street News. It’s a darn near perfect example of what I am seeking. Many people contribute to the stream of posts, and there are several frequent commenters as well. And in fact, the site is the source of some of the news featured in this post. Speaking of that, here is the news from my view of the Benton Park neighborhood, Cherokee Street, and environs.

CAMP is fundraising for the Cinco De Mayo People’s Joy Parade! If you don’t know what this parade is, the Kickstarter campaign video is an excellent introduction and also provides a way to support the project. Check the link out here.

This is outdated news, but the Stable (at Lemp and Cherokee) is no more. And furthermore, its successor, American Craft Brewing and Distilling, is also defunct. The Stable was a really enjoyable neighborhood place, and I was sad to see it go. I don’t have any news about what went on behind the scenes, but I guess we’re down to one pub on the intersection of Lemp and Cherokee. OMalley’s, it is!

When I heard that Maggie and Mike were moving and that Mayer’s Bakery was no longer their “bar-to-be”, I was a bit disheartened. But, the Mayer’s Bakery space will not be empty for long. The Archive is moving there! The old bakery building which was once home to Black Bear Bakery has a promising future. Watch the space at 2903 S. Jefferson.

And lastly, keep your eye on the building space formerly known as Shangri-La. Maybe?

Ceci n’est pas le graffiti.


This gallery contains 6 photos.

Is it still illegal if it’s art? Is it still art if it’s graff writing? Is it still cred-worthy graffiti if it’s a stencil? These are the questions passed down through the decades. Well, folks, no answers here today, just … Continue reading

Moving and Other New Beginnings To Look For in 2011

local harvest groceryIt’s official: Local Harvest Grocery is open at the new location at 3108 Morgan Ford Road, St. Louis, MO 63116. The place looks great. I snapped some photos during the move, but most were blurry. Suffice it to say, there was a great group of people from the neighborhood and beyond who helped carry items in a bucket brigade style line from the old store to the new. Fire pits, free chili, and Schlafly Pale Ale were a welcome refreshment for movers after this event. Look forward to a grand opening in April 2011.

Here are some other articles about the move:

A bit further east, things are changing on Cherokee Street too. STL-Style‘s STyLehouse and Peridot have switched places on the 3100 block of Cherokee Street.

On the 3200 block of Cherokee, look for The Cherokee Peach to open in spring 2011. It will be a neighborhood market which will be sharing space with The Archive. There will be an open walkway between the two stores so that minds and bellies can both find nourishment.

Moving right along, on the 2800 block, there is a bike shop opening soon, much to the satisfaction of many area residents. Cherokee Street Bikes is the apt name of this new store. Also, neighborhood favorite La Vallesana has temporarily moved to 2818 Cherokee Street.

A relatively new restaurant on the 2600 block of Cherokee Street is LaBeeBee’s Mid-East Cafe. Check them out for pizzas, wraps, hummus, falafels, carrot juice, etc.

Crossing over Jefferson, I have to report on a sad note. Shangri-La is closing in early March so that the owners can pursue other endeavors. The restaurant will be missed by vegetarians, vegans, and diner lovers alike.

As featured in the current issue of The Porch Review, a Kansas City photography business has relocated to Cherokee Street. Hawes Photography can be found at 2307 Cherokee Street. Drew Henry salon & gallery has opened recently, and you can also soon find Flowers to the People in this area.

FORT GONDO IS OPEN!!!And the last thing I’ll mention is that Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts is open and ready for the 2011 SGC International Conference. Their window decoration on the 3100 block of Cherokee Street is an exciting wake-up call that great new things are afoot. Enjoy the spring!