I realize I’ve been loosing valuable blogging time as of late. In the one hand I have all of this valuable content, in the form of my experiences, images, stories and lessons learned while I’m in St. Louis for the holidays and attempting to re-order the World As It Is according to my parents; in the other hand, oh shit the World As It Is consists of a vaccuum, or as my friend John might say a vortex, don’t get sucked in! I’ve found myself getting distracted by the activity of non-activity, by the nothingness of existence here, by the slow pace and hum-drum attitude of interaction here, which I both admire and love, and struggle to cope with and fight against.

As I mulled over this dilemma half-asleep last night, I simply concluded that it would be best for me to start a post, and then to add to it with sub-entries, rather than attempting to compile one single megapost which can’t actually be done as my experiences here are on-going and never cease. Day in and day out there’s something new. And I’m already over a week behind schedule.

So in unordered list and no particular arrangement:

My parents and stuff:

  • my parents own, or possess rather, nearly if not more than 30 pairs of scissors. Nearly if not more… as in, while I’m sorting through their house and attempting to downsize their lives, I’ve really only penetrated and can account for the contents of two rooms. Add to that the other rooms (namely the computer room and my mom’s office areas) and in passing I’ve counted well over 20 pairs, and nearing 30. And I haven’t even spent time in the toolshop area. Could they own 50 scissors? Is this possible?
  • In the light of the scissors complex, I went back and counted the number of staplers they own. Currently accounted for: 8.


many, many more to come!

STL corner architecture:
I’ve always had a fondness for corner buildings in St. Louis city. They’re always slightly more visually complex than the buildings surrounding them (which are usually domiciles, with the corner buildings operating commercial ventures); accented with architectural features and decorative elements; usually “wrap” the corner physically, and provide multiple entrances or window displays; and are usually more substantial – at times gargantuan – in comparison to the surrounding area. (I’ll add more examples as I take them) If one was to purchase or develop a property in the city for an arts center or housing co-op, this would be the way to go:

STL alley architecture:

Likewise I’ve always had a fondness for the alleys of St. Louis, and they’re an urban development feature that I’ve missed in larger cities I’ve lived in like London or NYC or which other cities I just don’t think employ the nature and uses of the alley as well as St. Louis city. In my earlier days I played basketball and stickball in them; used them to cut through neighborhoods while avoiding the car-traffic streets; and often used them as entrances to peoples’ homes through their back doors because the front door is so formal and proper, whereas the back door usually leads immediately into the kitchen which is where people congregate to eat and drink.

More recently I’ve found myself attracted to their narrow and sharp vantage points, especially at the moment when one rides past an alley quickly and is given a glimpse down the canyon of garages and sheds, trash cans, and debris. Those moments are quick as the alleys here are only 11 ft. wide or so. Wheres some neighboring streets can appear the same, the alleyways are always different and unique:

Delphi hats:

Word is this kid can’t get enough hats. Things on head in general:

Obama woz ere:

view image larger

Stumbling around the intertubes looking for STL entertainment, I came upon Bill Streeter’s website and flickr account, which included one of the more honest images shot from within the crowd for President Obama’s (not -elect, he’s my bloody President already damnit!) rally in St. Louis in mid-October. Most press images published from that record-turnout speech were wide shots from above or a press-box area (see scissor lifts) that overwhelmed the eye and whose composition was strategically designed to include the old courthouse in the background (again, for mass media). This shot however shows the back heads of the crowd as they face forward, cheering. That is Illinois in the background; also to the right of the white tent was a jumbotron television. I think Obama can be seen between the bleachers stand and the scissor lifts, in white.

I don’t know Bill but he seems like an all-right guy, his name being penned on some of the websites I’ve been perusing as I re-explore the city, including The Royale, one of the finer pubs in town that I’ve visited before and was trying to remember the name of, and thankfully came across their site. Bill codes with WordPress (the same software I employ), which is good to know open-source is running a fair portion of STL’s cultural production.

arts in town:

It’s as difficult as the original NES TMNT game to find art listings in this town however.

Jesus if you know of some openings, or one even, let me know. I found this blog: gallery openings in st. louis.

I was also introduced to this page at the Kemper Museum’s site which discreetely hides a map to STL non-profit visual art sites. Still, there must be more?

architecture blended:

Did they paint the building to blend in with the tree? Or did the tree chameleonize to blend in with the building?

zombie entertainment:

It’s a shame I just missed this (by a month). Subscribe to their feed for updates ahead of time.

More STL architecture:

I guess architecture, especially domiciles and housing structures, features prominently in this post because St. Louis has so much that is abandoned or not living up to its potential. It’s amazing, coming from New York City where realtors can and do literally sit on pieces of real estate, and end up not leasing them out figuring they can loose money now by not leasing a property in exchange for banking on that same property in a couple months or years even, when a specific neighborhood “blows up” and prices skyrocket. Yet here pieces of property sit abandoned for decades and there’s no assistance from the city to move people into them in exchange for fixing them up or developing a program (non-profit or otherwise) within the structure.

Here are some prime examples of abandoned or derelict or simply vapid structures:

a cutie two-part house thing. I don’t even know how to describe this place. It’s odd. It’s lovely. It has a No Trespassing No Loitering sign. It’s about 50ft. from the Antique Row area (Cherokee Street).

I didn’t walk over the hill but this building appeared partiallly – if not entirely – abandoned. Hard to tell. Still, it’s surrounded by land that at one point surely was loaded with other buildings and structures. Where did they all go? Who took the bricks?

Don’t remember the location. Great double garage door access, with ghost sign on side. All windows boarded up. Red plywood.

This one both confuses and upsets me. Such a beatiful structure, and the colorful rooftop facade is incomplete. Did the owner attempt to fix it up and then simply flee? the spraypaint on the road hoarding says “2900” for the address.