Take a tour with me through the free-to-attend MOTO Museum in St. Louis, Missouri: Visit http://www.themotomuseum.com/ for more information, to attend yourself.
This post was originally drafted on May 2, 2015 but remained unpublished until now (only for reasons of lazyness and getting swamped with work). Since it was drafted the memorial has been dismantled and moved to a permanent location. I thank my friend and lifetime Ferguson, MO resident Jello for taking me on an impromptu tour of his town during my first time back there since the killing of Mike Brown by the non-indicted Darren Wilson. I grew up in St. Louis city, not the county; hard to explain why, but that’s an issue in and of itself. So I don’t assume to understand the County at all. That said, I did work for them. And in my youth I hung out in Ferguson, I partied in Ferguson, I appreciated the people of Ferguson. And I still do. Especially for their wholly endearing and honest tributes and memorial paid to…Continue Reading
I was not surprised but unaware-and-thus-surprised to hear of St. Louis Public Radio’s production, We Live Here, formed in the aftermath of the issues swirling around Ferguson, MO. We Live Here explores the issues of race, class and history that led to the emotional eruption in the wake of Michael Brown’s shooting death in Ferguson. STLPR reporters Tim Lloyd and Emanuele Berry, along with editor Shula Neuman, will shepherd the entire newsroom on a year-long exploration of the issues and conflicts that got us to this point. I say “not surprised” because of course it made sense to develop a podcast and program around the issues that lead to protests in Ferguson; but I say “unaware-and-thus-surprised” because as a St. Louisan who lives afar now, but stays tuned in, I hadn’t even heard of the podcast until I was back in the Lou and dialed in to 90.7 KWMU. The…Continue Reading
Nevermind the 91 municipalities of St. Louis County, the vehemently independent (and proud) St. Louis City is comprised of a whopping 79 neighborhoods, each with their own distinct styles and textures. Architecture would provide the most obvious examples, which will be the subject of my next blog post. For now, here are some close-ups around only a handful of the nearly seven-dozen hoods that constitute this River City: There are new murals and graffiti in places where there was previously just brick and cinder. I think this was on South Broadway, south of I-55. Is the sign’s legality still valid if it’s weathered and worn? Spotted in Kosciusko. Not what you would expect to find in a major American city’s Downtown, but St. Louis is prone to prove you wrong. Fire hydrants for me are a major indicator of a town’s personality. In Baltimore they’re orange; in Santa Rosa, CA…Continue Reading
First and foremost, Love Family. After getting picked up by The Dude at the airport here’s me with my sis (thanks Mom for taking this #selfie!). I met Autumn from Upcycle Exchange on South Grand Blvd. She recently had an issue regarding an event she used to organize in O’Fallon (IL) go viral – read more about #Glittergate. Had a spontaneous snack o’clock with Ashley at Lulu’s Local Eatery on South Grand Blvd. These two cuties – can’t get enough of ’em. Sorry Atticus but you’re still a cutie to me! But man how much you’ve grown (you too Delphi!). And thanks to you both for the finger puppets! Go to see Syna So Pro perform at the second installment of DorkbotSTL (yay, Dorkbot!). Syna So Pro – aka Syrhea – is “a one woman musical enigma” using looping stations, pedals, and a Cold War Russian-era (stomp?) box thing for…Continue Reading
One thing I always budget for now when traveling is food. Eating. I could care less about buying trinkets, chotchkies, or mementos, but I’ll happily dispense with cash for a good meal on the road. Here’s a tour of some of the establishments I ate at during my recent trip to St. Louis, with non-review reviews or quick synopses of what’s what at each location: The first place was Sugarfire, a smoke house “BBQ & comfort eats” restaurant on Olive Blvd. in Olivette just west of I-170. Obviously the menu caters more to carnivores with a sprinkle of pescetarian, but the sides are pretty veg-friendly and everything is effing delectable! I’m biased (say “Hi!” to my sister). But if you’re looking for morning (including early morning) savory eats, sweet morsels, and NYC-roasted coffee, look no further than Restituo in the Shaw neighborhood in the city. TIP: food truck coming soon.…Continue Reading
Other art on display at Lambert International Airport in St. Louis near the C Gates disembark zone – in addition to Alicia LaChance’s excellent floor piece – include an 8’x51′ multi-panel mural of Black Americans in Flight by Spencer Taylor and Solomon Thurman, and an exhibition of robots and parts in the Lambert Gallery. The Black Americans in Flight panels are superbly painted, and rich with history, spanning 1917 until the late 1980s. This set on Flickr include some great wide shots I couldn’t achieve with the glass panels in front of the mural, along with some excellent in-progress shots from the early 1980s showing the artists at work! The panels wryly include a portrait of Harry S. Truman, whom any POTUS historian or Missouri native will note is the only POTUS from that state to achieve the high office; in my mind he’ll always be remembered as the man…Continue Reading
Beautiful art by Alicia LaChance on the floor I never noticed before as you disembark at C Gates at St. Louis Lambert International Airport. In true Missouri vernacular fashion, information about the piece can be found on the airport’s website under “Art at the Airport.” Doesn’t get any simpler than that. “Our shared modernity and new velocities influence this installation. It is rooted in tradition and ancient folk art from around the globe. Shared colors between cultures anchor this design while aiming for an interior feeling descriptive of what lies in front of us – our future. Symbols and patterns from these folk histories come together to raise a curiosity about a new sense of community. Now, YOU ARE HERE moving through heartland and international crossroads. This composition invites travelers to cross over the spoke where hearts point toward true north.” There’s a great installation shot a few images in…Continue Reading
Flying out of LaGuardia (LGA) in Queens, NYC into St. Louis Lambert (STL) Airport, get a window seat on the left side of the plane for a spectacular view of the city: But the view goes by fast. And a short second later you’ll see this giant patch of seemingly undeveloped land just to the northwest of downtown. It’s not quite large enough to make you think it was a significant “central” park, and it is dense enough with growth to make you wonder how long it’s been abandoned: I say seemingly undeveloped because while the land is overgrown now, it is the site of the former Pruitt-Igoe housing project: It’s impossible to not look at, to not wonder, to not question, “What went wrong?” The project’s designer of course was Minoru Yamasaki, the same architect of New York’s World Trade Center “Twin Towers”, infamously collapsed by two hijacked planes.…Continue Reading
The World Chess Hall of Fame is a gem of a museum hidden – albeit unabashedly – in the city of St. Louis, as given away by this Guiness World Record holder for the World’s Largest Chess Piece (at 14.5′ tall): (there’s a quick timelapse video of the construction of the piece on YouTube) The facility spans three floors and manages to cram a lot into a little space – thanks in part to most of the pieces indoors being of the nimble, finger-sized variety. (In fact I don’t recall seeing a freight elevator, so they very well may cart everything by hand, or have a smaller elevator hidden off the floors for carting furniture up and down.) When I was there last I stumbled into an exhibition of chess art by contemporary artist Marcel Dzama – including some video works not shown below. I was mostly fond of the…Continue Reading