Heading east, seeing the Metro train tracks, brick, less mish-mash construction, people walking, it just starts to seem livable right around there.
And for you? North, south, east, west...when does it feel like St. Louis?
This of course drives me nuts. Am I missing any?
Where does the alley fall in the urban experience? What does it mean? Is the alley the behind the scenes star? Is the alley to the house like the bass/drums to the band? The screen writers and cinemetographers to the actors and directors? The less visible star of the property and neighborhood? I'm not sure, but one thing recently became quite apparent to me: the alley can be an active, functioning addition to your property and immediate neighborhood.
I recently witnessed what I would characterize as a fully functional alley. There were children playing, it was spic-n-span clean, it was an adult meeting place (mainly male). It was beautiful.
It was akin to the familiar alley scenes in King of the Hill:
Again, there were kids grinding out skateboard techniques and riding bikes, kids peaking over fences to search for potenital playmates. It was a thing of beauty.
The next neighborhood I live in will have an alley. I've not yet experienced this in St. Louis. The roll out cart cannot compare to the dual dumpsters for yard and house waste. I long to have an alley.
The neighborhoods we are looking at for a potential move are Tower Grove South, Tower Grove East and Shaw. The occupied homes in these neighborhoods are generally very presentable from the street. However, a quick trip through the alleys can be a very telling story of the owner's, occupant's and neighbor's lifestyle choices.
We recently fell hard for a home between Compton Heights and TGE. It was priced realistically and had a lot of potential. However, a drive through the alley revealed a rusted out, flat-tired Winnebago, a trashed hooptie Caddy and garbage beyond belief. This was not a positive, active space. There was bad karma here. I can't have that. You can either take the chance with lazy, unclean neighbors and try to clean up the alley to the best your ability. Or, you can choose to not move there. You are either part of the problem or the solution right?
Anyhow, I am reengized with the possibilities of St. Louis City living from my recent alley experience.
sitting there and his cellphone went off
"Bad To The Bone" ringtone
and wondering how I could have lost respect any quicker
man, I gotta get out of here
12th ward blues are still blue
The drum set was a good idea, right?
It was only 5 bucks
It has a bass kick, snare, crash and tom
Rhythm is important in the formative years
She shuddered when I mentioned adding cowbell
The garden, she grows. This year, I've got red cabbage, green beans, cantaloupe, cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli and brussel sprouts. Some fellow gardeners also shared some starter potatoes with me. We'll see how they turn out.
Here's the latest addition to the garden at Bates and Arendes:
A special thanks goes out to Andy Cross, local artist/craftsman who hand carved our sign.
If you are interested in starting a community garden in your neighborhood, contact me here or by email.
I don't set aside enough time to read for entertainment. My limited reading time is reserved for STL blogs, music reviews and Newsweek.
In fact, I read novels so rarely these days that I feel I am not qualified to speak objectively about them. I am so happy to be reading a novel and so happy to have finished one that I feel I will unfairly gloat about it simply because I read it and experienced it.
The same can be said for live music. I go out to see bands so rarely now, that when I finally do go, I am overwhelmed by the power and beauty of live musicianship, that I am prone to being awash in praise for bands or shows that just aren't that great to someone who sees tons of shows/bands.
I am trying to make changes in my life to see more live music and read more non-fiction. I saw Built to Spill in March at the Pageant, the Breeders in May at Pops, and Tom Waits at the Fox in June. I also read
I feel compelled to summarize my thoughts on this book, because it's themes and styles have stuck in my head for months after actually finishing the book. Briefly, the book follows a father and young son in a post-apocalypse setting. Here is the beauty of this one:
McCarthey writes of the love between a father and son within the context of the story. He does not use a heavy hand. The relationship is subtle and true.
The writer perfectly captured the
love a father and son can share. Having both sons and daughter, I know the relationships are different when it comes to gender. It's different between sons and daughters, and McCarthey must be a father.
Here are the topics that I've been going over in my mind since reading the book:
If these are topics you enjoy, or ponder, you will love this book.
Other books I've recently enjoyed:
(set in the Ozarks)
I have posted before about the intriguing
in the 12th ward. The site is located between Blow St. and Robert Ave. on the far southside of the City.
Here's a bird's eye view of the site plan:
I like the trees, alleys, closeness of the homes to each other and the street. I really like the townhomes, I believe the site refers to them as "the Nottingham":
I hope this site gets fully developed. It will add a lot of life to this part of Boulevard Heights.
Here are some progress photos: