Artist Natalia Arias's eye-catching photograph, above, is one of several that are included in Atrium Gallery's "Summer Rotation" which opens tomorrow evening. Interestingly, the Colombian artist's work is also featured in an exhibition titled "Femininity Beyond Archetypes" at the Organization of the American States Art Museum of the Americas in D. C., reviewed in the Washington Post last week.
Also included in "Summer Rotation" are works by artists Julia Fernandez-Pol, Cameron Martin, and St. Louis-based Fredrick Nelson. Additional works by other artists will be rotated in throughout the exhibition.
Stop by Atrium Gallery, 4814 Washington Avenue, Friday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. Proprietor Carolyn Miles is mixing up a batch of sangria too, perfect for a summertime exhibition.
There are great things about living in a happening neighborhood, which I bring to your attention many times each week. A mixed-use neighborhood such as ours requires a delicate balance between the interests of residents, who have decided that despite high taxes and school issues, the benefits are worth the price of staying; and restaurants, bars and shop owners, who pay hefty rents to do business in the CWE. The mix is part of the charm and therefore why it's desirable to live here, visit, and - the real subject of this post - hold events (both public and private) in our midst.
A private event that closed a city street recently was St. Louis Magazine's A List Party which took place Thursday, July 10. Maryland Plaza has been the site of this event for several years, however the fallout from this year's party has been more vocal than in the past, due to excessive noise that traveled into the far reaches of the neighborhood. The loud music made it impossible to hold a conversation within the confines of the party, or even at nearby restaurants. Fireworks set off from a rooftop over the plaza at 10 p.m. shocked neighbors, one of whom said she thought a bomb had landed.
It should be noted that the yearly Halloween events for children, pets, and adults is public and open to all. Euclid and Maryland Avenues are closed for this event too. There is noise and a certain inconvenience to those who live in close proximity to that area but the difference is that the Halloween activities are available to all without requiring an entrance fee, whereas the private A-List event is limited to those who purchase a ticket.
The fundamental question is whether it's appropriate to take over public spaces for private purposes, or for that matter, public events too, and if so, what are the criteria for determing which events qualify for that privilege.
The World Chess Hall of Fame's Monthly Music Series continues tomorrow evening, July 23, with an evening of classic soul with Brian Owens, above.
According to the WCHOF's press release, Gary Moran of Soul Tracks recently said: “Brian Owens has been called the next great voice of American soul and, although he’s quick to point out he’s simply upholding the traditions of other great soul singers from years gone by, Owens clearly relishes the honors bestowed on him, assuming his mantle with utmost seriousness.”
Joining St. Louisan Owens are Nathan Pence on bass, Rob Woodie on drums, and Shaun Robinson on guitar.
6:30 p.m. Doors Open
7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Concert
4652 Maryland Ave.
Tickets for Purchase
$10 General Admission
$5 Members, Students, Seniors, and Military Personnel (with valid ID)
View future musical artists appearing at World Chess Hall of Fame's Monthly Music Series here.
It was great fun to see so many people take advantage of the free yoga class that was offered by lululemon with support from the Maryland Plaza organization last month around the Maryland Plaza fountain.
This is becoming a new summertime tradition (we hope) with another yoga class scheduled for this Thursday, July 24 at the same place (see above), same time (7 to 9 p.m.). Following class all are invited to Scape's Backbar for a happy hour with wine by the glass and sangria for $5.
Future yoga events scheduled for Maryland Plaza include a sunrise yoga class on the patio behind Scape August 16, and hip hop yoga around the fountain on August 27 at 7 p.m. A d.j. will play during class and then the group is invited to Scape's Backbar for more music and another happy hour.
There's been a dramatic change in the landscape along the 5100 block of Delmar, see above. Following the planting of thousands of sunflower seeds in May by a team of hard-working volunteers, it's suddenly possible to wander among the flowers in a block that had until May been mostly a barren stretch of vacant land. Though the parcel lies just east of the Glass Factory, which has enjoyed such great success and attracted huge crowds, it has sat idle for many years. The transformation was spearheaded by Alderman Lyda Krewson along with her Sunflower Team, Richard Reilly of the Missouri Botanical Garden, Don Koster, WU School of Architecture, Jim Dwyer, Central West End Association, Doug Auer, Third Degree Glass Factory, and Mike Owens, whose efforts earned him the nickname, "Dirt Farmer J."
The Delmar + Sunflower Project was accomplished in association with the Land-Lab Project, a collaboration between the city of St. Louis and Washington University, and was funded in part by contributions from the Missouri Department of Conservation, the City of St. Louis and the St. Louis Garden Club.
One of several types of bees, above, that are attracted to the garden.
Six months ago it would have seemed implausible to think that we would be enjoying a Sunday evening happy hour at the site, but that's exactly what occurred last evening. Those who attended the event were knocked out by what had taken place in such a short time. The block is now stunningly beautiful and oh so quiet.
Not all of the plants are blooming yet, but most of the ones that are face slightly northeast. I learned last evening that the flowers lock in place when the sun hits the blooms as they first open. Wherever the sun is when that occurs, that's the direction the blooms continue to face.
Several neighborhood children found the mulch pile hugely attractive.
Cabanne Schlafly Howard and daughter Isabelle presented a photo op for Abigail Reid (in blue) and Molly Hirsch (in hat).
Several city officials showed up to help celebrate the occasion, including Jennifer Florida, former alderman of the 15th Ward and recently appointed Recorder of Deeds, Alderman Shane Cohn of the 25th Ward, Christine Ingrassia of the 6th Ward, Don Roe, Director of Planning and Urban Design, and Steven Gregali, Special Assistant to Mayor Slay. Ingrassia and Cohn mentioned they would like to take this idea to their own neighborhoods. Both Mary Lou Green of Operation Brightside and CWEnder Tracy Boaz from the Missouri Department of Conservation were there too.
It's interesting that this project has brought such a wide variety of people together to work for the betterment of the neighborhood. Each of us left the celebration with a sunflower and a desire to return often and check the progress of the Sunflower + Delmar Project. Lyda and her team should be commended for an amazing change to the landscape, which in turn has changed the perception of a block on Delmar.
Thousands of Sunflowers are BLOOMING! Please join us for ‘Sunflower+ Sunday’ this Sunday, July 20, 5:30 – 7:30 for a very casual gathering at the garden - 51xx Delmar. Bring the kids and neighbors to help us celebrate. Bring a lawn chair if you have one… we’ll have some beverages and light snacks…. And you can cut a flower to take home and enjoy.
On May 24th we planted 15,000 seeds (see pic) … On June 20… they were just a few inches tall (see pic) …today thousands of blooms (more pics).
You are welcome to come even if you were not able to volunteer! This is all about ‘making it better’.
Thanks to all of you, the Land Lab, Washington University, St Louis City, Mo Botanical Gardens, Mo Dept of Conservation !!
Many thanks from the “Delmar Sunflower Team”.
Richard Reilly – Missouri Botanical Gardens
Don Koster – Washington University School of Architecture
Summer in St. Louis has been anything but typical, so you may be as confused as I am about what month this is. Whether you need to add something light and breezy to get you through the rest of the summer (according to the calendar, anyway), or sense fall in the air and are thinking more transitional, there are great finds to be had right here in the CWE.
10denza, 44 Maryland Plaza, has a selection of flip-flops handcrafted in the USA that are dressy enough to be worn for special occasions, $22 to $28, above. The same Georgia-based company makes an orchid-colored ballet flat with orange-enamel pendant (shown on the table), $31.50. If the flip-flops or flats get a little dirty, remove the bows and jewels, and stick them in the dishwasher. Voila! You're ready to slip-slide out the door once again...
10denza's shoe sale extends to bucketfeet (middle row) for men, women & children from $31.50, J Shoes, upper left, $121 to $137, & Pumas, upper right, $38.50 to $56, sized for men and women.
When I stopped in AG Adriano Goldschmeid, 36 Maryland Plaza, there wasn't one article of summer clothing left in the store...say goodbye to all that! Instead, the newest, just-unpacked items the shop offers are a lovely single-pleat silk blouse, $178, also available in black; and the "Jackson fit" tuxedo skinny pant in cotton polyester and lycra, $235, also available in blue denim.
The latest up-to-datest at lululemon, 26 Maryland Plaza, is this great-looking "after class" lightweight cardigan, open at the collar or worn flipped upside down with ribbing at the top, $108, also available in black and white. The sweater has thumbholes in the sleeves to keep your hands warm, or just because it's so cool...
Cropped yoga pants with ruched detail are $78, and the "festival bag," $68, is made of a polyester fabric that repels water and has lots of pockets. It comes in ice blue or black and can hold 50 pounds!...50 pounds of what I wonder?
I wish I could still wear sleeveless dresses, but alas time is not on my side (don't you hate when that happens?). The black ruffled dress with kangaroo pockets shown above, $130, is just fabulous-looking! You'll find this polyester and lycra "perfect little number" at Libby's, 4742 McPherson. The black stone and silver necklace shown on the mannequin is $28.
Bowood Farms, 4605 Olive, stocks a selection of light-weight, hand-dyed tops in multiple colors, handmade by women in Thailand. The sleeveless version is $34, short-sleeve is $38, and long-sleeve is $42.
I suspect you can time the disappearance of "the watch as accessory" with the rise of "the cellphone as clock." Happily, wearing a timepiece on your wrist is back! Brian Flowers at Q Boutique at World Chess Hall of Fame, 4652 Maryland Avenue, has had the pleasant task of reordering the great-looking Michael Graves' watches, $145 to $165, they've been so popular. Be sure to check out the Michael Graves exhibition at the museum too. It remains on view until September 28.
An easy fix to perking up your "look" may be as simple as a new pair of sunglasses. Cassie's, 316 N. Euclid, carries inexpensive stylish shades, $18.75. The pair shown at the top have been the most popular and fly out the door each time they're reordered.
I used to think that the Lily Pulitzer brand was so...well, Palm Beachy - now it looks like a breath of fresh air. Maybe I'm yearning for some beach time myself. Pull out $10 (plus tax) at Cassie's and you can tote a sea creature around with you, see above. According to proprietor Cassie Buell, everyone loves the mermaids. The yearly planners, bottom, $17 to $28, come with lots of cute stickers to make you want to actually look in the book, which, alas, seems to be my problem these days (not looking).
I realize that tablewear isn't wearable, but why not think about a new look to dining al fresco as well. Lots of people seem to be setting up picnics around the grounds of The Muny before a performance this summer, wouldn't these Lily Pulitzer melamine plates, 4 for $30, plastic glasses, 6 for $16, and tumblers with pink straw, $16, add some je ne sais quoi?
Okay, enough goofiness with descriptions...I'm obviously ready for the weekend. Get out there and show the shops some love...they can use it, and so can you!
Mark Glenshaw, above, the Owlman of Forest Park, considers his spot on Schlafly Library's calendar next Wednesday to be somewhat of a coup. He's given over 20 lectures since January sharing his observations of a pair of Great Horned Owls that inhabit Forest Park, including to the Burroughs Audubon Society in Kansas City. Most of his lectures have taken place at the County Library, Maplewood and UCity's libraries, but never in a City of St. Louis library - not for lack of trying. But something's afoot at our neighborhood library, there's a new energy evidenced in programming, and leading the pack, in my opinion, is Mark's upcoming lecture, see below.
The photo above was taken at Mark's lecture last Wednesday evening. I have only seen him in camouflage gear (as seen on screen above), so his appearance at Schlafly Library, above left, was a complete surprise.
Libraries rank high on Mark's list of favorite places. He's the Daytime Services Manager at the Jack C. Taylor Library at Fontbonne University, and since he discovered the owls in Forest Park - over 8 1/2 years ago - he's done most of his research in libraries. Though he and his girlfriend Wendy recently moved to Dogtown (they previously lived in the CWE), they seem to find their way to the neighborhood's Schlafly Library at least once a week.
Almost every evening year 'round though, the Owlman is in Forest Park with his binoculars and long-lensed camera recording the lives of Charles, Sarah and their offspring, which he will be sharing with you next week.
When I met Mark in the park Monday evening, I learned that the oldest of the three owlets (they hatch at different times) is looking more adult, so isn't expected to be around much longer. All three owlets are starting to hunt on their own, pursuing creatures that are, according to Mark, "in their league" (bats) and "not quite there" (a flock of mallard ducks).
Following is a recent video found on Mark's blog (link here) showing one of the owlets.
Mark proudly showed me a cottonwood tree Wendy gave him for his birthday in 2012, above. The cottonwood, a favorite of the Great Horned Owls, was planted by Forest Park Forever in Charles and Sarah's territory.
Stop by Schlafly Library, 225 N. Euclid at Lindell, Wednesday, July 23, from 6 to 8 p.m. to meet Mark Glenshaw and learn more about Forest Park's Great Horned Owls (there'll be lots of beautiful photographs and videos too).
Shirley Strom, right, can't remember a time she didn't love to fix up her living space. When she worked in non-profit management, she found what she enjoyed most was designing her office. About fifteen years ago, Shirley decided to follow her passion and started doing design work for friends. She gave them decorating advice and, instead of charging them for her service, she photographed the finished product for her portfolio. For the experience and to get her name "out there," she also worked for a St. Louis furniture store that offered design services.
After Shirley’s daughter Katie Marvin attended interior design classes at Meramec Community College she asked if she could join the business. What she could offer, she told her mother, was a knowledge of social media, which Katie was certain would make the small business even more successful.
During our interview Katie said she made herself invaluable in the early days as marketing and social media expert, a role that has brought S & K Interiorsall of the business they’ve had ever since she came onboard. Katie put S & K Interiors on websites including Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and most importantly Houzz, where S & K Interiors is ranked #1 among all 1300 professionals in the St. Louis area. ALL of their business inquiries, even local ones, have originated from Houzz. A recent inquiry through the Houzz website came from a museum in Beijing asking for a proposal for a retail space that could also host events. According to Shirley, most of their interior design discussions with clients involve email anyway, so working with a client that lives in St. Louis, Colorado Springs, Arkansas, or as far away as Beijing is all about the same. Yes indeed, the world is flat!
Photo courtesy of S & K Interiors
The dramatic living area in Shirley and David Strom's CWE condo is shown above and below.
Photo courtesy of S & K Interiors
Photo courtesy of S & K Interiors
A rehab project Shirley and Katie completed on "The Hill" in St. Louis shows the "before," above, and "after," below.
It took about a year from design to completion for Shirley and Katie to finish the rehab of a downtown loft with 7600 s.f. of living area. Their clients, whom they describe as just fabulous, are a family of four who put four apartments together to create a living space that includes 7 bathrooms and 2 kitchens. The designing duo staged a HGTV-type "Big Reveal" when the clients were away for the day, and did the bulk of the installation before the family returned.
At the end of our interview Shirley told me that the team's design philosophy is to "push the limits and think outside the box." One of their latest projects, designing a home with a Moroccan decor, would appear to be right up S & K Interior's alley. Shirley and Katie have also just started the design of a three-story loft in the Syndicate Building downtown.
Here are links to each of the sites on which S & K Interiors has listings.
CWE Flea Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., fresh produce, handmade jewelry, handmade and vintage clothing and accessories, antiques, Native Pops, and more. Mary Engelbreit will be signing books from 9 to 11, 449 N. Euclid (at Washington).