If you love music and haven't had a chance to attend World Chess Hall of Fame's Monthly Music Series, do yourself a favor and put the upcoming performance schedule on your calendar immediately! WCHOF Music Director Marc Thayer has a knack for finding unique talent, such as Wednesday evening's bluegrass band, Henhouse Prowlers, above.
The Chicago-based band includes from left, Jon Goldfine, bass, Dan Andree, violin, Ben Wright, banjo and Starr Moss on guitar. The group has recently completed a European tour and with the U. S. State Department on two separate trips in five countries in Central and West Africa. The band will travel to Russia next spring.
The group plays a mix of traditional bluegrass songs, original material, and contemporary covers. The last song of the Henhouse Prowlers' concert was a fabulous version of an old Temptation's favorite, which unfortunately isn't captured very well on my video at all.
The next musical artist featured at the WCHOF Music Series is Mahogany Jones on October 22, Bryan & Lola on November 19, and Opera Theater of St. Louis, December 10. Each performance is scheduled for 7 to 8 p.m., so you can head out for dinner in the neighborhood afterwards.
Locally-owned and operated neighborhood banks are becoming a thing of the past. Dialing an 800 number to speak to a bank representative located who knows where can be extremely frustrating... and good luck getting the same person twice.
There’s a much more personal approach to banking at the neighborhood's Pulaski Bank, #10 Maryland Plaza. Anthony Baima, above, graduated from SIUE on a Friday 7 years ago and by the following Monday had started work as a teller at a Pulaski Bank. He moved up the banking “ladder” and was transferred to the CWE location where at age 30 (or just about) he is now Branch Manager, Assistant Vice President. Banking happens to run in Anthony's family; his mother is also an employee of Pulaski Bank, though at a different location.
Anthony is active in the CWE community, which he describes as his home away from home (he lives in Illinois). He serves on the Central West End Association board, and ensures that Pulaski Bank helps to sponsors every event that takes place in the neighborhood. You’ll see Pulaski listed on posters for the upcoming Halloween festivities (October 25), the Holiday Window Walk (in late November), and the Sinquefield Cup Golf Tournament, which took place earlier this month.
Pulaski Bank was founded in 1922 as a Building and Loan Association to assist people of Polish descent with saving money and ultimately to purchase homes. In 1923, under the direction of Stanley Wardenski, a number of meetings were conducted in all Polish parishes in the city to inform people of the benefits of becoming members of the association. In 1927 a committee negotiated the purchase of a building at 1505 Cass Avenue to house the business activities of Pulaski Bank. The bank, which has grown to 13 locations throughout the St. Louis area, is still considered, according to Anthony, as a bank that will do business with the “underbanked.”
Anthony describes the CWE branch as a “model” of what a community bank should be. 100% of the customers at the Maryland Plaza location are CWE business owners and/or residents. Returning to my opening thoughts, there’s a real value in knowing a banker who will go the extra mile for you. Recently for instance, we needed copies of bank statements, and it was so convenient to call Anthony and pick them up a few minutes later.
Stop by to say hello and see what Pulaski Bank has to offer. The bank is offering end-of-month specials on CD's with extremely competitive rates. Or drop in any morning when the doors open at 9 for a freshly-baked cookie. There are doggie-treats available too, which I understand can be a problem if you take the same route with your dog each morning.
Email Anthony at email@example.com or call him directly, (314) 317-4851, for more information on what's available at Pulaski Bank, #10 Maryland Plaza, (314) 367-8333.
For nearly two years many of us found ourselves peering through the windows at 4732 McPherson, wondering why it was taking so long for Enchanting Embellishments to open. During the latter part of those 24 months it was possible to get an occasional sneak peek, if the door was ajar and one of the construction crew would invite you in. While those "work in progress" sightings hinted at what was to come, no one could have imagined what CEO and CWEnder Karen Halper envisioned, until the shop finally opened two weeks ago. As the expression goes, "there was no stone left unturned," and then some! Plan on taking some time when you visit, as there is so much to see.
A few years ago Karen operated a shop by the same name in Des Peres that featured fashion, interior design services and home decor. However, she fell in love with the CWE and decided to move here. While wandering around her new neighborhood she discovered the vacant space on McPherson which she described as "a diamond in the rough." It had been shuttered for a few years following the tragic death of Mary Ann Allison (Kovac), who operated an urban antiques mall in the space. Mary Ann's son sold the building to Karen, and because they got along so famously, the new owner decided to name the tearoom after his late mother.
A large selection of special occasion dresses, casual attire and accessories, ranging in price from $20 up to $1000, fill the main room of Enchanting Embellishments. Home furnishings are sprinkled among the offerings throughout the space. On the second floor two newly-renovated apartments feature home goods in actual room settings. The apartments are not for lease, instead everything in them is for sale. (I will get back to take photos of the apartments and add them to this post soon).
It was difficult to select a sampling of items for this post, as there is a lot of wonderful merchandise to choose from. Nevertheless, the following photos showcase a few things that caught my eye:
Keep cozy this fall in a selection of 100% baby alpaca sweaters in assorted colors, $175, above.
There are many jackets and coats available at Enchanting Embellishments, including a striking lightweight black and white design by Joseph Ribcoff, $325.
A pretty special occasion dress is shown on the display above, $375.
Another dress that drew my attention is this lovely striped one, $345.
Spats, left, to dress up everyday shoes or short boots range from $36 to $54. There is also a great selection of tights (not shown) including a "magazine print," $22.95, and black and grey leopard print, $12.95.
An elegant camel-colored wrap coat with belt and shawl collar by Cartise is $485.
Mary Ann's Tearoom is situated in the completely renovated greenhouse at the back of the shop that was originally constructed for Witek's Florist. The glass roof has been replaced and a handicap accessible ramp has been added, far left. Everyone I've talked to who has tried the tearoom has raved about it, including yours truly.
Mary Ann's Tearoom is open for lunch and tea service from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week, (314) 361-5303. The tearoom can be reserved for private functions as well.
Many of those at Duane Reed Gallery last Friday night were there to visit with the curator of "Repetition, Rhythm, Pattern," CWEnder and fiber artist Jane Sauer and fiber artist Luanne Rimel, Director of Education Programs at Craft Alliance.
I remember going over to Jane's house on Westminster Place years ago to learn how to make baskets. It quickly became apparent to our group of neighborhood friends that she was way out of our league, and the notion of basket weaving bit the dust. Now some of Jane's baskets are included in the Smithsonian American Art Museum collection.
Artist Jeanine Coupe Ryding, a professor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, was in town for the opening of her exhibition, "Cut, Inked, Folded, and Stained" at Atrium Gallery.
Philip Slein and Jim Schmidt of Schmidt Contemporary drew a crowd to view two new exhibitions, John Zinsser's "Extension of Thought" (examples above and below) and Jeff Aeling's "New Paintings."
Mother/daughter duo Claudette and Melody Walker, bundled up against the unseasonably cool weather, are shown as they head out for Local Social events and gallery openings last Friday evening. Musician Billy Barnett, above right, entertained alongside The World Chess Hall of Fame, 4652 Maryland Avenue.
It was impossible to detect the slightest sign of life from living statue, the Silver Lady (not to be confused with the shop of the same name on McPherson), shown here alongside Left Bank Books. Musician Mango Jay is visible playing a steel drum in the background.
Acoustic duo Irie Sun performed near the Maryland Plaza fountain, above.
A fire juggler at Euclid & McPherson
Artist Erin McGrath Reike, above left and below, created her art in front of Wolfgang's Pet Stop while Mark Pagano entertained on the acoustic guitar.
Artist Cassandra Ronning, above, sketched by The Silver Lady, 4736 McPherson.
Another artist, Heny Ptasiewicz, found inspiration from the mannequins at the newly-opened Enchanting Embellishments on McPherson.
Chef Ben Herbert, left, of Mary Ann's Tearoom (inside Enchanting Embellishments) had an unusual treat to hand out on Friday - strawberry cotton candy. The chef was accompanied by the shop's Communication Specialist Linda O'Heron, right.
Late this morning a work crew sprayed STL bike route decals along Washington at Euclid and further east on Olive Street.
According to avid biker and CWEnder Mike Murray, the City of St. Louis & Great Rivers Greenway (revised link) are collaborating to extend the bike lane program throughout the city. The website has more information, including a bike route map. The site also explains why this collaboration exists: "Great Rivers Greenway trails and Bike St. Louis paths were designed to work with the existing Metro St. Louis transit system whenever possible to provide cyclists and pedestrians with more opportunities to connect throughout the region."
It's obvious by the number of bikers who travel to and from downtown on Olive Street that this is a major bike route. Until now it was hard to be aware of this designation, as the metal signs located in tree wells are difficult to see. The new signage should help tremendously.
P.S. - In the video above the workman who comes around the truck appears to be giving signals to a pitcher or a base runner, doesn't he? September in St. Louis...baseball on the brain.
Zumba Classes with Noelle Lopez at Mahler Ballroom 5:30 to 6:30 Mons., 9 to 10 Tues., a really fun workout, no dance experience necessary, $10 per class, or $8 per if you purchase a 5 or 10 class card, 4915 Washington (just west of Euclid), parking available. Click on link for more info.
CameraLove: iPhone-ography Mon. 9/22 6-7 p.m. Kristie Cromie, LPhotographie, get the most out of the camera that’s always with you, $30, (tips for android users too), 449 N. Euclid