Saturday, December 13, 2008


I am fond of the neighborhood shortcuts that go through the heart of some south side neighborhoods. Here are three that immediately come to mind:

The Holly Hills neighborhood has a small one starting at Holly Hills Blvd, cutting north to Federer Place:

I imagine this was a shortcut for kids walking to Carondelet Park, directly across from Holly Hills Blvd.

There are two others in the Kingshighway Hills neighborhood. This one starts on Lindenwood, between Kingshighway and Hereford and extends north through the neighbor:

And then another between Macklind and Brannon. This one runs a longer stretch from Pernod all the way to Chippewa.

I imagine a time when these neighborhoods were teeming with kids and families that were allowed to roam freely in a more innocent time. A time when people would walk to the many intra-neighborhood markets and services and churches.

I'm sure there are many others in the city. Are you aware of any of these cut-throughs in your neck of the woods? If so, let me know, I'd like to walk them.

Local man votes St. Louis #1 for dining

St. Louis is a great place for food. And it's usually affordable, no reservations required and less pretentious than some of other big city dining establishments I've been to. We are so lucky to have such a wide variety of top notch, fresh, well run restaurants.

My latest plug for local dining is Meskerem at 3210 Grand (between Humphrey and Wyoming). Here's the play: you've gotta opt for the communal style dining. So choose someone you are willing to share an intimate meal with. By intimate I don't mean lotions, dim lighting and Barry White, I mean you'll be eating with your hands. The food is served on a layer of injera, a mix between a crepe and unleavened bread. It is made from teff, a uniquely Ethiopian cereal grain similar to rye. It is steamed and served cold.

You use the injera to scoop up your selected entree. The vegetarian items are my favorite, with many lentil, collard greens, cabbage selections. It is phenomenal! There are also some delectable lamb and tilapia selections.

This food is fresh, carefully prepared, affordable and extremely tasty. And best of all, it's right here in our fine little city. We kick the suburb's ass when it comes to inventive, indie, affordable, soul-full dining options.

St. Mary's High School Update

I previously posted some photos of the site where St. Mary's high school plans an expansion to accommodate their new athletic fields. The property is at South Spring Avenue and Itaska. St. Mary's High School is a 4701 S. Grand Blvd.

There was an update on this development in the South City Journal. Highlights from the story include:
  1. St. Mary's acquired 6.1 acres of property at the west end of their campus for athletic fields. The property was owned by the Archdiocese until the 1960's when they sold it. Someone developed some hideously designed apartment complexes (St. Michael's Apartments).

  2. Recently these apartment buildings were used by the fire department to do classes and practice in training fire fighters.

  3. These 1970's/1980's looking buildings will be demolished, expected to be completely down by early January.

  4. The new baseball, soccer, tennis and shotput areas will allow the high school's athletics to be on campus, where they are currently using Heine Meine in South County.

This is great news for the south side! Not only will this area be much improved, it looks like the all boy's private HS will be investing even more in it's city campus.

According to the story in the journal, they are launching a $8.5M fundraising campaign which includes the $4.5M for the fields, $0.5M for a center for applied sciences, $0.75M for synthetic turf for the fields, $1.5M for general improvements including A/C, and finally $1M for tuition assistance endowment.

That's a lot of money to invest into this south city property. It looks like St. Mary's high school plans to be here for awhile. They are great neighbors.

Friday, December 5, 2008

This Whoppers For You South Side

Middle child in the middle seat yelling over the radio, "Dad! What's on fire?!?" Nothing little one, that's just the smell of a flame broiled Whopper. "I don't like it", she says. I don't either.

What is the frickin' deal with Burger King. The new one at Loughborough Commons is packed. What's the deal with that? Is South City yearning for more fast food this badly? The BK on Grand closed, why is this one so popular. Maybe it's the proximity to I-55 and it's travelers stopping in for a quick meal.

That place has been packed since it opened. At first I assumed there may have been a coupon for a free Whopper in Town Talk or something.

All I'm saying is that when summer roles around and the Carondelet Mulch Mound blends with the Whopper and the River Des Peres, we're going to be in for real treat.

Shop N Save Mystery

When it's time to bulk up, and I mean the >$100.00 grocery trips, I go to Shop N Save. It's not the best when it comes to produce, but then again, neither is Schnucks. Since Dierbergs, Trader Joes, etc do not do business in St. Louis, I don't consider them as an option.

Anyhow, the Shop N Save locations are very convenient for South Siders. There's the one at Kingshighway and Chippewa (love that walk in beer cooler), the one in Gravois Plaza and then there's the one on Watson, next to Value City furniture.

They're all relatively close, so I usually choose the one on Watson. It's the cleanest and fastest in my opinion. However, I've always wondered if that location is actually within the City limits or if it's Shrewsbury. Do my taxes go to the city? Last night I asked a checker if the store was in St. Louis or the suburbs. She replied that it's actually in both. Part is in St. Louis, the other part Shrewsbury. She even mentioned that when a shoplifter runs out of the store and heads east, they call STLPD, and if the go west, they call Shrewsbury. Another checker mentioned that the first several cash registers go to the city and the last several go to the county. Huh? Is that possible?

After some fact checking, the address is actually listed as Shrewsbury. Does that mean all the sales taxes go to STL county and/or Shrewsbury?

I don't know where to find the actual city limits of both municipalities, so I'm still confused. I am going to stop going to that one, until I can get a straight answer. Anyone out there know how I can solve this mystery?