Some Random Impressions of France

First off, perhaps I would like to start off with some impressions of Paris, and France in general. This was my twelfth trip to Europe, but my first to France. Many people were surprised that I had never been, and that was a major reason I chose to finally go. As I remarked to someone,…

Checking In On Mark Twain and Central High Schools

St. Louis voters recently overwhelmingly passed Prop S, which will allow the St. Louis Public Schools to issue bonds for much needed improvements to buildings, most of which are now over one hundred years old, though as anyone who will admit it, are extremely well built and will last for centuries if properly maintained. The…

Northside Regeneration and the Future of North St. Louis

Heading east on St. Louis Avenue just east of Garrison, I spotted a strange sight: a pair of houses that I was sure were going to be demolished (fifth and sixth photos down; like all of their neighbors, which I’ve documented over the last decade) are undergoing a massive renovation. My, how times have changed….

Half Century Old Problems

The Grand Motel at 2534 North Grand Boulevard, or as it was originally known, Lisa or Lisa’s Motel, has now been around since the early 1970s in the JeffVanderLou neighborhood. Its construction reflects a sort of fearful worldview expecting outside invaders as it is built facing inward, like a Spanish mission I have seen in…

A Tour of the Sites Mentioned in the Federal Indictment

Legal disclaimer: all defendants are considered innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law, as laid down in the Fifth, Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. That being said, federal prosecutors have a 99% conviction rate–yikes! Update: As of June 7, 2022, Lewis Reed, the last of the three members of the…

Fifteenth Anniversary of Saint Louis Patina

I started this website fifteen years ago today, and we’ve come a long ways since then. Three reboots, two crashes, and hopefully now it looks better than ever due to the hard work of around twenty WordPress technicians back in January and February of this year. Thankfully, there are still plenty of new things to…

The Big Muddy Dance Company Present Retrospective

I’m a big fan of the Big Muddy Dance Company, and their next performance is coming up the first weekend of April on the 1st and 2nd at 7:30 PM both nights at the historic Grandel Theater, 3610 Grandel Square. For those interested in watching a virtual performance, viewing will be available the following weekend…

Painting on Stone at the Saint Louis Art Museum

I hope readers can make it out to a fascinating new exhibit at the Saint Louis Art Museum curated by Judy Mann, curator of European Art to 1800 and Research Assistant Andrea Miller, entitled Painting on Stone: Science and the Sacred, 1530-1800. While we usually think of painting as an art form created on canvas…

5,000th Post: The Ruins of the Freie Gemeinde

None of my friends who live up north around the St. Louis Place and Old North St. Louis neighborhoods told me they were terribly surprised when the old Freie Gemeinde went up in flames on a bitterly cold night a week ago. It suffered a partial collapse way back in 2013, and when I checked…

Demolition Starts for the University City TIF

The demolition of the mid-Twentieth Century strip malls, a former synagogue and a church has commenced along Olive Boulevard just east of I-170 in University City. Olivette has also started on its own development to the west of the interstate. Below, the former St. Andrew Kim and before that St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church has…