Smash, a Local King of All Media, did a live broadcast from The Commonspace last night for the Smash Around Town segment on FOX 2 News. Despite the freezing weather, board game night was big fun. There was a raucous game of Catch Phrase, a cerebral round of Connect Four (pretty sneaky, sis!), a romantic hand of UNO and a family friendly Simpsons chess tournament.
And he's joining us from out of town — Seattle, to be precise. (Take *that*, Pacific Northwest! Brain drain in reverse!)
Ellis Conklin joins the staff of the local New Times outlet sometime in mid-Feb., our sources tell us.
Chingy's video for "One Call Away" is at #1 on the Launch chart. The hometown rapper from Walnut Park is sporting a Blues jersey for part of the shoot.
I'm a bit late in getting this posted, but wanted to acknowledge the Cover Boy & Girl in our midst, Amit and Laya Bhagat, who appeared prominently in the magazine "Mantram" (tagline: "For the Indian in You"). Amit and Laya were one of the couples interviewed by consulting editor Anirudh Bhattacharyya for the story "Mix and Match," about intermarriage between Indians and non-Indians (you'll have to register to read the entire story). The dazzling duo were brought to the attention of the writer because they gave a talk at The Commonspace last year on the same topic, for one of our World Wide Wednesday events.
There's an article about the St. Louis Public Schools in the Jan. 19 issue of U.S. News & World Report. Quote: "This is the face of 'reform' in the St. Louis city schools, and it isn't pretty."
I went to the Home Despot on South Kingshighway today to rent a truck. (FYI, you can't rent a truck at the Home Despot unless you're using it to move something you bought there; I ended up going to U-Haul up the street.) While I was there, I saw something that irked me. (A trip to the evil orange box almost always leaves me feeling irked for one reason or another.) That something was a display of four shiny new John Deere riding mowers. Number one, it's January. Number two, the store is in South City where everyone's yard is the size of a postage stamp. Something tells me those mowers are going to be sitting there for a while. Does Home Depot make any attempt to tailor the products in its stores to the communities in which they're located?
Check out this heartwarming display of tenderness when the b-boys at Breakin' @ The Commonspace are confronted with the physical pain of one of their peers. Video brought to you by the Digitronical crew.
So, the Anderson Garage on Grand near Russell now sports a slapped-on banner over its near-permanent "Unique Office Lofts for Rent!" sandwich board, which says that it's 100% leased.
Perhaps it's contingent on a lesee-directed buildout? I can just imagine the directives now: "Well, we're going to need four walls, and a ceiling and roof if you can manage it. The broken glass and pigeon colonies -- while chic -- will have to go."
Can't wait to see what goes in there!
According to a study commissioned by Gateway to Giving, St. Louis is a generous community. "Private Dollars for Public Good: A Report on Giving in the St. Louis Region" found that St. Louis' largest corporations donate $2,717 per employee per year to nonprofits, more than seven times the national average. Individuals in the St. Louis area also give more than the national average. 83.5% of St. Louis households gave to charity in 2002, compared to a national average of 70%. For those households that gave, the average gift was $2,336 (15% higher than the national average). However, St. Louisans older than 65 and those with a college education gave less than their peers nationally.
Amanda and I went to Pin-Up Bowl (6191 Delmar in the East Loop) with a few friends this week for a story she's writing for Where Magazine. Joe Edwards has done it again with this super-cool eight-lane bowling alley and lounge that has a couple of pool tables thrown in for good measure. The most striking part of the swank decor are the flat-screen TVs and video projectors pumping out MTV and the Cartoon Network. I wonder if Joe Edwards looks around St. Louis and thinks, "Jeez, do I have to do everything cool in this town? I mean, c'mon can I get a little help here?"
Will and Laura Winter have a new baby! (There seems to be a lot of that going around.) Old North St. Louis' newest resident is Julia Rebecca Winter. Welcome to the blogosphere, Julia.
There's a great two-page spread about The Commonspace in the January issue of Sauce Magazine. It's got pictures and everything. Pick up a copy at one of these fine establishments, and turn to page 24. Thanks to Jen Meyer, the Regional Arts Commission and Sauce Magazine for the ink.
Come out to the Ulcer Incorporated show on Sat., Jan. 10 at Blueberry Hill's Duck Room. The script for this punk rock opera is the most complicated and ridiculous one yet. A slideshow! Robots! Sex! Picketing! Death! You really can't go wrong with a plot line like that. Clanky's Nub opens at 9 (you may remember them from such concerts as The Urge at The Pageant on Dec. 19). It's a 21+ show. Normally, it's $5 to get in, but for you, dear reader, it's free with this flyer.
People's Coffee barista Angi Mayes managed to get in a jibe at The Man in Wm. Stage's Street Talk column in the Dec. 17 issue of the RFT. The question was "Santa Wants to Know: Have You Been Naughty or Nice?" You go, girl!
If you haven't been to The Commonspace yet this year, come check out our new carpet. Shouts out to Jason McClelland, Maddie Earnest, Nancy Marston (AKA mom), John "Cove Base King" Colbert and Lynn Josse for coming in over the holiday break to help Amanda and me tear out the old carpet and put down 400 new 18" carpet tiles. Be sure to look for the Square of Whimsy! In addition to carpeting, we also repainted the gallery walls and gave everything a thorough cleaning. Thanks to Steve Patterson for telling us to paint the door white (you were right it looks a lot better).
This nugget, gleaned from Monday night's post-radio-show conversation with Aldermanic President Jim Shrewsbury, is too golden not to share: Shrewsbury recalls the first time he ever listened to KSHE. The year was 1968, and young Jim was 12 years old. Driving home from mass in his mom's new car (first one with an FM radio!), he turned on the Real Rock. which was blasting Steppenwolf's "The Pusher." Mama Shrewsbury put a stop to the car — and the nonsense — immediately. (Read some of the lyrics, and you begin to understand that it's really not ideal post-church material...)