TCB > November 2004

Mizzou Comes to Old North

Shout out to John Burse, pictured in the latest issue of Mizzou magazine (for alum, natch): in the article titled "Fired Up to Serve," highlighting the work of university extension specialists, a section called "Rebuilding a Neighborhood" focuses on the partnership between MU Extension, UMSL and Old North St. Louis Restoration Group. Burse is pictured in front of his rehab and in his capacity as board president, says, "The things we did, the assistance we got and the relationships we formed will give our community a lot of momentum."

As a funny aside, when you live in the city, you forget the terminology ("tuckpointing," anyone?) you take for granted: the lead of the piece says, "For St. Louis residents, rehab has a meaning outside of addiction. Rehabbing means taking old houses and making them new again." Yes, Virginia. Yes, it does.

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Tue., Nov 30, 2004 at 5:26 PM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | People


Like so many other adventures in writing, Undershorts Magazine started in San Francisco. It serves up "orgasmic" fiction and non-fiction (at least that's how they describe it). Frequent contributers include RFTers Ben Westhoff and Mike Seely.

Posted by Brian Marston on Sun., Nov 28, 2004 at 12:51 AM
Link & Discuss (1 comment) | Fun Links

Civic Strategies

Atlanta-based Civic Strategies has some very nice things to say about Blog St. Louis and The Commonspace in its roundup of urban blogs. Both blogs are members of the STL Syndicate. Thanks to fellow Syndicate member Steve Patterson for letting us know about the Civic Strategies nod.

Posted by Brian Marston on Sat., Nov 27, 2004 at 9:24 PM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | The Commonspace

Urban Review - St. Louis

Steve Patterson's Urban Review - St. Louis is the newest member of the STL Syndicate. Steve offers an urbanist's critique on the city of St. Louis and the St. Louis region. We're still working on customizing the site, but he's been enthusiastically churning out passionate entries about our built environment, including lots of photos. Definitely check it out.

Posted by Brian Marston on Sat., Nov 27, 2004 at 9:19 PM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | People

Cash on the Crateandbarrelhead

Insider news is that the Crate & Barrel that opened last week, in a little off-the-beaten-path place called Richmond Heights, hoped to end the week at $190K rung at the registers...and ended up well over $300K.

Go crazy, people, go crazy! And hey, if you want to buy me a chair...

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Mon., Nov 22, 2004 at 2:47 PM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | Business District

It's Just Single People!

Does anyone else find it mildly amusing that this year's St. Louis Magazine hoo-hah for the most eligible singles in town is title-sponsored by "It's Just Lunch," but is, in fact, not lunch? Rather, a cocktail-into-dinner-hour affair.

Which doesn't mean you shouldn't go: after all, the soirée benefits Food Outreach, a cause we love. But be aware: It's Not Just Lunch!

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Thu., Nov 18, 2004 at 2:27 PM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | People

Splash Down

Word on the street is that the Rocket Bar (2001 Locust) will close its doors for good on New Year's Day.

Posted by Brian Marston on Thu., Nov 18, 2004 at 2:26 PM
Link & Discuss (1 comment) | Business District

Consumer Confidence, Out Like a Light


At around 1:45 p.m. today, pre-holiday shoppers (and, it must be noted, day-job scofflaws) were brought to an abrupt halt in their spending frenzies when all power to about half of the Galleria went out suddenly. The culprit? Fire at The Cheesecake Factory (probably too many candles on someone's giant-ass birthday cake, to go with the rest of their giant-ass portions...I mean, really, people: where do you think we get our giant asses??)

You could almost see folks who had been in a shopping haze awaken and think, "Wait, do I really need this?" They staggered out into the rainy day with wallets still intact.

Curiously, the entire western side of the mall was stricken — except for Victoria's Secret. So that's what those Angels are good for...

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Thu., Nov 18, 2004 at 2:16 PM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | Business District

Gettin' Wizzy Wit It

St. Louis WizKids, a youth-directed project to improve students' reading proficiency in the fifth ward, is seeking to raise $50,000 a year in cash to keep the program going. If you make a donation, you can download raps written and performed by WizKids.

Posted by Brian Marston on Thu., Nov 18, 2004 at 1:13 PM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | Other

Jackass, STL Style

Check out these videos of some local boys and girls doing phenomenally stupid (and funny) stunts. My favorites are Butt Rocket, Dry Water Slide and Natron Jumps his Car.

Posted by Brian Marston on Thu., Nov 18, 2004 at 11:39 AM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | Fun Links

Media Roundup

Recent coverage of Commonspace events:

Settle the Score 2004 was Alison Sieloff's pick of the day for Nov. 13 in the RFT's calendar.

The St. Louis American gave a pre-event plug for STS 2004 and followed it up with a Partyline entry by Delores Shante about the results of the event.

WB 11 did a segment about STS 2004 on the news.

Mark Dischinger at the RFT did a very nice "Urban Experience" write-up about Free Candy. See ya at the show on Sunday at Hartford Coffee at 7 p.m.

Much love to everyone who helps get the word out about our events.

Posted by Brian Marston on Thu., Nov 18, 2004 at 11:21 AM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | The Commonspace

Probably Not the Kind of Buzz They Were Hoping For...

Whilst lunching at Amici's t'other day, I overheard the most hilarious (and sad) conversation between two women of a certain age, regarding the now-being-built Kirkwood Station Plaza development .

Woman the First: "I don't know, I just think it's going to be just like those ones downtown, you know, the, uh...what do you call them? Apartment-like things?"

Woman the Second: "Apartments? Condos?"

Woman the First: "No, that's not what I'm thinking of...with all the people living in them?"

(Me, almost smugly interrupting, sure that the word she's grasping for is the trendy one, "lofts." Seriously, I begin putting down my fork to lean over and offer that.)

Woman the First, triumphantly: "Pruitt-Igoe! That's it! The housing projects. That's what everyone saying about these new ones here."

Wow. New Urbanism's got a tough row to hoe to get Kirkwoodians on board, apparently.

(More hilarity as both women lamented why the development couldn't be "more like old-timey St. Charles"...and then they both talked about how much they liked to walk around there but would never, ever spend such money in those shoppes! Well, therein, your answer. *That's* why you can't have it.)

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Wed., Nov 17, 2004 at 5:56 PM
Link & Discuss (2 comments) | Business District

Smooth Sailing (err, Biking) Ahead

Bicyclists, rejoice: the heretofore-hideously pockmarked strip of Tower Grove Ave., between Vandeventer and Manchester, has been gloriously repaved for your two-wheeling pleasure. For folks who use this as a major N-S alternative to K'highway or Grand, this is welcome news, indeed. (Beware: our tester says there's still a lot of crap near the edges of the road.)

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Wed., Nov 17, 2004 at 5:42 PM
Link & Discuss (1 comment) | Other

STS 2004 Photos

Photos from Settle the Score 2004 have been posted on the Digitronical site.

Posted by Brian Marston on Tue., Nov 16, 2004 at 2:26 PM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | The Commonspace

Combatting the Walking Dead

According to the Zombie Squad website, "A critical part of surviving a zombie outbreak is information." Fortunately, this St. Louis-based crack team of Zombie Extermination Specialists has got the Gateway City covered. You've probably seen their distinctive ZS stickers and tattoos around town. Haven't seen any zombies lately? Exactly.

Posted by Brian Marston on Tue., Nov 16, 2004 at 2:15 PM
Link & Discuss (1 comment) | Fun Links

Architect Steve Wilke-Shapiro has put together a nice site "to promote neighborhood revitalization through the renovation and restoration of St. Louis' unique building stock."

Posted by Brian Marston on Sun., Nov 14, 2004 at 11:16 PM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | Other

Notes from the Underground

Three hundred people came out to the A.D. Brown Building in downtown St. Louis on Saturday to watch dance crews from all over the Midwest compete at Settle the Score 2004. The Chicago-based Brickheadz (Evol, CeeJay and Waka) took home the $750 prize for the three-on-three breakdancing battles. Jigsaw out of Kansas City won the one-on-one funkstyle competition. The event was presented by Digitronical and co-sponsored by The Commonspace, World Class Gymnastics, Just Dancing Studios, 99 Dealers, Studio 7 and Red Bull. The Settle the Score 2004 DVD will be out sometime in 2005.

Posted by Brian Marston on Sun., Nov 14, 2004 at 10:56 PM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | The Commonspace

Feeling Corny

I leave your decisions about whether to put genetically modified foodstuffs in your body to you: however, in an interesting report yesterday on Mexico's attempts to curtail GM corn entering the country, NPR interviewed MoBot's own Peter Raven.

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Thu., Nov 11, 2004 at 12:14 PM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | People

Movin' Time

It's all over but the crying, as my mom says: spotted today outside the "Kerry/Claire Country" HQ in Deer Creek Plaza, two big U-Haul trucks being loaded up by somber youth. Fear not, young ones: midterm elections are just two years away.

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Wed., Nov 10, 2004 at 2:07 PM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | Other

1,500 and Counting

The Commonspace's monthly email newsletter has passed the 1,500 subscriber mark. You can sign up to be like the cool kids by sending a blank email message to

Posted by Brian Marston on Mon., Nov 8, 2004 at 10:10 AM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | The Commonspace

Metro vs. Retro

St. Louis shares something in common with great American cities:

St. Louis:
81% Kerry
19% Bush

82% Kerry
17% Bush

San Francisco:
83% Kerry
16% Bush

81% Kerry
18% Bush

(Numbers from

Posted by Brian Marston on Wed., Nov 3, 2004 at 10:45 PM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | STL in the News

Hartford Coffee Company

Beginning November 7th, Hartford Coffee Company (3974 Hartford Street) will be open until 7 p.m. on Sundays to accommodate more meetings and groups. Stop by sometime. You have 88 hours a week to choose from:

Monday - Thursday: 7 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 7 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m

Posted by Brian Marston on Wed., Nov 3, 2004 at 2:38 PM
Link & Discuss (3 comments) | Business District

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