former community center/coffeeshop! Yes, folks, it was a bit surprising for us to read, among the many venues and planned performances for First Night, that the former physical home of The Commonspace (TheCommonspace is dead! Long live TheCommonspace!) will be transformed for New Year's Eve into the "Flying Monkey Coffeehouse," complete with performances from singer-songwriters including the wonderful Ellen Gomez.
Sniff. We might have to stop in, for old times' sake.
Last Monday, the three-person St. Louis Election Board voted to go with Diebold for the city's new electronic voting system. This is what we in the computer industry call a "bad idea."
In September 2004, Diebold claimed their audit log "can't be altered by any human." In response, Black Box Voting, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, trained a chimpanzee to quickly hack Diebold's system and delete the audit log. The Diebold central tabulator saves vote totals in a Microsoft Access database, for crying out loud that's about as unstable and insecure as you can get. In related news, Diebold CEO, Wally O'Dell resigned this month under a cloud of litigation and accusations of fraud. You may remember O'Dell as the guy who promised he would "deliver" Ohio for President Bush.
The fall 2005 issue of At Home featured editorial coverage and/or ads for the following new residential developments in the city:
At Home is a good magazine that's been getting even better. They're bumping up to six issues in 2006. You can subscribe for $9.95.
Here's St. Louis Centre's entry at Dead Malls dot Com.
A Slice of (Life and) Pizza is a blog based in Chicago and St. Louis (Collinsville, actually) that reviews pizzerias. Kate, the St. Louis half of the operation, gave a big thumbs up to Black Thorn. Along the way, they started a funny Midwest vs. East Coast beef with the NY-based pizza blog Slice. Controversy in the pizza blog world! Props to East Coast foodie Andy Hyatt for sending me the link.
Chris Goodson and Trace Shaughnessy are tackling another project in Lafayette Square. The Gilded Age Renovation partners are building the Union Club, three floors of condos with ground-level commercial space, on the site of the former Aldi's grocery store at Jefferson and Lafayette. Yomi Martin, Nelly's retail derrrty and cousin, will operate Jerseyville, a sports bar and restaurant, on the ground floor. (I had to make this about hip hop somehow.)
Goodson and Shaughnessy's signature project is the transformation of the City Hospital complex into the Georgian Condominiums. The development's amateurish website has some pretty photos of the display units and a nice rendering of the front elevation. They seem to have jumped the gun a bit with the big "NOW OPEN" banner on the side of the building (the standard punch line is "... to the elements"), but we'll cut them plenty of slack for taking on such a mindblowingly big and difficult project.
In this week's print edition of the Riverfront Times (that adorned by the Cardinals Woodstock-y image), an announcement appears on page 6 that says, "Beginning with this issue, Riverfront Times is moving to a new schedule. Each week's edition will still appear in newsboxes and on the Internet on Wednesday, but to better cater to your planning pleasure, we'll be gearing our coverage to a Thursday-to-Wednesday week."
I always did feel a little sorry for those folks who had events and whatnot planned for Wednesday nights, so this is probably a smart move. On the other hand, so far today, the web site still has up last week's issue. But hey, we know how hard it is to publish in a timely fashion, so we'll let that nit lie unpicked and assume the kinks will be worked out!
Nelly has an online fan club where members earn points redeemable for prizes by helping promote our hometown music heavyweight. It's free to join. The more you post to the message board, respond to polls, answer trivia quizzes, work on your fan page, etc., the more points you get.
Barnraising Development is working to bring a farmers' market to the Tower Grove area. You can help by filling out this short online survey. They're hoping to have the market up and running in the spring.
The Pitted Olive is slated to open tomorrow at 5815 Hampton, offering quality food to go. Their deli, catering and wine menus are available on their website. The owner, Michael Holmes, has worked at Spiros, Bristols, Fedora Cafe, Balabans, Seven Gables Inn, Patty Long Ninth Street Abbey, Lynch Street Bistro, Harry's Restaurant and Bar, J.P Fields, Greenbrier Hills Country Club and Truffles in Ladue.
Illsider Boogie IQ (Tony Harris) won first place in the funkstyle dance competition at Who's Got the Juice 3 in Dallas last month. Worldwide, baby, worldwide. Peep the trailer from last year's event.
Tower Grove Park, the historic Victorian walking park that is the jewel of south St. Louis, will soon be even leafier, thanks to a recent $200K grant for restoration and enhancement of the urban forest from the Whitaker Foundation. That's in addition to a challenge issued by the foundation for an extra $150K, if the park can raise dollar-for-dollar matching funds within the next four years.
The park, in case you weren't paying attention in Botany 101, is home to 8,000 trees and "woody shrubs" (I think I dated him in college) of more than 300 varieties, including plenty planted by park benefactor Henry Shaw his own bad self.