TCB > August 2006

Urban Wildlife

At 1:20 a.m. this morning, the authors of this blog saw a red fox walking down Center Cross Drive in Tower Grove Park. When questioned, the fox said he was looking for his son Lamont.

Posted by Brian Marston on Wed., Aug 30, 2006 at 1:06 PM
Link & Discuss (12 comments) | Other

Geez, Jonathan Franzen, Lighten Up

Okay, I'll freely admit that I haven't read the book myself (but reviews like this don't make me want to!); so, I merely direct you to Michiko Kakutani's take on expat Jonathan Franzen's new memoir "The Discomfort Zone."

Apparently Our Man in the World is a sort of miserable but superior being. But hey, Webster Groves, take heart: you're described as "in the middle of the country in the middle of the golden age of the American middle class." So, you know, things could be worse.

Oh, maybe I'm just jealous: I contacted Franzen back in 2001 to see if he would write for our "Expatriates" section, and he got back to me, letting me know it was just bad timing, as he had a new project that occupied most of his waking hours. So, you know, he gave up exposure on our site just for that! Who ever heard of "The Corrections"? :)

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Tue., Aug 29, 2006 at 11:33 AM
Link & Discuss (1 comment) | People

Wild for the Lou

St. Louis is frequently mentioned in Idlewild, to the delight of moviegoers in the packed theater at the Chase last night, who showed our hometown much love each time it was alluded to. In the movie, St. Louis is the provenance of Paula Patton's character and the fancy fingernail polish used at Percival's mother's funeral.

Posted by Brian Marston on Mon., Aug 28, 2006 at 11:59 AM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | The Media

World Aquarium Hoping for Guinness World Record

The World Aquarium at the City Museum is hoping to set a Guinness World Record in the newly created "Largest Exhibit of Two-headed Animals" category. So far, the exhibit includes 10 two-headed snakes and turtles. It will be on display through September 5.

Posted by Brian Marston on Tue., Aug 22, 2006 at 11:33 AM
Link & Discuss (3 comments) | Fun Links

Virgin Mary Spotted in Glendale

Last week, Glendale resident John Milonas saw an image of the Virgin Mary in the drip pan of his George Foreman Grill after making a hamburger. He's storing the greasy likeness in his refrigerator. Quick, somebody call

Posted by Brian Marston on Tue., Aug 22, 2006 at 11:05 AM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | Fun Links

Another List Ranking...and It Ain't Good News

Salon today carries a story called "The Shameful Six," citing six states where vote suppression in the November elections could "cost voters their voice -- and Democrats the election -- in 2006." Guess which state rounds out the list?

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Tue., Aug 15, 2006 at 10:12 AM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | STL in the News

We Love When They Talk About Us

It's only Monday and we've already gotten some good buzz for this week: click on over to the Rome Group site (you'll find it under "The Next Great Thing?" as if it's even a question!) and read a little about their take on the effectiveness of blogs as a communications tool. Our good friends at Blog St. Louis are mentioned, and alongside, there we are (with slightly garbled, but nonetheless welcome!, versions both of our names), with our "fresh look at grassroots civics and culture in St. Louis."

Yeah! We're pretty much the Next Great Thing.

Love this quote: "Paul Rand, global chief development officer at Ketchum Public Relations recently told the Baltimore Business Journal, 'If you're in business or you have a pulse, you're being talked about in the blogosphere. And if you're not, you ought to be concerned about that, too.'"

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Mon., Aug 14, 2006 at 5:18 PM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | The Commonspace

Chillin', Urban Poolside

Great look back at the origins of public pools in NYC, as masterminded by legendary parks commissioner Robert Moses in the hot hot heat of summer, 1936.

A source in the story describes the builders thusly: "“The people who built these felt like they were doing God’s work...They did an important job, and they did it well, to stand for generations.” I don't know if you could say exactly the same for the stripped-down city pool I visited recently, but it was certainly entertaining.

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Mon., Aug 14, 2006 at 2:32 PM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) |

Fighting the Inner-City Probems...on the East Side

We tend to talk here mostly about stuff going down in the Lou, but a recent article in the P-D shines the spotlight on folks across the river taking on grinding poverty, poor schools and intergenerational hopelessness. It's an inspiring read.

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Mon., Aug 14, 2006 at 1:59 PM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | Other

New Research from Washington University

A sampling of recent research that's come out of Wash U:

Brain Imaging Identifies Best Memorization Strategies

Electricity Generation from Wastewater Using a Microbial Fuel Cell

Almost Half of Kids with ADHD Are Not Being Treated

It's great to have a world-class research university in town. If only we could keep more of the students here after they graduate ...

Posted by Brian Marston on Sat., Aug 12, 2006 at 11:52 AM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | Other

MO Voter ID Fracas Gets National Play

In the NY Times

Now, some questions and observations: the article says, "Even before Missouri passed its new law, it had tougher ID requirements than many states. Voters were required, with limited exceptions, to bring ID with them to the polls, but university ID cards, bank statements mailed to a voter’s address, and similar documents were acceptable."

I have never been asked to produce a single thing, except my signature on a line affirming my address/info, when I've voted in the city, going back to 1997. Even then, my signature line is right next to a reproduction of my signature from the last time I signed, making it pretty easy to fake it if I wanted to. On Tuesday, when signs all around my polling station screamed "ID REQUIRED," I was not asked to show any identification. I sometimes take the mailer reminding me of my polling place with me, but just as often I forget it.

Anyone else have similar experiences?

Also, I have to say I break from expected liberal orthodoxy on this: though I don't think individual fraud at the polling place is the most pressing electoral change needed, I also don't think requiring an ID is too much to ask. You have to have some form of ID to do lots of things, like getting a Hollywood Video card, a library card, a check cashed, etc. It doesn't seem like the most onerous task imaginable, especially if do-gooders could ensure the availability of low-cost access to documentation (birth certificates and the like) or funds to help those who truly cannot afford to acquire them.

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Thu., Aug 10, 2006 at 2:09 PM
Link & Discuss (1 comment) | STL in the News

"Things always look better shiny."

If the adventurous little "Miss Rockaway Armada" actually makes it to the Lou, I, for one, will toast its arrival with a cold Schlafly and invite the river rats and artists thereupon to join me.

Keep your eyes peeled, people! 'Specially those of you living along the mighty Mississip. Anyone want to help them pull something off here?

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Wed., Aug 9, 2006 at 3:52 PM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | People

Welcome to St. Louis. I'm Your Host, Steve Smith.

Dave Gray has posted a video of a driving tour of St. Louis in Steve Smith's Lincoln Continental with stops at Cherokee Street, the Silver Spur, the Lemp brewery complex and the graffiti flood wall.

Posted by Brian Marston on Wed., Aug 9, 2006 at 11:35 AM
Link & Discuss (2 comments) | People

Jeff Smith on Wikipedia

There's an article about Jeff Smith on Wikipedia. Wikipedia has bios for more than 300 people from St. Louis.

Posted by Brian Marston on Wed., Aug 9, 2006 at 11:15 AM
Link & Discuss (1 comment) | People

Art in The Grove

First Jesus, then Moses, now this!

Word comes from Great Rivers Biennial winner Matthew Strauss of a new "alternative" gallery space to sprout at 4568 Manchester, called White Flag Projects. Grand opening happens Saturday, Sept. 16, and the season will feature shows from the likes of Bill Smith, Jerald Ieans and Ernest Trova. (There's not much on the site yet, so you might drop a line to for more details, if'n you're interested.)

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Mon., Aug 7, 2006 at 1:51 PM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | Business District

The Plight of One Pygmy

Wow. Here's a story about Ota Benga, a Congolese pygmy who passed through St. Louis as part of one of the 1904 World's Fair's then-fashionable "ethnographic" exhibits, and his path upon leaving here.

It ends, as all things do now, at MySpace.

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Mon., Aug 7, 2006 at 12:03 PM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | STL in the News

Uh, Can You Dumb it Down for Me?

Have we really fallen this far? In an article in Sunday's Jefferson County Journal (read by yours truly on, Blue Owl owner Mary Hostetter's psychic experience with the Food Network is explained in what I presume is an editorial intervention, thusly:

"Ironically, Hostetter had visited the Food Network Web site and read a promotional announcement about the Deen's TV show the very day she received the call from New York.

"I got all excited about the show because I thought it would be great if they could come to the Blue Owl," she said. "An hour and half later, I got the call from New York. It was like I had ESP (extra sensory perception)."

(And don't even get me started on how that whole situation is more coincidental than ironic....)

Your assignment: contemplate over a slice of Levee High Apple Pie, the culinary coup de grace that brought the foodies to town.

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Mon., Aug 7, 2006 at 10:55 AM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | The Media


Jeff Smith's campaign has more than 200 volunteers lined up for election day. He'll have at least one person at every polling place every hour the polls are open on Tuesday.

Posted by Brian Marston on Sun., Aug 6, 2006 at 7:54 PM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | People

I Love Last-Push Politics!

'Cause that's when the really weird shit goes, on my voicemail at home tonight when I returned from the Y, there was a message from 1-866-249-3243 (Google *that* for real Internet-reading fun!) that went a little something like this:

"Jeff Smith is running for state Congress on Tuesday. Jeff Smith is a part-time professor of African-American studies. [ed. note: at this point, I had yet to clue in as to whether this was pro- or anti-Jeff Smith]. Jeff Smith is the only candidate on Tuesdays who has no legislative experience. Jeff Smith is a carpetbagger who admitted to the media that he moved here from New Hampshire. The only reason he left New Hampshire was because the college where he was teaching didn't want to renew his contract. We need someone in Congress with legislative experience...NOT Jeff Smith."

This message brought to me by...? An admitted relocator? That's second only to "known Caucasian" in terms of things that just don't sound that scary to me.

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Fri., Aug 4, 2006 at 6:42 PM
Link & Discuss (5 comments) |

The Spirits of St. Louis Live On

Remember the Spirits of St. Louis basketball team? Yeah, neither do I. Yet, according to an article in the LA Times, the long-folded franchise nets more money each season for its former owners than most NBA teams make.

Brothers Ozzie and Dan Silna bought the ABA team in 1974. When the ABA merged with the NBA in 1976, they negotiated a television revenue sharing deal that has paid them about $168 million to date. Currently, they're due to get over $24 million a year for not having a team.

Like the Silnas, I also don't own a basketball team. Where's my $168 million? I've got to get a better lawyer ...

Posted by Brian Marston on Thu., Aug 3, 2006 at 8:54 PM
Link & Discuss (2 comments) | STL in the News

Some More St. Louis Sites

Taking a cue from 52nd City, who in turn took a cue from us (oh, the reflexivity of it all), here are four more websites about St. Louis that have recently shown up on my radar screen:

The Black List
Restaurant reviews, recipes and random thoughts from a simple cave man lawyer

St. Louis Time Portal
Antique postcards of St. Louis

St. Louis Living
Reviews, events, bike commuting and various rants and raves

Independent discussion of politics, development, and civic life in St. Louis' 15th ward

Posted by Brian Marston on Thu., Aug 3, 2006 at 4:14 PM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | Fun Links


As previously mentioned, I have a thing for local music videos. Here's one for "Greedy" by The Helium Tapes that was directed by David Noble Dandridge. The Helium Tapes is composed of Sunyatta Marshall (vocals), Tim Lohmann (guitar), Brandon Mason (bass) and Joe Stulce (drums).

Posted by Brian Marston on Thu., Aug 3, 2006 at 4:07 PM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | Fun Links

When They Talk, People Listen

Anyone remember those old E.F. Hutton commercials?

Anyhoo, the Wash U Assembly Series (one of those great, free things that I suspect are always going on at college campuses but don't get much play to the wider community) has posted its fall schedule, and the speakers look to be a good bunch, from Sy Hersh to Marjane Satrapi. Sneak out of work and enjoy!

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Wed., Aug 2, 2006 at 10:23 AM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | People

New Look Online for STL Mag

Fresh for summer's last month, St. Louis Magazine has significantly upgraded its web presence, making it much easier to find more of the content online. I'll just add my own personal shout-out here to the publication for being, well, better in general of late: if you can get past the reams of doctor advertorial in the current, 3-inch-thick issue (hey, someone's gotta pay for all those pages!), you'll find plenty of interest, including features on everyone-loves-to-hate-him Richard Callow ("snake or charmer?"), Undertow records, Typewriter Tim and much more.

That being said, the whole reason I went to the site in the first place was to add more fuel to my former observation about the love affair between St. Louisans and Michigan (there's a feature on said topic in the current issue, too)...and I couldn't find that online. Tra la la: plenty else to read there anyway.

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Tue., Aug 1, 2006 at 12:15 PM
Link & Discuss (0 comments) | The Media

Member of the STL Syndicate


February 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003


Business District (105)
Fun Links (65)
Other (78)
People (156)
STL in the News (76)
The Commonspace (75)
The Media (91)

Powered by Movable Type 2.661

Takin' Care of Business (in a flash)