Sherman Alexie Appearance at BookFest St. Louis Confirmed

Nicki's Central West End Guide Uncategorized

Sherman Alexie Appearance at BookFest St. Louis Confirmed Amidst Recent Tour Cancellations

National Book Award winner will speak Friday, Sept. 22 at The Sheldon

(July 19, 2017 — St. Louis) As many of you have read, author Sherman Alexie has been struggling with an intense emotional experience during his tour for his new memoir, “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.” We at BookFest St. Louis fully support his decision to cancel upcoming dates on his tour in order to find the peace and rest he needs to continue his healing process.

We are humbled to confirm that Alexie will still join us for BookFest St. Louis, including his keynote address on Sept. 22 and his appearance on the Young Adult Panel on Sept. 23. We are beyond grateful for his commitment to his Midwest audience, and look forward to hearing his insights on the 10th Anniversary Edition of his beloved classic, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.”

BookFest St. Louis will be a celebration of the connection between writer and reader, the honesty and vulnerability transferred between strangers by the turn of a page, and the Central West End CID, Left Bank Books and the Left Bank Books Foundation are honored by Alexie’s strength and grace — and that of all the incredible authors participating in the festival — to come and make that connection with us in St. Louis.

For more information, visit www.bookfeststl.com.

Snapshots from Blessing of the Bicyclists at Trinity Church

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings For Children Services Shop News  Trinity Episcopal Church Rector Father Jon Stratton Mike's Bikes Eric Schlling Central West End

At 8 a.m. last Saturday morning bicyclists, including two SLMPD bike officers, top photo, gathered at the CWE’s Trinity Episcopal Church, 600 N. Euclid, for a Blessing of the Bicyclists led by  Reverend Jon Stratton, Rector.  This was the inaugural year for this blessing to be offered and, I would imagine, the 1st time it was okay to ride one’s bike in church.

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Each participant received a commemorative card made from a woodcut depicting the patron saint of cyclists, Madonna del Ghisallo. Legend has it that in Medieval times one Count Ghisallo was besieged by highway robbers and found refuge in a roadside shrine to the Virgin Mary. The spot, high in the Italian mountains, later became a chapel dedicated to bicyclists. Here is a link to more information.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings For Children Services Shop News  Trinity Episcopal Church Rector Father Jon Stratton Mike's Bikes Eric Schlling Central West End   Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings For Children Services Shop News  Trinity Episcopal Church Rector Father Jon Stratton Mike's Bikes Eric Schlling Central West End   Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings For Children Services Shop News  Trinity Episcopal Church Rector Father Jon Stratton Mike's Bikes Eric Schlling Central West End

Eric Schlling of Mike’s Bikes, a co-sponsor of the event, was on hand to offer tune-ups ahead of the bike ride, which followed the ceremony. The ride, to and from the Mississippi River, was marshalled by the United by Design cycling team.

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Cyclists of all ages participated in the ceremony.

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More photos of participants.

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During the brief prayer service Reverend Stratton (wearing his bicycle cap and holding onto his bike while sprinkling holy water on those assembled) explained the reasons why the blessing was being offered. Among them to “….acknowledge the inherent goodness of non-motorized human-powered transportation; to give thanks for the simple beauty of the bicycle; to pray for victims of road rage & bike theft; to ask for the strength to forgive mean people;  and to pray for those who have died while cycling, especially the cycling community’s friend Casey Saunders.”

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The service ended with a call to “go forth, propelled by the wind of the Spirit.”

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The photos above show some of those who followed the ceremony with a ride to the Mississippi River and then back to Trinity Church for refreshments. It seemed the sentiment of many who attended Saturday morning’s event that the Blessing of the Bicyclists should become an annual occurrence.

Bissinger’s celebrates 95 years in CWE with expanded operation

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company

As it celebrates its 95th year in the Central West End, Bissinger’s, 32 Maryland Plaza, has expanded its operation to include breakfast, lunch and dinner. “Handcrafted by Bissinger’s” is now open 7 days a week, starting at 7 a.m. on weekdays, 8:30 a.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. on Sundays.

On a recent visit, manager Matt McCarthy said the company saw an opportunity to showcase its catering operation, 23 City Blocks, by broadening the menu at the CWE location. Nick Miller, formerly of Harvest, is the chef. The website states that 23 City Blocks is the owner and operator of Handcrafted by Bissinger’s.

Years ago I wrote a post about a visit to Bissinger’s candy-making facility when it was located in The Grove. Here is a link to that post which includes the history of the founding family whom Napoleon Bonaparte named “Candy Maker of the Empire.” The original CWE shop was at 4742 McPherson Avenue, where Candle Fusion Studio is now located. At that time, the candies were hand-dipped in the back of the shop and the smell of chocolate as you walked in the door was intoxicating.

In 2014, Bissinger’s extensively renovated an industrial building that once housed another St. Louis candy company, Switzer’s, at 1600 N. Broadway. The large building now contains corporate offices, a beautiful event space—The Caramel Room—the candy-making operation (which is available for tours), and 23 City Blocks Catering Company.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company   Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company

Breakfast offerings at Handcrafted by Bissinger’s are baked fresh daily and are available all day, or until they sell out.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company   Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company   Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company

The quiche of the day when I visited was mushroom, spinach, gruyere, applewood smoked bacon, goat cheese, carmelized onion, cheddar and country ham, $9.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company   Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company   Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company   Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company

Lunch is available starting at 11 a.m. “Go Havsies” (pick two) features several choices including a delicious brisket sandwich and equally delicious quinoa kale salad, $12.  Croques Monsieur with a side of house-made chips (or fresh fruit salad), top, is $11.50.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company   Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company   Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company   Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company   Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company

Thick chocolate chunk and chocolate overdose cookies are $2 each.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company   Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company   Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company   Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company   Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company   Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company

At 4 p.m. stop in for Sharables & Desserts.  That might include a charcuterie platter, $14.50, cheese and jam, $12.50, a selection of flatbreads, $9.50 to $11.50, and desserts.  Bissinger’s chocolate hazelnut tart is $9.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company   Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company   Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company   Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company   Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company   Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company   Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company

McCarthy said that Cocktails and Mocktails (see menu above) are “prepared ‘bottom up’ with the same love and care as the handcrafted chocolates.” Of course, the world-renowned chocolates are available any time of day at Handcrafted by Bissinger’s.

Here is a YouTube video I found on Bissinger’s website featuring its chocolate-making operation at 1600 Broadway. CWEnder Dr. Laura Coletti Mann makes an appearance in the section that was filmed in the CWE store.

Handcrafted by Bissinger’s, 32 Maryland Plaza, (314) 367-7750, Mon. to Thurs., 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri. 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.