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Two artists lend a hand

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Services Shop News  Madeline Crowe Haley Dieckgraefe

After seeing news reports of damage to shop windows in the CWE during Friday night’s protests, 2 friends grabbed paintbrushes and acrylic paints and came into the neighborhood today to lend a hand.

Haley Dieckgraefe, left, who at one time lived at Maryland and Taylor, said she is not an artist but is able to follow the instructions of her artistic friend Madeline Crowe, right. Both were volunteering their time to paint Madeline’s design on Culpepper’s window.

There are many plywood panels in place at Maryland and Euclid, some because shop windows were broken, and others installed by shop/restaurant owners as a precaution, see below.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Services Shop News  Madeline Crowe Haley Dieckgraefe   Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Services Shop News  Madeline Crowe Haley Dieckgraefe

It’s such a shame that this is what a prominent area of the  neighborhood looks like right now, and while I understand both the necessity and the shop owner’s concerns, it adds to the ghost-town feeling that I’ve experienced around the CWE today. In my opinion, if we can get other artists on board—as they have in the Loop—it will definitely help the neighborhood look much better and at the same time much more welcoming during this unsettling time.

Thanks Haley and Madeline for taking the initiative to beautify a corner of the neighborhood. We really appreciate your help.

Protests in CWE: from a peaceful beginning to mayhem

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Food and Drink Services Shop News  Schlafly Library Left Bank Books La Petite Spa KSDK Golden Grocer Gamlin Whiskey House Fauxgerty Evangeline's east+weststl Culpepper's Casey Nolan 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro

The CWE returned to a semblance of normalcy yesterday following a night in which peaceful protests following the Jason Stockley verdict took a menacing turn ending in senseless destruction to some neighborhood businesses, Schlafly Library, and Mayor Lyda Krewson’s home.  Often overlooked in the aftermath of events of this sort are the many neighborhood employees, especially cooks, dishwashers, and waiters, who lost wages because restaurants either shut down early, or lost business because cancellations followed news of the protests on social media.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Food and Drink Services Shop News  Schlafly Library Left Bank Books La Petite Spa KSDK Golden Grocer Gamlin Whiskey House Fauxgerty Evangeline's east+weststl Culpepper's Casey Nolan 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro

That being said, you can’t keep a great neighborhood down, and by 11 a.m. Saturday morning the sidewalk cafes at Gamlin Whiskey House and Starbucks, first photo, were crowded with neighbors and visitors alike enjoying a sunny Saturday morning. And last evening, there were scenes like the one above outside froYo. Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Food and Drink Services Shop News  Schlafly Library Left Bank Books La Petite Spa KSDK Golden Grocer Gamlin Whiskey House Fauxgerty Evangeline's east+weststl Culpepper's Casey Nolan 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro

Saturday morning, proprietors of small locally-owned businesses like Fauxgerty, 228 N. Euclid, above, were busy covering storefront windows that had been smashed by protestors, and like all the businesses affected, calculating the loss in sales and the cost of repairs. Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Food and Drink Services Shop News  Schlafly Library Left Bank Books La Petite Spa KSDK Golden Grocer Gamlin Whiskey House Fauxgerty Evangeline's east+weststl Culpepper's Casey Nolan 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro

Local tv reporters, above right, were interviewing residents and filming the damage left behind. Culpepper’s, at Euclid & Maryland, above, sustained damage to two large windows.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Food and Drink Services Shop News  Schlafly Library Left Bank Books La Petite Spa KSDK Golden Grocer Gamlin Whiskey House Fauxgerty Evangeline's east+weststl Culpepper's Casey Nolan 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro

28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro is shown being interviewed by a KTVI reporter alongside the Schlafly Library. Later I saw CWEnder Waller Maguire, Executive Director at the St. Louis Public Library,  being interviewed by a KSDK reporter.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Food and Drink Services Shop News  Schlafly Library Left Bank Books La Petite Spa KSDK Golden Grocer Gamlin Whiskey House Fauxgerty Evangeline's east+weststl Culpepper's Casey Nolan 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro

In my opinion, the most heartbreaking facility targeted by vandals was the Schlafly Library at the corner of Euclid and Lindell. Windows and doors were shattered, and books were pulled off shelves and scattered on the floor. Schlafly Library, as all of the libraries in the St. Louis Public Library system, are welcoming to anyone, all day, every day, and serve as a safe place for many people who have no where else to go. The destruction makes absolutely no sense.

Yesterday morning however, good Samaritans from the Soulard neighborhood, above, who had seen news reports of the damage, came to the CWE to remove graffiti from the windows and sweep up glass around the building. Wow! We really are better together.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Food and Drink Services Shop News  Schlafly Library Left Bank Books La Petite Spa KSDK Golden Grocer Gamlin Whiskey House Fauxgerty Evangeline's east+weststl Culpepper's Casey Nolan 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro

How do you explain to a toddler, above, why the doors on the library are broken and the library is not open (it did open later).Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Food and Drink Services Shop News  Schlafly Library Left Bank Books La Petite Spa KSDK Golden Grocer Gamlin Whiskey House Fauxgerty Evangeline's east+weststl Culpepper's Casey Nolan 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro

The Golden Grocer, 335 N. Euclid, which has been in the neighborhood for over 40 years, did not escape the wrath of agitators.  Two windows were shattered as was a third in a space above the shop, top. Apologies for not framing the photo better so you can see Cliff Helm, right, who stopped by to sweep up on his way to work at Left Bank Books where he leads StoryTime on Saturday mornings.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Food and Drink Services Shop News  Schlafly Library Left Bank Books La Petite Spa KSDK Golden Grocer Gamlin Whiskey House Fauxgerty Evangeline's east+weststl Culpepper's Casey Nolan 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro

La Petite Spa, a nail salon at 318 N. Euclid, was another target, and I noticed a boarded up window this afternoon at Subway, 115 N. Euclid. A reader just alerted me that someone shot through the window and a bullet lodged in the cash register.  See reader’s comment regarding damage to Walgreen’s, 4218 Lindell Blvd.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Food and Drink Services Shop News  Schlafly Library Left Bank Books La Petite Spa KSDK Golden Grocer Gamlin Whiskey House Fauxgerty Evangeline's east+weststl Culpepper's Casey Nolan 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro

A window on the alley at east+west, 387 N. Euclid, was also broken. Shop owners can be seen through the front window, below, as they install plywood.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Food and Drink Services Shop News  Schlafly Library Left Bank Books La Petite Spa KSDK Golden Grocer Gamlin Whiskey House Fauxgerty Evangeline's east+weststl Culpepper's Casey Nolan 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Food and Drink Services Shop News  Schlafly Library Left Bank Books La Petite Spa KSDK Golden Grocer Gamlin Whiskey House Fauxgerty Evangeline's east+weststl Culpepper's Casey Nolan 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro   Evangeline’s, 512 N. Euclid, also got hit, see above. Yesterday morning I spoke to a gentleman who works in the kitchen at Evangeline’s who said, “I lost wages because of these young punks. It makes absolutely no sense to destroy busineses.” Again, it’s the lower wage workers, such as cooks, dishwashers and waitstaff who suffer the most when reservations are cancelled and people stay away in fear.

In addition, graffiti was sprayed on entry gates at Hortense and Lenox Place, sidewalks throughout the neighborhood, and a CWEnder’s truck, below.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Food and Drink Services Shop News  Schlafly Library Left Bank Books La Petite Spa KSDK Golden Grocer Gamlin Whiskey House Fauxgerty Evangeline's east+weststl Culpepper's Casey Nolan 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Food and Drink Services Shop News  Schlafly Library Left Bank Books La Petite Spa KSDK Golden Grocer Gamlin Whiskey House Fauxgerty Evangeline's east+weststl Culpepper's Casey Nolan 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Food and Drink Services Shop News  Schlafly Library Left Bank Books La Petite Spa KSDK Golden Grocer Gamlin Whiskey House Fauxgerty Evangeline's east+weststl Culpepper's Casey Nolan 28th Ward Alderman Heather Navarro

The Central West End, like UCity which was subjected to the same senseless scenario last night, have long been known as neighborhoods that are tolerant of people’s rights and choices, including the right to protest. However, it’s extremely unfortunate and counter-productive when violence overshadows the cause, as was the case in UCity where approximately 23 businesses were vandalized and policemen were injured, when destruction and violence become the story.

I found this video on the KSDK website of an impassioned, articulate reaction in an interview with reporter Casey Nolan last night that I think captures how many of us feel about the road going forward.

http://www.ksdk.com/news/local/jason-stockley/woman-cleaning-up-on-loop-makes-call-for-unity/475622210

In the meantime, support local businesses whenever you can. They are all feeling the brunt of Friday night’s events and need your support.

Summer news wrap-up

Farmer’s Market on BJC Campus:

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Food and Drink Services Web/Tech  W. U. Medical School's farmer's market Shane Mullen Renaissance A History of the Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative Movies on the Plaza Left Bank Books Koplar Properties KMOV reporter Alexis Zotos David Strom's Web Informant Cortex Innovation Community co-living Candace O'Connor   It had been a while since I last stopped by the W. U. Medical School’s farmer’s market on the BJC campus. I paid a visit recently and was inspired to remind readers that it is open on Thursdays from 10 t0 2, with as many as 10 or 11 vendors participating each week.

The market, which has been in operation since 2009, is open year ’round. From April through October it is located on the plaza just south of CAM at Euclid and Forest Park Ave. The market moves indoors to the atrium in the McDonnell Pediatric Research building from November through March.

Market organizer Betsy Snyder sent me a list of participating farmers, including Double Star Farms from Mount Vernon, IL, Baetje Farms Goat Cheese, Windcrest Dairy from Trenton, IL, and Brautigam Orchards from Belleville. Ivan’s Figs and Great Harvest Bread also have tables at the market.

More information can be found here.

Neighborhood Security Initiative’s August Forum:

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Food and Drink Services Web/Tech  W. U. Medical School's farmer's market Shane Mullen Renaissance A History of the Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative Movies on the Plaza Left Bank Books Koplar Properties KMOV reporter Alexis Zotos David Strom's Web Informant Cortex Innovation Community co-living Candace O'Connor

There was a large turnout for the Neighborhood Security Initiative’s August forum which was held at the NSI office so residents could learn more about the NSI’s operation and also meet Capt. Mike Mueller (2nd photo top right, behind post) the newly assigned 5th District Captain, bid farewell to his predecessor Capt. Eric Larson, and hear from  North Patrol Commander (and CWE resident) Major John Hayden, top left. NSI staffer Lyndon Cornell, bottom left in red shirt, demonstrated the command center for the CWE neighborhood security system which he manages.

NSI Executive Director Jim Whyte, bottom right photo in plaid shirt, fielded questions from attendees including a lengthy discussion regarding the dangers caused by reckless drivers who ignore stop signs and red lights. One interesting suggestion was to make driver’s ed training mandatory and a prerequisite to obtaining a driver’s license.

Author Candace O’Connor at Left Bank Books:

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Food and Drink Services Web/Tech  W. U. Medical School's farmer's market Shane Mullen Renaissance A History of the Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative Movies on the Plaza Left Bank Books Koplar Properties KMOV reporter Alexis Zotos David Strom's Web Informant Cortex Innovation Community co-living Candace O'Connor

It was standing room only when author Candace O’Connor appeared at Left Bank Books last month to discuss and sign copies of her book Renaissance, A History of the Central West End, $45.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Food and Drink Services Web/Tech  W. U. Medical School's farmer's market Shane Mullen Renaissance A History of the Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative Movies on the Plaza Left Bank Books Koplar Properties KMOV reporter Alexis Zotos David Strom's Web Informant Cortex Innovation Community co-living Candace O'Connor

O’Connor is shown in photo above left with Left Bank Book’s Shane Mullen, and far right signing copies of her book. Lower left, KMOV reporter Alexis Zotos was there with a cameraman covering the event.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Food and Drink Services Web/Tech  W. U. Medical School's farmer's market Shane Mullen Renaissance A History of the Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative Movies on the Plaza Left Bank Books Koplar Properties KMOV reporter Alexis Zotos David Strom's Web Informant Cortex Innovation Community co-living Candace O'Connor

There is much to appreciate about Renaissance, including historical images such as the 1876 Compton & Dry map showing the then bucolic setting in the vicinity of Lindell, Maryland and McPherson.

David Strom on Hacked! at Cortex:

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Food and Drink Services Web/Tech  W. U. Medical School's farmer's market Shane Mullen Renaissance A History of the Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative Movies on the Plaza Left Bank Books Koplar Properties KMOV reporter Alexis Zotos David Strom's Web Informant Cortex Innovation Community co-living Candace O'Connor

On August 3, CWEnder David Strom (red shirt at podium) presented “Hacked! How to make your phone safe from hackers” at Cortex Innovation Community. Strom, who has lived in the CWE for more than a decade, writes and speaks on various tech topics for national business trade publications. He has written for this blog in the past too.

“What you carry in your pocket [meaning your phone] is very dangerous,” said Strom in his opening remarks. Some of the things Strom suggested to protect your info were “don’t do your banking from your phone, turn off wi-fi and bluetooth when you don’t need them, never put your real birthday on Facebook, and sign up for a program such as LastPass to manage your password collection.”

Though I understood about a third of Strom’s suggestions for protecting my information, he did say to do just one or two of these things at a time, so as to not get overwhelmed. I completed two of them, which took me a while to accomplish with a bit of frustration, so I would heed his advice on going slowly.

For more information, you can view his presentation slides online here or contact Strom directly via email, if you are interested in having him give this talk to your organization.

2017’s Movies on the Plaza successful finale:

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Food and Drink Services Web/Tech  W. U. Medical School's farmer's market Shane Mullen Renaissance A History of the Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative Movies on the Plaza Left Bank Books Koplar Properties KMOV reporter Alexis Zotos David Strom's Web Informant Cortex Innovation Community co-living Candace O'Connor

The curtain came down on the 9th season of Movies on the Plaza with a blockbuster turnout of over 125 people for La La Land. Thanks to Maryland Plaza’s Frances Thompson, (above left) who’s the prime mover behind this popular neighborhood event, and to Bob Koplar and the Koplar family for their ongoing support.

‘scape was La La Land’s main sponsor, and Stella Artois, which has been a loyal sponsor since the beginning of Movies on the Plaza, once again offered a free beer and popcorn, plus prizes to winners of the trivia contest.

We’re looking forward to hearing what the selections will be for 2018’s summer season.

Getting around the neighborhood:

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Food and Drink Services Web/Tech  W. U. Medical School's farmer's market Shane Mullen Renaissance A History of the Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative Movies on the Plaza Left Bank Books Koplar Properties KMOV reporter Alexis Zotos David Strom's Web Informant Cortex Innovation Community co-living Candace O'Connor

Spotted on Euclid, above.

What’s for dinner?

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Food and Drink Services Web/Tech  W. U. Medical School's farmer's market Shane Mullen Renaissance A History of the Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative Movies on the Plaza Left Bank Books Koplar Properties KMOV reporter Alexis Zotos David Strom's Web Informant Cortex Innovation Community co-living Candace O'Connor

This hardly qualifies as news, but here’s a suggestion for a simple summer (or anytime) dinner. Pasta, in this case a striped ravioli, is topped with roasted cherry tomatoes and breadcrumbs, fresh arugula, grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh basil.

Here is a recipe for the tomatoes. I’ve been using di Olivas’ Blood Orange Olive Oil for this dish for an even more fabulous flavor.

Odds and ends:

The co-living phenomenon is a current topic featured in the New Yorker, in the NY Times (“In the 90s, we had friends, now they call it co-living”), and in conversation with Eric Hamblett, co-founder of TechArtista, who has visited Zoku Amsterdam on a couple of occasions. Perhaps we’ll see one or two of these spring up in the St. Louis area in the future.

With the subject of flooding very much on everyone’s mind, here is a recent NY Times article on lessons learned from the flood-prone Netherlands.

Remembering the solar eclipse:

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Food and Drink Services Web/Tech  W. U. Medical School's farmer's market Shane Mullen Renaissance A History of the Central West End Neighborhood Security Initiative Movies on the Plaza Left Bank Books Koplar Properties KMOV reporter Alexis Zotos David Strom's Web Informant Cortex Innovation Community co-living Candace O'Connor   As tumultuous as this year has been, pausing to remember the August 21 eclipse may offer a few moments of calm. As beautiful as that event was, the view of the eclipse as filtered through trees was an unexpected gift, above.