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Rosé Day exceeds expectations

If you were wandering through the Central West End last Saturday afternoon you surely noticed groups of very happy people enjoying the inaugural Rosé Day, a benefit designed to highlight non-profits working to support and empower women in the St. Louis area. Approximately 700 guests visited 10 wine tasting stations located at area businesses which were paired with one of the organizations (see informational map here).

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink Services Shop News  Rose Day St. Louis Central West End

1st photo: Around 4 p.m. I ran into c0-organizer Rick Ruderer, above right, shown with husband Edwin Massie, who reported that they had already replenished the supply of rosé at each station, as the number of tickets sold exceeded expectations.

2nd photo: Co-organizer Michael Powers, right, and philanthropist Kristen Thuy Liu holding Rosé Day passports, which were stamped at each location.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink Services Shop News  Rose Day St. Louis Central West End

From top: Attendees started the tour on Maryland Plaza where they picked up their Rosé Day passports, gift bags, and commemorative wine glasses. Second photo: from left, Cillah Hall, publisher of media sponsor Gazelle Magazine, and friends enjoying the afternoon. Bottom left: A guest photographed at Bar Italia with one of Bob Kramer’s marionettes, Bottom right: A group hug between stops.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink Services Shop News  Rose Day St. Louis Central West End

Top photo: Representatives from Hawthorn Leadership School for Girls were passing out information on Bar Italia’s patio. Middle: The crowd at Bar Italia. Bottom: Magdalene St. Louis, an organization that provides housing and business training for survivors of sexual exploitation and addiction, was located at Steel Wheels.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink Services Shop News  Rose Day St. Louis Central West End

Top left: Handcrafted by Bissinger’s hosted St. Louis Crisis Nursery. Top right: The Center for Women in Transition was paired with Llewellyn’s. Bottom left: Representatives from St. Louis Ovarian Cancer Awareness were stationed in front of The Vino Gallery. Below right: A view of the crowd inside Vino Gallery.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Food and Drink Services Shop News  Rose Day St. Louis Central West End

Top photos: Rosé Day at Coffee Cartel which was paired with Safe Connections, and right, a group selfie in front of projects + gallery. Bottom left: Senior Director of projects + gallery, Bridget Melloy, where Planned Parenthood had an informational table, lower right.

The afternoon seemed to be a win for everyone involved, from the organizers to the non-profit organizations to the many people who visited the neighborhood, some for the first time. Judging from the apparent success of the event, I would suspect there is a second Rosé Day in the future. I certainly hope so.

Snapshots from last Saturday’s happenings: National Dance Week STL, Independent Bookstore Day, The Kabine & more

Is it my imagination, or does there seem to be an extra spring in everyone’s step now that the weather has finally turned a corner?  The upbeat tempo was certainly evident last Saturday when the sidewalks were packed—a more frequent occurrence these days with the addition of so many new residents from recently-constructed apartment buildings.  I took advantage of the weather as well and headed out to enjoy a couple of events and found a surprise discovery along the way.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Shop News  The Kabine The Dance Co. of St. Charles Roland Burrow NationalDanceWeekSTL.com National Independent Bookstore Day Midwest Ballet Theater McCaughen & Burr Fine Arts Left Bank Books Kim Hayes Kari James Dance Network FOXPACF St. Louis Teen Competition

Fifty dance companies from the St. Louis area participated in National Dance Week STL which took place on Washington Ave. in Grand Center from Noon to 5 p.m. Linda Green, Missouri State Director of National Dance Week STL, upper left, delivered the opening remarks and welcomed the dancers and spectators. Other photographs show participants arriving at the event or, lower left, carving out a spot to practice their routine before their performance.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Shop News  The Kabine The Dance Co. of St. Charles Roland Burrow NationalDanceWeekSTL.com National Independent Bookstore Day Midwest Ballet Theater McCaughen & Burr Fine Arts Left Bank Books Kim Hayes Kari James Dance Network FOXPACF St. Louis Teen Competition

Lindenwood University’s Dance Troupe, above.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Shop News  The Kabine The Dance Co. of St. Charles Roland Burrow NationalDanceWeekSTL.com National Independent Bookstore Day Midwest Ballet Theater McCaughen & Burr Fine Arts Left Bank Books Kim Hayes Kari James Dance Network FOXPACF St. Louis Teen Competition

Clockwise from top left, Midwest Ballet Theatre, Kari James Dance Network (Kari teaches a DanceJam class at the CWE’s City Studio), The Dance Co. of St. Charles, and FOXPACF St. Louis Teen Competition.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Shop News  The Kabine The Dance Co. of St. Charles Roland Burrow NationalDanceWeekSTL.com National Independent Bookstore Day Midwest Ballet Theater McCaughen & Burr Fine Arts Left Bank Books Kim Hayes Kari James Dance Network FOXPACF St. Louis Teen Competition

A view of the crowd watching the performances.

Walking west on Washington I had the good fortune to stumble upon “A Tiny Shiny Shop,” a mobile stationery store parked across from the Pulitzer Arts Foundation.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Shop News  The Kabine The Dance Co. of St. Charles Roland Burrow NationalDanceWeekSTL.com National Independent Bookstore Day Midwest Ballet Theater McCaughen & Burr Fine Arts Left Bank Books Kim Hayes Kari James Dance Network FOXPACF St. Louis Teen Competition

For the past 2 years Kim Hayes, who was on the staff at Centro until 2011, has operated her business in a 1965 Airstream called The Kabine. Accompanied by her sidekick, a gentle pit bull named Meri, Hayes takes The Kabine to festivals (she traveled to Palm Springs for Modernism Week in February), to museums such as the Contemporary and Pulitzer, and other locations around town including Cortex and MidTown Alley. Last fall she was a vendor at the CWE BookFest STL.

Hayes is hopeful that her mobile shop will “inspire unplugging, slowing down, and connecting in meaningful ways.” Included in her mix of unusual items, or as the website says, “goods for your next adventure,” are beautiful postcards featuring photos from her travels, a variety of clever notebooks, writing instruments, decorative masking tapes, off-beat paper clips, Japanese binoculars, and much more.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Shop News  The Kabine The Dance Co. of St. Charles Roland Burrow NationalDanceWeekSTL.com National Independent Bookstore Day Midwest Ballet Theater McCaughen & Burr Fine Arts Left Bank Books Kim Hayes Kari James Dance Network FOXPACF St. Louis Teen Competition

Hayes said her merchandise reflects what she would put in a suitcase when packing for a trip. “I always include books,” she said, and unsurprisingly her small collection features one titled Pit Bull.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Shop News  The Kabine The Dance Co. of St. Charles Roland Burrow NationalDanceWeekSTL.com National Independent Bookstore Day Midwest Ballet Theater McCaughen & Burr Fine Arts Left Bank Books Kim Hayes Kari James Dance Network FOXPACF St. Louis Teen Competition

To learn more and to find out where The Kabine will pop up next, visit the website, Instagram or Twitter. Hayes also writes a blog called two girls (Kim + Meri) and a trailer.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Shop News  The Kabine The Dance Co. of St. Charles Roland Burrow NationalDanceWeekSTL.com National Independent Bookstore Day Midwest Ballet Theater McCaughen & Burr Fine Arts Left Bank Books Kim Hayes Kari James Dance Network FOXPACF St. Louis Teen Competition

It was really heartwarming to see the huge crowd at Left Bank Books celebrating National Independent Bookstore Day.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Shop News  The Kabine The Dance Co. of St. Charles Roland Burrow NationalDanceWeekSTL.com National Independent Bookstore Day Midwest Ballet Theater McCaughen & Burr Fine Arts Left Bank Books Kim Hayes Kari James Dance Network FOXPACF St. Louis Teen Competition

The bookstore’s staff had planned many activities including a Bullet Journaling workshop led by Margaret Duncan, above right, a W.U. medical student. There was a pancake artist named Dancakes making literary themed pancakes, a group called the Magnificoes who read Shakespeare’s Star Wars Part the Seventh: The Force Doth Awaken (not photographed), and bottom left, an Anonymous Autograph Hour with a chance to choose a book in a sealed bag with a purchase of $20 or more. There was also an hour-long special sale in the Used Book section.

Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Shop News  The Kabine The Dance Co. of St. Charles Roland Burrow NationalDanceWeekSTL.com National Independent Bookstore Day Midwest Ballet Theater McCaughen & Burr Fine Arts Left Bank Books Kim Hayes Kari James Dance Network FOXPACF St. Louis Teen Competition

Saturday’s activities ended with an introduction to artist Roland Burrow, above, who had been invited to exhibit his paintings in the home of a CWE couple he met through McCaughen & Burr Fine Arts in Webster Groves. The couple were so impressed with Burrow’s work that they were eager to introduce him to some of their friends.

The artist, who earned a degree in Fine Arts Studies from UMSL in 2006, finds inspiration from the works of Michelangelo and Caravaggio and the Harlem Renaissance Painters. The painting shown with Burrows above is a 40″ x 30″ oil on canvas titled Madonna and Child.

“I love figure drawing” he said, “but consider the background to be just as important as the subject matter.” He also said he loves fashion, which is evident in his choice of attire as well as the elaborate costumes depicted in his paintings. Burrow is also a fan of musicians who lived in St. Louis at the time of the World’s Fair, such as Scott Joplin, Top Turpin and Louis “Birdface” Chauvin.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings Shop News  The Kabine The Dance Co. of St. Charles Roland Burrow NationalDanceWeekSTL.com National Independent Bookstore Day Midwest Ballet Theater McCaughen & Burr Fine Arts Left Bank Books Kim Hayes Kari James Dance Network FOXPACF St. Louis Teen Competition

Other paintings that were exhibited were from top: Are you experienced, 26″ x 42″ oil on canvas. Lower left: Defiance, 30″ x 40″ oil on canvas and lower right,  Jazz Singer,  30″ x 40″ oil on canvas.

In the gallery’s artist statement Burrow says: “Growing up on the North Side, growing up black, leaves little opportunity to view your community in a positive light…My goal is to portray the black community in a positive light as opposed to the historically represented theme of negativity…” The closing line is: “I intend to use my art to create a bridge of understanding between the black and white communities and begin to close the divide.” 

For more information, contact McCaughen & Burr Fine Arts

Evangeline’s 5th Annual Crawfish Festival: a recipe for a good time

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers LSU alums Evangeline's 5th Annual Crawfish Festival Central West End

The Cajun expression “laissez les bons temps rouler” (let the good times roll) certainly applied last Saturday at the 5th Annual Crawfish Boil at Evangeline’s Bistro & Music Hall.  Here are the ingredients that made it so successful:

Take 700 pounds of crawfish,

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers LSU alums Evangeline's 5th Annual Crawfish Festival Central West End

invite 5 teams of LSU alums (St. Louis Chapter) to add their special sauce,

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers LSU alums Evangeline's 5th Annual Crawfish Festival Central West End

and then observe as hundreds of people enjoy the tasty results.  Proprietor Don Bailey’s guesstimate was that at least 1300 people stopped by throughout the day-long event.Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers LSU alums Evangeline's 5th Annual Crawfish Festival Central West End

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers LSU alums Evangeline's 5th Annual Crawfish Festival Central West End

Some came to enjoy the all-you-can-eat Cajun feast, while others came for drinks and to listen to musical groups who performed from noon until 9 p.m.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers LSU alums Evangeline's 5th Annual Crawfish Festival Central West End

Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers, above, who are regulars at Evangeline’s Sunday Brunch were there, and later on there was dancing to the Zydeco Crawdaddies at the newly-redecorated Mahler Ballroom, 4915 Washington.

Evangeline’s Bistro & Music Hall, 512 N. Euclid Ave.