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Wild things

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Forest Park Shop News  That Uppity Theater Company Sustainable Backyard Tour M.A.D.E. Left Bank Books Forest Park Forever CWEA House Tour CWE Farm Beyond the Flower Pot

photo courtesy of Washington Place resident

A deer sighting is not something you’d expect to witness on a residential street in the Central West End.  Recently however, neighbors on Washington Place near Lake Avenue woke up to this surprising scene.

After contacting the administration at Forest Park Forever, I was surprised to learn from Katie Stuckenschneider, Marketing and Digital Media Manager, that deer reside in Kennedy Forest (behind the Art Museum).  On the same day as this photograph was taken, there was a call for service reporting an injured deer in a McPherson alley, which isn’t a happy thought. Hopefully these creatures will sense that the grass is greener in Forest Park, otherwise we may have to consider deer-resistant plant materials, a fact of life for many county residents.

About 8 years ago wild turkeys were spotted (just after Thanksgiving by the way) picking through late fall gardens on Pershing Place, and then on McPherson Avenue east of Taylor. At the time they were a novelty—until they weren’t. When they eventually crossed (flew over) Kingshighway and headed to Westmoreland Place, most observers were delighted they had moved up to fancier pastures.

Sustainable Backyard Tour

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Forest Park Shop News  That Uppity Theater Company Sustainable Backyard Tour M.A.D.E. Left Bank Books Forest Park Forever CWEA House Tour CWE Farm Beyond the Flower Pot

The 9th annual Sustainable Backyard Tour takes place all across the city and county this Sunday, June 23, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. This is a self-guided, free tour. If you’re looking for inspiration on how to make your garden more sustainable, there are 39 gardens to glean information from, so you’re bound to get some helpful tips.

Two of the gardens on the tour are in the CWE. The Central West End Farm, above and below, is located at 5057 Waterman (just west of Kingshighway). The Gift Garden, as it was recently designated, was spearheaded by CWE resident Arthur Culbert 9 years ago. Read more about it here.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Forest Park Shop News  That Uppity Theater Company Sustainable Backyard Tour M.A.D.E. Left Bank Books Forest Park Forever CWEA House Tour CWE Farm Beyond the Flower Pot

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Forest Park Shop News  That Uppity Theater Company Sustainable Backyard Tour M.A.D.E. Left Bank Books Forest Park Forever CWEA House Tour CWE Farm Beyond the Flower Pot

Another CWE site to visit is a shade garden on McPherson east of Taylor, above, designed by Yvonne Hamilton, whose landscape design business is called Beyond the Flower Pot. Register for the tour here.

CWE House Tour

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Forest Park Shop News  That Uppity Theater Company Sustainable Backyard Tour M.A.D.E. Left Bank Books Forest Park Forever CWEA House Tour CWE Farm Beyond the Flower Pot

From left, 2019 House Tour volunteer Nancy Culbert, Central West End Association Executive Director Jess Campbell, and right, CWEA President Kate Walter, were photographed last Sunday afternoon on Kingsbury Place, the site of this year’s 44th annual CWEA House Tour.

Word from Kate Walter is that following a very successful Preview Party on Friday evening with 150 guests in attendance, the numbers were down a bit on Saturday as compared to 2017’s House Tour on Fullerton/Westminster Place.  Both the early morning rain and  the region-wide celebration of the St. Louis Blues Stanley Cup win were cited as reasons for the lower turnout.  The good news is that Sunday’s attendance more than made up for Saturday.

Look for information about The Central West End Association 2020 tour early next spring.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Forest Park Shop News  That Uppity Theater Company Sustainable Backyard Tour M.A.D.E. Left Bank Books Forest Park Forever CWEA House Tour CWE Farm Beyond the Flower Pot

photo courtesy of StLMag.com

Have you seen the terrific piece reporter Jeannette Cooperman wrote for StlMag.com about Left Bank Books as it celebrates 50 years in business? It’s full of fascinating information about the characters involved in the independent bookstore’s beginnings, some of the well-known authors who made appearances, and co-proprietors Kris Kleindienst, above, and Jarek Steele. Be sure to read it here.

On tap for the weekend

Delmar Maker FairNicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Forest Park Shop News  That Uppity Theater Company Sustainable Backyard Tour M.A.D.E. Left Bank Books Forest Park Forever CWEA House Tour CWE Farm Beyond the Flower Pot

 

The lot across from M.A.D.E. on Delmar (west of Kingshighway and east of Union) stands empty now but this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. the Delmar Maker District – St. Louis, MO, in conjunction with Third Degree Glass Factory and the The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum, is hosting a grassroots festival for 80 local makers, artists, designers, and entrepreneurs from across St. Louis.

There will be some fun hands-on maker activities that the whole family can be a part of too. There will be food trucks (Hot Dog Daddy & Catering, Bombay Food Junkies, Just 1 Taste Catering), and drinks from Juice Master and Urban Chestnut Brewing Company, as well as a Kids Corner by the Magic House.

Parking will be available on the street.

At projects + gallery on Saturday 

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Forest Park Shop News  That Uppity Theater Company Sustainable Backyard Tour M.A.D.E. Left Bank Books Forest Park Forever CWEA House Tour CWE Farm Beyond the Flower Pot

Your cast-off is treasure for projects+gallery’s Garage Sale Saturday

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  SBF '91 projects+gallery Janey Stamm Home Sweet Home STL Edo Rosenblith Ben Poremba

Apologies for the late notice but projects+gallery, 4733 McPherson, is hosting a benefit Garage Sale this Saturday and has put out a call to the St. Louis Community to bring surplus items to the gallery today through the end of day Friday. “Your trash is someone else’s treasure” has a nice ring to it, especially when the gallery makes it this easy. Drop your items off between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Saturday’s Garage Sale is the 2nd of 5 events planned for projects+gallery’s humorously titled summer vacation series, SBF ’91. (The first event, Carnival, took place last Saturday and the final event, Energy, occurs July 13.)

Proceeds from Saturday’s Garage Sale benefit Home Sweet Home, a local nonprofit that helps people who are transitioning out of homelessness furnish their first home.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  SBF '91 projects+gallery Janey Stamm Home Sweet Home STL Edo Rosenblith Ben Poremba

The photo above shows what had been collected as of Monday afternoon.  Garage Sale is a free event scheduled for noon to 5 p.m., with an early bird pre-sale (entry is $5 cash) that begins at 10 a.m.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  SBF '91 projects+gallery Janey Stamm Home Sweet Home STL Edo Rosenblith Ben Poremba

Another component of SBF ’91 is a collaboration with artist Edo Rosenblith, above, on a summertime mural project. Visit the gallery during business hours to watch Rosenblith’s progress, and while there, color in a page that will be incorporated into his work. There will be an opportunity to join in this Saturday as well.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Shop News  SBF '91 projects+gallery Janey Stamm Home Sweet Home STL Edo Rosenblith Ben Poremba

Artist Janey Stamm, above, shown in front of her fascinating mural, is also participating in the summer program.

Stop by Saturday to shop the sale for a good cause, grab a complimentary Stag beer, and a bite from the official Cardinal’s hot dog cart parked outside.

Garage Sale at projects+gallery, 4733 McPherson, Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 15.  Pre-sale begins at 10 a.m.

Picnic, the 3rd event in the SBF ’91 series, is scheduled for Thursday, June 20, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The menu features cold fried chicken and sides cooked by Ben Poremba of Olio, Elaia & Benevolent King.  There will be artisanal lemonade and great conversation of course. What there won’t be is a large number of tickets, so be sure to check the website and the gallery’s Facebook page to purchase tickets as soon as they go on sale.

The Magic House @ M.A.D.E. is open

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture For kids Services Web/Tech  The Magic House @ MADE Jim McKelvey Doug Auer Dennis Lower Carrie Hutchcraft

The Magic House opened its satellite location at M.A.D.E.  yesterday, June 7, at 5127 Delmar (between Kingshighway & Union). It’s located on the second floor of the 33,000 s.f. maker space, “a place where St. Louis designers create and collaborate,” which opened in late November 2018.

A veritable techy wonderland of interactive experiences awaits those ages 3 to 13—at least that is what The Magic House @ M.A.D.E.’s brochure says.  But when I spoke with The Magic House’s Chief Administrative Officer Carrie Hutchcraft on Wednesday, during a preview day for members,  she explained that kids ages 6 to 13 will be their “sweet spot” at the satellite location. Younger siblings are certainly welcome to come along, and there are plenty of things for them to do, but the activities on Delmar are STEAM focused (science, technology, education, arts & mathematics), whereas the Kirkwood location is geared toward younger children.

Hutchcraft added: “Middle schoolers think they are ‘too old’ for the Kirkwood location.” From what I observed, they will be happily engaged as soon as they walk through the doors of The Magic House @ M.A.D.E.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture For kids Services Web/Tech  The Magic House @ MADE Jim McKelvey Doug Auer Dennis Lower Carrie Hutchcraft

M.A.D.E. was founded by Doug Auer and Jim McKelvey, who are responsible for Third Degree Glass Factory located across the street. McKelvey is perhaps best known as a co-creator of Square.

Read more about M.A.D.E. on the website here and on an earlier post here.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture For kids Services Web/Tech  The Magic House @ MADE Jim McKelvey Doug Auer Dennis Lower Carrie Hutchcraft

At a strategic planning meeting in 2016, the board of The Magic House mandated that the organization should stretch its reach beyond its Kirkwood facility and open a satellite location in north St. Louis. The Magic House had been working closely with the St. Louis Public Schools for 30 years, but the board felt they could and should do more.

The board’s objective became to open a satellite experience in north St. Louis, thereby offering accessibility to its programs to a broader community. Auer and McKelvey had worked previously with Dennis Lower, head of  the Cortex Innnovation Community, on creating M.A.D.E. after the closing of Tech Shop in Cortex. Together they determined to create a new facility in its current location on Delmar. Happily for those of us who live nearby, that vision has been fully realized.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture For kids Services Web/Tech  The Magic House @ MADE Jim McKelvey Doug Auer Dennis Lower Carrie Hutchcraft

In theory, according to Carrie Hutchcraft, the activities available at The Magic House @ M.A.D.E. are similar to what’s available downstairs at M.A.D.E.  There are 4 distinct areas of learning experiences, as shown on the banners above. The hope is that as kids learn from their exposure to The Magic House @ M.A.D.E., they will “graduate” and become members of M.A.D.E. (downstairs) in high school.

Some of those activities that are sure to thrill are shown in the photographs that follow:Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture For kids Services Web/Tech  The Magic House @ MADE Jim McKelvey Doug Auer Dennis Lower Carrie Hutchcraft

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture For kids Services Web/Tech  The Magic House @ MADE Jim McKelvey Doug Auer Dennis Lower Carrie Hutchcraft

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture For kids Services Web/Tech  The Magic House @ MADE Jim McKelvey Doug Auer Dennis Lower Carrie Hutchcraft

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture For kids Services Web/Tech  The Magic House @ MADE Jim McKelvey Doug Auer Dennis Lower Carrie Hutchcraft

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture For kids Services Web/Tech  The Magic House @ MADE Jim McKelvey Doug Auer Dennis Lower Carrie Hutchcraft

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture For kids Services Web/Tech  The Magic House @ MADE Jim McKelvey Doug Auer Dennis Lower Carrie Hutchcraft

As I looked at the learning opportunities it occurred to me that these activities are inter-generational, and that parents and grandparents might also enjoy learning how to code a robot to move, or create a stop motion video.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture For kids Services Web/Tech  The Magic House @ MADE Jim McKelvey Doug Auer Dennis Lower Carrie Hutchcraft

The entry fee is $5 per person, starting at age 1. However, family membership for a year is a reasonable $50. Hours at the new location are posted above and correspond to the hours at the Kirkwood location.  A display listing the generous donors occupies a wall in the new space.  Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture For kids Services Web/Tech  The Magic House @ MADE Jim McKelvey Doug Auer Dennis Lower Carrie Hutchcraft

In 2014-15 when Mayor Lyda Krewson was the 28th Ward Alderwoman, many CWEnders worked with her to cultivate the sunflower garden on a property across the street from M.A.D.E. Although it was intended that the Sunflower Project would both beautify that section of Delmar and inspire others to think about future possibilities, I doubt anyone imagined what would blossom nearby in such short order.

Progress is often frustratingly slow, but when there are people with the means and the intentions to contribute to the community, good things spring up. Thanks to Doug Auer, Jim McKelvey and the board of The Magic House for all that they’ve done for the neighborhood and the City of St. Louis.

The Magic House @ M.A.D.E., 5127 Delmar. Limited parking is available on a lot just to the west of the building, and there is free parking on Delmar. The lot to the east does not belong to M.A.D.E.  Summer hours: Monday through Saturday 9:30 to 5:30, Sunday 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.