Browsing Category

Events, Sightings

Street closure info for BookFest STL

Starting at 6 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, McPherson Avenue, between Euclid and Walton and Euclid north of McPherson to the parking lot just north of Dressel’s, will be closed to through traffic. Vehicles will be able to access the parking lot on Euclid, by heading south on Euclid from Washington. 

The intersection of McPherson and Euclid will remain open for traffic traveling east on McPherson, turning south on Euclid and those traveling north on Euclid turning west on McPherson. Streets will open back up by midnight.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings  Sally Field Festival Zone Chase Park Plaza BookFest STL

Photos from 2017’s BookFest STL Festival Zone, above.

From the BookFest website:

In between BookFest St. Louis author events (see full schedule here*), be sure to check out the McPherson/Euclid Avenue festival zone, featuring live music, demonstrations, book sellers, local artisans and more! Open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22.

What to Do

Festival-goers will enjoy music from Farshid Etniko, Mt. Thelonious and Sarah Jane & The Blue Notes while they color Central West End scenes (adult and kid-friendly coloring pages available!), craft poetry on a giant magnetic board and stroll through more than two dozen booths featuring book-themed crafts available for purchase and a variety of family-friendly activities.

Where to Eat

If you work up an appetite during BookFest St. Louis, be sure to check out the dine-in and grab-and-go options available at one of the Central West End’s numerous restaurants. Dressel’s Pub, Mission Taco Joint and Pi Pizzeria are all located inside the festival zone, while other great options — full list available here — are all within walking distance.

Participating Vendors

  • 3rd Degree Glass Factory
  • AAUW Kirkwood-Webster Groves
  • Archon
  • BraveLovelyHeroBooks.com
  • Central Print
  • Chris Lynch
  • Dan Zettwoch
  • Diane Randall, M.A
  • december: A Literary Legacy Since 1958
  • Greater St. Louis Sisters in Crime
  • Issac Ludwig
  • Jennifer Gerald Goley
  • Jennifer Walker
  • John Bryant, Indie Author
  • The Kabine
  • LaQuita Cameron
  • Left Bank Books Foundation
  • May Ann Russum
  • Megan Singleton
  • Mike Murphy
  • Mission Taco Joint
  • The Novel Neighbor
  • River Styx
  • Stormy White
  • St. Louis Poetry Center
  • St. Louis Public Library
  • Witty Kids
  • World Chess Hall of Fame

The BookFest St. Louis festival zone is free and open to the public.

It is a real coup for the Central West End and St. Louis that following the success of the 1st BookFest event last September, word has traveled among the literary community that this is a top-notch festival, and one authors shouldn’t miss. Neither should you.

Thanks to Left Bank Books, the Left Bank Books Foundation and the CWE North Community Improvement District for all the effort and care they have put into 2018’s BookFest STL.

*There are still tickets available for actress Sally Field’s appearance at the Chase Park Plaza Friday. Details here.

After 46 years the Great Forest Park Balloon Race still thrills this town

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

For only the second time in its 46 year history, the 2018 Great Forest Park Balloon Race was held on Art Hill, one of the prettiest spots in Forest Park. The location on Grand Basin offered a respite from the oppressive  heat to those who rented paddle boats or sat by water’s edge and dipped their feet into the Basin.

The Balloon Race was founded by CWEnder John Marlow and friends Ted Staley, Dan Schettler and John Schaumberg, who modestly dub themselves The Fab Four. There were only 6 balloons at lift-off in the inaugural year 1973, and twice that number of spectators. Now the GFPBR invites over 60 of the most experienced balloonists in the country to participate, and there are an estimated 150,000 people attending the weekend’s activities, the Balloon Glow on Friday night and the Race on Saturday afternoon.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

Lift off took place Saturday about 4:40 p.m. A southwest breeze guided the Hare (the lead balloon), above, to the old Chrysler plant in Fenton.  In Sunday’s Post-Dispatch, reporter Leah Thorsen gives a first-hand account of what it was like to ride in the balloon sponsored by the newspaper.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Forest Park  PNC Bank John Marlow Great Forest Park Balloon Race Forest Park Art Hill

One of the great pleasures of the afternoon was to observe people of all descriptions as they enjoyed this fabulous family-friendly and free event on Art Hill. Thanks to John Marlow and friends for the countless hours of work organizing this magnificent gift to our town. And a very special thanks to PNC Bank, Presenting Sponsor of 2018’s Great Forest Park Balloon Race. Other sponsors can be found on the GFPBR website.

Snapshots from Rededication of Dr. Martin Luther King Statue

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Urban Gardens  Wiley Price IV Rudolph Torrini Rabbi Susan Talve Mayor Lyda Krewson Lewis Reed Kevin Bryant Fountain Park 18th Ward Alderman Terry Kennedy

Signs of shared purpose, renewed energy, and positive vibes were everywhere Wednesday evening as neighbors who live on or near Fountain Park gathered with St. Louis City and state representatives for a rededication of the 40-year-old Dr. Martin Luther King statue, which had been been restored by AKT Studios.

Partners in the restoration project, which was initiated by the Neighbors of Fountain Park, included 18th Ward Alderman Terry Kennedy, AKT Studios, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. – Epsilon Lambda Graduate Chapter St. Louis, Centennial Christian Church (DOC), St. Louis City Parks Department and The Board of Public Service.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Urban Gardens  Wiley Price IV Rudolph Torrini Rabbi Susan Talve Mayor Lyda Krewson Lewis Reed Kevin Bryant Fountain Park 18th Ward Alderman Terry Kennedy

Those in attendance included Mayor Lyda Krewson, who’s flanked in the photo above by President of the Board of Alderman Lewis Reed, left, and right, Wiley Price, IV, the Democratic nominee for 84th District of the Missouri House of Representatives, which includes a large portion of the CWE. Many other elected officials were in attendance.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Urban Gardens  Wiley Price IV Rudolph Torrini Rabbi Susan Talve Mayor Lyda Krewson Lewis Reed Kevin Bryant Fountain Park 18th Ward Alderman Terry Kennedy

18th Ward Alderman Terry Kennedy welcomed the large crowd and introduced speakers during The Statue: A Symbol of Hope portion of the program.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Urban Gardens  Wiley Price IV Rudolph Torrini Rabbi Susan Talve Mayor Lyda Krewson Lewis Reed Kevin Bryant Fountain Park 18th Ward Alderman Terry Kennedy

Those included Mayor Lyda Krewson, who commended the neighborhood for working together to strengthen their community. Her comments included references to the legacy of Dr. King and the application of his values to the ongoing challenges of our time.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Urban Gardens  Wiley Price IV Rudolph Torrini Rabbi Susan Talve Mayor Lyda Krewson Lewis Reed Kevin Bryant Fountain Park 18th Ward Alderman Terry Kennedy

President of the Board of Alderman Lewis Reed also referenced Dr. King when he spoke about current efforts to bring new vitality to the neighborhood in and around Fountain Park.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Urban Gardens  Wiley Price IV Rudolph Torrini Rabbi Susan Talve Mayor Lyda Krewson Lewis Reed Kevin Bryant Fountain Park 18th Ward Alderman Terry Kennedy

The bronze statue, sculpted by St. Louisan Rudolph Torrini in 1978, was unveiled by Tony Rocca & Nick Birsa of AKT Studios. In his remarks Rocca said it was a pleasure to work with the community on this project, and promised to stop by every once in a while with a bucket of water to clean the statue.

Coincidentally, Torrini died this week at age 95, on the same day as the rededication. Read about it here: STL Today.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Urban Gardens  Wiley Price IV Rudolph Torrini Rabbi Susan Talve Mayor Lyda Krewson Lewis Reed Kevin Bryant Fountain Park 18th Ward Alderman Terry Kennedy

Kevin Bryant (see previous post here) introduced Reverend Dinah Tatman, right, and thanked her for her quiet support in moving his redevelopment plans for the neighborhood along. He also reminded the crowd that their numbers far exceeded those few who cause problems in the neighborhood, which led to great applause.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Urban Gardens  Wiley Price IV Rudolph Torrini Rabbi Susan Talve Mayor Lyda Krewson Lewis Reed Kevin Bryant Fountain Park 18th Ward Alderman Terry Kennedy

Other speakers included Rabbi Susan Talve of Central Reform Congregation, above, Jerry Hall, a 44-year resident of Fountain Park (not photographed), Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Urban Gardens  Wiley Price IV Rudolph Torrini Rabbi Susan Talve Mayor Lyda Krewson Lewis Reed Kevin Bryant Fountain Park 18th Ward Alderman Terry Kennedy   and Dr. Lisa Small, principal of Washington Montessori School, located on Euclid just north of Fountain Park.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Urban Gardens  Wiley Price IV Rudolph Torrini Rabbi Susan Talve Mayor Lyda Krewson Lewis Reed Kevin Bryant Fountain Park 18th Ward Alderman Terry Kennedy

After the ceremony Mayor Krewson visited with some of the neighbors.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Urban Gardens  Wiley Price IV Rudolph Torrini Rabbi Susan Talve Mayor Lyda Krewson Lewis Reed Kevin Bryant Fountain Park 18th Ward Alderman Terry Kennedy

One of the highlights of the evening was the appearance of the Gentlemen of Vision, shown waiting to  perform above. The group is led by Marlon Wharton, whose voice you’ll hear on the following video. You’ll also hear him say that the 100 % of the young men graduate from high school and go on to college.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Events, Sightings Urban Gardens  Wiley Price IV Rudolph Torrini Rabbi Susan Talve Mayor Lyda Krewson Lewis Reed Kevin Bryant Fountain Park 18th Ward Alderman Terry Kennedy

There was so much to take away from Wednesday’s event in Fountain Park. Change is definitely happening north of Delmar. One clear observation is that the common perception of the boundaries that define the Central West End must be expanded to include the neighborhood around Fountain Park. Simply debunking the concept of the “Delmar Divide” will go a long way toward accelerating the pace of change. Thanks to the Fountain Park community, Alderman Terry Kennedy, and Kevin Bryant for leading the way.