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RFT’s 2012 St. Louis Web Awards

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings Web/Tech  RFT Web Awards

The good news? The St. Louis online community is alive and well. The bad news? There's so much great content out there, it's extremely difficult to come up with a list of the best of the best. But, hey, this is the Internet. People love them some lists. We'd hate to disappoint. 

So, then, the list (below) of finalists in this year's RFT St. Louis Web Awards appears in no certain order. Winners will be published in next week's paper and announced at our award's ceremony on January 24th at the Old Rock House. Congrats to all, and special thanks to our judges who spent hours and hours combing the web to bring back these incredible finds. Now, without further ado…

FYI: Just back from the RFT Web Awards Ceremony at The Rock House to report that 'I Love Soulard" won best neighborhood blog. Thanks to everyone who nominated "Nicki's Central West End Guide." There were 1000 nominations for 21 different categories sent in by 400 readers of the RFT. It is an honor to be among the top five! Thank you!

NoCo STL
I Love Soulard* THE WINNER!
Cherokee Street News

Best Music Blog
Encor.es
I Went to a Show
KDHX Blog
3 Minute Record
Music VS Man

Best Personal Blog
Running from the Law
City in a Jar
sKIDmarks
Captain's Quarters

Best Arts Blog
ReviewSTL
Temporary Art Review
St. Louisan
St. Louis Art Map

Best Food Blog
Every Little Thing
Off the Eaten Path
Cupcake Project
Rhubarb and Honey
Iron Stef

Best Sports Blog
Cards Diaspora
Black Sports Online
Joe Sports Fan
Viva El Birdos

Best Architecture Blog
NextSTL
Built St. Louis
Preservation Research
St. Louis Patina
B.E.L.T.

Best Political Blog
Occasional Planet
PoliticMO
St. Louis Activist Hub
Beacon Backroom
St. Louis Tea Party

Best Photostream/Flickr

Nate Burrell: Before the Blink
Elaine Marschik: Fridayn (Flickr)
Jason Stoff: Encor.es
Corey Woodruff:coreywoodruff.com
Todd Owyoung: I Shoot Shows
Mark Scott Abeln: Rome of the West
Darren Snow: Plasticfootball (Flickr)

Best Use of Video
Feast Magazine
Show Me Shows
Joe Sports Fan
St. Louisan

Best Use of Twitter to Promote a Business/Org.

@Schlafly
@MilagroModMex
@MissOhioVintage
@websteru
@RobustWineBar
@YoungFreeSTL (Vantage Credit Union)

Best Use of Twitter to Promote a Personal Brand

Evan Benn @EvanBenn
Angela Ortmann @STLwinegirl
Chris Reimer @rizzotees
Erica Smith @ericasmith
Nick Gilham @NickGilham

Best Use of Facebook to Promote a Business/Org.

Star Clipper
Atomic Dust
FoamMiss Ohio Vintage
Kakao

Best Use of Social Media for a Civic Campaign

Save St. Louis Del Taco
Save Pratzels

Best Local iPhone App
Pocketbooth
Explore St. Louis
Stodgy Gents

Best Club/Concert Website
An Under Cover Weekend
LouFest
Firebird
The Pageant

Best Restaurant Website*
Pi
Cicero's

*Our judges really disliked menus that open as .pdf files. Restaurant owners take note.

What’s 10denza?

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater For Children Shop News Web/Tech  Vintage Highway Toygiants TOY watches Kid Robot Kay Oss Digby & Iona Contego Chris Lanter 10denza

Ultra-hip 10denza (from the Italian tendenza meaning “following a trend”) opened the middle of September at 44 Maryland Plaza in the space formerly occupied by Design Within Reach. The often-heard assumption that shopping on Maryland Plaza is somewhat exclusive and expensive will be blown away when you enter this urban emporium. Chris Lanter, below, the creator and “arbiter” (as he identifies himself on his business card), has been observing the commercial real estate market in the CWE for a couple of years, waiting for the right space to become available. An aficionado of pop culture and current trends, Chris knew that this eclectic neighborhood was the only place in town where his vision of a shop would fit.
Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater For Children Shop News Web/Tech  Vintage Highway Toygiants TOY watches Kid Robot Kay Oss Digby & Iona Contego Chris Lanter 10denza
Chris started working as a d.j. while in college and for a time afterwards. So, naturally, one of the first things you’ll notice when you walk into 10denza is the music playing in the background. There are 5 ipod listening stations where you can preview a wide variety of music available for purchase. Chris avidly reads music reviews and listens to new artists to introduce. He offers new releases featuring imports from Europe, D.J. mixes, alternative, and electronic music, $13 to $19.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater For Children Shop News Web/Tech  Vintage Highway Toygiants TOY watches Kid Robot Kay Oss Digby & Iona Contego Chris Lanter 10denza
There are a few tables containing a large selection of coffee table books on art, design, music, pop culture, and as Chris said, “street stuff,” $20 to $50. I was told the books are meant to be handled, and there are comfortable chairs, below, to sit and peruse.Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater For Children Shop News Web/Tech  Vintage Highway Toygiants TOY watches Kid Robot Kay Oss Digby & Iona Contego Chris Lanter 10denza

10denza has a “no pressure” staff–Kerrie Knoll & Darren Compton (not photographed)–who add to the very relaxed vibe, and the shop stocks a wide range of merchandise you won’t find elsewhere, $5 to $800.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater For Children Shop News Web/Tech  Vintage Highway Toygiants TOY watches Kid Robot Kay Oss Digby & Iona Contego Chris Lanter 10denza

 

 

 

There is a display wall with shoes for women, left, and men, below, in casual and sneaker style.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater For Children Shop News Web/Tech  Vintage Highway Toygiants TOY watches Kid Robot Kay Oss Digby & Iona Contego Chris Lanter 10denza

Brands include Puma, Pointer, and ALife, $55 to $160.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater For Children Shop News Web/Tech  Vintage Highway Toygiants TOY watches Kid Robot Kay Oss Digby & Iona Contego Chris Lanter 10denza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is jewelry too, including this set, shown left, from Brooklyn-based designers Digby & Iona.

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater For Children Shop News Web/Tech  Vintage Highway Toygiants TOY watches Kid Robot Kay Oss Digby & Iona Contego Chris Lanter 10denza

10denza carries casual, comfortable clothing for men and women ranging from “arty” t-shirts starting at $30 on up to jackets at $700.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater For Children Shop News Web/Tech  Vintage Highway Toygiants TOY watches Kid Robot Kay Oss Digby & Iona Contego Chris Lanter 10denza  Chris also supports local designers, stocking clothing from Vintage Highway and CWEnder Amy Johnson, who designs under the name of Kay-oss. Amy’s adorable skirt, right, is $190, and in the shop window you’ll see one of her great black dresses with tiny ruffles on the cuffs. I watched three of them get snapped up on as many visits.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater For Children Shop News Web/Tech  Vintage Highway Toygiants TOY watches Kid Robot Kay Oss Digby & Iona Contego Chris Lanter 10denza

Personal tech gear includes ipad covers above, $29.95, headphones, and other tech accessories. A new shipment of winter clothing including mittens right, $25, and unusual knit hats upper right, $45, is now on the shelves.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater For Children Shop News Web/Tech  Vintage Highway Toygiants TOY watches Kid Robot Kay Oss Digby & Iona Contego Chris Lanter 10denza

Brightly-colored TOY watches, above, come in “jellys,” $160, or “velvety,” $225 (not shown). 10denza also carries sunglasses, $100, from a philanthropic Brooklyn company named Contego, that sends a pair to a charity with each purchase. The glasses are named after Nobel Laureates.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater For Children Shop News Web/Tech  Vintage Highway Toygiants TOY watches Kid Robot Kay Oss Digby & Iona Contego Chris Lanter 10denza

Chris’s 10 year-old daughter, Olivia, and 13 year-old son, Blaise, help with merchandising decisions. Blaise, who knows a lot about what’s hip in toyland, suggested the Kid Robot collection, toys designed by different artists. Toys range in price from $5 up to $200, some of which are shown in the glass jars on the counter above.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater For Children Shop News Web/Tech  Vintage Highway Toygiants TOY watches Kid Robot Kay Oss Digby & Iona Contego Chris Lanter 10denza

Toygiants by Daniel & Geo Fuchs is an illustrated journey into the world of toys, right.

You too should follow the trend and stop by 10denza when you have some time to browse, enjoy the music, and the company. The shop is a wonderful addition and such an enjoyable experience.

10denza, 44 Maryland Plaza, 12 to 8 Monday – Saturday, 12 to 5 Sunday, (314) 361-1010.

Googling THE wedding dress

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Handmade Shop News Web/Tech  Sex and the City Ballerina Dress Sarah Jessica Parker Kelly Reding Dauphine Carrie Bradshaw
Photo courtesy of Ben Larson
 This is a story about a wedding dress that's best told by the email exchanges I have copied below.

Hi Nicki,
After many google searches, I came across your blog and your article about Kelly Reding.  I just want to thank you for that post, because I've been searching high and low for the designer of the Ballerina dress from "Sex and the City."  I can't tell you how many google searches I've done!  So, I just wanted to send you a quick thank you.  If it wasn't for your blog, I would have never learned of Kelly Reding. 
 
I've reached out to Kelly in hopes that she can make a replica of that dress for my wedding.  I hope to hear back from her….
 
So thank you again for making the connection for me!  I've never been to Central West End, but my fiance's sister lives near St. Louis, so when we visit her, I will be sure to check out your neighborhood, I love quaint historic pockets.Take care, Sharon Cercone

Dear Sharon:
How exciting that you found my blog and thus found Kelly. She is an amazing designer and is going to be opening a shop within a vintage clothing store in the neighborhood in August. I am copying her on this so that we can double-team her and let her know how wonderful she is! Thanks for writing!
Hope you do visit the CWE someday. Thanks again. Nicki

Thank you Nicki!! 
I like the double-team effort.  I am so thrilled about this dress, and the ironic thing is, my formal wedding dress for our Catholic Church ceremony is another dress I fell in love with from "Sex and the City" (the Badgley Mischka dress Carrie Bradshaw wore to the Black and White Ball in Season 4).  A lovely, lovely elegant and somewhat royal dress, but I won't be able to wear it all day and night – way too formal, hard to dance in – so the Ballerina dress will be a perfect evening reception dress – very fun, cute and right in line with my style…  fingers crossed Kelly can squeeze me in.  : )
 
But enough about my wedding (obviously I am very excited!)….THANK YOU for your blog….it is a true gem!  I am going to share your blog with my fiance's sister who lives near St. Louis, and I will also promote Kelly's design to my friends! I have a feeling I will definitely visit CWE and Kelly's new store.  I love supporting talented designers and local businesses that bring warmth and charm to neighborhoods.
 
I am grateful for your help!  If all goes well, and I end up with this dress (fingers crossed!!), I will be sure to share pictures with you! 
All the best, Sharon

Kelly did make the dress for Sharon, though in a different color than the original, and sent it off to San Francisco several weeks ago.

On September 4…
Our wedding was beautiful.  More perfect than I ever imagined. The dress was a hit (see above)!!  Thank you both.  Xoxo, Sharon

 

Kelly Reding's shop, Dauphine, 447 N. Euclid, Saturdays, 11 to 6 or by appointment, (314) 651-9680.
P.S. – I am thrilled(!) that a google search initiated from 2000 miles away would result in a custom order for a talented designer right here in the neighborhood. To repeat what the bride said, "I love supporting talented designers and local businesses that bring warmth and charm to neighborhoods." So do I, and so should we all…it's part of what makes this a truly vibrant place.

Dauphine and Borough Vintage are hosting a Fall Faire this Saturday, September 10. You are invited to view fall fashions,and enjoy vintage cocktails & appetizers, 6 to 8 p.m., 447 N. Euclid (at Washington).