Protests, Covid, curfew, what next? A Flower Flash at BJC

As a thank you for those “who have been so selfless during this time,” the Garden Club of St. Louis saluted BJC healthcare workers and first responders with a stunning Flower Flash that was installed on Euclid near the CAM early this morning.

Inspired by a similar effort in NYC, a request went out from GCSL’s Harriette Warren to 170 members of the organization to “donate flowers from yours or a friend’s garden, local shop/grocer” for this effort.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Urban Gardens  Garden Club of St. Louis BJC

all photos courtesy of Garden Club of St. Louis
Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Urban Gardens  Garden Club of St. Louis BJC

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Urban Gardens  Garden Club of St. Louis BJC

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Urban Gardens  Garden Club of St. Louis BJC

Nicki's Central West End Guide Services Urban Gardens  Garden Club of St. Louis BJC

Buckets were filled with bouquets created by members that healthcare workers and first responders were encouraged to take home. All the bouquets were snapped up by early afternoon.

Thank you to former CWEnder and GCSL member Mary Morgan for sharing this heartwarming story, and for all the members who participated. We needed a big dose of hope today.

Plans for reopening Schlafly Library

Good news from St. Louis Public Library:

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and to continue to serve our community, St. Louis Public Library will be taking several precautions as we begin to make our services available again. Below is an outline of our initial plan as well as some FAQs.

On June 1 at 10 a.m., all SLPL book drops will open. Customers can begin to return items through the book drops at any location – and remember we’re now fine-free. Please keep larger items such as hotspots, telescopes and binoculars for inside return on or after June 10. Holds will be reinstated and customers can start placing items on hold through our catalog.

Beginning June 10, five of our locations (Buderopens a new window, Carpenteropens a new window, Centralopens a new window, Julia Davisopens a new window and Schlafly) opens a new window will be open limited hours with small collections you can browse. You can place requests online and pick them up, inside or curbside, at these five locations as well as at Kingshighway opens a new window, which will be open for curbside pickup only. You can also use our mobile printing option to send documents to our printers. We will print and hold them for you to pick up. Chromebook laptops will now be available for check out.

The hours of operation at these locations will be 5 to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Customers can place holds through our online catalog at slpl.orgopens a new window, by using our mobile app or by calling 314-241-2288.


What safety measures will be in place?
SLPL will comply with all requirements of the City of St. Louis, Order 8. Both customers and staff must wear masks or a cloth face covering inside our Libraries at all times. This applies to all individuals 9 years of age and older. Unfortunately, we will have to refuse admittance to anyone not wearing a mask. Masks will not be provided for customers. Customers and staff will be expected to practice social distancing. Staff members will be screened prior to each shift to ensure that staff members are not working if they are sick. Access in the buildings will be controlled and limited. Advanced disinfecting and sanitizing methods will be used throughout the buildings. Hand washing stations will be provided for customers outside of the buildings and hand sanitizer will be available inside each location. Reusable bags will not be allowed inside the buildings.

How will returned materials be handled?
All returned materials will be quarantined for 72 hours. This means you may see books on your account that you’ve already returned but we have not yet checked in. Don’t worry; we’ll check them in as soon as the quarantine period is over, and you won’t be charged any fines.

What services will be open?
During this time, only five of our locations (Central, Buder, Carpenter, Julia Davis, and Schlafly) will open with limited access. Each location will have separate entrances and exits and only a limited number of people will be allowed in at a time. Limited areas of our buildings will be open. Customers will be able to pick up holds and print jobs, select from a limited display of material and check out. Customers will be limited to 15 minutes inside the building. Our Kingshighway location will be open for curbside pickup only.

What will not be available in the buildings?
Customers will not be able to browse shelves, use seating areas, computers or public restrooms, and all meeting rooms will be closed.

How does Curbside Pick Up work?
First, place items on hold through our catalog. Select one of the six participating Curbside Pickup Service locations as your desired pickup Library. Once you are notified via email that your hold is ready. Call 314-539-0364 to schedule a pickup time. Items must be picked up the same day service is requested. When you arrive to pick up your holds, pull into the space reserved for Curbside Pickup. Text the phone number on the Curbside Pickup sign 314-383-3021 to let them know you have arrived and pop your trunk so staff can place the items in the trunk. A vehicle is not required to use this service.

Can I place holds over the phone?
Beginning June 10, customers can call 314-241-2288 to request items be placed on hold through their accounts.

Can I make a payment on my account?
In-person payments for lost or damaged items will not be available at this time. Customers can make payments through our website or mobile app.

A message from Bob Koplar on shuttering Steel Wheels

Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  Steel Wheels Bob Koplar

On Wednesday I noticed a For Lease sign in the window of Steel Wheels, the indoor cycling facility located at 224 N. Euclid. Bob Koplar opened the business in early 2018, and over the last couple of years it developed a devoted following. If you missed a chance to take a ride, here is a post about my visit to the handsome space shortly after it opened.Nicki's Central West End Guide Shop News  Steel Wheels Bob Koplar
While the closure isn’t a total surprise given the nature of the business and the need for social distancing, it is yet again another reminder of the far-reaching effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the neighborhood. Many CWE businesses are in the process of reopening with restrictions on the number of people who can visit at a time, but that wouldn’t be a sustainable model for Steel Wheels.
Here is how Koplar responded when I asked him how he was handling the closure:
“Hi Nicki, thanks for reaching out. Strange times indeed.
This was a heartbreaking decision for me but necessary under the circumstances. Our business model relies on a number of people being able to exercise together in the same room. Our core service became our community. Even if the City were to allow us to re-open at some point in the future, social distancing restrictions and (understandable) concerns on the part of our members would have made it impossible for us to be successful. Our mission is to make people healthier, and we didn’t want to run any risk of doing the opposite.
I am taking a hard look at our concept to see if there is any way we can continue with the very positive momentum we’ve built over the last couple years–whatever form that might take. For now, I am just very grateful to everyone who supported us since we opened, and have been deeply touched by their outpouring of support since the sad announcement. I will miss our team and our customers terribly.
Thank you,