Browsing Tag

Left Bank Books

More last-minute gift ideas for 2019

2019’s Gift Guide continues with Left Bank Books:

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Shop News  St. Louis Art Supply Left Bank Books Kendra Scott Bluemercury

There’s bound to be a gift for everyone on your list at Left Bank Books, where knowledgeable staffers can offer informed suggestions should you come into the shop clueless. Shane Mullen, above left, held a stack of both fiction and non-fiction titles to bring to your attention, as well as some “dark and delicious” mysteries, lower left. Staffer Phoebe Santalla, above,  suggested Gender Queer by Maia Kobabe, $17.99.

Here are Shane’s best: The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton, $16.99, National Book Award Winner Trust Exercise by Susan Choi, $27, Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We Are Briefly Gorgeous, signed 1st edition, $26, Julia Phillips Disappearing Earth, $26.95 (this book made the cut for the second year), Colson Whitehead’s The Nickel Boys, $24.95, Susannah Cahalan’s The Great Pretender, $28, Jenney Egertson’s Before I Leave, Wisdom from the Stories of 6 Women over 80, $17.99, Patrick Radden Kiefe’s Say Nothing, A True Story of Murder & Memory in Northern Ireland, $28.95, Adam Higgenbotham’s Midnight in Chernobyl, $29.95, They Will Run: The Golden Days of the Automobile in St. Louis by Molly Butterworth & Tim Eyssel, $39.95.

Dark & Delicious Mysteries: Helen Tursten’s Winter Grave, $26.95, Joshilyn Jackson’s Never Have I Ever, $26.99, Laura McHugh’s The Wolf Wants In, $26, and Ruth Ware’s The Turn of the Key, $27.99.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Shop News  St. Louis Art Supply Left Bank Books Kendra Scott Bluemercury

Cliff Helm, above, who takes center stage at the weekly Saturday morning “Storytime with Cliff,” recommends 3 books for kids on your list. Can You Hear the Trees Talking: Discovering the Hidden Life of the Forest is authored is by Peter Wohlleben who wrote the bestseller, The Secret Life of Trees. The popularity of that book “led the author to write one that’s perfect for adventurous kids to venture out with. Presented in bite-size pieces with tons of activities & puzzles,” $17.99.

The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs by America’s Test Kitchen Kids, $19.99, sounds like a winner (as long as those young chefs don’t disappear when it’s time to clean up). Big Ideas for Curious Minds by The School Life, $24.99, is Cliff’s pick for Book of the Year. “What a wonderful way to introduce kids (or anyone for that matter) to philosophy.”

Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid, Mon.-Sat. 10 to 10, Sun. 11 to 6.

At Bluemercury:

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Shop News  St. Louis Art Supply Left Bank Books Kendra Scott Bluemercury  There are many gift boxes at the newly-opened Bluemercury that would be a treat as a single gift, or could be broken up and slipped into Christmas stockings or given to friends and family.

Top photo: from left, Three different varieties of face masks from fresh, $25, Lune + Aster’s set of 5 lip glosses, $40, M-61 Power Glow Exfoliator Pads, 5 for $16, and Lune + Aster Brow Duo set, $32, which includes brow pencil, brow gel and mascara.

Bottom photo: Molton Brown Body Wash, set of 10, $55, Jack Black BEARD Grooming Kit includes beard wash, comb, beard oil and lube, $35, and Kiehl’s facial kit includes cleanser, exfoliator, mask, serum, and moisturizer, $40.

Bluemercury, corner of Maryland and Euclid, Mon. – Sat. 10 to 7, Sun. 11 to 6.

St. Louis Art Supply

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Shop News  St. Louis Art Supply Left Bank Books Kendra Scott Bluemercury

photos courtesy of Carson Monetti

Carson Monetti, co-proprietor of St. Louis Art Supply, made light work about what’s available at one of my favorite retail spots in the neighborhood, by sending his list with accompanying photos. I’ve posted some of his photos here. Thanks Carson!

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Shop News  St. Louis Art Supply Left Bank Books Kendra Scott Bluemercury

St. Louis Art Supply, 4532 Olive, Tues. to Fri.. 8 to 7, Sat. & Sun. 9 to 7. Closed Monday.

At Kendra Scott:

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Shop News  St. Louis Art Supply Left Bank Books Kendra Scott Bluemercury

Finally, as I really am out of time, you can’t beat the fun of Kendra Scott’s Color Bar where you can create your own jewelry, which the staff then assembles while you wait. This is a really easy, affordable way to match a dress or, for instance, satisfy a yearning for a color of earring you can’t find elsewhere.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Shop News  St. Louis Art Supply Left Bank Books Kendra Scott Bluemercury

When you walk in the door you’ll be offered a mimosa, so choosing from multiple stones and multiple settings for rings, earrings, and necklaces might be a very relaxed experience. Some stones are included in the price, $45 to $100, while there are upcharges for others, such as opal, $35, and dursy, $15.

Kendra Scott, 32 Maryland Plaza, Mon. – Saturday 10 to 8, Sun. 10 to 6, Xmas Eve 8 a.m. to 4 p.m..

Have a wonderful holiday.

BookFest St. Louis publishes schedule/seeks volunteers

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings For Children  Sonali Dev Mary Engelbreit Left Bank Books Joshilyn Jackson James Brandon Elizabeth McCracken Daniel Wiseman CWE North Community Improvement District BookFest St. Louis 2019 Aaron Coleman  Organizers of 2019’s BookFest St. Louis—the staffs of CWE North Community Improvement District and Left Bank Books —have just released the exciting line-up of authors for next weekend’s 3rd annual book lovers’ event in the Central West End. Be sure to check the list out. There’s a lot packed into Saturday, September 21.

If you have a couple of hours to spare, there is need for a few more volunteers (sign up info, where to pick up your BookFest tee, etc, here).

Authors include two-time National Book Award nominee Elizabeth McCracken, St. Louis-based fan favorite Mary Engelbreit, LGBTQ+ activist and artist James Brandon, poet and Fulbright Scholar Aaron Coleman, children’s book author Daniel Wiseman, acclaimed Bollywood-style romance writer Sonali Dev, and NY Times best selling author Joshilyn Jackson.

Left Bank Books at Euclid and McPherson is action central, though authors will be appearing in a variety of nearby locations. Those include the McPherson Tent, above, The Vino Gallery, Mahler Ballroom (where Friday night’s Whitmania will be presented by the St. Louis Poetry Center), Schlafly Library, TechArtista Co-Working Environment (4818 Washington), and 510 N. Euclid (between Evangeline’s and Cocina Latina).

Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings For Children  Sonali Dev Mary Engelbreit Left Bank Books Joshilyn Jackson James Brandon Elizabeth McCracken Daniel Wiseman CWE North Community Improvement District BookFest St. Louis 2019 Aaron Coleman

Left Bank Books’ Kris Kleindienst above right, is shown introducing two of last year’s authors, Sarah Kendzior and Michael Isikoff. Kleindienst will be in conversation with Mary Engelbreit next Saturday starting at 2 p.m. under the McPherson Tent. Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings For Children  Sonali Dev Mary Engelbreit Left Bank Books Joshilyn Jackson James Brandon Elizabeth McCracken Daniel Wiseman CWE North Community Improvement District BookFest St. Louis 2019 Aaron Coleman

The intersection of McPherson and Euclid will be closed east of Euclid to Walton, and at Euclid just north of McPherson to the parking lot. That area is designated as the Festival Zone.Nicki's Central West End Guide Books, Dance, Music, Theater Events, Sightings For Children  Sonali Dev Mary Engelbreit Left Bank Books Joshilyn Jackson James Brandon Elizabeth McCracken Daniel Wiseman CWE North Community Improvement District BookFest St. Louis 2019 Aaron Coleman

There will be live music, and an assortment of vendors and organizations in attendance. A list those participating can be found here.

Don’t miss BookFest St. Louis which starts on Friday evening September 20 with a poetry event at The Mahler Ballroom. Saturday’s events begin at 10:30 a.m. at Schlafly Library with the appearance of children’s book author Daniel Wiseman. The day ends with St. Louis Youth Slam Team Champs scheduled for 7 p.m. under the McPherson Tent.

You’ll love meeting the authors and hearing them interact with each other during panel discussions. In the last couple of years, BookFest St. Louis has gone from being an unknown quantity to recognized among nationally-known authors and their publishers as the place to be.

What’s new in the commercial district

It’s been a while since I’ve assembled information about shop and restaurant news in the neighborhood. There have been occasional comments on the nextdoor website that the neighborhood seems to have lots of vacancies. Yes some shop windows have been covered in brown paper, but that doesn’t mean nobody’s home. In fact, there is lots going on. Here’s the good news:

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News  The Vino Gallery Salt & Smoke Left Bank Books East and West Cocina Latina Bluemercury

For instance, The Vino Gallery closed last Friday, August 9th, for “a mini-makeover” that included a few repairs, some fresh paint, and a little rebranding. Proprietor Alex Head also mentioned that they will be adding small plates to pair with their stellar selection of wines. The new art on a post at the entry is a sign of what’s to come. There is a soft opening tonight, but the big reveal is in full bloom tomorrow, Saturday the 17th, starting at 1 p.m.

The Vino Gallery, 4901 McPherson.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News  The Vino Gallery Salt & Smoke Left Bank Books East and West Cocina Latina Bluemercury

East•West. at 387 N. Euclid closed in July for some renovations and rebranding after the business sold to Roy Brady, a customer of the original owner, Brian Simpson. Simpson opened the upscale men’s clothing and furnishings shop in August 2016.

Brady said that as he and Simpson chatted during his visits to the store to shop, they discovered that each was looking for a change in career. Brady wound up purchasing the business. Simpson remains in the background as an advisor.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News  The Vino Gallery Salt & Smoke Left Bank Books East and West Cocina Latina Bluemercury

Owning a shop is quite a switch for Brady, right, who moved back to St. Louis from California and was working with his sister Nora at Blueprint Coffee. Brady said that the transition was seamless, thanks to Trevor Kirkland, left, who had worked for the previous owner.

Brady will be adding more brands over the next couple of months but said he envisions East•West. as much more than a clothing store. He is bringing local designers and makers into the merchandise mix and wants the shop to be a welcoming space for the community, hosting events to attract an eclectic group of people.

The event aspect got off to a great start when the shop reopened earlier this month. A former St. Louisan brought his line of clothing called Huey Lewis USA from LA for the celebration. A Huey Lewis USA design is featured on the mannequin above.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News  The Vino Gallery Salt & Smoke Left Bank Books East and West Cocina Latina Bluemercury

East•West. stocks home goods too, including Boda Clay  pottery created by Brady’s girlfriend, Molly Svoboda. Prices for spoon rests, mugs, bowls and colanders range from $18 to $54.

Branding for the shop, including a new logo and website design, is by CWE-based Visitor Assembly.

East•West. , 387 N. Euclid, Tues.-Sat. 11 to 7, Sun. 12 to 5

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News  The Vino Gallery Salt & Smoke Left Bank Books East and West Cocina Latina Bluemercury

After months of speculation regarding who would succeed Coffee Cartel in the prime corner location at Euclid & Maryland, construction has begun in preparation for a fall opening of bluemercury, a national make-up and skin care chain that has 30 locations around the Midwest and Texas.

There’s been a cry for more retail businesses in the CWE for years, so I was a little surprised when a male neighbor asked, “Do you think this ‘blue’ thing is going to work?”

My response: “Are you kidding? You’ve obviously never had to drive to the Galleria for a lipstick. Make-up in the CWE? I know I’m not alone when I say I can’t wait!”

There are more openings on the horizon. News is expected soon about Barrett Barerra’s (projects+gallery) latest projects on McPherson, where they are re-purposing the former Shelton Davis Gallery at 4724, and Arlene Lilie’s building at 4739, which most recently housed Selkirk until the auction house moved downtown to Washington Avenue last fall. Cocina Latina, a Peruvian restaurant, has opened at 508 N. Euclid. Balaban’s is returning to the CWE and opening on the second floor across from its original location, now Up-Down. Salt & Smoke is opening next to Mission Taco. And Commerce Bank Connect has opened a fully automated facility at 54 S. Euclid, next to Shake Shack.

Good news indeed!

With all the hustle & bustle evident in the neighborhood, it’s refreshing to stumble across a scene like the one that follows. At its essence, it’s the people who live here that make the CWE such an interesting neighborhood. It was early one Sunday morning when I was delighted to find a dressed-up mother and daughter peering in the windows at Left Bank Books.  Simple pleasures are the best.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News  The Vino Gallery Salt & Smoke Left Bank Books East and West Cocina Latina Bluemercury

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Food and Drink Shop News  The Vino Gallery Salt & Smoke Left Bank Books East and West Cocina Latina Bluemercury

Have a great weekend.