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Washington University

Curious about construction on W. U.’s Danforth Campus?

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education  XYZ Type Washington University Mary Ann Lazarus Hannah Roth Campus Next Transformation project Campus Next Newsletter Ben Kiel   In early September a neighborhood friend told me that, as a prelude to their workday,  McCarthy Bros. Construction Company workers practice yoga each morning at the east end of Washington University’s Danforth Campus. Thinking that would make for an interesting story, I drove out to the campus early on 2 consecutive mornings but was unable to locate any construction workers doing sun salutations. It’s difficult to traverse the campus these days with all the construction fencing surrounding the site, and at that hour of the day the campus was deserted and there was no one around to ask.

Instead, because I was curious about what’s going on on the east end of the campus, I decided to change the focus and share what I’ve learned about W.U.’s East End Transformation project.

Due to the limited access, the only photograph I could get of the construction site was a distant view, see photo above.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education  XYZ Type Washington University Mary Ann Lazarus Hannah Roth Campus Next Transformation project Campus Next Newsletter Ben Kiel

At 6:30 a.m. there was already a long line of dump trucks waiting to turn into the construction site from Skinker Boulevard.Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education  XYZ Type Washington University Mary Ann Lazarus Hannah Roth Campus Next Transformation project Campus Next Newsletter Ben Kiel

This past summer, during the peak of excavation work, there were 1,000 trucks a day hauling away dirt for a 790-car underground parking garage (which will be accessible from both Skinker and Forest Park Blvds.). At that time there were construction crews working 6 days a week 2 shifts per day. Here are some fun facts titled “The Dirt on Dirt” found on Campus Next newsletter.

Some of the dirt, which was stockpiled on what has been nicknamed Mount McKelvey, above right, will be used as backfill for the project which is scheduled to be completed by graduation of 2019. The underground garage will be completed and in use at an earlier date.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education  XYZ Type Washington University Mary Ann Lazarus Hannah Roth Campus Next Transformation project Campus Next Newsletter Ben Kiel

photo courtesy of Hannah Roth

Thanks to CWEnder Hannah Roth, who is on the faculty of the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts, and who agreed to take photos of the construction site from an upper floor of a building overlooking the site, above and below.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education  XYZ Type Washington University Mary Ann Lazarus Hannah Roth Campus Next Transformation project Campus Next Newsletter Ben Kiel

photo courtesy of  Hannah Roth

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education  XYZ Type Washington University Mary Ann Lazarus Hannah Roth Campus Next Transformation project Campus Next Newsletter Ben Kiel

Construction has caused a parking nightmare for faculty and students alike. Forest Park has long been a popular place to park for WU students, but now both sides of Skinker Blvd. are lined with cars almost as far south as Clayton Road as well.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education  XYZ Type Washington University Mary Ann Lazarus Hannah Roth Campus Next Transformation project Campus Next Newsletter Ben Kiel

W.U. Sam Fox School lecturer Ben Kiel, above, created a clever solution to the parking problem. He drives his daughters to school, parks his car on the lot at his CWE studio where he keeps his bike, and then bikes to and from the campus (wearing a helmet of course).

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education  XYZ Type Washington University Mary Ann Lazarus Hannah Roth Campus Next Transformation project Campus Next Newsletter Ben Kiel

Kiel’s logo for his side business, XYZ Type, is affixed to his Ikea bike (assembly was required). Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education  XYZ Type Washington University Mary Ann Lazarus Hannah Roth Campus Next Transformation project Campus Next Newsletter Ben Kiel

The sign on construction fencing at W. U. contains a quote from CWEnder Mary Ann Lazarus who’s also on the faculty.  She describes what’s behind the East End Transformation project, above.

The following two photos were taken from the W. U. website. For more information I’m including a link to what’s ahead in the coming months.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education  XYZ Type Washington University Mary Ann Lazarus Hannah Roth Campus Next Transformation project Campus Next Newsletter Ben Kiel

Nicki's Central West End Guide Art & Architecture Education  XYZ Type Washington University Mary Ann Lazarus Hannah Roth Campus Next Transformation project Campus Next Newsletter Ben Kiel

Here is more information on the buildings under construction as shown on the master plan, above.

Meet the creators of Sprouted Radish Supper Club

Nicki's Central West End Guide Education Food and Drink  Washington University TechArtista supper clubs St. Louis Sprouted Radish Supper Club Sachi's Cakes Sachi Nagase MO Katie Yun Central West End

I first met Katie Yun and Sachi Nagase, above, last October 29 as they effortlessly danced around each other putting finishing touches on a 10-course pop-up dinner in the tiny kitchen at TechArtista. That was also the night of the CWE’s Halloween bash, so I was not able to stay for the dining experience (which had sold out well in advance), nor could I expect that the enterprising W. U. seniors would be able to interrupt their preparations to answer questions about their business, Sprouted Radish Supper Club.

Here’s what I learned in a subsequent interview: “For the past year we were preparing dinners for friends, but we had a desire to reach a larger community. We were seeing private dining clubs on (W.U.) campus and thought it was ridiculous that these events were so exclusive. Since eating is communal, we wanted to create an inclusive experience and bring people together.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Education Food and Drink  Washington University TechArtista supper clubs St. Louis Sprouted Radish Supper Club Sachi's Cakes Sachi Nagase MO Katie Yun Central West End

They were assisted at last fall’s event for 35 guests – the largest they had ever hosted – by friends and fellow classmates who helped set the tables and serve. Relatives offered to do whatever they could.  Katie’s mother flew in from Pasadena, CA, and Sachi’s parents and sister drove in from her hometown of Normal, IL, “We’re so lucky to have parents who fully support us.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Education Food and Drink  Washington University TechArtista supper clubs St. Louis Sprouted Radish Supper Club Sachi's Cakes Sachi Nagase MO Katie Yun Central West End

Before winter break I was invited to stop by Sachi and Katie’s house near the W.U. campus as they were preparing for a supper club event they were hosting later that evening. While there I met their newest member, W.U. sophomore Elena Downs, left, who has worked in professional kitchens in her hometown of San Francisco.

What drew you to the culinary field? Sachi: “My parents both love to cook and so I was always surrounded by good food growing up. My mom loved baking sweets every holiday and so my sister and I would help. As my own interest in food grew, I started reading cookbooks and watching cooking videos to learn more. Some of my closest friendships have strengthened through the kitchen and cooking experiences. I think I realized from a young age the potential of food to connect people.”

Katie: “Neither my mother or father cooked very often. Instead, I had a Korean nanny, Mrs. Huh, who would cook for my sisters and me as we were growing up. She only knew how to cook Korean food so feeding us was a way of telling us she loved us. We didn’t know how to speak Korean well, but I learned that a meal was a tool for translation, which is why the idea of feeding others is extremely personal to me. I also wanted to better my relationship with food because I had an eating disorder earlier in life. Food is a way of healing as well.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Education Food and Drink  Washington University TechArtista supper clubs St. Louis Sprouted Radish Supper Club Sachi's Cakes Sachi Nagase MO Katie Yun Central West End

Sprouted Radish Supper Club hosts a dinner once a month. They invite 8 guests chosen by lottery from those who “like” their Facebook page.  When I expressed surprise at how little they charge, $12 to $16 per person, Katie said they realized many students have never had a “fine dining” experience, which is why they decided to keep their dinners affordable. Obviously this is a labor of love, not a money-making venture.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Education Food and Drink  Washington University TechArtista supper clubs St. Louis Sprouted Radish Supper Club Sachi's Cakes Sachi Nagase MO Katie Yun Central West End

The surprise dish (each dinner includes an item not listed on the menu) of supper club iv was crostini topped with ricotta, mushroom duxelle, herb salad, and a smoked paprika aioli (photo courtesy of Jun Lee).

How do you plan the menu? “We start by thinking about dishes that we have never made but want to try, and build dishes from there. Creating the menu is a collaborative effort. We come from different backgrounds which automatically feeds what we want to cook. We’re making food that means a lot to us and reflects our experiences.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Education Food and Drink  Washington University TechArtista supper clubs St. Louis Sprouted Radish Supper Club Sachi's Cakes Sachi Nagase MO Katie Yun Central West End

Jun Lee’s photo shows communal dishes, an assortment of Korean banchan, that was served at the last supper club.

Where do you find  your ingredients? “We get our ingredients from various grocery stores as well as Soulard Farmer’s Market. We hope to source from more farmer’s markets in the future and are currently in contact with Burning Kumquat, W. U.’s student-run urban garden to see if we can establish a relationship to source ingredients for future events. One of our favorite stores is Seafood City on Olive Street.”

Nicki's Central West End Guide Education Food and Drink  Washington University TechArtista supper clubs St. Louis Sprouted Radish Supper Club Sachi's Cakes Sachi Nagase MO Katie Yun Central West End

Sous-vide pork tenderloin, roasted apple and onion gastrique, wasabi carrots, and fried lentils was also featured at that dinner. You can find more of Jun Lee’s photography of Sprouted Radish Supper Club events on Facebook here.

How do you balance preparing the dinners with your busy class schedule? “We usually start a supper club day around 9 a.m. and finish around 11 p.m. We plan the menu a week in advance and pick up the groceries a couple of days before, but if we have a class deadline we will wind up shopping the night before. The more we host the dinners we find we’re getting better at managing our time, so we can pull it off without too much stress.”

Learn more about future Sprouted Radish Supper Club events on their Facebook page.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Education Food and Drink  Washington University TechArtista supper clubs St. Louis Sprouted Radish Supper Club Sachi's Cakes Sachi Nagase MO Katie Yun Central West End

 

When I walked into the house for the interview last December, the most gorgeous cake was sitting on the dining room table ready to be delivered to a client. I had no idea that Sachi’s talents extended to cake-baking extraordinaire. Her creations start at $45 and serve 10 t0 12 people. She’s booked ’til the end of February. Email her at sachiscakes@gmail.com or contact her through her Facebook page for more information.

Thanks to Eric Hamblett and Christopher Holt at TechArtista for introducing me to these talented young women. I am so grateful that they agreed to let me stop by on a busy afternoon for an interview. Cooking is a passion of mine, so to learn about these fearless cooks who share their love of food with others is really inspirational.

Washington University’s “Summer in St. Louis” Writing Contest

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I wanted to share the following information sent by Washington University's Christina Zebrowski:

"The Washington University Summer Writers Institute is celebrating its 20th anniversary this summer. To celebrate, University College is pleased to announce the Summer in St. Louis Writing Contest, which brings two themes together: St. Louis and summer.
 
In summers long past, St. Louisans would set up tents in Forest Park to camp and try to escape the oppressive heat that settles over the city from late June to late October, air that fiction writer Harold Brodkey described as “wet noodles.” But the heat is far from the only thing defining a St. Louis summer, and we want to read all about it. We’re looking for stories, poems, and essays about neighborhoods from Soulard to North Pointe, Town and Country to Wentzville, with imagery that sizzles like an egg tossed onto the Arch on a July afternoon. We’re looking for language that resonates off the surface of the page the way Highway 40 shimmers in the August sun. And we want it all in 750 words or less.
 
The contest will be judged by Danielle Dutton, author of the books Attempts at a Life, S P R A W L, and Here Comes Kitty: A Comic Opera, with images by Richard Kraft. Dutton also founded the small press Dorothy, a publishing project.
 
Dr. Dutton will select a winner, runner up, and honorable mention. The winner will receive a $500 scholarship to the Summer Writers Institute, and the winning entry will be published in The Ampersand (http://pages.wustl.edu/ampersand). The runner-up will receive a $250 scholarship for the Summer Writers Institute. The winner and runner-up will also be invited to read their work at the opening of the SWI. All honorees will receive a signed book authored by one of the SWI instructors.
 
Writers must be 18 years or older, have graduated from high school, and be enrolled in the SWI to qualify for scholarship prizes.
 
Writers may submit a story, poem, or essay – Only one entry per writer, please."
 
For more information about the Summer Writers Institute, contact Christina Zebrowski, SummerSchool@wustl.edu, (314) 935-4695.