St. Louis In Video Form

St. Louis is often not thought of first as a beautiful city but, I disagree. There’s so much here and that’s something I tried to capture in this first draft of a video that tries to show the St. Louis I see.

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Top 6 Things To Do Oct. 10 – Oct. 15

That’s right. I’m breaking the mold and bringing you six events this week. So let’s get started!

  1. Scarlet Tanager opens the show Friday night at The Pageant – I’m really looking forward to the chance to see this fantastic local indie-rock band live again! (Tickets)
  2. Craftoberfest! Handcrafted goods & vintage finds by 35+ local makers & purveyors, live folk tunes by Tortuga, Tarot readings under the stars & twinkling lights at Urban Chestnut Brewing Company (Midtown). 5-10PM. If you want to know more
  3. Want to go behind the scenes at STL-Style? Join Yelp St. Louis at STyLehouse on Oct. 13 for a glimpse into Randy and Jeff Vines‘ souls! RSVP. This free event begins at 7:00 p.m.
  4.  Icebreaker at Ballpark Village – Join other St. Louis Sports fans to kick off the season as members from the original 1967 Blues team will be honored alongside original season ticket holders at the event, which also features appearances from Louie, Blue Crew and Blues organist Jeremy Boyer. Throughout the main presentation, fans will have chances to win great prizes, including Blues tickets and merchandise. Fans are invited to stay after the main presentation to cheer on the Blues as they battle the rival Chicago Blackhawks in the season opener at 7 p.m.
  5. You can be part of the crowd that decides what song will be featured on the weekly on-air Music Director’s Cut spot! Here’s how it works – KDHX Music Director Nick Acquisto brings five songs, hot off the presses, to the Stage. The crowd listens and comments, and our panelists put in their two cents. Then, everyone gets a vote. At the end of the night they tally up the numbers and the winner is featured on the Music Director’s Cut, along with comments from the Listener’s Cut event. The event is free and open to the public and The Magnolia Cafe will be open to serve drinks. They will also have a door prize, raffle and small silent auction to win signed vinyl and CDs. Space is limited. RSVP now and make your voice heard!

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Top 5 Things To Do In St. Louis Oct. 8th & 9th

It’s a bit of a light weekend but I’ve scrounged up 5 good events for you this weekend so let’s get to it!

  1. Join Generation Listen STL, the Department of Communication at Saint Louis University and Saint Louis University Department of Political Science for a Debate-Watching Party in the Center for Global Citizenship. View the debate with your community and then stick around for a post-debate discussion.Kick-off the evening with Generation Listen STL for happy hour at Humphrey’s Restaurant and Tavern at 6 p.m. Then walk over to the Saint Louis University campus and find a seat in the Center for Global Citizenship by 7:30 p.m. Free and open to public. RSVP Here: http://bit.ly/GenListDebate
  2. Rally on Clark II is the 2nd outdoor music festival to takeover the Busch II infield at Ballpark Village. Several local DJs will be spinning on stage all day long, while guests enjoy food trucks, a bounce house, beach ball drops, and much more fun! The $30 ticket includes access to the event, unlimited Bud Light drafts, one food voucher and other drink specials throughout the day.
  3. PixelPop Festival – a celebration of video games and game development – takes over the Saint Louis Science Center this Saturday and Sunday. You can sample panels and seminars on game design that examine everything from voice acting to the psychology used to hook players’ imaginations. Oh, and you can also play 35 brand-new games and give feedback to their designers. There will be tournaments for the competitive as well as analog games (tabletop, card and board games). Registration opens at 9:30 a.m. Saturday and at 11 a.m. Sunday. Single-day admission is $15 and two-day passes are $25.
  4. The West End Players Guild kicks off their season with Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia, directed by Ellie Schwetye. Stoppard spins simultaneous tales set two centuries apart in the same room of an English manor. In the play about mathematics, thermodynamics, determinism, Lord Byron, “the carnal embrace” and hermits the stories are bittersweet and the characters are endearing. It’s a lot to ask of a play to link those concepts and people together, so Stoppard uses human beings as channels for the ideas set simultaneously in 1809 and the present. This play runs Thurs.-Sat., 8 p.m. & Sun., 2 p.m. Through Oct. 9
  5. Sunday brings Family Fun Day on Clark Street (next to Busch Stadium). Admission is free and includes access to music, raffle prizes. Free Activities Include: Inflatable Bounce House and 100ft Obstacle Course // Bubble Bus // Face Painter // Balloon Artists // Photo Booth – Presented by Tap Snap // The Sandlot Movie // St. Louis Ambush Soccer Mascot, Players, and kicking net // Rawlings Gold Glove Display and Photo Opportunity // Coloring Station // Magic House Activity Tent // D.A.R.E. Car // St. Louis Fire Department Engine Co 2 // Team Fredbird // Attendance Prizes. Free Food and Beverage Options:  Free hot dog & water vouchers (while supplies last) will be available in all retail stores to redeem on Clark Street // Free donuts and snow cone vouchers* will be passed out during event to redeem on Clark Street // Free ice cream in the Prairie Farms Dugout Bar at the Busch II Infield. Also, 25%-75% off all Cardinals merchandise in The Official Cardinals Team Store, Authentics Shop, and Majestic Store at Ballpark Village. Parking is available at Ballpark Village for $2.

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St. Louis Strong Works To “Lift The Gateway Higher”

About two years ago, Jake Hollander left a promising public relations career in D.C. to come home and found St. Louis Strong. The organization is working to bring all corners of the city and county together to move toward reunification.

fg8kcsnoHowever, unlike Better Together or other groups working on similar ventures, Hollander and his organization don’t appear to have an ulterior motive. In addition, they are including everyone in the city rather than just the major players, and don’t endorse any one plan.

Instead, the organization is hosting a series of community discussions that Hollander says he hopes will be the first step in drafting a plan for reunification that is truly from the people of the city and county – a plan that he hopes will come to a vote at an upcoming election.

Two of the three community discussions in St. Louis Strong’s first round of meetings have passed – they were held at the Ferguson Municipal Library and at the St. Louis County Library Indian Trails Branch. The final community meeting will be held on October 6th at the County Library’s Mid-County Branch.

Why does he do this?

Because he believes in St. Louis.

Hollander is a native St. Louisan, but growing up he never thought he would stay – or come back to town. Then “Ferguson” happened.

img_4283webAt his D.C. public relations job, Hollander found himself standing in a rapid response room surrounded by monitors broadcasting images of “my home town imploding under the weight of it’s ugly history,” he said.

“After Ferguson, I knew our region could no longer afford to sweep its broken system under the rug,” Hollander told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I had a restless desire to become a part the solution.”

“So, I dug up my old pitch idea, turned it into a business plan, and said ‘I don’t have a kid, a dog, a mortgage, I can live with my parents if I need to, so I’m going to take this crazy leap of faith and come back home and start this organization to fight fragmentation.’”

At a recent event Hollander began to list all of the fragmentation he sees. “We have 684 elected officials in the city and county (which is more than the United States Congress), we have 573 taxing districts, 57 police departments, 81 courts, I’ll stop because it’s really tedious to list all of them,” he said.

img_4271He also cited municipalities he’s dubbed “too small to succeed” as a further problem for St. Louis Strong to combat.

“Forty-three municipalities sit on one square mile of land or less. That means that these tiny towns—no matter how strong or weak their leadership—cannot sustain themselves due to the small size of their tax and consumer bases.” Hollander writes in a blog post.

It seems like a lot of issues to take on, but Hollander says his biggest roadblock is generational attitudes.

“The way people view each other in St. Louis gets passed down. ‘I don’t want to go to the City because it’s dangerous’ so people end up staying in the county and never see that Washington Ave on a Friday afternoon is full of people and it’s hard to get lunch because the lines are so long,” said Hollander. “All these euphemisms get thrown around and passed down through the generations – we keep piling abstraction, upon abstraction, upon people – never really getting to know who those people are.”

That’s why he’s making an effort to hold his roundtables and events in very different parts of the city. Overall, he’s hopeful that if city and county residents keep engaging and keep talking to each other from where they are right now, St. Louis Strong will continue to build momentum and succeed in “lifting the gateway higher.”

Top 5 Things to do in St. Louis Oct. 3 – 7

Without further ado here’s the best events happening in St. Louis this week:

  1. St. Louis Strong will host it’s third and last community roundtable discussion on how to improve the St. Louis region this Thursday. These public roundtables will aim to bring members of the community together to answer the question, “How do we make St. Louis strong?” The dialogues welcome all St. Louisans. St. Louis Strong asks that all participants bring an open mind and an open ear to discuss the hard challenges we face and how to change regional structures for the better. The roundtable discussion will be held at: St. Louis County Library – Mid-County Branch // October 6, 2016 // 6:00pm – 8:00pm // 7821 Maryland Ave, St. Louis, MO 63105
  2. Come celebrate the official wide release of Boss Babes: A Coloring and Activity Book for Grown-Ups by Michelle Tolansky at 4 Hands Brewing Company. Admission is free to enjoy coloring and activity sheets from the book with tasty beer and tacos from 4 Hands Brewing Co. Coloring supplies will be provided, books will be sold and signed, and a girl power playlist will be spinning all night!
  3. Presented by the St. Louis chapter of AIGA, St. Louis Design Week provides a space for professionals, entrepreneurs, local businesses, nonprofits to meet and learn from each other. The week includes studio tours, panels, and more. Events run from October 3 – October 9.
  4. Left Bank Books and The Lee Institute at Ladue Chapel welcome renowned media scholar Sherry Turkle, who will sign and discuss her new book, Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age. A reception will follow the conversation, Q&A, and book signing. Turkle has spent the last thirty years studying the psychology of our relationship with technology. Our technological universe has led to a flight from conversation where we sacrifice face-to-face exchanges for mere connection. Based on years of research, Turkle argues in Reclaiming Conversation that our relationship with technology endangers our capacity for empathy. When conversation is under assault, so too are our families, our friendships, our intimate relationships, our classrooms, our boardrooms, and our very sense of our selves. Ticket Information: $19 ticket admits ONE person and includes ONE paperback copy of Reclaiming Conversation. $24 ticket admits TWO people and includes ONE paperback copy of Reclaiming Conversation and a $5 rebate towards the purchase of a second copy of Reclaiming Conversation at the event. This event begins at 7:00 p.m.
  5. The founder of Humans of New York, Brandon Stanton, is coming to SLU. Stanton is the creator of Humans of New York, as well as a best selling author and photographer. He will be speaking about his interactions with people he’s interviewed, opportunities he has encountered along his rise to success, and a variety of other topics on Wednesday, October 5th in the Wool Ballrooms located on the first floor of the Busch Student Center. Doors will open at 6:40 pm. This free event is open to both SLU students and the general public. No ticket will be required to enter the event.
  6. TechShopSTL and Polsinelli PC attorneys will host an informal discussion on common legal questions encountered by startups and small companies. The event runs from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Top 5 Things To Do In STL The Weekend Of Oct. 1 & 2

Here’s my picks for the weekend of Oct. 1 & 2nd:

  1. Grove Fest – St. Louis’ highly anticipated and outrageously eclectic street festival returns to celebrate its 11th year! Presented by the Grove Community Improvement District Grove Fest kicks off on Saturday, October 1st, 2pm – 11pm.
  2. In honor of the fun-loving North American river otters, the Zoo will host Ottertoberfest, a fall event featuring traditional German beer, live music, kids’ activities and more! Visitors can purchase beer, bratwurst and other German specialties. Otter-related games and activities for children will include an otter craft, an “Otter Says” game, a river otter biofact table, and more! The event runs from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Oct. 1st, 2nd, 8th, & 9th.
  3. Join the Science Center on Sundays in October for “Fall into Science,” a series of events featuring favorite fall foods. Enjoy beer and wine tastings, food demonstrations and sampling, as well as special treats available for purchase and fun activities for the whole family. Come to “Fall into Science” each week to see what happens on a farm during harvest. Highlights of Apple Fest include: Smashing Apples in Science Gone Splat | Hard Cider and Apple Wine Samples, 1-4pm | Apple Pie and Caramel Apple Bar Available, 11am-4pm | Apple Crisp Food Demonstration, 2pm
  4. Best of Missouri Market – More than 120 food producers and crafters offer baked goods, fresh and dried flowers, herbs, handcrafted items, baskets, wooden toys, custom jewelry and more. Enjoy live music and a kids’ corner with crafts and fall activities, too! Event takes place outdoors under tents, rain or shine at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Admission: $12 adults (ages 13 and up), $5 children (ages 3-12), $5 Garden members, Free for member children (ages 3-12). Live Music: The Dust Covers – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Three of a Perfect Pair – Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  5. Running Tour of Downtown St. Louis – Regularly scheduled non-competitive running tours on Saturday & Sundays at 8:00 a.m. (weekday tours scheduled as well). The 3.5 mile guided running tour taking you past, over, under & through some of the most important historic sites in the region. The tour costs about $25.