According to the Partnership for Downtown St. Louis
(“Downtown Update,” 20 August 2010)

“Downtown St. Louis is gaining a growing reputation for being an Information Tech hub, due to an abundance of infrastructure, relatively cheap electricity, and a wealth of “knowledge workers.”  With recent announcements of the XIOLINK Data Headquarters, and with Unisys locating a new division in Downtown St. Louis, these recent investments continue to demonstrate that we have great communication infrastructure Downtown.”

Ironic photo courtesy of FastEddiesRetroRags.com

Classic "bird on the bat" logo

Classic "bird on the bat" logo

It’s going to be crazy (and lots of fun for baseball fans) in downtown St. Louis on July 14. That’s the day the 2009 All-Star Game will be played at Busch Stadium. There are a lot of banners and other baseball-related decorations going up downtown, and St. Louis will be ready for the national spotlight. It’s quite an honor for our team and our city to host this. I’ve linked the >official Web site of the St. Louis Cardinals< here for more information.

A story I’m linking here that is on >KSDK.com< today quotes Brian Hall, a spokesman for the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, as saying that their Web site traffic is up 300,000 hits from this time last year when the economy was certainly better than it is now. (I’m having Web-site envy!)

Fredbird

Fredbird

I’ve already got a great seat to watch the game—it’s in my comfy chair at home. It will be interesting to see how the city looks on the national television coverage of this high-profile major national sports event, and if our Cardinals All-Star Team members can be a decisive factor in their National League team doing some damage to the American League team this year.

Pujols at bat

Pujols at bat

St. Louis Cardinals fans have voted to land Albert Pujols (Cardinals first baseman) and Yadier Molina (Cardinals catcher) on the team. The international make-up of baseball today will guarantee a broadcast audience larger than just in the USA. Baseball is followed closely in Puerto Ric0 (home of Yadier Molina), the island nations of Dominican Republic (home of Pujols and many major league players), Cuba and other Latin American countries.

It’s also played with fierce competitiveness by leagues in Asia including Japan and Taiwan. I worked with a sports reporter from China a few years ago, who was doing a story for a weekly soccer newspaper there on the US cities that hosted modern Olympics (Los Angeles, twice; Atlanta, once; St. Louis, once.) The reporter found the devotion of the St. Louis Cardinals baseball fans so interesting that she included a separate story. Leave a comment here me if you want a “pdf file” copy of it.

Go, National League!

That’s the headline for the story by David Bonetti, visual arts critic for the >St. Louis Post-Dispatch< on Sunday (6/28/09.) I’ve linked it here for you.

"This is Bruce and Sarah Walking"One of the works of art in the garden that is featured in the story is captioned by Bonetti with,

This Is Bruce and Sarah Walking” (2007) by Julian Opie (2007). This standing LED machine shows the constantly moving image of two stylish young people taking a stroll. Placed at 10th Street at one of the garden’s main entrances, it provides a subtle subliminal hint: Come on in and enjoy yourself.

I can’t wait to see it finished and open on Wednesday. Gateway Garden is 2.9 acres (2 city blocks) bordered by Market & Chestnut at 10th Street.

If the weather is nice, I may take my lunch over and enjoy the new site. I can wander over to the new Left Bank Books location at 321 North 10th on my way back to the office. St. Louis downtown has a lot of places to stop in and investigate!

Everyone needs down-time!

A new word has appeared on my radar lately: stay-cation, meaning an affordable vacation that one takes in their own home region vs. traveling to an exotic locale. We all need some down-time, time off the clock, whether we’re working full time at a paid job or at finding one, or finding work as a freelancer/rainmaker.

I’ve had a lot of stay-cations in my life, and one of my favorite spots for a week of rustic peace and low-key activity is Pere Marquette Park up the Mississippi River a ways from St. Louis, on the Illinois side. The renovated cabins there, plus the amenities of the expanded and renovated, historic lodge, the surrounding state park and its fitness trail, horse-back riding, etc., the great view of the Illinois river, and the quaint towns and shops on the Great River Road along the river can keep you relaxed and/or busy for a good week.

I read about another stay-cation option yesterday in The Daily Sauce, an e-mail I get from St. Louis’s own Sauce Magazine. This stay-ca is on the upscale side, but a great option for us in the St. Louis region, for sure. Here are the details (and if you haven’t signed up for >The Daily Sauce< yet, I highly recommend it. They cover not “just food,” but all sorts of lifestyle and leisure information for the region):

Sky’s the Limit


Anyone aspiring to high leisure will be elated to know the Sky Terrace at Four Seasons Hotel has sexied up the summer. New posh poolside cabanas are available for day-long rentals on a first-come, first-served basis. The standard package includes water and fruit kabobs – but you can also keep cool with buckets of beer and bar bites; pitchers of cocktails and nibbles; or a bottle of champagne and caviar.

Spa treatments are likewise new on the Sky Terrace. But if an hour-long massage is more activity than you’re looking for, you can just lounge. Indulgent day passes for the pool are making a debut this season as well.

Sauce pick: Hanging out the Sky Terrace at Four Seasons Hotel
Where to get it: Four Seasons Hotel, 999 N. Second Street, St. Louis
Info: 314.881.5800 or www.fourseasons.com

Image of clock from molasses.com via the Web

A colleague of mine at Lawrence Group’s office in North Carolina is blogging on >Urbanism and the New Economy: Resources and Ideas for Sustainable Communities in the 21st Century.<

I’m linking it here, but also blogrolling it.

I don’t see a Feedblitz subscription option on the site yet, but it’s new. I suggested it to him today, and hopefully he will add that soon.

If you’re interested at all in sustainability, urban planning, city planning, town planning, architecture, quality of life or any related issues, this promises to be good and informative reading. The current post is titled “How do we re-center our suburbs?”

Craig S. Lewis, AICP, CNU

The colleague mentioned is Craig S. Lewis, AICP, CNU. He is managing principal of Lawrence Group’s Carolinas office and professionally affiliated with

o American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), 1999
o Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU)
o Urban Land Institute
o American Planning Association–New Urbanism Division Executive Committee

OTSTL header_logoTickets start at just $25.

An evening at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis is one of the most enjoyable events you will attend in any given year. It’s a chance to slow down, dress up, and see world-class musical arts. I see people from all walks of life at OTSL; lots of artists, writers, and such, but also just plain folk. If you think you don’t like opera, I bet you will change your mind after a night at OTSL. Hey, I’m not stuffy. I like opera AND Nine Inch Nails!

The company’s >Web site< says, “With three company premieres and one of the world’s greatest love stories, OTSL’s 2009 season is an enticing blend of repertoire. Join us for the unique pleasures of Opera Theatre: spring picnics, free opera previews and performances by some of the best singers in America!”

Christine Brewer

Indeed, some of the best singers in America. Our own >Christine Brewer< got her musical start there and made a return performance as Queen Elizabeth the First in Benjamin Britten’s Gloriana for OTSL’s 25th Anniversary Season in 2005. This American soprano was voted by the the BBC Music Magazine Critics as one of the >20 Greatest Sopranos of all time<, and only one of three currently performing.

Picnic before the performance!

This season’s OTSL performances:

Puccini’s La Boheme
Strauss’s Salome
Mozart’s Il Re Pastore
John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles

Again, from the OTSL Web site,

“Opera Theatre’s Pavilion is among the great St. Louis summer pleasures.  Lawns, trees, and abundant flowers make a cool and colorful setting for picnics before performances.   Savor not only the performance but the whole evening; come early, enjoy cocktails, dinner, and a FREE “opera preview” by a member of the music staff.  And celebrate afterward!  The fact that everyone in the audience can meet the artists informally after the opera is one of the hallmarks of Opera Theatre.”

Meet the artists after the performance.


509-Sky-cov-May_107The May issue of Delta Airlines in-flight magazine >deltaskymag.com< lists  City Museum in St. Louis, Missouri, at #6 among “30 Must-See Museums.”

It’s included in the cover story called “Museum Mania!”

The author’s slate of Top 30 Spots Around the World also includes museums in London, New York City, Paris, Chicago, Boston, Amsterdam and Florence. Other museum picks?

Chicago’s Field Museum (#7),
The Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia (#10) and
the Guggenheim in Bilbao, Spain (#11).

Monstro City at City Museum, St. Louis

The author describes our City Museum as an “eccentric work of whimsy that will awaken the 10-year-old in anyone who crosses its threshold.”

I’ve saved the best for last. If you have not been to City Museum in St. Louis, here is a > link < to its Web site. Be sure to take the photo tour and check out the Attractions section.

You really have to see the place in person to believe it, so schedule a trip to St. Louis. I can see the Museum a few blocks away from the window in my office.  There’s a huge, metal praying mantis that sits on top of the warehouse that the Museum inhabits.

Enjoy!