Dear Mayor Slay

Almost a year ago, I called in various code violations to CSB on 4251-53 Juniata St

The serious violations are the rotting back porch, missing mortar and the sidewalk.

I've read on Case Net http://stlcin.missouri.org/citydata/newdesign/csb.cfm?handle=15062000380 that the owner is on notice. What does mean?

I know the tenants in this four unit building and like them as neighbors. It's great that the building owner has such wonderful tenants.

It's annoying that my tenants have this view from their two floor porch every day. It's also embarrassing when I'm showing my flat to lease.

I've called in the tuckpointing problem to CSB. An inspector who was doing an occupancy permit on my building last summer also noted and cited the missing mortar. These photos are of the top of the building on the west side.

Those aren't shadows, that's missing mortar!

That top corner brick should be rebedded.

The sidewalk has serious problems. I've read on Case Net that it's on the 50/50 program but can these conditions safely wait that long? I recently bought an eighty pound bag of mortar and it was 9.00 (with tax). What's the hold up?

About four months ago, a new tenant moved in. Didn't the occupancy permit inspector (I assume she visited) note the condition of the porch during that visit? When the inspector visits here, she always views the back of my building.

Considering the building doesn't have any empty units and the rents being collected must total at least 1,600.00, why can't the owner afford to repair the sidewalk?

The back porch saga.

Only one of four handrails is attached to the bottom pole.

Porch deck is rotting.

The paint is peeling all over the first deck and porch divider.

The red arrows show where the downspout have been broken for years. It should drain under the pavement into the sewer line. It rusted through a few years ago, the rain splashes outside of the pipe and has caused the pavement to start sinking. Isn't this a code violation?

The lumber and ladder have been stowed under the rotting porch for a year. I'm guessing when an inspector visits, the owner tells them he's ready to start work any day.



The most recent Block Captain meeting featured local and state politicians. Scheduled to arrive but MIA was 10th ward alderman Joe Vollmer. In attendance, Senator Jeff Smith, State Rep 67th District, Mike Daus and 15th ward alderwoman, Jennifer Florida.

An announcement was made about the next meeting scheduled for November 19th which will showcase neighborhood talent: artists, musicians and crafts people will be showing and have their work for sale. 10% of the sales will be donated to the block captain fund.

Jan Clinite
The 15th Ward Democrats. http://15thward.org

Block Captain Kim Cole.
Still my hero.

Tim Garret, TGS resident talked about his gallery storefront that will be opening on Morgan Ford Road next month.


Jennifer Florida, 15th ward alderwoman, was excited to see me with a camera. Oh good, she said, I don't have a picture of me with Jeff. Whew, had she leaned any further to the left she would have been in the his lap.

J-Flo was using a crutch and bets flew around the room: Would she continue to appear in public with it until after the next election? I don't live in J-Flo's ward and if I did, I would have sign the recall petition. I have extensive issues with J-Flo as an alderwoman. Her defunct blog http://jenniferflorida.wordpress.com/ says it all and that all is nada.

Mike Daus, (TGS homeboy) took the lead and talked about his responsibilities as State Rep for the 67th ward. He politely resisted Jennifer Florida's attempt to go off point and start an unrelated argument. http://67thdistrict.blogspot.com/

Senator Jeff Smith looking more like a rock star then a politician. If you haven't seen the film, get it quick http://www.mrsmithmovie.com/

Jeff talked about three recent bills; Social Security, Education, and the Economic Development Package - He voted in support of Paul McKee which will ensure he won't get reelected (according to word on the street)

Steve Smith of the Royale is in the back standing next to Jan Clinite.
Mike Colona is in the foreground, he's going to run for State Rep, 67th ward (Mike Daus will be termed out in '08)


Many years ago I met the owner of this house, he had made this brick 'fence' in his front yard. Dustin and Amy now live in it on 42 Hartford.

Cool bricks.



My friend and former tenant Mo works at Iron Age. She's swell and is one of the smarter and talented women I know. (Iron Age co-owner, Brad Fink worked on my back tattoo 18 years ago. I don't think he was even old enough to drive back then.)

Mo did the tattoo on my arm a few years ago and when we recently chatted she offered to do some more ink for me. I jumped on it since people keep asking me if my forearm tattoo is speakers and I keep telling them to google the Golden Mean. (I joked with Bruk today: I should tell them, yeah, I'm a stripper DJ!)

I drove over to the Loop yesterday, saw Mo and snapped a pix.
She's wrapping the arm of the chair with plastic so I don't bleed all over it.

While she prepared the stencil I overheard a young women telling another artist about the tattoo she wanted to have on her butt, That which does not destroy me makes me stronger. He went off to render the stencil. A few moments later, she sneered my way so I asked her, Why would you have a quote from Neitzche on your body, he was a misogynist.

Who's Neitzche?
The man that wrote that.
What's a massage-ist?
A man that hates women.
That's OK, I hate women too a lot of the time. My boyfriend just dumped me for one!


How do you tolerate this, I asked Mo after climbing into the chair, and have you ever refused to do a tattoo?
She shook her head and said, I refuse to tattoo racist content.
People asked for that!?
All the time.

A few moments later I went outside and saw the Neitzche groupie smoking and sitting in a chair. As I sat down next to her, she deliberately exhaled in my face.

Nice, I told her. Do you realize Hitler institutionalized Nietzsche as a kind of official philosopher. The soldiers in Hitler's army were forced to carry copies of Nietzsche's "Thus Spake Zarathustra" in their knapsacks as they went in to battle.

Put that on your butt and smoke it.
I winked, patted her thigh and exited, stage left.


Stencil applied.

Outline applied:

After (and quite swollen)



From Lynn Josse via St. Louis Building Arts Foundation.
Click on the image to read the text.


Partially every home in the city has a coal chute. Coal was delivered by truck and left either on the sidewalk outside of the house or, for an extra fee, delivered to the chute.

One of my earliest memories is having coal delivered to our house at 3964 McDonald. I remember seeing my dad in the basement with a shovel and wanting to know what was going on. I heard noise in the gangway, went out the back door and saw a guy with a wheel barrow emptying coal into the chute.

My neighbor Pop recently told me about having a ton of coal delivered. It was left on the sidewalk and he spent four hours with a shovel tossing it into the chute. The ton of coal lasted all winter. He lived in a four family at the time and said one of the other people living there didn't have any coal. When he noticed they were using his, he padlocked his bin.

Why were they using your coal, I asked.
They were so poor they couldn't afford any.

Coal chute at Peggy's house w/ a stencil by Piet!



I had a rather large foundation crack that needed some attention so I posted on the Rehabber's group and asked for advice. Shish, those Rehabber people! Ask them a question, get a few answers and then they start trying to one up each other.

I went with Jeff Neumann's advice: Just use a Type S mortar with some sugar sand mixed in (15-20 shovels for each bag of mortar) should do the job. If you're able to grind the crack out first, the application will take better. Also remember that the cracks can reoccur as the building settles, so this may not be a permanent fix. Nu-way sells an epoxy based mortar which may be a bit better for your situation, although the Type S is pretty standard. Best of luck.

TGH resident and friend, Other Tim added, useless human knowledge:
mortar "harndess" designations come from looking at every other
letter in the phrase "MaSoN wOrK". M is the hardest, O and K are
recognized (by whatever entities recognizes such things...)but
seldom, if ever, used. N is standard for older structures.

I took Jeff's advice and ended up with an eighty pound bag of Mohawk Mortar.

I googled Mohawk Mortar with no results...so what's behind the name?

The mega crack

Go ahead and sneer, these are the tools I used:
Trowel for lifting the mortar out of the bag.
Pan cake turner for mixing.
A dust pan for filling the crack, the mortar slid in.
Sofa pillow snatched in the alley for sitting on while working.
Beau supervising.

Filled and setting.