Joe goes to Haiti

One of our Tower Grove South neighbors is currently in Haiti volunteering with the Relief Effort. You can read his blog by clicking on the title of this post.



These photos are from last fall.
I arrived at the garage door where I found my neighbor's kids on leaf disposal duty.

Jumping on the leaves packs the dumpster.

Aleisha with leaves in her hair.


Southwest Garden - Mosaic

One of my favorite buildings in Southwest Garden and not just because of the sun beam.

This side door and porch is so elaborate that the building may be a duplex:

Art Nouveau glass tile mosaic:

No asphalt! Paver street:

The original arch door is framed by triple arches:


Sky Dome on Morgan Ford

I found this photo on FaceBook.
It was located on the north east corner of Hartford and MGF, right across the street from my grandfather's bicycle shop.
Th Skydome

3171 S Grand

Photo of my Mother in front of 3171 S Grand with a reflection of the building that now houses Jay Asia. I date this photo to 1948.

She was employed as an illustrator, had a boat load of talent, and defied fashion dictates by wearing sandals with fur.
She was seriously original and one of the smartest people I've known.
I was graced by her presence.

Train overpass Columbia Ave

Beau goes for a ride

Beau is my canine companion who rides in the back seat and stares out the widow.
Here's proof:

Every single time I drive past a field, any park, or even a parking lot I am treated to a scolding from the back seat. I'm on business and he wants to ROMP. After a series of errands he'll gently place his head on my right shoulder to remind me to head for the tracks where he gets to run.

The head drop on the shoulder cracks me up.


Urban Farming

I've visited a few coops in TGS during the last two years and this one wins the prize for deluxe accommodations. It's right across the alley with a standing offer of eggs but of course I am allergic.

My neighbor didn't want to be in the photo so the rake is for scale:


How to Eliminate Lawn Mover Emissions

Because I preparing for the inevitable infirmary last summer I eliminated the front lawn:

This was achieved by putting down layers of wet newspaper and covering them with mulch. The tree lawn has been planted with drought tolerant laripoe. No more mowing.

Here's an extreme example of eliminating mowing, pave the damn yard!
Cute, that the asphalt was painted green.

This house is located in Southwest Gardens but it's still The Hill to me.


The Clean Energy Jobs & American Power Act

A few days ago I was dining at Bread Co. with a friend.
We finished our meal and I looked at all the 'trash' we had left on the table: plastic utensils, cups, and containers with no recycling bin on site.

This is bullshit, I told Friend, I recycle at home and generate one blue tub per week but very few businesses in the city recycle. It should be mandatory.

City Hall has started recycling again, he told me, apparently some grant was reinstated. This was surprising to me. I thought City Hall would have been the recycling leader in St. Louis City.

There's a couple of businesses in my neighborhood that recycle. Remains on Morgan Ford Rd is in the business of post consumer products. Along a recent walk through the alleys behind MGF I discovered the only business using a blue recycling dumpster is Local Harvest.

Of course Local Harvest pays for this service. With the current government chatter on GREEN (this post title is linked to a video) why aren't we implementing programs for business? There has to be a plan in place that rewards recycling.

Next time you're at Home Depot on Kingshighway, drive around to the back. There's a huge cardboard baler they use and it's probably sold for profit. But what about their paper, plastic, and discarded wood cuts? Profit has to be the incentive.

Asking small business to incur yet another cost in a down economy isn't feasible. As a former brick and mortar business owner and I know about the costs.

My small business generated a lot that could be recycled buy it didn't always make it into my car for a ride to the off site bins.

Please join me in emailing our alderpeople, state reps, and the mayor to ask for tax credits for all businesses that use recycling services. Let's establish and implement a plan and make it reality within a one year deadline and stop paying lip service and continue spending our dollars where blue dumpsters are housed.

I'll be posting the response I get from my alderman. I'll post yours also.

Bodacious Terra Cotta

I wish somebody would turn on the lights outside.
The winter gloam is way past tedious so I'm roving neighborhoods and fortunately encountered this building in Princeton Heights. Stellar brickwork. Bodacious terra cotta that resonates with Arts and Crafts motifs.

Click to enlarge. These bricks are the first I've encounter that have flecks of feldspar to compliment the mortar.


Che McPherson

I lived in this 3 story Federal style house with its spicy iron ore spotted face brick for years.

During the years I lived there the block changed from rooming houses and collectives to single rehabbed homes. We were an artist collective and the Block Association (they incorporated!) sarcastically referred to my house as Christian and Her Community.

I lived with a cast of characters. Seriously. Characters.
Famous and infamous visitors were frequent, some were serious (visiting writers lecturing on tour) but mostly it was a gleeful and talented freak parade.

Armin would be in the basement fixing the isolation tank or helping me frame pieces. I would try to tame the massive over grown yard. A sink fell off a bathroom wall. Part of the house was rehabbed, the other in decay. Sub Genius ruled and Philo Drummond (who I met when he was living in St. Louis) visited. Wade Rathke spent a week in a first floor room. Geoff Dugan visited and various other artists and writers. Not a party house but a Haute House where living was an adventure.

Charles the dog got into the act by swiping a plate of brownies off the top of Dobbs (he owned the house) car one day while he was unloading. Dobbs had placed the plate from Cookies, Cookies, and More on the car roof and when he exited the car he found Charles on top chowing down. I witnessed this event and it was hilarious.

One early morning the high heel of my shoe poked through the layers of ancient linoleum on the kitchen floor and I was stuck for one minute. I was chatting with a house mate Paul in this kitchen one night while he was baking and I saw a rat cross the floor. He noticed me tracking the rat, jumped up on a chair, and told me to hand him the bowl he was stirring.
Ellen had a baby grand piano on the first floor.

My first floor art studio was a fire waiting to happen where I blasted Patti Smith and Nick Cave while painting. The second floor studio was where I published Velocity magazine.

Hide and Seek was the game of choice in our house. From my third floor window I would watch hundreds of crows roost at twilight in the dozens of trees in the back yard. Race Young once lived in Hampton Hall and would call and ask me to wave to him from my window. I waved.
Daily performances were common and you'll have to click to biggify to see the guy on the john reading the paper.

In San Francisco with accomplices:

Deconstructed self portrait with cigarette.

With my sister Efficient in front of The Avon in Tampa. Glistening black vitrolite.

Thanks Dobbs, those were some of the best years of my good life.

Just arrived, an email from Dobbs, my former dazzling landlord and still one of my best BFs:
I wish I could have made the cast of characters in the background a little more prominent– Paul on the crapper, Ellen with the tv magnifier, the MLK t-shirt on the clothesline and the washing machine it, and what's hiding behind me that can't be seen at all is about a size 50 pair of jockey shorts hanging on the line. And we tried to get Alex to stand on the hood of the car but it was a hot day and he kept jumping off because of a serious case of the hot foot. At least Grace Jones mounting the steps is clearly seen.

And speaking of cast of characters, we really did have a few rotating through that place, though I've forgotten probably half of 'em.

One of the more interesting moments happened before you were there when I was coming out of the kitchen one evening and met my cousin Jay walking down the steps with a strange black chick. He properly introduced us and said he was driving her "home" and would be back in a few. When he got back I asked him who she was and he said she was a hooker he'd picked up over on the stroll.

Did you know Robert Anton Wilson spent 4-5 days in your old room when we brought him to town for a lecture?

Those were some of the best days of my life too. I kinda wish I had a do-over on my time there.

Window from the old Gateway Hotel

Paul Hohmann recently did a great post on Downtown St. Louis.

I worked Downtown for almost two decades. I was there prior to the building of the heinous St. Louis Centre and took a load of film photos of the buildings prior to the demo. I aim to find those photos someday.

I took photos of the two lead bas relief windows at the Gateway prior to the fire...the other window photo is will be posted when recovered.


Spendid glazed terra cotta


Located (I think, I've misplaced my notes) in the Princeton Heights neighborhood.
Dreamy Art Deco styling terra cotta with wire cut brick and stained pick mortar.

Too bad the original store front windows were 'remodeled'.