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Richard Serra’s ‘Twain’ Is 35, Remains Unloved By Most St. Louisans…Including Arts Patrons

May 1, 2017 Downtown, Featured, Popular Culture Comments Off on Richard Serra’s ‘Twain’ Is 35, Remains Unloved By Most St. Louisans…Including Arts Patrons

Five years ago I’d hoped to have temporary lighting on Richard Serra’s Twain sculpture — to replicate the original lighting when it was dedicated on May 1, 1982. See We Should Restore “Twain’s” Original Lighting Scheme (1982 Video).

I had a lighting company interested in setting up a temporary display at no cost to taxpayers — money was needed to pay for security to make sure the lighting equipment wasn’t stolen, My attempts to get art patrons, such as Twain’s original benefactor Emily Pulitzer, to pay a couple of thousand dollars were unsuccessful.

Five years later the city block, across 10th Street from Citygarden, remains largely unused.

Once you pass through one of the narrow openings the inside is spacious.
Water collects at the east point of the sculpture

I contacted the Gateway Foundation last week. Hopefully I can interest them in making minimal improvements to the block, addressing the mud at Twain’s entrances, and funding new lighting.

— Steve Patterson

 

Finally Visited The National Blues Museum

February 13, 2017 Downtown, Featured, Popular Culture Comments Off on Finally Visited The National Blues Museum

Last month my husband and I finally visited the National Blues Museum, just a 15 minute walk from our loft. The museum opened in April 2016, but we never got around to visiting until recently. First, we had lunch a Sugarfire Smoke House located in the same building at 6th & Washington.

I’ve been a vegetarian for a quarter century now, but I have no problem eating at BBQ places — as long as they offer something like a portobello sandwich. Smart BBQ places do.

My portobello sandwich at Sugarfire

The museum isn’t large, but it’s well-organized. The displays  and signage is fresh looking.

Entry to the National Blues Museum
Photography isn't allowed inside. but I got one photo
Photography isn’t allowed inside. but I got one photo

There was a concert later in the evening, our tickets would’ve gotten into that as well. I’ll keep that in mind — will plan our next visit, followed by dinner and a blues concert.

Very glad to see the museum completed, I was a sceptic when I first heard the concept.

— Steve Patterson

 

Accessibility To Food Trucks Is Often Lacking Due To Location Issues

January 30, 2017 Accessibility, Featured, Planning & Design, Popular Culture Comments Off on Accessibility To Food Trucks Is Often Lacking Due To Location Issues

More than two decades after the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed, the ongoing food truck revolution remains largely inaccessible to those of us who use wheelchairs. Not because of the tricks themselves, but because of where they park.

From a 2013 post — Foods trucks at Third Degree’s open house require lining up on grass — a challenge for some.

In early September a proposed food truck park was in the news:

St. Louis may soon get its first food truck park — a regular gathering spot for some of the area’s best-regarded mobile kitchens. The proposed site is on a stretch of South Vandeventer Avenue — not far from the popular Grove entertainment district — that officials hope to regenerate with new businesses.

Some planning remains, and the park’s developers have yet to choose the project’s name. But they have a site and hope to conduct a food truck pop-up event there this fall.

If plans work out, next spring a rotating assemblage of food trucks will begin to operate daily on what is now an overgrown lot next to the long-ago home of Liberty Bell Oil Co. The vacant building at 1430 South Vandeventer will be redone as the joint commissary for the food trucks. (Post-Dispatch)

My hope is if this moves forward it’ll be designed so everyone can patronize the food trucks. Often I can’t reach the trucks parked downtown at one of my favorite spots: Citygarden.

Even downtown many access problems exist. Just walk up right?
Even downtown many access problems exist. Just walk up right?
No, in this case the window isn't lined up with the walk shown in the previous picture.
No, in this case the window isn’t lined up with the walk shown in the previous picture.
Market next to Citygarden is a very narrow strip of concrete. Enough to stand on but not enough for a wheelchair.
Even when the window is lined up it can still be a challenge if there are others in line.

When I started blogging 12+ years ago I argued for more food carts to activate streets — food trucks weren’t a thing yet. I still wish food carts were more common because they trend to be easier to access in a wheelchair. But trucks have replaced carts so now we need to ensure the public can access them.

— Steve Patterson

 

Christmas Is A Religious Holiday For Many, Cultural For The Rest Of Us

December 28, 2016 Featured, Popular Culture, Religion Comments Off on Christmas Is A Religious Holiday For Many, Cultural For The Rest Of Us
We buy a new ornament every year, this year we got a leg lamp ornament -- a reference to the 1983 classic: A Christmas Story (click image to watch video clip)
We buy a new ornament every year, this year we got a leg lamp ornament — a reference to the 1983 classic: A Christmas Story (click image to watch video clip)

For many of us, Christmas is an important holiday. My husband and I are both atheists, but we have a Christmas tree every year. Sunday his family came down from Springfield IL for brunch at our loft, it’s an important cultural holiday for us.

We’re not alone:

About nine-in-ten Americans (92%) and nearly all Christians (96%) say they celebrate Christmas, according to a 2013 Pew Research Center survey. This is no surprise, but what might be more unexpected is that a big majority (81%) of non-Christians in the U.S. also celebrate Christmas. This includes 87% of people with no religion and even about three-quarters of Asian-American Buddhists (76%) and Hindus (73%). Roughly a third of U.S. Jews (32%) – many of whom have non-Jewish spouses – said in a 2013 survey that they had a Christmas tree in their homes during the most recent holiday season. Among Americans overall, about half (51%) say they celebrate Christmas as more of a religious holiday, while roughly a third (32%) say it is more of a cultural holiday to them personally. (Pew)

The results of the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll reelected this diversity of views:

Q: For you personally, is Christmas a religious or cultural holiday?

  • Very religious 3 [10%]
  • Religious 7 [23.33%]
  • Somewhat religious 0 [0%]
  • Equally religious & cultural 7 [23.33%]
  • Somewhat cultural 0 [0%]
  • Cultural 8 [26.67%]
  • Very cultural 5 [16.67%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 0 [0%]

Though not reflected above, the 25th is just another day in December for others.

However you spent the 25th I hope you had a great day. Trying to decide if I’ll stay up late to ring in 2017 this weekend.

— Steve Patterson

 

Sunday Poll: For You Personally, Is Christmas A Religious Or Cultural Holiday?

December 25, 2016 Featured, Popular Culture, Religion, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: For You Personally, Is Christmas A Religious Or Cultural Holiday?

The last Sunday Poll of  2016 happens to fall on a holiday. Today’s question is what type of holiday is it for you personally.

The poll will be open until 8pm.

— Steve Patterson

 

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