Reading: Within Walking Distance: Creating Livable Communities For All by Philip Langdon

 

 Last week I received a new book that immediately caught my attention. Within Walking Distance: Creating Livable Communities For All speaks to a core personal issue for me — walkability. Before the personal automobile displaced public transit, most everything in American cities was within walking distance. For nearly a century now Euclidean, …

Sunday Poll: Should Missouri Close Interstate Rest Areas?

 

 Missouri has low fuel taxes and the legislature is unwilling to increase it. Maintenance needs remain. Some states in this situation have opted to closer rest areas: For more than half a century, old-fashioned, no-frills highway rest stops have welcomed motorists looking for a break from the road, a bathroom …

Lyda Krewson Is The 5th Mayor Since I Moved To St. Louis

 

 On Tuesday, while waiting for the inauguration of our first new mayor in 16 years, I reflected on the mayors we’ve had since I moved here in August 1990. For many of you, Francis Slay has been the only mayor you’ve had as a voting-age adult. This could be because …

Opinion: Turnstiles Are For Fare Collection, Not Public Safety

 

 Many, including regional elected officials, letters to the editor, and others, are pushing the idea of turnstiles as a way to increase public safety on our MetroLink light rail system. Incredibly ill-informed because turnstiles, physical & virtual, are meant to combat fare-evasion. Heavy rail systems like Chicago’s EL, the NYC …

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Sunday Poll: Will The Increase In St. Louis’ Minimum Wage Be a Long-Term Positive or Negative?

March 5, 2017 Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Will The Increase In St. Louis’ Minimum Wage Be a Long-Term Positive or Negative?
 
Please vote below

Last week the Missouri Supreme Court upheld a 2015 St. Louis ordinance increasing the local minimum wage — it had been challenged by business groups:

St. Louis will be able to raise its minimum wage to $11 by 2018, after the Missouri Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the city acted within its charter authority when it approved the hike.

The decision reverses a circuit court judge who struck down the increase in 2015, just hours before it was set to take effect.

The city was sued by business groups who said the ordinance conflicted with state law that caps the minimum wage at $7.65. (Post-Dispatch)

This is the subject of today’s poll:

The poll will close at 8pm.

— Steve Patterson

Reading: Seeing the Better City: How to Explore, Observe, and Improve Urban Space by Charles R. Wolfe

March 3, 2017 Featured, Reading Comments Off on Reading: Seeing the Better City: How to Explore, Observe, and Improve Urban Space by Charles R. Wolfe
 

The latest book I have really speaks to my philosophy about personal observation, I generally don’t write about something until I experience it in person.

From the publisher:

In order to understand and improve cities today, personal observation remains as important as ever. While big data, digital mapping, and simulated cityscapes are valuable tools for understanding urban space, using them without on-the-ground, human impressions risks creating places that do not reflect authentic local context. Seeing the Better City brings our attention back to the real world right in front of us, focusing it once more on the sights, sounds, and experiences of place in order to craft policies, plans, and regulations to shape better urban environments.

Through clear prose and vibrant photographs, Charles Wolfe shows those who experience cities how they might catalog the influences of urban form, neighborhood dynamics, public transportation, and myriad other basic city elements that impact their daily lives. He then shares insights into how they can use those observations to contribute to better planning and design decisions. Wolfe calls this the “urban diary” approach, and highlights how the perspective of the observer is key to understanding the dynamics of urban space. He concludes by offering contemporary examples and guidance on how to use carefully recorded and organized observations as a tool to create change in urban planning conversations and practice.

From city-dwellers to elected officials involved in local planning and design issues, this book is an invaluable tool for constructive, creative discourse about improving urban space.

As always, I look first at the contexts. In this case, short and to the point:

Introduction: Why Urban Observation Matters and Tools for Seeing the Better City

Chapter 1: How to See City Basics and Universtal Patterns
Chapter 2: Observation Approaches
Chapter 3: Seeing the City through Urban Diaries
Chapter 4: Envisioning our Personal Cities
Chapter 5: From Urban Diaries to Policies, Plans, and Politics

Conclusion: What the Better City Can Be

You can see a preview here. We need more policy based on experience and observation.

— Steve Patterson

Readers: Retain St. Louis Bread Company Name On Local Panera Bread Locations

March 1, 2017 Featured, Retail Comments Off on Readers: Retain St. Louis Bread Company Name On Local Panera Bread Locations
 

My husband and I use the Panera Bread name to describe both St. Louis Bread Co & Panera locations. The Panera Bread locations in the immediate St. Louis area are known as St. Louis Bread Company.

St. Louis Bread Co on Chippewa

Get an hour from downtown and they become Panera Bread.  As I mentioned in the Sunday Poll, when I worked in Kirkwood (2000-2004) we often got lunch from the original location, but by that point the original founder was ;png out of the picture.

St. Louis Bread was founded by Ken Rosenthal in 1987 when he opened the first location in Kirkwood, Missouri. In 1993, Au Bon Pain Co. purchased the St. Louis Bread Company. In 1997, Au Bon Pain changed the company name to Panera Bread, a made-up name combining the Italian words pane (bread) and era (time)—time of bread. At the same time, the St. Louis Bread Company was renovating its 20 bakery-cafés in the St. Louis area.

In May 1999, to expand Panera Bread into a national restaurant, Au Bon Pain Co. sold its other chains, including Au Bon Pain, which is now owned by Compass Group North America. Panera Bread moved into its new headquarters in Richmond Heights, Missouri in 2000. The company operates or franchises more than 1900 Panera Bread bakery-cafés in 46 states and 20 facilities that deliver fresh dough to the bakery-cafés every day. Panera Bread’s CEO is Ron Shaich.

Panera’s headquarters are in the St. Louis suburb of Sunset Hills. You might think CEO Shaich lives in a tony St. Louis suburb like Ladue…but you’d only be partially correct. He does live in a wealthy suburb — outside of Boston. To his credit, he’s kept the headquarters here for more than two decades. Executives that run the day-to-day business do live here. Panera stock is publicly traded.

More than half of you think the local name should remain St. Louis Bread Company:

Q: Agree or disagree: St. Louis Bread Co locations should go by the name Panera (the name used in the rest of the country?

  • Strongly agree 2 [3.77%]
  • Agree 4 [7.55%]
  • Somewhat agree 3 [5.66%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 7 [13.21%]
  • Somewhat disagree 3 [5.66%]
  • Disagree 10 [18.87%]
  • Strongly disagree 24 [45.28%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 0 [0%]

I somewhat think they should just all become Panera Bread. Most of the packaging, cups, etc are already the same. The main different is the name on the outside of the building.  I’m not advocating for a change, I just won’t be surprised or upset if they decide to do so in the future.

— Steve Patterson

Tonight: My Last Night In My 40s Happy Hour @ 360 St Louis, 4pm-7pm

February 27, 2017 Featured, Steve Patterson Comments Off on Tonight: My Last Night In My 40s Happy Hour @ 360 St Louis, 4pm-7pm
 

Tomorrow I turn 50 years old, but tonight I invite all of you to stop by 360’s happy hour as I celebrate my last night in my 40s.

I hope to be seated in the sofa area in the northwest corner, look for the guy with the shaved head in jeans and a blue shirt.

If you’ve never been to 360 before, this is a good chance to see it and the views. Their current Monday-Thursdsay happy hours specials end on March 31st, as the weather warms up.

  • $4 drafts
  • $5 select Wines
  • $7 specialty cocktails
  • $5 Burgers (Monday)

The full menu is also available, everyone will be responsible for their own items — order as little or as much as you care to pay for.

Even if we’ve met before it’s likely I may not immediately recall your name or the context in how we know each other. But once I hear your name, or the context, I may quickly remember. My stroke 9+ years ago did a number on my  memory…age doesn’t help.

I got a big wheel for my 5th birthday, my mom’s 1967 Plymouth Fury III is in the background
ABOVE: A 2012 photo of mw on a MetroBus

My 40s started off very bad but are ending better than I ever could have anticipated a decade ago. Looking forward to my 50s…

— Steve Patterson

Sunday Poll: Should St. Louis Bread Co Locations Be Renamed Panera?

February 26, 2017 Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Should St. Louis Bread Co Locations Be Renamed Panera?
 
Please vote below

For the first 4+ years of the 2000s I worked in Kirkwood. lunch was often at the original location of St. Louis Bread Co. From July 2014:

Saint Louis Bread Co., a national chain with more than 100 bakery-cafes in the St. Louis area alone, opened its first location in Kirkwood in 1987. Panera, as the company is commonly known outside the city, isn’t going anywhere, but that original restaurant is. After almost 30 years, the Kirkwood’s Bread Company is moving in to nicer digs.

The Bread Co. is currently at 10312 Manchester Road, where it has been for the last 27 years. In August it’ll move across the street to 10221 Manchester Road to accommodate a drive-through, among other things. (Riverfront Times)

What do you think? Vote in the poll below:

 

The poll will close at 8pm.

— Steve Patterson

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