New Book | The Great Uprising: Race Riots in Urban America during the 1960s by Peter B Levy

 

 I was alive during the 1960s…but only the last few years. As such, I have no memory of the many cultural changes that took place between 1960-1970. I asked my oldest brother, 67, about becoming a teenager in the 60s…in our hometown of Oklahoma City. His reply: Race Riots, rampant …

Sunday Poll: More Gun Control or Just Enforce Existing Laws?

 

 Last week’s shooting in Florida has sparked heated debate about solutions to the rising number of mass shootings: More than a dozen school shootings have already occurred so far in 2018. According to non-profit organization Everytown for Gun Safety, a total of 17 shootings have occurred on school campuses across the United States …

St. Louis Board of Aldermen Week 34 of 2017-2018 Session

 

 The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their 34th week of the 2017-2018 session. NEW BOARD BILLS ON THE AGENDA* FOR INTRODUCTION TODAY 2/16/18: *Note that just because a bill is on the agenda doesn’t mean it’ll be introduced, similarly, bills not on the agenda might be introduced …

Readers Would Prefer A Less Commercialized Valentine’s Day

 

 In the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll more than half of the responses supported a more traditional celebration of Valentine’s Day over the current commercialized day. Q: Agree or disagree: Valentine’s Day has become too commercialized, we should return to a traditional celebration. Strongly agree 5 [21.74%] Agree 5 [21.74%] Somewhat agree …

Recent Articles:

Opinion: Downtown Needs More Residential Units — Apartments Are Right for the Times

December 13, 2017 Downtown, Featured Comments Off on Opinion: Downtown Needs More Residential Units — Apartments Are Right for the Times
 

For my parent’s generation (The Silent Generation) the American dream was a good job, the same job, for life — paying off your mortgage. If you worked the same job for life moving was only necessary when you wanted a bigger place or smaller residence.  The days of people working for the same company for life is pretty much over. We change jobs…and careers frequently now. Along with a change of jobs comes a change of cities.

An apartment m the Arcade

This mobility means many don’t want to get tied to one address for too long. Apartments give people, especially young people, an opportunity to experience urban living with little commitment.

From 2015:

In 2013, the U.S. homeownership rate fell for the ninth straight year, clocking in at just 65.1 percent, the lowest level since 1995, according to the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard. First-time homebuyers, young people, and minorities participate less and less in the housing market. The big philosophical debate is when, if ever, they’ll come back and what that will mean for their wealth over the long-run. (The Atlantic)

A mix is good — ownership & rentals, affordable to high-end. The important thing for downtown is warm bodies, getting long-vacant buildings occupied. More than a decade ago leaders promised us a 24/7 downtown — we’re a long way from that, but more residents is a good thing.

The results of the recent Sunday Poll:

Q: Agree or disagree: Downtown is building too many for-rent apartments, should stay focused on for-sale condos.

  • Strongly agree 0 [0%]
  • Agree 1 [3.45%]
  • Somewhat agree 9 [31.03%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 7 [24.14%]
  • Somewhat disagree 0 [0%]
  • Disagree 7 [24.14%]
  • Strongly disagree 5 [17.24%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 0 [0%]

Apartments will continue throughout the city, but condos will return when the time is right.

— Steve Patterson

Reading: The Space Between Us: Social Geography and Politics, by Ryan D. Enos

December 11, 2017 Books, Featured Comments Off on Reading: The Space Between Us: Social Geography and Politics, by Ryan D. Enos
 

A recent book explores the the interrelationship between several fields, including geography & politics. The underlying research is fascinating.

The Space between Us brings the connection between geography, psychology, and politics to life. By going into the neighborhoods of real cities, Enos shows how our perceptions of racial, ethnic, and religious groups are intuitively shaped by where these groups live and interact daily. Through the lens of numerous examples across the globe and drawing on a compelling combination of research techniques including field and laboratory experiments, big data analysis, and small-scale interactions, this timely book provides a new understanding of how geography shapes politics and how members of groups think about each other. Enos’ analysis is punctuated with personal accounts from the field. His rigorous research unfolds in accessible writing that will appeal to specialists and non-specialists alike, illuminating the profound effects of social geography on how we relate to, think about, and politically interact across groups in the fabric of our daily lives. (Cambridge University Press)

You can read the Preface and Chapter 1 here.

  1. The Red Line
  2. The Demagogue of Space
  3. The Demagogue’s Mechanism: Groups, Space, and the Mind
  4. Laboratories: Assigning Space
  5. Boston: Trains, Immigrants, and the Arizona Question
  6. Chicago: Projects and a Shock to Social Geography
  7. Jerusalem: Walls and the Problem of Cooperation
  8. Crenshaw Boulevard, Los Angeles: Contact and Exit
  9. Phoenix: The Arc of Intergroup Interactions and the Political Future

This is an academic book, though the subject matter is accessible to all. Time is spent explaining the research methodology used in the research, easily skipped unless you’re curious.

Author Ryan D. Enos worked as a teacher on the South side of Chicago, so Chicago’s North-South divide, like St. Louis’ Delmar Divide, makes a great subject for study.  Enos is now an Associate Professor at Harvard University. The banner at the to of his website proclaims:

I am a Social Scientist studying political psychology, race and ethnic politics, and political behavior in the United States and other countries. 

The Space Between Us is available locally from Left Bank Books, Amazon, and other booksellers.

— Steve Patterson

Sunday Poll: Condos vs Apartments…Does It Matter?

December 10, 2017 Downtown, Featured, Sunday Poll Comments Off on Sunday Poll: Condos vs Apartments…Does It Matter?
 
Please vote below

On Friday we learned about a proposed 33-story apartment tower across Broadway from Busch Stadium/Ballpark Village. A 29-story apartment tower is already planned within Ballpark Village.

Other recent new downtown residential projects include the 25-story Tower at OPOP at 411 North Eighth Street, which has one- and two-bedroom apartments that range between $1,295 and $2,700 per month. Two years ago, the rehab of the historic Arcade building added 282 apartments to the downtown market — the biggest single addition to downtown in decades.

In recent years, downtown has been one of the few city neighborhoods where population has been growing, as historic buildings were rehabbed into lofts and apartments amid sluggish demand for office space. Downtown’s population has more than doubled since 2000 to almost 9,000 as of last year. (Post-Dispatch)

A decade ago all the projects being built were condos, not apartments. Does it matter?

Here’s today’s poll:

This poll will close at 8pm tonight.

— Steve Patterson

St. Louis Board of Aldermen Week 26 of 2017-2018 Session

December 8, 2017 Board of Aldermen, Featured Comments Off on St. Louis Board of Aldermen Week 26 of 2017-2018 Session
 
St. Louis City Hall

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen will meet at 10am today, their 26th week of the 2017-2018 session. FOUR (13) NEW BOARD BILLS ON THE AGENDA* FOR INTRODUCTION TODAY 12/8/17:

*Note that just because a bill is on the agenda doesn’t mean it’ll be introduced, similarly, bills not on the agenda might be introduced if they suspend the rules to do so. This information is based on the published agenda as of yesterday @ 8am:

  • B.B.#207 – Navarro ? An ordinance approving the dissolution of the East Loop/Parkview Gardens Special Business District and the discharge of the members of its board of commissioners, by repealing Ordinance No. 63634.
  • B.B.#208 – Davis ? An ordinance recommended and approved by the Airport Commission, the Comptroller and the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, making certain findings with respect to the transfer of up to Thirteen Million Seven Hundred Twenty?Seven Thousand Seven Hundred Sixty?Nine Dollars of excess moneys that The City, intends to transfer from the Debt Service Stabilization Fund to the Airport Revenue Fund in accordance with Section 516.B of the Lambert?St. Louis International Airport Indenture of Trust between the City, as Grantor, and UMB Bank, N.A., as Trustee, dated as of October 15, 1984, as amended and restated as of July 1, 2009, as amended and supplemented; authorizing a transfer in an amount not to exceed Thirteen Million Seven Hundred Twenty?Seven Thousand Seven Hundred Sixty?Nine Dollars from the DSSF into the Revenue Fund during the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017, to be used to make funds available to mitigate rates on an annual basis during the term of the Airport Use and Lease Agreement commencing July 1, 2016; containing a severability clause; and containing an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#209 – Davis ? An Ordinance recommended by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the Director of Airports and the Comptroller to enter into and the Second Amendment to Fuel System Lease and Use Agreement AL?442 to the St. Louis Lambert International Airport® Fuel System Lease and Use Agreement AL?442, between the City and STL Fuel Company LLC, dated December 22, 2011, as amended by the First Amendment to Fuel System Lease and Use Agreement AL?442, dated April 7, 2014; the Second Amendment, which is attached hereto as ATTACHMENT “1” and made a part hereof, was approved by the City’s Airport Commission, and its terms are more fully described in Section One of this Ordinance; containing a severability clause and an emergency clause.
  • B.B.#210 – Davis ? An Ordinance recommended and approved by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment authorizing and directing the Director of Airports of the City, owner and operator of the St. Louis Lambert International Airport to execute, the Consent to Assignment whereby the City consents to the assignment by ABM Parking Services, Inc. (“Assignor”) to ABM Aviation, Inc. (“Assignee”) all right, title and interest in the Operating Agreement for Management & Operation of Parking Facilities Services AL?267 at Lambert?St. Louis International Airport, dated December 10, 2014; and further authorizing and directing the Director of Airports and the Comptroller to enter into and execute the First Amendment to the Operating Agreement for Management & Operation of Parking Facilities Services AL?267 (“First Amendment”) to the Agreement; said Consent to Assignment and First Amendment were approved by the Airport Commission and are attached hereto as ATTACHMENT “1” and ATTACHMENT “2” respectively, and made a part hereof, and their terms are more fully described in Section One and Section Two of this Ordinance; containing a severability clause; and an emergency clause.

The meeting begins at 10am, past meetings and a live broadcast can be watched online here. See list of all board bills for the 2017-2018 session.

— Steve Patterson

Opinion: Shake Shack Kinda A Big Deal For St. Louis (UPDATED)

December 6, 2017 Central West End, Featured Comments Off on Opinion: Shake Shack Kinda A Big Deal For St. Louis (UPDATED)
 

The origins of Shake Shack were hummbl;e…a cart. From their website:

Shake Shack sprouted from a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park in Manhattan to support the Madison Square Park Conservancy’s first art installation. The cart was quite the success, with Shack fans lined up daily for three summers.

In 2004, a permanent kiosk opened in the park: Shake Shack was born. This modern day “roadside” burger stand serves up the most delicious burgers, hot dogs, frozen custard, shakes, beer, wine and more. An instant neighborhood fixture, Shake Shack welcomed people from all over the city, country and world who gathered together to enjoy fresh, simple, high-quality versions of the classics in a majestic setting. The rest, as they say, is burger history.

Founder Danny Meyer is originally from the St. Louis region. Meyer founded Shake Shack in 2004, but he was well-established in NYC by that point.

The fancy-casual flagship of Danny Meyer’s empire, opened in 1985—which led the way for a hit parade of restaurants including Gramercy Tavern, the Modern, Blue Smoke, North End Grill, Untitled, Shake Shack, and, for a time, Eleven Madison Park—closed at the end of 2015, because of an untenable rent hike, with a promise to reopen within a year. Meyer is nothing if not trustworthy. In December [2016], the U.S.C. revamp débuted in the old City Crab space, still close enough to the greenmarket to stock up on winter rutabagas and retain its farm-to-table ethos, an idea it pioneered. (The New Yorker)

Meyer has built a huge culinary empire, survived in the highly-competative casual dining marketplace. From 2015:, Compared to its peers, Shake Shack has a much higher P/E ratio than the average of 32, but because Shake Shack is growing rapidly through expansion and is still a new company, the company’s earnings may yet rise in the future to bring the P/E in line with the industry. The relatively low profit margins and return on equity might also be attributed to its rapid expansion. On the other hand, it might point to the company trying to grow too much too quickly for its own good. (Investopedia)

St. Louis now joins cities that have a Shake Shack. There’s the usual suspects like NYC, Chicago, LA, and Dallas. Ahead of us were cities like Lexington (KY), Detroit, and San Antonio. Some bigger regions don’t have a Shake Shack yet: Seattle, Portland, and Denver.

I’ve never been to a Shake Shack before, though we’ve passed by one a block West of Chicago’s Michigan Ave numerous times.

Shake Shack just West of Michigan Ave, Chicago

I recently told my husband we could go next year…he wants to try it this year…so we’ll brave the lines in the next few weeks. St. Louis’ Shake Shack is located at 32 N Euclid, in The Euclid building.

From the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll;

Q: Agree or disagree: Shake Shack opening in St. Louis is no big deal, we have plenty of burger & shake joints already.

  • Strongly agree 6 [16.22%]
  • Agree 7 [18.92%]
  • Somewhat agree 8 [21.62%]
  • Neither agree or disagree 4 [10.81%]
  • Somewhat disagree 4 [10.81%]
  • Disagree 6 [16.22%]
  • Strongly disagree 1 [2.7%]
  • Unsure/No Answer 1 -2.7%]

We’ll see if it lives up to the hype. I’m looking forward to trying their ‘Shroom Burger (“Crisp-fried portobello mushroom filled with melted muenster and cheddar cheeses, topped with lettuce, tomato, ShackSauce™”)

— Steve Patterson

Note: This post was updated at 7:45am on 12/6/2017 to correct location information.

Advertisement



FACEBOOK POSTS

Archives

Categories

Advertisement


Subscribe