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Patterson on the Mend!

February 18, 2008 Guest, Steve Patterson 54 Comments

This update is being posted by Steve’s friends.

As many of you have heard, Steve experienced a stroke on February 1. He is making progress in his recovery, but he may not be able to post here for some time. We’ll provide updates as appropriate and according to his wishes; at the same time, we all hope that he will be publishing here again himself, sooner than later.

Please post your greetings and best wishes for Steve below, and we will make sure he receives them. He greatly appreciates the outpouring of well wishes many of you have already sent.

If you would like to send a card to lift his spirits just mail it to his office and we’ll get it right to him:

Circa Properties, Inc.
C/O Steven L. Patterson
4507 S. Kingshighway Blvd.

Saint Louis
, MO 63109


Steve’s Friends

PS Keep checking back for guest editorials to keep the urban discussions rolling.


Currently there are "54 comments" on this Article:

  1. Margie says:

    Steve, you magnificent pain in the ass, please get well soon so we can stop worrying about you!

    And to others reading here — I had the pleasure and privilege of spending some quality time with Steve this weekend, on two different occasions, and I am very encouraged to see that he is making significant progress every day. It will be a long haul, but he is a strong guy, and he is bigger than this challenge. I know he’ll appreciate your words of encouragement below.



    PS Steve, whatever Marcia tells you, I did NOT (at least not willingly!) valet park in front of Wasabi the other night. It is true that I might have given money and my keys to the extortionate valet, AFTER he threatened me with towing (though it was still 30 minutes until valet time) and AFTER I parked the damn car myself!!!! Ah, we need our Steve on the street …

  2. carrie says:


    What Margie said! Well, I haven’t been valet parking downtown … but the stop worrying part. I’ve definitely been thinking about you & hoping you’re doing better, but not wanting to get in the way either. SO… here’s to you, Steve. I can’t wait to see you out on your scooter (or better yet, the orange bike) soon.


  3. Dan Icolari says:

    Tonight, Steve, an Urban Review StL email appeared in my in-box and I thought, impossibly of course, that you were back. Then I checked the post-date and saw it predated the stroke. And now, an hour or two later, Dustin’s very welcome post.

    There’s a notable silence in my in-box of late and I want your pluck and smarts and wiseass-ness restored, and soon. But I’ll settle for the very real progress Dustin and Margie report.

    Ellen sends a smooch.


  4. Steve!! (and Steve’s friends!)

    I was aghast when my bloglines brought up a new post! Thanks so much for the update! I’ve been praying for ya and eating a lot of Ted Drewes (which ironically was my security word) on your behalf! (and because I lost my tonsils.) I am so glad to hear you’re on the mend! YOU CAN DO IT!

  5. thoughts from south grand says:


    You will get past this soon. I just got the news checking your site tonight. I have only met you on several occasions, but know that you are the kind of guy that will get back on the bike and keep on rolling.

  6. Frank says:

    I’ve been reading your blog regularly for almost a yea since I moved back to St. Louis. I’ve really enjoyed your insights into matters of politics, transportation and urban planning. I’d always known you to be a very regular poster, so I was a little peeved that you hadn’t done anything since the Sweetheard Dell bit. I’m sorry to hear about your stroke, I hope you get better soon.

    All The Best,


  7. Bolster says:


    Good to hear you are on the mend. I look forward to talking with you. Meanwhile, things are not falling apart in your absence. Following is a draft press release which contains nothing but good news for the city:

    Press Release, Feb. 17, 2008

    Preparations are even now underway to make Soulard Mardi Gras Grand Parade Day 2009 even more exciting than it was on Feb. 2, 2008.

    For example, more exotic and costly floats are on the drawing boards. Some krewes started design and construction as soon as a week after 2008 parade day. The underlying float theme for 2009 parallels this year’s theme: sophisticated floats which caricature and imitate trucks. Just as in the Rose Parade, thousands of flowers are used to create floats which resemble truck floats. It is really very unique, as all parade goers testify, and the St. Louis floats always have put the Rose Parade offerings to shame. After all, Lumberous Place, sponsor of the Grand Parade, don’t sponsor no cheesy events.

    In addition, more publicity for the festival, now billed as the “2nd largest Mardi Gras celebration” in the United States, is coming. Negotiations are underway with FOX, CBS, Discovery Channel and BET to nationally televise the parade. Imagine the favorable publicity for St. Louis when Siegfried and Roy, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen or some similar sparkling personalities sit alongside Mayor Slay to moderate the parade to a national audience. First in shoes, first in Mardi Gras is the objective.

    Already St. Louis has several feathers in our cap to capture the national spotlight. The New Orleans Mardi Gras is now borrowing our good ideas, such as our Krewe of Barkus Parade. They have started to hold a similar event in the French Quarter, or what is left of it. Hey, N.O., give credit where credit is due. They are obviously on their last legs, while St. Louis is on the upswing, enjoying the favor of Fortuna, thanks to our innovativeness.

    Parking problems are also being resolved. Both Soulard and adjoining LaSalle Park have restricted parking, so all you party animals are urged to park in Lafayette Square and Benton Park. The kind folks in Lafayette Square are so in love with their neighborhood that they pick up after us, so it is less a clean-up expense to Mardi Gras Inc. Who knows what goes on in Benton Park?

    Finally, and most exciting, is an increase in the number of bars and restaurants in Soulard. In French, the word “soulard” translates as “drunken pig.” We are all excited about living up to that. More and more buildings are being converted to or used as bars and bars and restaurants. Mardi Gras fans are grateful for the excellent support from political and redevelopment officials with the City of St. Louis, who perceive that the family-oriented festival will help save St. Louis and bring it greater prosperity, just as the increase in gambling facilities will contribute.

    In summary, Soulard Mardi Gras profiteers are looking forward to bigger and better things. As Official Parade Spokesman Back Madly comments: “Lazy less beantowns rolaids,” which is French for “let the good times roll.”

    How’s that for progress. Remember, call me as soon as you are able. Thanks.

  8. Richard Blum says:


    All the best for a speedy recovery! Dustin and I wish a speedy return as weve been watching many episodes of HGTV and TLC and if those morons can flip houses…anyone can. So let’s get going and we’ll take a run at the entire southside. Yours truly will get it all financed WITHOUT the help of Floyd Irons!

    Warm regards,

    Richard Blum

  9. toby says:

    Steve, the last 12-18 months has presented you with a barrage of dramatic milestones. Let this one be “the pit stop” to gather strength to begin a new and stronger chapter of an amazing life. Your stewardship of St. Louis and the built environment is far too important to be interrupted for long. We will have you back sooner than later!
    Here’s to your Healing & Health,

  10. Randy Patterson says:

    Not sure when you will read this, but I am so grateful for your friends and supporters in St. Louis (note I didn’t say greater St. Louis area out of respect for your “urban-spirit”), and so glad they got into your PC and re-started the blog for your followers. It’s great that you have a tremendous archive of articles from which to read while you’re on the sidelines getting some R & R. I look forward to seeing you this weekend (warning to St. Louis: crazy conservative Okie “bad boy” on the loose for a few days in your back yard, er… I mean back alleys). And most of all, I am very encouraged by your progress and can’t wait until your back up and running & biking. Guess I better not post a silly old-fashioned smile here, but I have a big smile on my face as I think of you and conclude this brief message to you.
    Love you,

  11. cyr says:

    Glad to hear recovery is going well. I can’t wait for new posts from you Steve!

  12. mb says:

    Hey Steve,

    Margie did valet park. I really wasn’t going to tell you because is was more extortion than valet service (and she did park the car herself!) but she ‘fessed up anyway. I hope that news doesn’t cause a setback in your recovery.

    We need you back, doing what you do so well.

  13. Hilary says:

    Steve – wishing you a speedy and full recovery!


  14. Steve

    I’ve been following Dionna’s updates on your condition and have been so pleased to hear of your steady progress. I know you’ll be facing many uphill climbs, but know that there are so many people thinking and wishing and praying for your full recovery. We need you, the city needs you, and above all, you need yourself to be well and vital so you can do the things you do best.

    Andrew Raimist

  15. In Steve's Corner says:


    The RFT named UrbanReviewSTL the “Best Civic-Minded Blog” in 2005.

    RFT readers selected the site as their choice for “Best Blog” two years in a row — 2006 & 2007.

    RFT editors named Steve Patterson “Best Gadly” in 2006.

    St. Louis Magazine named Steve Patterson the 50th Most Powerful person in St. Louis in their December 2006 issue.

    The St. Louis Business Journal listed Steve Patterson among the 300 most influential in St. Louis, 2007.

    With all that to his credit already, it’s safe to make a prediction:

    Steve, you will be back, swinging, before we know it. Get well soon!

  16. Iris says:


    May sunshine find you in your hospital room and light the way to a full recovery.
    While your body regains strength, let our love sustain your spirit.

    That was quite a scare! I’m so thankful you’re getting stronger.

    Always, Iris

  17. Pam Ross says:

    We all look forward to seeing you on the scooter soon. You are missed in many places. How can we stay ahead of suburban sprawl if you aren’t on the job?

  18. We value your friendship as well as your fantastic contribution to civic affairs and political discourse. Keep up the recovery. I’m looking forward to your return to the blogosphere.

  19. Dennis says:

    Pam, we can keep ahead of urban sprawl by doing just what I think Steve expects us to do and that is to keep the blogs going. By the way Steve, my best wishes to you for a super speeeedy recovery. I didn’t realize until today when I read the topic by “Steve’s Friends” that we are practically neighbors. Anyway getting back to the blogging. Isn’t there some way we can keep it going until you get back? A subject I am so anxious to tear into is the walkways in the city that are being closed off. For example, there is a walkway that cuts through the 5200 & 5300 block of the old Northampton Park subdivision, which is bounded by Brannon on the east, Pernod on the north, Macklind on the west, and Chippewa on the south, but there is one more block to the south on Winona that I think is also part of that. The houses on that block of Winona were obviously built by the same builder. There was a time when you could walk from the alley between Winona & Bancroft all the way up to Pernod at 5300. But not anymore.

  20. Kuennen says:

    I don’t even know you but I immensely enjoy your web site from Chicagoland. I kept looking for your evaluation of the monstrous minaret on South Kingshighway but it never appeared! Recover soon and get back to writing!


  21. CC says:

    As a new visitor to this site I must say I rarely feel the need to comment on blogs. However, I feel compelled to tell Margie that from an outsider’s point of view, you extorted yourself when you not only parked the car yourself, but you then PAID the valet. Can I ask you one thing? Please, for the sake of Steve’s speedy recovery, tell me they at least retrieved your car for you.

  22. Kathy Bopp says:

    Steve So glad to here you are doing better. Hope your recovery is at least 80mph even if your scooter won’t keep up. I have been praying for you. Kathy Bopp

  23. Maurice says:

    My mailbox is quiet nowadays waiting for the return of those missives about St. Louis and its potential. We can’t wait for you to return. You are forcing us to have withdrawl issues.

  24. Jason says:


    Glad to hear of your continued improvement. I hope you are feeling better soon and that you make a full recovery. I know it will be a long road, but you have alot of friends both virtual and IRL. Some cross boundaries, others do not, but no matter what realm in which they reside, they are all there to help you through this period in your life and move beyond.

    BTW- If you want to do something for Steve here are a few options!!! stand up to a valet, confront someone parking their car on the sidewalk, berate the traffic cop when you get a ticket for parking your scooter in a metered stall. Go to any and all planning and zoning meetings held within the city of st. louis. Buy books on urban planning and send them to the Mayor and future city planner who seems yet to be named. Tell at least 3 people who live in the county about something good that you can only find in the city. Bike to work. Take mass transit. Report accessibility violations in new developments. Report new city development that is not sensitive to the urban infrastructure. Start an urban blog and tell us about it as a comment on Steve’s site. Pick up after your dog during their walks. Visit one local retail business or use a local service at least once a week. More if possible. Call your NSO and report derelict buildings. Call the cops and report a crime. If you have other ideas feel free to throw them out. I could keep going but in the interest of space I will stop.

    Also- I was wondering if there was a fund for Steve’s medical bills? I know real estate agents probably don’t have the best health plans if any so if there is a fund or place to send money to help please post it.



  25. Randy Patterson says:

    Small correction to “In Steve’s Corner” list above, RFT editors named Steve Patterson “Best GadFly” in 2006 (not best Gadly). But still a good summary of Steve’s recognition by others. Good show.

  26. john w. says:

    We’re all looking forward to Steve’s return, and what’s more than obvious in the number of supportive posts is that this excellent blog is needed in this city, and Steve’s dedication to what he believes is the work needed to move us all forward is to be admired. Steve is an inspiration, and I would believe that all the other excellent St. Louis blogs linked from his site are grateful for the exposure he has given the whole urbanist cause in this city. Great work Steve, and we’re all waiting to read your next excellent post.

  27. BentonPark says:

    Your bud in Benton Park is awaiting your return. This place is moving up. Thanks for the advice. People will one day realize that the built environment really matters.

  28. Jim Zavist says:

    Kuennen – That “monstrous minaret on South Kingshighway” is a traditional religious symbol, no different (or taller) than the steeples on many local Catholic Churches. Are you raising concerns about the religion or about the architecture/design?

  29. Todd says:


    Get well soon! We’ve got a Spaghetti Marinara waiting for you down here on 10th Street as soon as you’re ready. Kelli and I are keeping you in our prayers.


  30. a.torch says:

    Godsped and best wishes for a fast recovery Steve! You are missed.

  31. Randy Vines says:

    Steve, the radical urban activist community rallies for your quick recovery!

  32. Sheila Clayton says:


    I missed having someone to debate me in class. I could always count on you. (*_*) I am praying for a speedy recovery for you. We need activist like you—someone who will definitely SPEAK HIS MIND!!! Miss you much! Sheila

  33. Lisa UCity says:

    Thanks for the update! Don’t know you, Steve, but love the blog and have become quite an addict over the last year. And yes, you have changed how I see, experience, talk about and participate in St. Louis. The city desperately needs voices like yours…

    Take care

    ~Lisa UCity

  34. Tom Shrout says:


    Get well! I am in DC and was also surprised to have urban review show up on my home page. I am glad things are looking up for you. I have missed your posts. We had to launch car sharing without you there. I was disappointed. Look forward to having you back.


  35. Mike says:

    Glad you’re improving. I miss having my mind expanded by your thoughtful commentary.

  36. OneShoePamLanning says:

    Miss you and your blog terribly.
    Who is going to tell me about the illegal valet parking and the sidewalks that go nowhere!
    I love that stuff!

  37. Buzz Ullrich says:

    Echoes of what all others have said and felt. The other day when I was walking along Lansdowne between Shrewsbury and the Murdoch Cut-off I thought about you and your penchant for those who park on a sidewalk. For a moment I was outraged. Then I read the handicapped parking plate on the van and thought “whew”! Steve, although I have never had a conversation with you, I am looking forward to the day when we have an open discussion while riding on the bus or MetroLink together, biking along the street and confronting idiot drivers who know not about the laws of bicyclists vs motorist right of way, and even the renovation of big old lofty buildings. You have taught us all many lessons through your blog — I’m sure we’ll learn more lessons from your recovery.

    By the way – I got lucky last September with a simple TIA instead of a full stroke. But for the grace of God, I would have been in similarly designed shoes. Perhaps one day we can reminisce and talk about these wonderful halcyon days of the great insurance/healthcare system in Missouri.

    In the meantime, I’m keeping a watchful eye near the corner of Holly Hills and S. Grand: home of the sidewalk that kinda sorta exists in spots on the north side of Holly Hills between Colorado and Tennessee.


  38. Sheila says:

    Best wishes coming to you from Brentwood. Everyone, you don’t have to live in a strictly urban environment to learn from Steve. I have taken courage from this Blog to twice go up against local infill builders in Brentwood, attending Architectural Review Board meetings, and gaining my neighbor’s support in my efforts. We won both times. The results are houses that blend better into the existing house stock on my street. I push a wide double stroller around my town, and I understand and back Steve on his efforts to make public sidewalks everywhere accessible to everyone. Eventually my kids will outgrow the strollers, but not everyone is so lucky. I have even called builders and contractors on their disregard of the public right of way, and bullied them into cleaning up the sidewalks (and stop parking on them!!) before they left for the day. I don’t know if I would have had the courage to do that a few years ago… Keep up the good work, Steve, and all of the rest of you trying to keep the urban environment healthy.

  39. Steve, we at the Affton Mayor’s office are pleased as punch to hear you are on the recovery trail. I wish you the best of luck in your recovery efforts!

    John OB

  40. Aaron K. says:

    Wishing you a full recovery and a strong return. Looking forward to hearing from you again.

  41. equals42 says:


    I’ve never met you in person, but we’ve spoken by email and blog many times. I have missed a link back to home when traveling and important part of my daily routine with your absence. I can only imagine the effect of your absence on your friends’ lives. Please accept my best wishes and I look forward to your recovery.

    Thank you for the post to keep us informed as well.

  42. Nancy Larson says:

    Just a note to let you know I’m sending you best wishes in your recovery. Hope you can get back soon to the important work that you do!

  43. Lois says:

    Well, what can I say about/to this dear man(whenever he is able to read it) except that I miss you and your always kind, supportive and thoughtful words to me, personally, and I miss reading your razor-sharp observations here in your amazing blog.
    I am confident that that stubborn spirit in you will find your way to complete healing. I am happy to see progress with each visit.
    I love you and miss you pretty much every day.
    Get well!

  44. rick bonasch says:

    Hi Steve,

    Get well soon. You are missed. With your friends on Virginia, we look forward to your return.

  45. LisaS says:

    I noticed the minaret the other day,too …. didn’t have my camera handy but fully intend to photograph & write about it ….
    Steve, I miss your presence on my RSS feeds more than you know. And I owe you lunch, so when you’re better we’re on …. wherever you want to go. Hope it’s soon. Very soon.

  46. Richard Kenney says:

    Steve, I’ve known you for over two decades and you’re one of my best friends. I’ve been collecting all of your secrets for years now in anticipation of writing a “tell-all” book about you when you become Mayor of St. Louis (or King of Missouri?). If you don’t get better soon and resume your career, you will destroy my retirement income from being the author of your unauthorized biography. Don’t be so selfish! Get well soon.

    I decided that while you’re recovering, I’d read two of the books that you’ve always chastised me for not reading yet: ‘The Death and Life of Great American Cities’, by Jane Jacobs; and ‘The Geography of Nowhere’, by James Howard Kunstler. I took the liberty of borrowing (stealing) these important books from your personal library when I was in St. Louis visiting you. Jane Jacobs’ book is absolutely brilliant and is still as pertinent today as it was when it was published in the early 1960’s (especially for St. Louis where it seems urban lessons are never learned). I haven’t started Kunstler’s book yet, but you’ve mentioned it so often to me that it must be equally pertinent. I look forward to discussing them with you soon.

  47. Kellie Shelton says:

    Hey Steve,

    I just received a gang of mail from SLU. I didn’t have google mail hooked. I’m glad to hear that you are feeling better. See you back in class real soon!!

    Kellie S.

  48. Chad Johnson says:


    Our thoughts and prayers are with you!

    Chad Johnson & Bill Byrd

  49. Andrew says:

    Steve, regarding what Rich said about his “tell all” book… I’ll denounce everything that little peanut says, as long as I get a 10% royalty out of your “tell all” autobiography. We’ll make a mint!
    Get well soon Blanche. Rich and I were there to see you some weeks ago, and it was surreal to be in your loft without you. Come home soon. And by the way, I told him not to steal anything, but you know how sticky his fingers get with other people’s stuff.

  50. Jeff says:

    I knew something was up when your blog wasn’t updated! What a bummer! You get well and take your time getting back to the computer! We can all survive without blog posts for a few months! Best wishes and hoping for a full recovery!

    For us fellow bikers we know you are itching for the nice Spring / Summer weather to hop on the bike again!

    Keep Cycling!


  51. kay says:

    Get well soon. I don’t always .. ok, I almost never… agree with your views, but I value them highly. And I want you to continue. Prayers are going up for you right now.


  52. matt in tower grove says:

    Just when i feel like giving up and moving to Portland, Oregon or Chicago, I know I can turn to your blog and know I’m not the only one, know that someone is fighting for St. Louis harder than I have the strength to…

  53. Dionna says:

    Happy Birthday my dear friend.
    You are doing so good in your recovery.
    We’re all very proud of you.
    Hang in there- and when you’re ready, we need to have a rockin’ party.

  54. SIG says:

    Steve, It’s inspiring to see what good spirits you are in. Inspiring that you’re grateful rather than angry. You know quite well how many people your blog touches. And you know quite well how influential you are. I hope that you can derive all the strength that you need from these things.

    I could say that your insightful blog sustains my interest in you. But the truth is that you wield a greater power. I worked with you for only a few months, and I’ve met you maybe three times since then (other than visiting you at SSM). I found you just so damned interesting and fun, that even though I follow your blog more “lightly” than many here, you’ve affected my life a lot even in these brief meetings.

    I wish you strength to deal with the situation. Grace to bear it well. Hope to pull through it. Patience to rebalance your life as you need to. And friends to help you do these things. I cannot imagine the frustrations and the lows that must be part of the experience. I hope that your sense of fun and joie de vivre prevail.

    Look forward to seeing you again.


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