along south grand

I’ve already broken my promise to post photos each week, but maybe I can get back on track today. Things are returning to normal along South Grand. I took a walk through the neighborhood again yesterday and found some things I had not seen before and some I had. I’ll be posting photos from South Grand for a while until I turn to something else. There’s lots of good material around me.

The plywood window that carried the image I’m using as a heading has come down, but plywood grafitti is providing some businesses with permanent advertising and the opportunity to commit citizenship, or that’s how I’m presently thinking of it. Rooster has cleared some of its windows but kept significant signage. Note the critter saying, “Break eggs, not windows.”


The city flag cum peace sign appears up and down the street still. Here it is in the window of LemmonGrass, our favorite Vietnamese eatery across the street. We had dinner at Lemmongrass not long after the plywood went up and saw no broken windows. Our server told us that the plywood had been installed prophylactically, but we suspect solidarity.


Solidarity may also be behind the window covering at Jay International Groceery, where I bought some Basmati rice yesterday and chatted with folks in the checkout line. No broken windows there, either.


Jay’s also sports a St. Louis 250th birthday cake. These little pieces of public art are all over the Metro East this year in honor of the 250th anniversary of the city’s “founding.” The celebration has not been the big PR success that the chamber of commerce types hoped, but the birthday cakes are sort of cute, I guess.


And speaking of public art, here’s an electrical junction box that’s covered with permanent public art, the fruit of a grant a few years back. From time to time these boxes (which appear all along South Grand) get vandalized, but they always get repaired.


An area of South Grand from I-44 south almost to Gravois has been the subject of various “improvements” over the past good many years. I was very disturbed when wowsers cut down the beautiful old trees that had shaded the main business section for many years, but the new trees they planted are growing apace. Here’s another improvement, a litle concrete park that used to be a parking lot.


I may have liked it better as a parking lot, but we attended its opening back in August, another opportunity to have dinner at LemmonGrass and meet friends serendipitously. As we were walking past The King and I, another wonderful venue for foodies (you can see just the corner of its buillding in the photo above) Ann Aurbach came rushing out the door and threw her arms around me—this was the first time I had been out for an evening since I got out of the hospital. Ann is a prize-winning photographer who has recently had a very successful one-person show here in town. You can see her work at her blog, Biscuits with Honey.

I commented last week that it will be interesting to watch the plywood art along South Grand as it develops and changes. I’m now thinking that much of it will be up for a while. Here’s the front of Salon St. Louis decked out with seasonal cheer and some images that have been added since I took the photo I posted ten days ago. For comparison that’s here. And here’s my photo from yesterday.


I’ll close with this image from the door of Commerce Bank, whose good citizenship can be seen in the spacious parking lot at Arkansas and Hartford that the bank maintains as a public service. I’ll post a photo of it one of these days. It’s refreshing to see the messages of solidarity and hope along South Grand right now. Perhaps it’s an atidote to my general pessimism, which I haven’t forgotten. More about that soon, but meanwhile,