Friday, May 29, 2015


Little Bosnia 2

Our Bosnian population is centered around the old Bevo Mill, a landmark German restaurant on the south side. It was built in 1915-16 by August Busch, Sr., one of the founders of Anheuser-Busch. The location was chosen because it was about half way between the brewery and Busch's country estate, now known as Grant's Farm. (apparently Ulysses S. Grant once lived there.) The name of the mill may be a variation on pivo, the Czech word for beer, since its pilsner-style brew was growing in popularity at the time.

(I learned three phrases in Czech when I visited Prague years ago: pivo, prosim - beer, please; jedno pivo prosim - another beer, please; and ucet, prosim - the bill, please. Somehow I failed to learn how to ask directions to the WC. Fortunately, the waiters were always able to tell from the expressions on the tourists' faces. But back to our story.)

The neighborhood was still primarily German and Dutch when I started living on the south side in the mid-70s. Times change, people in the area moved to the suburbs and A-B eventually closed the restaurant. Someone bought it a few years ago and did a fine restoration. Now it is a special events hall, weddings and such, and has a grand Sunday brunch. The neighborhood later filled with Bosnian refugees, who have revitalized the area.

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Little Bosnia

Bosnian Dance 1

We have a substantial Bosnian population in The Lou. It's are one of the main places refugees were resettled after the Balkan wars. They have added something special to the culture of the region and have been on the blog before, like the Bosnia - Argentina soccer match at the baseball stadium a year and a half ago.

The community is centered on the south side around the Bevo Mill, more about which soon. There was a little Taste of Bosnia festival there last Sunday. Well, two food carts but lots of enthusiasm. But when the band stopped playing American pop music and struck up Bosnian dance tunes - well, how do you say let the good times roll in Bosnian? Click the top picture for a video.                    

Little Bosnia 1

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Architectural Scrap

Archetecture Scrapyard

I has some trouble figuring out where to park and enter the grounds on my first visit to the STL Swap Meet. While I was wandering, I saw a small gated courtyard in the brewery that faced the street. It held the frames of two quatrefoil windows, probably from a demolished church, and some other architectural scrap. The frames looked to be solid enough to restore. Where they will end up I cannot guess.

Anyone who is interested in this sort of thing should check Chris Naffziger's excellent blog, St. Louis Patina, about the decay of our city's architectural heritage.                          

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

L'oiseau mort

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Everything sounds better in French. Actually, this isn't a dead bird. I think it's a little decorative accessory that fell over.

One of the best things about a good flea market is the wonderful range of junk on offer. Who's got four bathrooms to remodel? Who wants sleds at the beginning of a St. Louis summer?                   
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Monday, May 25, 2015

Local Fashion

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We're not the biggest town, nor the most beautiful or famous. But we have a strong, positive sense of self and, well, a certain look. Whether it's recycled frocks or tee shirts with attitude, the Swap Meet has plenty of it. 

It's the Memorial Day holiday in the US. Mostly quiet except for the ceremonies of rememberance and family events. Swimming pools traditionally open this weekend. There has to be something out there to shoot.                    

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Madeleine Monday Bonus

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So there's this restaurant/caterer/wedding cake shop near us that makes the best bread in town. We brought some over to dinner at Madeleine, Emily and Brian's home the other night. And what does the kid do with it? Just lick the butter off.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Primary Colors

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I've been on a motorcycle maybe twice in my life, both times as a passenger. The ride in the sidecar of an old BMW was the less terrifying, although my friend didn't have a another helmet (it's compulsory in Missouri) and I ended up wearing sort of a toy Cardinals batting helmet. We didn't get stopped by the police. I wouldn't drive one, though. Maybe you've heard the old line - what's another name for a motorcycle rider?  Answer: organ donor.

I wonder what was originally in the St. Louis Blues canister below. My guess is popcorn. Tastier than engine grease.                         

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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Two wheels, Two Cylinders, Fast

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There was a motorcycle workshop, to use the term loosely, around the corner from the old car we saw yesterday. You could say that hot rod bikes were being built. These are two different vehicles. You shouldn't put a limb into the wheel of a motorcycle in general but you really shouldn't try it with the one in the top picture. Born to be wild, I guess.

Big night in The Lou later, the season opener of Opera Theatre of St. Louis. It's a unique experience and pure delight. First up is the ever-popular Barber of Seville. We'll be there.

(It's worth clicking the links today.)                           

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