Tuesday, February 25, 2020


I need help from my Canadian friends on this one. I don't get it. As mentioned, the theme of the parade was blue but there isn't a bottle of Labatt's in sight. Otherwise, the meaning completely escapes me. The people who marched beside the float were dressed in white with necklaces made of small plastic Canadian flags. Maybe there is a cultural reference that we down here can't understand.           

Monday, February 24, 2020


The theme of this year's Mardi Gras parade was blue. This town is still in a reverie over the Blues hockey team winning the championship last spring. And who better to characterize the theme than Marge Simpson? How did they hold all those balloons together? I think the fake hair of the people on the float was made of blue bubble wrap. If this didn't win the prize for best float it should have.           

Sunday, February 23, 2020


As has often been observed in these pages, St. Louis loves an excuse to drink in public. The season kicks off with the Mardi Gras parade, which is a pretty big deal here. Not that we can compare to New Orleans, but we might take second place in the US. The parade is the Saturday before the official Tuesday. The weather was beautiful, cloudless and warm for this time of year, bringing out a huge crowd. Lots more where these came from.           

Saturday, February 22, 2020


Still in the Grand Center arts district. This somewhat strange building has been around since I was an undergraduate at nearby St. Louis University (which, recall, was in the Pleistocene).  It was some kind of burger place then. It went out of business and became a take-out Chinese restaurant. I never see anyone in there.

The architecture puzzles me. Is it supposed to represent something or just bizarre and eye-catching?        

Friday, February 21, 2020


There are unusual accommodations just south of the symphony hall, the Angad Arts Hotel. Not sure where the first word came from although it might be the developer. What's very different about it is that all the rooms are color themed. Just about everything, the walls, the floor, the linens (but maybe not the faucets) are monochrome. Pick the color that matches your emotions, red, yellow, blue or green. I would find this difficult to stay in, particularly red and yellow. Imagine what it could do to your blood pressure. Lots of people seem to like it, though.

And, in case you didn't notice, that's sculpture in the first picture.     

Thursday, February 20, 2020


A near-palindromic birthday (but, someone said, close only counts in horseshoes and bombs). The phrase for this click on the meter comes from a fancy-pants translation of 70 in the King James Bible. Perhaps the nicest modern use of the phrase comes from A. E. Housman's poem The Loveliest Of Trees, The Cherry Now . " (I took a lot of English classes when I was younger.)  The scene is Kiener Plaza downtown with my favorite wicket in the background.

Now to see what comes next.           

Wednesday, February 19, 2020


The restaurant and nightclub Jazz St. Louis is just over a block from the symphony hall. It's hung in there for a long time. I'm not a big jazz fan. I loved Dave Brubeck when I was in my teens but he and his quartet were experimenting with unusual time signatures and making it work, notably the famous Take Five. (Even the Grateful Dead had an extended number in 11/4). I admire the beauty and occasional fierceness of John Coltrane and Miles Davis. However, the near-constant rigidity of 4/4 time and the variations on a theme format fail to pull me in. I end up back with the symphony.  

There's an event to mark tomorrow.