American Arts Experience | St. Louis! Thursday, Sep 16 2010 

from the St. Louis Regional Commerce and Growth Association’s
“Monday Memo,” 13 September 2010,

First Annual American Arts Experience-St. Louis Kicks Off Friday, October 1st: For 17 days and nights, beginning October 1st, the American Arts Experience – St. Louis will fill concert halls, museums, theaters, universities and outdoor spaces in the St. Louis area with dozens of performances and shows by renowned American artists and companies in disciplines ranging from symphonic music to jazz and singer-songwriters, theater by American playwrights and dance by American companies to major American visual artists.

Designed as a collaboration among the region’s cultural institutions, participants include the Saint Louis Art Museum; Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra; Sheldon Concert Hall and Art Galleries; Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; Jazz at the Bistro; the Touhill Performing Arts Center; and many, many more.

The American Arts Experience – St. Louis will be an annual festival each October celebrating all mediums of American arts.

Click here for the Schedule & Other Information.


St. Louis Art Museum gets $2M, collection Thursday, Sep 16 2010 

The Saint Louis Art Museum received a donation of 300 pieces of Native American artwork from Carolyn Danforth as well as a $2 million gift from the Danforth Foundation for a dedicated gallery, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.

Read more: St. Louis Art Museum gets $2M, collection – St. Louis Business Journal

The Crush Pad blog Wednesday, Aug 18 2010 

Have you checked out the blog that I write each Monday for Saint Louis Cellars? It’s at

Meet the new St. Louis Director for! Thursday, Jun 17 2010 

It’s me!

After serving on the board for this company as the inter-cultural communications adviser (China/USA) for several years, I accepted the role as St. Louis Director for art promotion on June 9, 2010.

"Zen," gold sculpture is an International Art Promoter & Online Gallery.

It is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, and has well-established Directors in Los Angeles, California  (USA), Shanghai (China), Taipei (China), recently expanding with the addition of me as newly appointed Director in St. Louis, Missouri (USA) and a second new Director in Chicago, Illinois (USA.)

Calligraphy No. 6 was selected by Money Magazine in December 2000 as one of the best international online commercial sites. I have known the President/CEO since 1971, and the business is well run and ethical. It’s aim is to “Network the World’s Who’s Who” by promoting art and the good life. I have visited ArtNetworking’s exhibition venues in Shanghai and met some of the artists represented and exhibiting at those venues. I was duly impressed. represents Asian and Western artists featuring their work in the online gallery in media that includes:

garden art (textured limestone on pedestal)
new media,
textiles, and
wearable art.

LingBi Rock

It’s my honor to have been selected to be the St. Louis Director for this respected and exclusive company.

I am actively recruiting artists locally, regionally, and nationally.

There is no cost to display your work online with Your exhibiting online with us is not an exclusive agreement; you can promote your work through other channels, as well, and if you sell a piece that we have online, we will mark it “sold,” and continue to display it, so you continue to have an online international presence. We do, of course, hope you would allow us to upload more of your work to promote together!

"The Spirit," Michael Jordan

There is no risk and no cost to the artist—you only have international exposure and potential sales to gain!

My job is to promote the artists I sign.

Please contact me if you would like to meet and talk about collections that we can promote YOUR WORK together on!

If you are outside the St. Louis, Missouri, region, I am set up with Skype Webcam video capabilities, and we can meet that way!

P.S. ~ Be forewarned: If you don’t call me, I will call you!

Sun Flower

Zen, gold sculpture by Wu Ching
Calligraphy No. 6, ink on rice paper by Qian PeiYun
LingBi Rock, rare garden stone on pedestal by Yeou Lin
The Spirit, bronze sculpture of Michael Jordan by Julie Rotblatt-Amrany
Sun Flower, hand-blown Venetian glass by Sheng ShanShan partners with the following distinguished international companies: Re/Max Realty, Art 50 International Restaurant, Novotel – Shanghai, Xintiandi – Shanghai Historic, Cultural & Entertainment District, The JC Group, Shimao Group – Property Holdings, Shanghai. Fairytale Handcrafted Jewellery – Copenhagen

Saint Louis Cellars SPRING FLING! Mark your calendars! Wednesday, Mar 17 2010 

Saint Louis Cellars is a boutique wine shop in Maplewood (Saint Louis County), Missouri. I work there part-time now, and it’s a won-der-ful job! I want to tell you about an event coming up there that you do NOT want to miss!

Spring Fling will be from 11am-7pm on Saturday, March 27, 2010.

There will be nearly (or maybe more than) 50 wines for the tasting (F.R.E.E., supplied by our vendors), foods (cheese, sausages, crackers, candies, etc.), live music (an acoustic guitarist from Maplewood), the Easter Bunny (for the kiddies), and lots of F.U.N.!!!!

Mark your calendar if you live within driving distance, and swing by for this event!

Do me favor, whether you live live within driving distance or not

Follow this link to the blog for Saint Louis Cellars and tell them you heard about their Spring Fling on Donna’s blog!  Many, many thanks!

2640 S. Big Bend

Maplewood, Missouri 63143


Hours of Operation

Monday – Thursday   10:30am – 6:00pm

Friday & Saturday   10:30am – 7:00pm

Sunday    Closed

Tasting Hours

Monday – Thursday   5:00pm  – 6:00pm

Friday  & Saturday   10:30am – 7:00pm

How are you using your time away from the paid job? Friday, Oct 9 2009 

83304769 -0 I had envisioned more sharing of information on employment on this site by multitudes of people vs. me posting whatever I know–which often isn’t much. The multitude of contributors (or just sources of info) have not materialized, and I have found that when people are hit by furlough, pay cut, temporary lay off, or just plain let go by their employer, they are very self-protective about their situation, preferring to keep a low profile.

I guess because I’ve been through this before (two or three times, now), I get spooked by an economic downturn, but I know that if I keep my paddle in the water, I will get to another good spot, eventually.

I have heard from lots of people who have found new jobs. It’s actually very encouraging that so many have done so. They often ask me not to post about it, though. Rats!

I have another idea; always have another idea. This is something to which any reader can contribute, from anywhere in the world (are you listening, “world“?) and you don’t even have to give info about your paid work, or lack thereof to do it. Let us know what kinds of community service things you’re doing.

How are you giving/giving back? Lots of people do this even when they are working a 60 hr. week, but many of us have upped the amount of community service work we’re doing, if we’ve had our work week reduced or are between gigs, due to the economy.

200482268-001_muttI have been doing a lot of things. For example, I have been working with Alex, a colleague here at Lawrence Group, and Rebecca, the manager at the St. Louis Animal Care & Control Center, aka “the city pound,” on a pro bono project.

seal-border-white-shadowAlex created a logo, which they’d never had, and designed a Web site around the content that Rebecca and her staff and Alex and I suggested and developed. The new site is not up yet, and the current page is part of the St. Louis Health Department’s Web page. The Health Department is over the Animal Care & Control Center, and the ACC has been “hidden” in all the Health Department info.

The address for the new Web site will be announced soon and, meanwhile, you can get some info from the current site linked just above, or stop by or call them at

The City of St. Louis Animal Care & Control
2120 Gasconade Street, St. Louis, MO 63118
(314) 353-5838

88977946_left facing catHaving a beautifully branded and designed Web site will help get animals adopted at this out-of-the-way facility, as well as recruit volunteers and staff, when needed. There are photographers who are getting good pics of the adoptable animals now in anticipation of the new site going live.

I don’t have the photographer’s names at hand, but if you see this and have that info, please give them a shout-out, and a thank you from the animals! Also, thank Candice & Noreen for putting me onto this idea and keeping me energized with their own passionate support of animal welfare.

So, tell us: What are YOU doing … ?

Image Credits:
Getty Images

Come one, come all Saturday, July 18: Support a NEW Mediterranean restaurant, enjoy gracious hospitality and delicious food! Tuesday, Jul 14 2009 

Omar, himself

Omar, himself

Omar’s Italian/Mediterranean Restaurant plans its opening THIS SATURDAY, July 18, 2009.

It’s at 10111 Saint Charles Rock Rd., St Ann, MO 63074-1810 – (314) 429-6881. You will see the sign beckoning you from streetside, St. Charles Rock Road & Wright Avenue. Here’s a link to Google map >MAP<.

Come and enjoy the healthy, amazing menu that includes Chicago-style pizza from a brick oven, hummus, falafel, kabobs, and shawerma (something I don’t think you can get anywhere else I’ve been in the area.) Omar uses fresh herbs from his herb garden along side the restaurant.

The build-out has been built “from scratch,” with thoughtful touches and something St. Ann has not had for quite some time: a restaurant with tableclothes (covered with glass.)

img118St. Ann (and Omar & John & Omar’s family) really need your support for this restaurant. Please come out to support it, and enjoy a cozy dining room, a friendly welcome, delicious and healthy food from an extensive and affordable menu, and linger over a nice espresso or other coffee drink after dinner.

Omar’s Italian/Mediterranean Restaurant to Open Soon in St. Ann Saturday, Jul 4 2009 

Omar's Restaurant Building

Omar's Restaurant Building

A good week got even better for me, when I checked out the recent activity in a small commercial building that has been vacant for a while on St. Charles Rock Road today. I met Omar, the proprietor of a much-needed new restaurant in St. Ann. It’s right in the heart of the old downtown at 10111 St. Charles Rock Road & Wright Avenue.



Omar has been a chef for 15 years, I learned from my conversation with him, and with John, a member of Omar’s extended family, who is in charge of the build-out for the restaurant.

Espresso Machine

Espresso Machine

I was completed charmed by the thought and workmanship that went into the total transformation of the interior of this building. It had been a car-stereo shop, with stereo installations done in the garage part of the building. Omar and John have put in a commercial kitchen, small & charming dining room (tables with table clothes covered with glass, in St. Ann—YES!)  I noticed one of the hugest espresso machines I’ve ever seen.

Sign that caught my eye.

Sign that caught my eye.

I got to see the menu—extensive, and things that you don’t get everywhere else in the area. First the brick-oven and Chicago-style pizzas, which John says will blow you away. Then, kebabs, and something I had not heard of called shawerma. They will serve healthy, delicious, fresh breakfast, lunch and dinner.

There is a nice area in front of the building (see first photo, above, and remember that this is all still under construction) on St. Charles Rock Road suitable for patio dining. The City of St. Ann requires a fence around it, so that will happen in the near future, hopefully. It all takes $$$$$. Omar has planted rose bushes along the front of the building. Again: thoughtful, artful touches. He also has planted an herb garden on the side of the building, so he can use his own fresh herbs in his dishes. This is so COOL for St. Ann: I almost felt like I was on South Grand or in Maplewood while I was hearing this!

Outdoor fountain Northwest Plaza 1960s

Outdoor fountain Northwest Plaza 1960s

St. Ann is a diverse community, though—sometimes I think St. Ann’s residents “hide our light under a bush” here. Yeah, Northwest Plaza is a crumbling disaster, but it doesn’t reflect the community as a whole. Northwest Plaza will be redeveloped, whether as a lifestyle shopping area, or commercial/office space, or mixed-use residential and commercial. It took a long time for the property to get to its current state, and there’s not an easy fix, but it will happen.

After the brilliant developer and original owner >Louis Zorensky< sold the property, it was destroyed by negligent owners, who not only killed off St. Ann’s major source of tax revenues in their mismanagement of it, but also destroyed an internationally recognized jewel of landscape architecture in misguided renovations and updates. Water under the bridge, I’m afraid, but there are many people working behind the scenes to make sure that property is redeveloped. Some day in the future you will be reading about St. Ann as the next older suburb coming back to life like Ferguson, Maplewood, Olivette.

Landscape architecture at its best: Northwest Plaza 1960s

Landscape architecture at its best: Northwest Plaza 1960s

Meanwhile, you can help that potential along by supporting our local businesses, like Omar’s, supporting the people making things happen in these older, inner suburbs. It’s what you do, if you don’t want people to move out, move west, add to the sprawl. I told Omar that the St. Louis Design Community supports redevelopment vs. sprawl and will put their money where their mouth is and would be a great group to inform about his restaurant. So that’s what I’m doing.

I will let you know when Omar’s is open for business, and I hope to see you support my neighborhood, as I’ve supported all of yours.

PS  St. Ann is worth a trip some weekend to visit Orlando Brothers outdoor produce stand (which takes debit cards), several carnicerias, >Taqueria el Jalipeno< (a modest, storefront authentic Mexican restaurant getting great reviews), and a 9-hole public golf course that you might also enjoy on your next trip this way. St. Ann was the first master-planned community in St. Louis County and has a permanent installation in the Missouri History Museum detailing its history. It was planned and developed and built by Vatterott Company, still in business and headquartered in St. Ann today, still building top-quality homes in the metropolitan area. In case you didn’t know … .

Images of Northwest Plaza from mall-hall-of-fame.blogspot via the Web

Left Bank Books & Citygarden 2009 at lunch today Thursday, Jul 2 2009 

[You can click on any image to see it in a slightly larger size.]

I stopped in at the new, downtown location for >Left Bank Books<. Mark, kind and helpful, helped me find a book called Family, by Jeff Sharlet, which was the subject of NPR’s “Fresh Air” show today. The author was talking to host Terry Gross about the book, and the subject matter just alarmed me so badly that I went straight to the book store and bought a copy.

My camera wasn’t charged (I am so seldom prepared with my camera on hand and charged when I decide to snap things), but I had my cell phone. Doesn’t take the best quality photos, and I have a habit of not holding the phone until the picture is complete, so half my images are blurred. I do try, believe me. Here are some of the outside and inside of Left Bank Books at 321 North 10th Street, and smiling Mark. These may, in fact (now that I look at them in PhotoShop) be about technically the worst pictures I’ve ever taken. I must have been hungry and shaky. I have sharpened them as much as I can, and I will try and do better next time. (Sorry, Mark!)

I had planned to stop in at Left Bank Books today, anyway, as part of a lunch time outing that included a look at the new Citygarden that just opened to the public today.

My only complaint about Citygarden (ONLY complaint) is the way it’s spelled. Sheesh: Nobody’s going to get that right. Should be two words. I know running the two words together is clever, like spelling “Center” as “Centre,” but these things just cause confusion. Stick with the tried and true in formal, written communications. If people can’t spell it, i.e., if they aren’t sure how it’s spelled, and if they don’t want to spell it wrong (and some people do care about these things still), they won’t write about it. That’s a PR problem. Stick with the true and true in formal, written communications. This includes spelling. Okay: I’m getting dizzy on this soapbox; stepping off … .

So, lunch time was warm, breezy, and Citygarden was full of people. I took pictures on both blocks of the garden and tried to show some of the features, but you really need to make the trip to see it yourself.

There is a small, beautifully designed restaurant on the edge of park along Chestnut Street, just east of 10th. The restaurant is mostly glass, and part of the dining room cantilevers a few feet above Chestnut. It reminds me of an updated version of Forest Park’s Jewel Box, and that’s not to say it’s derivative in any way. This little building stands on its own.

It’s not open just yet, but it looks pretty close to being ready as of today (July 1, 2009.) It’s called Terrace View, it will serve lunch Monday through Saturday from 11-2, hosts happy hour from 2-6, dinner from 5 till “close,” but I’m not sure what “time” that is, and the best thing, which I’ve marked with a red arrow on the photo: No Smoking Environment! The exclamation point is mine.

New Sculpture Park Downtown Gets It Right. Tuesday, Jun 30 2009 

That’s the headline for the story by David Bonetti, visual arts critic for the >St. Louis Post-Dispatch< on Sunday (6/28/09.) I’ve linked it here for you.

"This is Bruce and Sarah Walking"

"This is Bruce and Sarah Walking"

One of the works of art in the garden that is featured in the story is captioned by Bonetti with,

This Is Bruce and Sarah Walking” (2007) by Julian Opie (2007). This standing LED machine shows the constantly moving image of two stylish young people taking a stroll. Placed at 10th Street at one of the garden’s main entrances, it provides a subtle subliminal hint: Come on in and enjoy yourself.

I can’t wait to see it finished and open on Wednesday. Gateway Garden is 2.9 acres (2 city blocks) bordered by Market & Chestnut at 10th Street.

If the weather is nice, I may take my lunch over and enjoy the new site. I can wander over to the new Left Bank Books location at 321 North 10th on my way back to the office. St. Louis downtown has a lot of places to stop in and investigate!

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