Dear Bob, here are some photos of my life here on the campus of Concordia Seminary. I love kids, working with the grounds crew, swimming, playing with my dog friends, and especially my own family people.
This is exciting news. Restaurateur Mike Nasur will be opening a third Tasty's Chicago Grill in the former Hardee's on West Main in Belleville on January 11. He also has a Tasty's in Decatur and Peoria which offer Chicago style Italian beef sandwiches, Chicago hot dogs, gyros and more.
This news will probably have me making the trip over to Belleville and I've always wondered why the St. Louis Metro with all its restaurants never got a good Italian beef place. These places are on every corner in Chicago and down here there are many transplanted Chicagoans who miss Italian beef. Lots of St. Louisans who have been to Chicago love the beef too. St Louis' idea of Italian Beef is kind of like pulled pork, shredded beef instead of sliced. So Yay for this news.
Also Collinsville's Zapata Mexican restaurant is branching out and adding a third Zapata's in the former Pasta House in Fairview Heights.
My sister has spent quite a bit of her spare time the past couple of years really digging into our family tree and has come up with information that goes way way back and other bits which are quite astounding. While we have grown accustomed to the fact that wherever our ancestors landed from Europe, most made their way to Chicago. But yesterday she came across the information that one branch belonging to our father's mother's line settled in St. Louis.
This is the Irish portion of the family, the Barry's. Seems Patrick Barry and his wife Anne settled in north St. Louis city in an area named the Kerry Patch due to so many immigrating Irish populating the section bounded by Cass Avenue and O'Fallon Street to the north and south in the mid 1800's. My sister was even able to discover their actual address, 1423 N. 23rd Street.
This address as googled is almost right on top of Cass Ave, an area we have driven by many times the past few months after taking the new Musial/Veterans bridge from Collinsville to avoid the back ups on the Poplar. So yesterday as I left Collinsville I decided to take that route again and look at it with new eyes and found that there is nothing left of homes at that point. There is a church and what looks like a small warehouse. 23rd Street is totally vacant of anything but grassy lots. Anything that had once been there has been torn down.
But, amazingly, Kathy also learned that Patrick and Anne Barry are buried in Calvary Cemetery on West Florissant, one of the largest and oldest Catholic cemeteries in St. Louis. Not only that, but she found the location of their graves and Dale and I have made plans to go over there and find them.
Our Collinsville house is located under the Scott Air Force Base flight path and yesterday afternoon one huge tanker aircraft after another flew over our roof. Some so close we could almost see the crew.
Well this explains all the HGTV/Food Network/restaurant stories regarding the use of shipping containers. There are a whole lot of shipping containers that have no use for shipping stuff and so are being taken over by the housing industry, farmers and restaurants.
On episodes of Tiny Houses on HGTV you'll see a shipping container turned into a home. Some urban restaurants have begun opening in these as well. I do believe I've read that somewhere in St. Louis has a new eatery in a former shipping container.
But now farmers and local produce growers have taken a liking to using them as well. They can be insulated against heat or cold, have planting shelves hung inside with good lighting and vegetables grown anywhere all year long. Arctic or desert or plain old midwest. The new term is vertical farming or urban farming and uses the hydroponic method of growing lettuces and other produce.
One DC food guy is trying to get these going out there and said, "These things fit in back alleys." Ha. So true, but watch out for the zoning people.
Thanks to Lizzie stumbling upon this last Sunday, we've heard about a cool place to go on Sundays. It's the St. Louis Swap Meet at the old Lemp Brewery off Cherokee Street and it features vendors selling all kinds of things. It reminded Lizzie of DC's Eastern Market.
Open from 10-3 every Sunday. If you go, you also have the chance to wander around the Cherokee Street antique stores which are on the same block.
Here's picture one of my college roommates put up last night of a Thunderbird flying over the Air Force Academy. She married an air force guy after college and now lives in Colorado Springs. She didn't take this photo but got it somewhere, very cool. There is so much to look at in this picture, not only the plane but the scenery in the background and all the athletic areas on that campus. I counted 18 tennis courts.
What part of the world would be directly below you? This map is kind of cool, put in a place name and one map shows the name and the other map shows what is directly below you. I put in St. Louis and its direct opposite is the middle of the Indian Ocean.
According to the St. Louis Business Journal, Americans are ready to start buying more trucks due to the lower gas prices. The journal isn't too crazy about this idea saying, " Never mind that there's little logic to buying such a vehicle now based on gas prices that could easily shoot back up in a matter of months." However, this interest in trucks appears to be a real thing boosted by a spate of revamped models from both American and Japanese manufacturers.
Here's a personal story on this interest in truck buying. We bought a small truck a couple of years ago, a Ford Sport Trac which to my mind is the coolest thing ever. It's very helpful, but also has full size front and back seats which hold 3 child car seats at once, sun roof, power everything, leather seats and fun. Two months ago we received a letter from a Ford dealer in St. Louis giving us a cash offer for this truck, seems Ford stopped making this model sometime back and they're hard to come by. Then on Saturday I got a call from Koetting Ford, the dealer from which we bought the Sport Trac. The salesperson told me they would love to buy our truck back and would give us a great cash deal or a good trade in deal. They have someone who really really wants this truck model.
I told her I'm not surprised by this as so often I go places in the truck and people stop me to say how cool it is. I've had someone come out of a restaurant after I'd parked nearby to tell me what a great looking vehicle this is and it happens all the time when I get gas.
So I'm not surprised by this story about the truck market heating up. It may be gas prices although I'd not put that issue as the number one reason, it may just be that people who gave up trucks or never had one now realize how much utility there is in trucks as well as the good looks.