Thursday, May 29, 2008


The sun is shining but it's not too hot. Down in front of Ben & Jerry's a sax player is tooting out Dave Brubeck's TAKE FIVE. On Westgate next to Blueberry Hill the St. Louis Symphony Street Team is spray painting a street mural. (And you thought that only hip hoppers and indie rockers had street teams.)

The sidewalk tables at Blueberry Hill, Meshuggah, El Maguey, Brandt's, and even the neglected Starbucks are filled. (Lupe's random, sporadic, and unscientifically conducted poll has statistically determined that the Starbucks customers are not usually Loop locals or regulars. If you are in the Loop, skip the homogenized, bland chain and head on down to Meshuggah for some real coffee.)

Plenty of bare legs and bare arms as summer weather finally makes it's debut. You don't have to walk far to hear someone laughing. Or come across a chess game (mostly at Bread Co.) or a really interesting conversation, or see someone reading a book you've never heard of.

Lots of beautiful and stylish young muchachas are out shopping. Let New York keep Fifth Avenue, and L.A. can have Rodeo Drive. Loop ladies have something you can't buy from a designer: fearless personal style. (And if you do need to buy it, or at least be inspired, go to Ziezo's. You won't find one on Fifth Avenue, or on Georges V in Paris, or anywhere else on the planet.)

The world is here in the Loop, and the Loop is "u"-nique in all the world. There is no other neighborhood like it. New York has it's Greenwich Village, Los Angeles has Melrose and Venice Beach, Chicago has Belmont, New Orleans has the French Quarter, London has King's Road and Mayfair, Paris has Rive Gauche and Champs Elysee. But those places are like a rich man having money to spend.

For a city of two million to have such a wealth of culture and counter-culture, fashion and style, interesting and interested people; to have so many unique and one-of-a-kind businesses, and in a stretch of city pavement that barely measures a mile- well, that's like a poor man who knows how to spend a hundred bucks like it's a million dollars.

Stroll down past Napps Hair Salon and you will hear the lyrical tones of African women talking as they take a break from dreadlocks and braids. At El Maquey you will hear food ordered in staccato Spanish. Down Westgate and there is the Lebanese grocer and falafel restaurant.

Have a yen for some japanese sushi? There's Seki's. How about delicious garlic laden Middle Eastern food and belly dancers? Right across the street at Saleems. Want some Ethiopian? There's the Red Sea. Greek gyros, an abundance of Thai restaurants; toasted ravioli and St. Louis Italian style pasta at Cicero's.

There are American cheeseburgers and root beer at Fitz's, and plenty of eclectic choices at Blueberry Hill. (Mmmm, Lupe loves BH's mac and cheese. They have good jerk chicken, and BBQ beef sandwich, too. ) And fine dining is available at the Delmar Lounge and Riddles.

You have hippies, rappers, bohos, hip-hoppers, punk rockers, fashionistas, emos, rastafarians, trend-setters, collegian grungers, and enough tourists from the county to remind all the rebels what they are rebelling against. You can hear jazz, classic rock, reggae, soul, r&b, and indie rock at the different clubs. And you can find all these different kinds of music, and more, at Vintage Vinyl for a reasonable price.

Whenever Lupe shops at her favourite bookstore, Subterranean Books, she is always amazed at how refined it is. Every book Lupe wants is there. And a thousand she never would have found at a big chain- even if they'd carried it. Because Sub Books, like the Loop, has sifted through the fluff and down to just the best, the most interesting, the most provocative. There is no excess, just counter-culture excellence.

The City Planning Association was wrong. The Loop isn't one of the ten best neighborhoods in the U.S., it is the best neighborhood in the world!

And one of the best thing about the Loop, that is not true in any of those other places (except Paris), is that any restaurant will be happy to give tired doggies a complimentary bowl of water.

See You in The Loop!

Monday, May 26, 2008


EDIT 2013:  Here is the new website:

The Memorial Day run is actually three events. Since gas prices are so high, and alot of people can't afford to go out of town, this seems like it should be well-attended.

The 5K starts in front of Blueberry Hill, the 10K starts in front of the library.

For more info:

And remember you won't be able to park on parts of Delmar from 2AM to 12 Noon on the 26th. (There are signs posted already.)

Friday, May 23, 2008


The Bread Company this morning looked like the set of a movie. In addition to the always colourful and interesting Loop locals (including a lovely African woman wearing a full length dashiki and headdress), there were three men wearing balloon animals on their heads and carrying baloon paraphanilia. They were accompanied by a magician in a sparkly top hat.

They were promoting a new movie at the Tivoli: TWISTED A BALLOONAMENTARY. The movie runs from today through the 29th. It looks good. The ad postcard quotes "James, A Grandfather" from Atlanta saying "I do balloons because I wanted to find something to show the kids that everybody don't have to be a drug dealer to be successful."

This reminded Lupe of Tommy the Clown in South Central Los Angeles, and the dance craze Krumpin', documented in the movie RIZE. Lupe had to watch RIZE twice in a row it was so good and awe-inspiring. Hopefully TWISTED will be just as good.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


UCity United has started a Cool Cities Committee. There is a meeting at 7PM at Heman Park Community Center. Door Prizes and everyone is welcome, says the flyer.

Apparently Joe Adams, Mayor of University City is "now stepping up to meet that "Cool Cities" challenge."

If you are worried about global warming you can go to the meeting to learn what you "can do to make your household greener - while saving money doing it."

The Sierra Club and City Manager's office will be involved.

For more info call 314-644-2629 or check out

Friday, May 16, 2008


EDIT 2012: Sadly all that remains of the open air market is Long Acres Farms, the produce stand.  Lupe hopes there will be a supermarket soon. The closest supermarket is Schnucks on Olive. Lupe likes this post though, so she is leaving it up, for auld lang syne.

Lupe loves summer at the Market in the Loop. The plaza fills with vendors selling jewelry and clothes, tarot and psychic readings, books, and homemade items. The drum circle resumes. Aspiring musicians serenade the crowd with their best performance. Artists bring out their canvases, to sketch the scene and try to sell their work. Little children laugh and play while their parent's shop, browse, and people watch. Teenagers swarm back and forth through the shoppers, filling the air with youthful hormones and high spirits.

If Venice Beach in California and the Bastille Saturday market in Paris had an illegitimate child, it would be the U. City Market in the Loop.

The Long Acre Farms at the market is open three days a week year round. Lupe tries to shop there as much as possible. They are so much cheaper than the grocery store, and it is really important to support local businesses and also local growers. (Locally grown produce, even if it isn't organic, is better for you. It comes from the same environment that you in live in, and therefore can nourish you more.)

They also have great honey from Gibbons Bee Farm. Honey bees pollinate about 2/3's of our food. Lately they have been disappearing. They aren't finding the bodies. It's all very X-Files. (What ruined the X-Files movie for Lupe was the use of bees. Corn is self-pollinating.) This phenomenon is called Colony Collapse Disorder. They think the bees are getting lost on the way home. Orperhaps a virus or fungus.

If you haven't had a chance to enjoy the Market in the Loop, find a sunny Saturday this summer to check it out. Lupe guarantees you will enjoy it as much as she does.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


As of August 2012 the Delmar Lounge is Closed.

The Delmar has two really great dishes Lupe likes a lot. The Delmar Penne: delicious penne pasta with shrimp and spinach, and the Blackened Tilapia. Lupe has a hard time trying new things when she eats at The Delmar. Both items are so good.

The Ravioli di Portabello is delicious but really rich. The salad with goat cheese, walnuts, and raspberry dressing is a great accompaniment to any entree. The scallops are a good appetizer for one person (only three scallops). The regionally popular spinach-artichoke dip appetizer is above average. The pizzas on the after hours menu are really yummy.

Some of the tables and the bar are smoking, but there are enough fans that the room never gets smoky. (This is one of the reasons many locals migrated from long-time Loop favourite Riddles. Riddles has jazz and great food,too, but Riddles can get "make your eyes water" smokey.)

The Delmar has great jazz bands several nights a week, and on weekends they have dj's after midnight. The music they play during the dinner hour is very eclectic. One night Lupe heard David Bowie's Low, a Scissor Sister song, the "u"-biquitous Nelly, and Jeff Buckley's Last Goodbye.

Girls, this is a great place to have your Sex In The City movie after-party. Cosmopolitans and Manolo's fit right in at The Delmar. The atmosphere is very Greenwich Village, and all of the tables and booths are comfortable. The crowd is always very diverse, and usually a mix of Loop locals, West County tourists, and jazz lovers from all parts of Saint Louis. Even on weekend nights it manages to satisfy the intimate outing, the family and/or friends gathering, and serious party-ers that don't turn into drunken buffoons.

The only drawback is the wine list. They need a decent sommelier to seriously re-do their wine selections. But that isn't a big enough flaw to keep Lupe away.

The Delmar is actually located in St. Louis city, not University City. (U. City ends at Limit Avenue.) Therefore, they are able to stay open every night of the week until 3 AM. They don't open until 5 PM, though, so no delicious Penne for lunch.

Delmar Restaurant and Lounge
6235 Delmar
St. Louis, MO 63130

Delmar Restaurant & Lounge on Urbanspoon