Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Hey, maybe 2012 won't be the end of the world as we know it after all! (Had the ancient Mayans visited our lovely neighbourhood, they might have changed their prophecy, right? ;o)

By the end of 2011, as St. Louis Today promises, we will have a grocery store of our own!

Delmar Farm and Food, brought to you by Loopie Jonathan Parker!

Yay Jonathan!

See you in the Loop!!!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Subby is on YouTube!!!

And isn't owner Kelly Von Ploski looking lovely?

See you in the Loop!

Monday, August 30, 2010


Phoenix Rising is truly one of the most unique shops in the Loop! They have one of kind items that you won't find anywhere else. Plenty of gifts that Loopies will love!

On a recent foray Lupe purchased some Portfolio candles. ($5.50 and the whole room will smell of heaven, and since the candles are made of soy wax, none of those petroleum fumes you get from regular candles!)

She also enjoyed the book selections, especially the one about the Star Trek convention where the Trekkies become flesh eating zombies! (You can't get better than this!) And also many beautiful journals and blank books, jewelry and sculptures made by local artists, some Mexican Day of the Dead themed knick knacks, and so many amusing and interesting small items!

Check 'em out!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


The official Loop website has become very up to date and comprehensive! Events in the Loop are regularly posted, and categorized as in "gallery openings" "live music" etc.

Bookmark it and check it frequently, because there is always something going on in the Loop!

See you (where else?) in the Loop!!

Friday, August 6, 2010


There is so much going on this weekend Lupe doesn't know what to say!!!

Did you miss Tim Lane's awesome movie at Noir at the Bar on Wednesday? You can see it again tonight! And Joe Meno is there too!!!!

Lupe is posting to late for Art D Tour. They met at the Art Museum at 5:30. One of the tours comes to the Loop for the Regional Arts Commission and Craft Alliance.

Former Loopies Deb Douglas and Amy Bautz are part of Mad Art Six. Both are great ladies and really wonderful artists!!! Their eyes see things much more beautifully than most of us!!! The opening reception is tonight!

Tonight and tomorrow night is the "so bad it is good" movie Birdemic at the Tivoli's midnight movie.

You will want to go tonight because tomorrow is the big Reggae Fest at Atomic Cowboy in the Grove, featuring Loopies Papa Ray (Vintage Vinyl, KDHX Papa Ray Soul Selector),  and DJ The Mad Russian!

And tonight at Blueberry Hill's Duck Room is the Delmar Kingz! Also featuring Loop local DJ Chilly C!!!!!

See you in the Loop!!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Noir at the Bar is tonight! And this one promises to be spectacular!

Graphic Noir at the Bar!!!!!

Live readings by two LOCAL creators-- a graphic novel aka comic book and neo-pulp fiction--- at the Delmar Lounge, plenty of mystery and noir, no cover (but you will want a cocktail), books for sale through Subterranean, starts at 8 PM... Of course you will be there, right?

I'm sorry, was there something else you wanted???? A fabulous femme fatale, perhaps? Well, Lupe will be there... ;o)

See you in the Loop!!!

Monday, August 2, 2010


Former Rocky Horror Picture Show alumni will enjoy this. Lupe remembers the red-haired manager, Dennis, handing these out when he tore your ticket stub.

This is probably dates from 1981 or 1982.

See you in the Loop!!!


Tonight, in the nearby Central West End, Chance Operations presents Vintage Vinyl co-owner Lew Prince reading Arthur Brown. Music will be by the Loop's (and Lupe's) favourite street musician, saxophonist RavenWolf.

Chance Operations is hosted by artist, poet, musician, and Wash. U. alumni Tony Renner, and Webster University professor Chris Parr.

It's at Duff's, starts at 7:30 PM, and is only a $3 cover!

See you in the Loop! (And the Central West! At least for tonight!)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Subterranean Books really is the best bookstore on earth. It is not the size of a mega-chain, or even half the size of St. Louis chain Left Bank Books, but the selection is so wonderfully refined! And always there are so many enticing titles in the window display, reminding one of what a fascinating world we live in.

Lupe just spent a few moments window shopping at Subby: The Lego Visual Dictionary of Star Wars; What The Internet Has Done To Our Minds; The Typewriter is Holy; Black Is The New White; The Art Of McSweeneys. Lupe has always felt it was unfair that readers and non-readers are both afforded the same amount of hours in a day. There is more to read in Subby's windows any week of the year than one person has the leisure time to pursue.

In the other window is a small sampling of the new art exhibit in the Loft: Insider Art. It is art created by prison inmates. The Riverfront Times points out in its review "Artistic Convictions" that "our correctional facilities exist to rehabilitate criminal behaviours, not to simply punish."

Lupe is glad that this exhibit came to Subby, and not to another store, even Left Bank, because if any neighbourhood in the St. Louis area has the people capable of truly solving societies "unsolvable" problems, it is in the Loop. Only here do you find such an intense concentration of intelligent, educated people; the young people, unafraid of flaunting conventions or breaking societies rules; free spirits unafraid to try new things, or do old things in new ways.

There are always students coming to the Loop seeking subjects for their term papers and doctoral theses. Or doing surveys, often asking questions about problems like crime and incarceration, either verbally or in writing.

The group that organized the show, Inside Dharma, helps prisoners to change their ways. All proceeds from art sales go to the group. The reception is Friday night at 7 P.M. Check out for details.

See you in The Loop!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Lupe's favourite Loop fast food chain, Noodles and Company, now has sandwiches.

Lupe has tried the Med Wrap and the Spicy Chicken wrap and both are good and worthy of the Noodles and Company name. Both have been added to the Lupe Consumption List.

Not only do you get the wrap (in that yummy flatbread that they sell as a side), but you also get your choice of side salad or side caesar salad, and for less than $6! (And don't forget that Loop employees and office workers get the 10% Loop discount!)

Lupe also learned that, contrary to Loop rumours, they are not now- nor have they ever been- owned by Pepsi. They are a small chain originating in Colorado.

Lupe is pretty sure that she pays someone's salary there, as she eats there so frequently, and really that is about the best recommendation she give.

See you in the Loop!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Lupe is so lucky!! Not only does she live in the greatest neighbourhood in the world, surrounded by the most creative and interesting people, but she is privy to all the latest happenings!

Lupe happened to bump into local artist Sam Washburn on his way to I Con in Los Angeles. He had a big bag of little buttons, all with his delightful Animals in Suits! The buttons are for promotional purposes at the conference, so Lupe is doubly blessed!!!

Lupe was able to procure a Sheep, and a Lemur!!! How awesome is that!!!

Good luck, Sam! Lupe and the Loop wish you success!!!

See you in the Loop!!!

Monday, June 28, 2010


Tonight in Heman Park it is the Electric Funk Band. It's free and it's within walking distance of the Loop. (Walking distance for Loopies and urbanites, a bit far for the car culture and suburbanites, but still close.)

Also, tonight is Noir at the Bar with Jed Ayres and Scott Phillips. The Noir is Dennis Tafoya. The bar is the fabulous Delmar Lounge!

Listen to some music outdoors, then some stories inside... a perfect Loop Monday!!!

See you in the Loop!!

Friday, June 25, 2010


(EDIT 2013:  This is really an essay about the "problem" that created the curfew.  The curfew itself is 8 P.M. for anyone under 18 years of age. The curfew was previously instituted in the Mall and the West End, etc.  There are still not programmes or underage clubs of any sort developed or being developed to give under-privileged--and specifically African-American teens-- something to do in this city other than wander in takeover crowds in different parts of the city.)

The Loop has simply inherited a problem from the malls (and the Central West End, and downtown, to a lesser degree).

There is nothing for teenagers to do in America. Especially poor, urban teenagers, many of whom are black. We are so gadget oriented, so tuned into our screens (computer, television, games, iPods) that we have eliminated most of the cultural gathering places that teens need to socialise.

An adult has many options if s/he chooses to go out and interact with his/her peers. But where do underage teenagers go? Even if you have money in St. Louis, there are no more arcades (are there?), not enough skating rinks, skateboard ramps, alcohol-free or under-18 nightclubs; the only thing left are movie theaters and they appear to be going they way of the arcade.

If you live and work in the Loop, as Lupe does, you might notice that the streets will be packed with hundreds of children, and on some nights, the stores and restaurants will be sparsley occupied.

The teens do not spend money here. And there is an unruly element that starts fights (with each other, and ironically, often it is girl fights!), usually in groups, and destroys property. (One night it was cars parked in the back behind the stores. Sometimes a store window is broken.)

These are not local kids. These are not faces that you see during the winter, or even during the weekdays or weeknights. When there was a stronger community here, before Wash. U. bought so much of the rental property on the north side of Delmar, local teens were the dominant force in this neighbourhood. (And as rebellious and annoying as we were, it was our neighbourhood. We took care of it.)

It isn't out of control. It isn't rioting. But it is alot for this neighbourhood to handle and it doesn't seem to take much to get a group of kids running down the sidewalks and streets, and creating serious safety hazards.

Instead of pointing the finger at Joe Edwards, or the Loop, or the police, or the Galleria, or even the kids that cause trouble, the finger needs to be pointed back at ourselves. I.E., those of us that call ourselves adults. If we can't be bothered to interact with teenagers, to make a place for them, to lead by example, then our whole society will have to pay the consequences.

This is great opportunity for youth groups to do outreach work. Also education, and volunteer groups, church and military. Send your recruiters, family planning, event organisers, etc. to the Loop on weekend nights between 8-10 PM and you can reach a lot of young people.

Even better, how about some entrepreneur open up a teen club? Or an arcade, or ANYTHING where teens can go to socialise? How about a weekend afternoon to evening club where there were singing, dance, beauty and rap/poetry contests and open mikes? One with a great internet presence where the winners could be posted each week.

Lupe is certain that would not only solve the "teen problem" but also make gads of money and probably create a bunch of St. Louis celebrities! It wouldn't even have to be in the Loop, but it would be nice if it was.

And young people, we Loopies do understand why you come here to hang out! This is a great place to enjoy yourself!! In fact, it is a great place for EVERYONE to enjoy themselves! Keep the "I saw what you said on Facebook" fights out of the Loop. This is a place of great diversity and freedom and that requires some responsibility on everyone's part.

Also, kids, you are probably not spending any money. It wouldn't hurt to give a some respect to the people that are.

Because if the people that are spending their money here go away, this area won't be fun for you to come hang out in. Capeesh??

See you in the Loop!!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


The West End Word should be called the West End & Loop Word. The front page featured an article about the problems at U City Hall.

It also mentioned that the new curfew in the Loop for unaccompanied minors is now 9 P.M.

There was a listing for Laughter for Life at Blueberry Hill on June 26th at 8 P.M. It is a benefit for Gateway To Hope. Lupe hopes it sells out!!! What a great fundraiser! (The Word lists 314.569.1113 as the number to call for more information.)

Not quite in the Loop, but close by in Forest Park, there is a free movie screening tomorrow, June 24th, at the Missouri History Museum. PBS presents PRINCE AMONG SLAVES, a true story about an African prince that was abducted and sold into slavery, but never allowed it to destroy him or his dignity. He fought for 40 years for his freedom, and then was freed. However his children and grandchildren were not freed, and he tried to raise the money to buy his children so they might return to Afrika with him. It starts at 7 PM.

And on June 25th, in front of the Art Museum, the Funky Butt Brass Band is playing for free. The listing in the Word promised a band with roots in Big Easy jazz funeral processions. Lupe is SO there Friday!

It also mentioned a documentary about the fierce "football" (soccer) fans in "Arch City." The film is titled A TIME FOR CHAMPIONS and it airs on PBS on June 28th at 7 PM. (You'll be at the Gateway to Hope benefit so set your dvr's. ;o)

Finally, in the West End Word and the more important word on the street, Let Them Eat Art is coming July 9th to Maplewood. Lupe really wishes events like this were occurring in the Loop, but downtown Maplewood has become very interesting in the last decade.

This event promises a fire shooting ice cream truck (Lupe is guessing this was a failed Burning Man vehicle). If that isn't enough, there is also a costume contest that is probably as close as Lupe is going to get to those crazy Parisian artist parades back in the 1920's.

The usual face painting, art selling, drinking, eating, and festivities are promised as well.

Lupe is looking forward to Let Them Eat Art more than she is looking forward to the Fourth of July fireworks, and Lupe likes fireworks A LOT!

Lupe also wanted to report that the Muny opened its 92nd Season this week, and as usual it was great! The Muny was the first municipally owned Theatre built in the country, and it is still going strong. It is a great place to support local talent and see all the "oldie but goodies" from Broadway.

And consistently good production, costumes and props! Plus, outdoors, which even in the awful humidity and heat--such as the night Lupe was there--it is still magical to watch a musical under the stars! Beauty And The Beast is very enjoyable!

(Lupe does find Disney completely sacharrine and suburban, but they do have a solid grasp of the musical form. And Lupe knows to rinse the bad taste out of her mouth with a screening of the Jean Cocteau film of the same title.

(She should also mention that Muny audiences are 98 percent white but that is changing. Although, it might change a little faster if they did Lion King and The Wiz and 1997 Cinderella a little more often!)

All this and there is still Circus Flora to see! Ingenioso ends on the 27th! And didn't Wicked just start at the Fox?

There is always such much to enjoy!

See you in the Loop!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010


If, like Lupe, you are sad that Twilight Tuesdays in Forest Park has ended, you will be glad to hear that the University City Starlight concert series began last Monday night in Heman Park! Performances are from 6:30 to 8:30 PM. The series kicked off with the Murder City Players and ends with Kim Massie, but Lupe could not get the schedule to download from the website.

If that wasn't enough excitement for you, on Tuesday nights beginning tomorrow you can hear Tom Poshak conduct the Summer Band series in the Market in the Loop. 85 musicians or more make up this orchestra, an annual favourite since 1961!

Not in the Loop, but nearby and always fun, the Muny kicks off it's 92st season with Beauty and The Beast.

All of this entertainment is FREE!!! (Well, at the Muny you have to sit in the free seats, but you know what Lupe means...)

See you in the Loop!!!

*** Those of you that are civically minded will notice that there are links on this page to the new Parks plan, as well.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Lupe needs to retract some of her earlier statements about the "hideous fast food chains" in the Loop.

True, Lupe prefers the indies, but she does eat her fair share of Subway, Panera, and Noodles and Company. Especially Noodles And Company.

They might be corporate but this particular Noodles And Company understands just how special and "u"-nique the Delmar Loop is! Many of the employees are from the neighbourhood, which is nice for Lupe. They also have a community bulletin board in the restaurant and they give a 10% discount to Loop employees and business owners.

Their food is very good for a fast food place, and very diverse. They also offer extensive vegetarian options, which is a big plus in this area. Basically, the menu is divided into Asian, Mediterranean and American.

The entrees and salads are either regular or small, and you can completely customize your order. They have chicken (either parmesan crusted or regular), beef (braised or sauteed), sauteed shrimp, meatballs, or tofu. You can also add extra vegetables or cheese for an additonal charge.

Lupe doesn't order from the Asian portion of the menu very often simply because she eats so much of Mr. Pat's Thai food. They do have a great Chinese Chop Salad, though. Very fresh crispy vegetables, consistently, and a good dressing. The Japanese pan noodles with tofu is also very good.

She really enjoys the Mediterranean portion the most, however. The Med salad is great with plain chicken, as is the Pasta Fresca, Pasta Cavatappi, and the Tuscan Whole Grain Linguine.

In the winter, Mushroom stroganoff is great, as are the Buttered Noodles. Lupe doesn't eat alot of meatballs, but she has heard that the Spaghetti and Meatballs are awesome. She sees alot of people eating them everyday, too, winter and summer.

Noodles & Company also has a great drink selection, including beer and wine, and organic milk! Way to go with the organic!

They also have Rice Krispies treats for $1.50!! Lupe is trying to get bikini friendly so she has been ignoring them, sitting on the counter, staring at her, whenever she comes into get a salad. The rice krispie treats are VERY hard to resist!!!!

They have a great Israeli style cucumber and tomato salad, although it is much smaller than the portion would be at an Israeli fish fry place. (Not that there appear to be any Israeli restaurants in St. Louis. But as you regular readers know, Lupe has been living in LA for many years, and often becomes nostalgic.)

If you are in a hurry, or if your budget is $8-$10 for your meal, than Noodles & Company is the place for you. Also if you have a large group. They have a great deal on their Square Bowls, for $16-$22 you can feed at least 4 people, and it comes with salad, too. And they have plenty of seating for large groups.
6310 Delmar
Noodles & Company on Urbanspoon
See you in The LOOP!!!

Monday, June 14, 2010


Okay, so Lupe caught the tail end of the drum circle last night! It was great, if not very well attended. The afternoon showers and probably the confusion about the new time were contributors. (It ends now when it used to just be really getting started!)

And the Market Pub House patio has made it difficult for all the hula and fire dancers to perform. (You can see them "unlit" at the drum circle and then head over to the fountain in front of the Art Museum to see them "on fire.")

But it was great to have the "heartbeat" of the Loop back!

There is a serious lack of reggae in the Loop! Currently only Saturday nights at Loop-adjacent Queen of Sheba, and on Wednesdays in the Central West End at Club Viva.

Speaking of which, a certain "royal" daytime bartender at Fitz's is having her birthday bash this week at Viva, starting at 10:30, so Lupe hopes that many Loopies will attend!

See you in the Loop!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Well, the West End Word is Lupe's new favourite newspaper. You might recall this post on the new U. City parking regulations. Well, the new issue is full of great Loop news, most of it from David Linzee. (And much of it reporting on things Lupe also enjoys, including the sculpture series. Mr. Linzee is kindred spirit, it seems.)

So, the drum circle is back, but only til 7PM, which explains why Lupe keeps missing it. (Lupe works Sundays.)

Lupe was also reminded that the University City Festival is coming up on the 19th. All sorts of events will be going on, including live music, crafts, sports, bbq, and an interactive type of art show. It starts at 11 and ends about 8:30 PM. It seems mostly scheduled for Heman Park, but there are some activities at Centennial Commons.

Both are just a hop skip and jump from the Loop and this promises to be a really awesome event!!

Lupe also saw an ad in the Word for yoga in Forest Park every Sunday morning from 10 to 11. What a great way to start the day! Then head back over to the Loop for some pancakes at Blueberry Hill!

Or, if you are off work on Friday mornings, there is Naturalist Walking Tour at 10 A.M. Meet at the Visitor and Education Centre.

And don't forget that the performances of Hamlet in Forest Park will end next Sunday, the 20th.

There is just always so many exciting things happening in and around the Loop!!!

See you in the Loop!!

Friday, June 11, 2010


Lupe had too much fun at the 48 Hour Film Project last night and FORGOT about the World Cup! Can you believe it?

Anyhow, in Meshuggah this morning there were a lot of unfamiliar faces wearing football shirts from different countries. (Lupe uses the term "morning" very loosely to mean "when Lupe eats breakfast"--- whatever time that happens to be!)

So, if you want to watch the World Cup, head to Meshuggah early in the morning!!! Lupe will be drinking beer (can you watch football and NOT drink? Lupe has never tried), not a honey vanilla latte.

See you in the Loop!!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


EDIT: Here is the latest, as of 6/10/10.

The owner of Gyro House was shot and killed. Click on the link for the News report.

It was not Loop related, despite any wild rumours you might have heard. He had been gone from the Loop for many hours, no one followed him, and he was on his way back to close up his shop. It appears to be a random crime particular to Maplewood, not the Loop.

However, Loopies showed up en masse for the Memorial Service Monday night. RIP Ahmed Eltawmi, you will be missed! And much sympathy to the family for their loss.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


EDIT: The film was 74 minutes, not 7. The flyer had a typo. The film was very good and well-attended! Best of luck to the filmmakers!

As usual there are WAY too many great things going on in the Loop to keep up!

Here a few things Lupe wanted to be sure you know about.

A local St. Louis filmmaker will be presenting his indie short film at the Tivoli tonight and Sunday. IT SOOTHES MY SOUL. Lupe met the writer/director, Michael Larnell and was very impressed. She will be attending the Sunday screening. (Lupe is going to see L.A. ska stalwarts Fishbone at City Museum tonight.)

Screening times are 7 PM both days. Tickets are $7, which comes to about one dollar a minute for a seven minute film.

(7/7/7, hope this is lucky for the filmmaker!! The cost of an indie film to make is about $10,000 a minute. So the price to see this is worth every penny!)

Also tonight is Noir At The Bar, the monthly meeting of St. Louis crime and mystery writers at the Delmar Lounge. (Writers like Jedidiah Ayers.) Again, Lupe wishes she could be in two places at once!

Two other quick comments: the drum circle has vanished. Pushed out perhaps by the expansion of the Market Pub House. Or perhaps all things Bohemian and "cultcha" are leaving the Loop and migrating to the lower-rent South Grand area. She is very sad that this decades long tradition is leaving the Loop!

Finally, it appears that the Horse and Carriage rides were for that one weekend only. Which is really a shame. Because Lupe would like to ride from the Loop through Forest Park. Maybe it will become a regular feature soon!!!


Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Ever noticed "Tivoli" backwards (or upside down) spells I LOV IT!!!!!


(Loopie The Mad Russian actually pointed this out to Lupe.)

See you in the Loop!!!


(EDIT: Update 6 March 2013: Parking meters on Delmar are Monday through Saturday, until 9 P.M. and 25 cents for 20 minutes, with an average 4 hour limit.)

Lupe had forgotten that the parking regulations in the U City portion of the Loop had changed. She had forgotten because the signs have not changed.

However, an article in the West End Word reminded her.

The new parking meter regulations are:
8AM to 8PM Monday through Saturday
and it is going to be 75 cents per hour instead of 50 cents.

These will go in effect June 17th, Lupe supposes. Hopefully U City will get the new signs put in before then.

See you in the Loop!!!

Monday, May 24, 2010


Lupe is very sad to report some Loop closings.

EDIT: And Game Crazy! Just noticed the sign this morning. All sales final. This is the only Game Crazy in Missouri!

Layal Hookah Lounge has been closed for a couple of weeks now. Lupe didn't notice at first because of all the scaffolding and construction going on in front of the bar. There is no information available, and Lupe could not find the facebook fan page alluded to on the "closed" note in the window.

Restaurants Miss Saigon and Modai in the East Loop are both closed, as well. ( Both links are to the RFT.)

Lupe is sad to see these businesses close, and wishes the owners and staff well in their new endevours!



The Memorial Day run starts at 7:30 AM with the 10K. There is also a 5K and a one mile "Fun Run."

Lupe is more of a leisurely stroller than a runner, but she does enjoy this annual event!

See you in the Loop!!!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Subterranean Books will be part of a citywide Shakespeare marathon, Shake 38. A play an hour will be performed at different locations every hour for 38 hours. This is to kick off the annual performance of the Bard in Shakespeare Glen in Forest Park.

Subterranean will be participating Tuesday May 25 from 6 to 7 PM in front of the store. See their blog for the details.

Lupe would like to add that it is "happenings" like this that make St. Louis such a great place to live! There are so many creative people here that work to incorporate art (and whimsy, and culture, and celebration) into the mundane fabric of life here. (Like Guerrilla Florist, for instance.)

Lupe considers St. Louis to be a great place of "silent" culture. In the way that a nation's culinary sophistication is judged on its silent cooking, as opposed to erudite. (Americans get drive through and use the microwave; the French make salad and cook an entree and set the table and serve wine, dessert, and coffee.)

It is true that there is much culture in Los Angeles, silent and erudite, but much of it gets lost in the drive for fame and fortune. Here is it is all really for "the love of the game."

See you in the Loop!!!

Friday, May 21, 2010


Well, if you read this post, you know that Lupe is not happy with the way construction, traffic, and crosswalks are being handled in the Loop.

Today, at the corner of Limit and Delmar, the contractors hit an unmarked water main, flooding the street and making a general mess! Public Works opened the street with a jackhammer, and then opened a fire hydrant to control the flooding. Water service was interrupted temporarily.

So, the westbound lane is shut off, the east sidewalk is closed, so you have westbound traffic in the middle of the street, eastbound traffic dodging the pedestrians, and in area celebrated for alcohol consumption, general "not safeness."

During graduation weekend... Lupe just does not understand...


Thursday, May 20, 2010


Much respect to Vintage Vinyl!!! Much respect to Papa Ray and The Prince!!!

They have out survived all of the other locals and even many of the chain music stores! After watching this feature it is easy to see why!

All of the in-stores they have done; all the promotion of local music and musicians; the shows they have sponsored; labels and promotional companies and record shows (including Papa Ray's on KDHX); and then there are all the musicians that have found employment haven at Vintage Vinyl!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010


The Loop is filled with philanthropists!

Today the Melting Pot is hosting a fundraiser for the Breast Cancer run. They have a special tent out in front, and there will be fabulous food and an open sign up for the run.

And on Friday, May 21, Moonrise Hotel is having a blood drive for the Red Cross. You can contact the Moonrise or Red Cross for details.

See you in the Loop!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Meshuggah barista, writer, and all around great Loop local Jedidiah Ayres has been published in the magazine Needle: A Magazine of Noir.

Lupe found the story so compelling that she had to read it straight through in one sitting. (About 40 minutes including coffee drinking, croissant eating, hi to everyone walking by in Meshuggah, time.)

If Lottery author Shirley Jackson and Quentin Tarantino had had a love child and then Russell banks had taught the bastard to write, you would have this story.

Chilling, disturbing, and impossible to put down.

See you in the Loop!!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Today at about 1 PM, Star Clipper posted this:

So... A Pirate and a Sax Man are walking up and down the street while being filmed... Fleet hates pirates but respects the Sax Man. :/

Lupe was not able to investigate this. Which sax man? There are several.

And was the Pirate a Pastafarian? Or someone from St. Louis' premiere film production company, Pirate Pictures?

And what happened to Spiderman? He lurked above Star Clipper for some time, only to vanish mysteriously within the last month....

Maybe a reader knows the answer to all of these questions?

As usual, just too much exciting stuff going on in the Loop to keep up with it all!!

See you in the Loop!

EDIT: Spiderman belonged to a tenant in the apartment above Star Clipper. Further, he is rumoured to have vanished during the twister storm a month or so ago... Also, it occurred to Lupe that the Pirate might also have been from the Pirates exhibit at the St Louis Science Centre.


One thing Lupe has wished for many times is a romantic horse and carriage ride through the Loop.

Every now and then, Lupe leaves the Loop. Shocking but true! Lupe loves to go to Club Viva in the Central West End and dance to salsa (Thu & Sat) or reggae (Wed). (She also enjoys Herbie's and Brennan's.)

It was after 11 when Lupe arrived home from her travels last night, and when she heard the sound of the horses hooves clopping down Delmar, she thought she was dreaming!

Finally, Lupe's wish can come true. Last night there were not one, not two, but three carriages making their way through the Loop, east and west!

See you in the Loop!! For a romantic carriage ride!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Two wonderfully costumed Geisha dancers graced the Loop with their presence today. Now, when Lupe first spotted the dancers she was not certain they were more than just your average Loop "tourists", out shopping.

Lupe had just seen two young ladies that could have been in costume, wearing cat ears and frilly aprons a la Alice In Wonderland, but they were just shopping.

However, the dancers were here on official business-- a performance at Star Clipper Comics.

Star Clipper's twitter update at noon today read:

Geisha and Maiko from Three Rivers Okiya are coming today to add a touch of gentility to Star Clipper!

Lupe does wish she had a camera, as the girls did a lot to brighten up a rainy Saturday afternoon in the Loop!

See you in the Loop!!!


The need for more crosswalks in the Loop became glaringly obvious this Wednesday as construction began on the southwestern corner of Limit and Delmar.

It has been frustrating enough dealing with the mess at Eastgate and Delmar. For reasons Lupe does not understand, the tuckpointing on that building requires several weeks of work and the scaffolding apparently needs to take up the entire sidewalk even when the work is not going on.

And was no one far-sighted enough to set up a temporary crosswalk? Or to at least block off the parking spaces and make a temporary, safe, contained way to walk in the street?

Lupe has learned that both the City and the County of St. Louis really only care about the revenue from the parking spaces. That is why they resist putting in more crosswalks.

(University City does not have domain over the road part of Delmar- just the sidewalks, if Lupe understands correctly. And no one seems to have domain over the traffic lights at the corner of Skinker and Delmar, which are off sequence, creating confusion when the northbound traffic is running.  Lupe has made phone calls and drawn diagrams of how the lights should be sequenced, but no one seems able to do anything about it.  It is mostly humorous, except late at night, when inebriated people are heading from the county "close at 130AM bars" to the city "open til 3AM bars".)

Fortunately, the construction company working at Limit only closed off the sidewalk and bus stop on Wednesday. It looks rather unattractive, but you can walk on the sidewalk and catch the bus...

... why the construction permit didn't set up a temporary bus stop for that one day Wednesday does confuse Lupe. After all, if you are dependent on public transportation to do things like grocery shop (or you are handicapped or elderly), the walk to Westgate, or Skinker, is a considerable difference, but perhaps that is another matter for another day and Metro...

See you in The Loop!!!

EDIT: Okay, Lupe cannot believe this! Tomorrow (20 May 2010) is Wash. U.'s graduation; U. City High's graduation is this weekend, and these two sidewalks are closed! Thousands of people are coming here from across the country, and some from around the world, and we cannot provide them with safe sidewalks or convenient bus stops!

(And Lupe is NOT going to raise her blood pressure by asking WHY? in such a pedestrian oriented neighbourhood is there NO BUS BENCHES!!! And please, do not say "panhandlers" because Lupe is too fed up with stupid excuses to hear that right now.)

At both Delmar and Limit, and Delmar and Eastgate, people are walking out in the street, of course. Those silly signs that say "danger" are largely ignored. If the cities of St. Louis and University City don't think it is important enough to block off parking, make a temporary sidewalk or crosswalk, why should a pedestrian take the silly sign seriously? (Say that five times fast... ;o)

To add insult to injury, while the scaffolding remains, day after day, at the Eastgate construction site, no work is going on!

Lupe wouldn't feel so discouraged, but everyone keeps saying "This is University City!" Or "That's St. Louis for you."  Public safety is a concern no matter what city you are in!

Metro Bus 314 982 1406
University City Public Works 314 505 8560
St. Louis City Public Works 314 622 4888

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Mother's Day in the Loop was quite spectacular! The drum circle was back on, and Craft Alliance had a fabulous outdoor pottery sale!

The most wonderful discovery for Lupe, however, was the uniquely personal, unbelievably affordable, and artistically designed bouquet that Lupe procured at Blooms in the Loop for her mother.

Not only is this a great florist-- plenty of fresh cut flowers, cards, ribbons, vases, etc-- but it is so clean and well kept up! No easy feat in a store with a lot of glass and shelves!

Having discovered this wonderful gem, Lupe wonders how she lived without it. Hopefully, now that you have read this blog, you won't suffer as Lupe has...

See you in the Loop!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010


If the University City Sculpture series (their site, Lupe's post) wasn't enough to entice you into a visit to Lewis park, perhaps baby ducks will!

The momma mallard at Lewis park has no less than 11 duckling babies!!!

See you in the Loop!!!

Friday, April 23, 2010


All of the annoying construction going on along Delmar's sidewalks is about to end.

It seems that Ameren EU is removing the overhead power lines and putting in underground cable. According to Lupe's sources the work was done from Limit to Kingsland. The underground cable will be safer and more efficient than the overhead lines.

There were also survey teams out to repair some of the curbs at the cross streets along Delmar. Hopefully someone will have the foresight to put in more cross walks as well.

See you in the Loop!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Lupe loves the Guerrilla Florist!! Lupe did not think that a chance afternoon errand would turn into an adventure!!! But, of course, this IS the Delmar Loop, where magical things are mundane!

So as Lupe adjourned her business at Screenz, she thought to stop at the Loop farmer's market for some fresh fruit.

In front of the Klinge sculpture, just a few feet away from the site of the very first Guerrilla Florist installation, was a new "bouquet" of corn husk rings and beautiful textured dried flowers, pods, leaves, vines, and a red plant that looked like a sea anemone. (This installation has amazing visual texture.)

The Guerrilla Florist website has photos of the twin installation on the other Klinge sculpture in front of Craft Alliance.

See you in the Loop!!!

Edit: The installation in front of Craft Alliance is truly a work of art! Very beautiful and stunning textures, colours, and arrangments!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Monday is Lupe's day off. An ideal Monday off for Lupe begins with pancakes at Blueberry Hill.

Lupe did not think she would like Blueberry Hill's pancakes as much as she likes IHOP. But she does. So amazing Lupe does not have words.

And they serve them all day. Lupe has them at dinnertime, sometimes, after a stroll in Forest Park. Or she eats pancakes at midnight, after singing karaoke at Brandts.

So if you think Blueberry Hill is all cheeseburgers and beer, think again!

Think pancakes!

See you in the Loop!

Blueberry Hill on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Re: Lupe's previous post
EDIT: is the link to the series.

"Whale Forest" is an art installation!! Lupe is not very observant in the morning. There is a sign that clearly states this. Lupe had not had her coffee.

There is also another one in the park: A Meeting of Individuals. It is so cool Lupe hopes they leave it there forever. If you walk up on it at night it looks like aliens or angels. The figures glow with an otherworldly intelligence.

There are also a few more sculpture installations along Delmar around City Hall. They seem to be a series called "Reflections." Each one is an historical photograph printed on a glass panel and then situated so that you can look through it at the site of the picture today. Lupe finds it muy awesome!

The Sculpture Series is just another great reason to visit the Loop!!!
See you in the Loop!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


A wonderfully pleasant way to spend an early spring morning is to walk west on Delmar, through the Lion gates, to the park just passed Big Bend.

Lupe did just that the other morning. She likes to watch the ducks. Currently, a male mallard and male wood duck are in residence. Either their mates are hidden somewhere near by, or they await the women. (As all men do... and should...)

As Lupe was leaving, she noticed a number of whale and dolphin pinatas up in one of the oak trees. Now, there were about four or five, and they were up too high for anyone to break them open. They were also quite buoyant in the breeze, which made Lupe think perhaps they were empty.

Perhaps this is another stealth artist, like Guerrilla Florist? Lupe does not know.

Maybe a reader knows?

See you in the Loop!

Saturday, April 3, 2010


The trees that line Delmar are Bradford Pear trees. When they first bloom they smell like semen and everyone complains.

Then they start snowing petals and they are so pretty no one remembers the smell... well, no one tries to remember the smell...

Friday, April 2, 2010


Lupe is so honoured to be mentioned by the fabulous Tammie Holland. Seems Lupe's blog was the sole reporter of the guerrilla florist installation in the Loop! Yay Lupe!!

Thank you Tammie Holland for the great compliment and the well wishes!! What an honour!!!

See you in the Loop!!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


EDIT: The link works now and there are some GREAT photos!!! Guerrilla Florist is awesome!!!

Guerrilla Florist has delivered a heavy bouquet of nature appreciation to the Loop!!!

A beautiful creation of painted bamboo, calla lilies and black ring ties is on display in the Loop market area near the old Racanelli's.

The card says that if it remains Guerrilla Florist will remove it in three days.

The domain name on the printed card did not work at first but is up and running now!

What the world needs is more Guerrilla Florists!

The Loop always has something interesting, exciting and unique going on!!!

See you in the Loop!!!

PS-- Lupe needs a camera!

Monday, March 22, 2010


There are many multiple business owners in the Loop. This does not surprise Lupe! Everyone wants to be a part of the greatest neighbourhood in the world!

Joe Edwards is the most obvious multiple business owner, with Blueberry Hill, Halo Bar, Pageant, Pin-Up Bowl, and Moonrise Hotel. And not too mention all the real estate he owns: the Tivoli building and Blueberry Hill's location, along with many smaller buildings on Delmar! He's a one man zoning commission.

Others include the owner of Sole & Blues and G'sell boutiques, and the owner of Sunshine Daydream and also The Emporium Smoke Shop.

The winner, in Lupe's opinion, is Pat of Pat's Thai restaurant fame. There are five-- count 'em five!-- Thai restaurants in University City, four of them in the Loop! All are delicious, all are wonderful, and all represent different aspects of Thai cuisine.

Lupe has never met Mr. Pat, but she loves his food and loves his spirit! Here is a man that loves the food of his homeland and is not afraid to put his money where his mouth is!

Lupe's current favourite is Thai Gai Yang cafe. She enjoys the Tom Kha Gai & Tom Yum Gai soups, the sticky rice, the soft roll, and crab rangoon.

She also loves the Thai pizza. The Thai Crab appetizer is sooo good! It is like a Thai samosa! Yummy! And the chicken satay pizza is delicious.

Lupe is on a quest to eat at every one of the Thai places. So far, she has not had a disappointing experience. The food and service is always consistently good!

See you in the Loop!!!

Thai Country Cafe on Urbanspoon

Thai Gai Yang Cafe on Urbanspoon
Thai Pizza Co. on Urbanspoon


Lupe was very thrilled to learn that all Loop employees receive a 10 percent discount at Subterranean Books!

6275 Delmar

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Iron Age tatoo is hosting a benefit for the Siteman Cancer Center, in honour of Loop local Karl Kaltenthaler.

Ribbon tattoos will be $50 and proceeds will be donated to Siteman.

The benefit is from 12-8PM.

It's for a good cause, and in memory of a great guy!!!

See you in the Loop!!


Raccanelli's rented the entire indoor Loop market, set up the inside as a single restaurant, and now they are closed!

Well, Lupe liked their happy hour, but did not like that they forced the closing of the outdoor vendors and drum circle. Lupe would rather have the jewelry and psychic readings and used books and the drum circle and the hippies than another pizza place. (They said that these things interfered with their patio seating... Lupe thinks maybe their patio seating is interfering with the Loop!)

So, hopefully, now that Racanelli's has closed, the market and drummers will return. And if the Loop is really lucky we will get another reggae club. The Loop is lacking in this area, now that Red Sea is gone.

See you in the Loop!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010


Lupe and about fifty other people gathered at the Tivoli's main theatre to watch the Oscars last night. Admission was free and they also showed the Red carpet special before the Ceremony began.

It was a great venue for the Oscars because the big screen made it seem like you were sitting in the audience at the Kodak theatre. (Lupe was about 6 rows behind George Clooney. ;o)

It would have been even more fun if there had been a big party with a red carpet and stuff. Maybe next year this idea will catch on.

Lupe will let other bloggers comment on the Oscar's themselves. She just wanted to commend the Tivoli on a fabulous Oscar viewing experience!!!!

See you in the Loop!!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010


If you haven't already seen this week's issue of the Riverfront Times, three of the bloggers featured are "Loopie's".

On page 11, the title page, is Adam Shriver, sitting in Meshuggah. On page 12 take a gander at Mike Flynn, standing in front of Fitz's. On page 16 Kelly Von Ploski, Subterranean Books proprietor and blogger extraordinaire; and on page 17, is Joe Stumble photographed in Riddles?

If that wasn't enough to distinguish this already distinguished neighbourhood, the West End Word also featured Loop events.

The front page previews the page 6 article on Brittany Woods middle school's attempt to bring a double decker bus to the Loop. The photograph also features Loop local Tony Street.

Lupe appreciates Tony's sax playing a lot. Street musicians contribute greatly to the lively and creative atmosphere of the Loop, and Tony is a great musician! He is always tapped into the "tune" of the day!

Congrats Loopies!

See you in the Loop!

Friday, March 5, 2010


A friend of Lupe's informed her the other day that Eastgate and Westgate were not named for entrances to Parkview, as she (and many others) had assumed.

True, Lupe had always wondered why "Limit" (as in the city limit, which is right in the middle of the Loop) was where Eastgate should have started. She thought that the name had been changed at some point to reflect the city boundaries.

Apparently, they were so named for a racetrack that was horseshoe shaped. You could enter from the east gate or the west gate. The track was one of many features of Delmar Gardens, an amusement park with many attractions and places to eat.

Historical Background

“(In 1901) a new racetrack and an amusement park just across the city line brought a lot of city folk out west. The racetrack straddled the boundary between the country and the city on the north side of Delmar. The entrances to the grounds, or gates, were the source of the names of two streets. Delmar Gardens, at the loop of the Delmar line, was one of several amusement parks or resorts at the ends of the street car lines....Delmar Gardens boasted of “magnificent theaters presenting star performers in opera, dram and vaudeville.” The park had a variety of restaurants where a visitor could even get caviar...A series of wet summers around World War I and changing tastes, forced the closing of most of the street car line amusement parks including Delmar Gardens.” From Legacy of Lions, A History of University City, 1981, Historical society of University City, St. Louis, MO. 

The race track itself closed down after 1905 because of a crackdown on gambling.
“Delmar Gardens (Amusement Park) was located along Delmar Boulevard between Kingsland and Skinker. Built before the St. Louis World's Fair, it was a popular entertainment spot until 1911. In addition to the scenic railroad, it had a large merry-go-round, music halls, beer gardens, band pavilions, picnic areas, theaters and a nearby race track. The entrance and exit to the Gardens gave their names to the present Eastgate and Westgate Avenues.” From A University City Album, The Citizens Committee for the Seventy-Fifth Anniversary

The Loop has always been a place to have fun!!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


This little spot on Westgate is true gem for anyone that lives in the Loop!

EDIT 15 December 2012: Here is an update with pictures:

Not only do they have THE BEST falefil sandwiches and other Middle Eastern "deli" foods, but they also have a small grocery section that includes coconut juice, pita bread, turnip pickles, hotsauce, and tabuoli.

There is a big hookah pipe and tobacco selection for all the hookah fans in the Loop.

This is a family affair and everyone there is so nice and friendly! The food is always good no matter who makes it. And everyone who has dined with Lupe at Al Tarboush loves it and becomes a regular customer!!!

Nothing on the menu is over $6.

Lupe's favourite meal? Falafil sandwich with enough turnip pickles to be in every bite, plus a little extra tahini than they would put on usually, and a coconut juice drink. If you still have room try a walnut or almond baklava. (They have pistachio baklava, but the nut does not compliment the pastry, in Lupe's opinion.)

Lupe also frequently enjoys a meal of lentils and rice, with a side of tabouli, and a mango nectar.

EDIT: Update: And a snack that one of the sisters (it is a family business, all the sisters are wonderful!) gave Lupe a snack suggestion of triangles of pita with a spread of garlic sauce and then hummus, toasted in the toaster oven for a minute.  Trying not to eat all the bread and both containers of garlic sauce and hummus in one sitting is a challenge!

See you in the Loop!!

Al Tarboush 602 Westgate 314.725.1944

Al-Tarboush Deli on Urbanspoon

Monday, March 1, 2010


(Edit: Lupe incorrectly identified this museum, Missouri History, as the Natural History Museum, and that mistake is still reflected in blog post url. But is corrected in the body of this post.)

One great thing about the Loop is that you don't have to travel very far to get to the cultural and relaxation headquarters of St. Louis: Forest Park.

Forest Park is 500 acres larger than Central Park. It is home to the St. Louis Art Museum, Zoo, Municipal Opera, Jewel House atrium/greenhouse, 2 golf courses, the Planetarium and the Science Centre; The Boathouse with paddle boat rentals and a great little restaurant; the original 1904 World's Fair Pavillion, and the Missouri History Museum.

Both Museums and the Zoo are free, except for special exhibits, and the RACE exhibit was only $8!

The exhibit is part science and part cultural attitudes about race, and the history of racism in America. Lupe could not absorb all of it in one visit. It was an emotional as well as intellectual/cultural experience. Some of the exhibits and photographs could make a person feel a little "verklempt."

Lupe learned a lot, too. For instance, high blood pressure affects African-Americans in higher numbers than other Americans. However, when Africans with similar biological profiles were tested, their blood pressure was not comparable. In other words, high blood pressure in African-Americans is not a genetic trait. (However, sickle cell is a genetic trait. It protects against malaria in Africa.)

Lupe also learned, that unfortunately St. Louis has the distinction of being the first city to file for segregation laws. And that many tricky laws were passed that did not allow former slaves from occupying any neighbourhoods but the original 14 blocks that formed "North" Saint Louis. (#5 on the headphones.)

Another interesting feature was the list of how skin colour and "race" are perceived in Brazil. There are over 100 ways to describe skin colour in Brazil. The family photographed said that they leave the U.S. as one race, and enter Brazil as seven! Each member of the family has a different skin colour.

Lupe was very glad to see how well attended it was. And the museum was hopping! The Katherine Dunham exhibit is still going strong. There was a performance in the lobby of a local high school band and cheerleaders and baton girls.

Sunday was the last day for the "Race" machine. The machine was like an old photo booth with a big screen inside. A camera took your picture. Then you used a toggle stick to mark points on your face (eyes, nose, mouth, etc). The machine then showed what you would look like as another race. (Lupe looks fabulous in all colours!)

The exhibit runs through April 4th and Lupe suggests hopping on the train to Debaliviere. If you walk across the bridge and squint your eyes and generally pretend, it is kind of like the walk across the Pont Alexandre III bridge to the Place des Les Invalides in Paris.

Okay... maybe you have squint your eyes ALOT! But the comparison is there, and Lupe is confident that someday a city planner will see it, too. Besides, Lupe had France on the brain because of the French Festival that was going on this weekend!

Maybe next year, French Festival! It was worth it for Lupe to see herself as the strong black sister she knows she is!!! (Also got to see Asian, Hispanic, and herself aged 20 years.)

Be sure to ask for the headphones with the additional information. There are markers throughout the exhibit for when to tap into the extra information.

Also, if it is a sunny day, consider going to the Boathouse before or after. Lupe recommends the fried greens & calamari, greek salad, and the bread pudding a la mode. The Boathouse bar is not very good however. The bread pudding is so good, though, it makes up for the watery drinks.

See you in the Loop!!!


(EDIT 2013: This post gets a lot of hits from people looking for a grocery store in the Loop.  There isn't one.  The closest one is Schnucks on Olive. Then there is also the produce stand in what used to be the old Loop market.  They are open year round Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.)

Now, Lupe has heard that Trader Joe's has looked at the old Blockbuster site. That would be perfect!

There are business owners in the Loop that would fight it. They say any store that sells package liquor will contribute to people drinking alcohol and getting drunk in the Loop! What they really mean is that people will be getting drunk but not buying liquour from one of the many bars on the street.  The Loop promotes and paves the way for intoxication-- including millions for a planned trolley to take drunken Loop goers to the metro, so they don't have to drive home!


So Lupe's idea, for anyone that is interested, is to open a neighbourhood Co-op. (You don't have to include Lupe, except to give her a free membership!) The fee would be small for anyone that lived in the area-- perhaps slightly higher cost for Parkview residents (they can afford the higher cost, and they are less likely to use the Co-op) and Wash U students in student housing (ditto and they aren't really "residents").

You could purchase some items without being a member, but only members could purchase alcohol. Members, in fact, could order anything and pick it up at the Co-op. (Possibly there could be a delivery service as well.) Alcohol could be ordered, but it would not be sold to the public or on display.

It would be nice if the Co-op had local produce when the Market in the Loop isn't open. Fresh local, organic dairy would be good as well. Fresh, local, organic everything would be fabulous. And if the Co-op was set up properly, some of the farmers (like Earthdance) that are already supplying the more conscientious restaurants could come on board, as well. (Riddles is particularly well known for this. Also the Delmar Lounge. )

Lupe is "French-obsessed" as any regular reader of this blog knows, but the comparison to a Parisian neighborhood grocer is not completely out of left field. Lupe remembers a wonderful little market with a rotisserie and freshly made yogurt (in a porcelain cups that had to be returned the next day) in the 1st arondissment a few blocks from the Champs Elysees. Right next door was a bakery and patisserie. *sigh*...

The Co-op would not require the same start up money as a grocery or convenience store, and wouldn't even require a storefront! Although customer pickups, and walk-ins, would benefit from a storefront. A storefront would also support something like a salad, soup, and juice bar, and/or deli sandwiches.

If anyone is interested in doing this, feel free to contact Lupe. She is looking into this pretty thoroughly. The East Loop, under St. Louis governance, would be better. Also fewer residents would be able to protest it, as most East Loop properties aren't as near residential neighborhoods like Parkview, that would block the business from opening.

See you in the Loop!!!

Edit/PS-- Does anyone remember the deli that used to be where Pizazz is now? They always had a barrel of big pickles. Lupe thinks they were a quarter. The Co-op should have big pickles in barrel. Let's bring back 'em back!

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Bikini season is coming, and, of course, we could all use a little more wheatgrass in our lives, so Lupe is substituting breakfast for a smoothie from Smoothie King.

The folks at Smoothie King really know their stuff. They can always answer questions about supplements and powders and such. (Just like a mediaeval apothecary, except the treatments are yummy and don't involve leeches and dried bat dung!)

Sometimes they can answer questions you didn't know you had. Like, "how can you make this smoothie with fewer calories and yet take away almost no flavour?"

Why, you take out the turbinado! (But not the honey-- Lupe still wants a little something to satisfy her sweet tooth.)

Lupe has been stuck on the Almond Mocha with a banana for a while now. Today she had a "Peach Slice Plus" (minus turbinado) and it was so good she doesn't know how she lived without it!!!

So if you are in the Loop and you want to have something delicious and nutritious, try Smoothie King, with or without the turbinado.

And get a card, every tenth smoothie is free! And Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays you get a double punch on every medium or large smoothie!

See you in the Loop!!!

Smoothie King on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 8, 2010


EDIT 2014:  There is a new coffee roaster store and coffee house: Blue Print.  Lupe is not in the Loop very often anymore, and mostly passing through, but Blue Print looks wonderful and she encourages everyone to check them out!  There is also Piccione Pastry, which Lupe has visited and does sometimes stop in for a to-go fruit tart and cannoli. YUM.  Decent espresso too! And great staff!)

There are three coffeehouses in the Delmar Loop. Two are corporate: Starbucks and St. Louis Bread Company/Panera. The third, Meshuggah, is independently owned.

Lupe is willing to retract her rants against the corporate chains in the Loop. Especially  Noodles and Company. (Noodles and Company gives a ten percent discount to anyone who works in the Loop!)


However, Lupe does still prefer "the local indies" in all aspects of businesses and stores. And Meshuggah is a great "office" for the student, writer, freelance businessperson, and gentleman/lady of leisure. Meshuggah is a true neighbourhood "public house." (And like a pub, they will serve you a beer at 6AM with your coffee, if you so desire.)

Meshuggah's strength is in their regular coffee (actual watered down espresso), which is rich without being bitter or having that awful burned aftertaste that Starbucks always has. They are also cheaper than both chains, ounce for ounce.

Meshuggah has great salads, and they sell beer and wine. Their space is in the last hippie/indie/boho building in the Loop, with Plowshares, Subterranean, and MacroSun as their neighbours. And the cafe is old-school college-area coffeehouse-- wood floors, a loft, and local art work on the walls.

The staff is usually UMSL students, and there is usually an interesting book on the counter. (100 Years of Solitude and Smonk in my last two visits.) Meshuggah has a culture of book lovers and readers, even among the non-students. You can always eavesdrop on the most interesting conversations with your coffee.

They are also very "green." Every effort is made to recycle and green activities are encouraged. "Local Energy Supplier" is their slogan. They have cute t-shirts and commuter mugs that Lupe likes a lot. More than the Starbucks stuff.

Lupe has heard every kind of music and music genre in Meshuggah. She has also heard NPR and KDHX and staff members putting their iPod on random play. And sometimes there is just silence, especially during finals. Every now and then a singer songwriter will perform, or there will be a movie night or other special event or series.

The drawbacks are that they are often very slow. Everything is made by hand in the manner of a home kitchen. Sometimes there is only one person there, making all of the sandwiches and coffees. The staff puts the cream cheese on your bagel, and the milk and sugar in your coffee. If you are very particular this might annoy you. But if you are annoyed, you haven't slipped into "Loop Time" yet.  (Similar to Jamaican time...relax man, it's all good...)

But you will get used to it. And perhaps even come to appreciate it. Lupe recalls that in England when you ordered a cup of tea, you would be asked if you would like it "as it comes". This meant with milk and two sugars. Lupe thinks perhaps Meshuggah owner Patrick Liberto is simply reproducing this concept.

And the unhurried preparation actually serves to remind us all that we are not fast food, assembly line, corporate automatons, shovelling Soylent Green in our mouths without thought. No! We are humans, and human beings are preparing our food and drink in a civilized manner. And that means you might have to wait a minute and stop being so impatient.

Meshuggah doesn't allow cell phones at the counter, either, probably for this same reason. In this day of texting, and social networking, we have almost forgotten how to interact with each other as people. At Meshuggah, we are reminded of this.

Besides, these few minutes of waiting allow you to perhaps overhear a snippet of interesting conversation, or read a bit of an interesting book, or peruse the New York Times. Or just stare off into space, as Lupe often does, in the morning before drinking her Cafe Du Monde, as it comes.


Panera has a great bakery and a lot of really good salads and sandwiches. The old St. Louis Bread Company was of a higher quality, but for a chain Panera is very good. Lupe eats there very often and also likes the chess tables and the fireplace.

Several staff people at Panera are counted among Lupe's favourite people in the Loop.

Lupe cannot recall every noticing if music is ever played in there, but it is definitely the noisiest (and largest) of the three.

Generally, you can count on the bakery (and bakery staff!) to be good, and they have decent coffee. This is also the best place to watch a chess game.


If you want a fancy coffee-like drink and to sit and people watch, Starbucks is the place. It is all glass windows inside and big patio outside. As far as the drinks go they are quick and professional and consistent. The music will be something corporate packaged, but probably eclectic and decent.

(Lupe has had too many bad experiences with Starbucks pastries and food in too many different locations, so she does not eat at any of the chain.)

Hope this was helpful!! Lupe is off to get a Cafe du Monde from Meshuggah!

See you in the Loop!!!

Meshuggah Coffee House on Urbanspoon
Starbucks on Urbanspoon