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 http://www.guerrillaflorist.com/ 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!