Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Dave Wakeling's English Beat is TONIGHT at Blueberry Hill!!!

Here are a few links to get you warmed up!

English Beat Discography

(Current) "Toaster" Antonee First Class' first solo single: WHO YOU ARE 

And here is a nice interview with Mr. Wakeling himself on St. Louis own KDHX:


Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Lupe has had mixed feelings about the Loop Trolley.   But now she is against it.

She liked the idea of it because it was quaint and cute and it would have been nice to have a ride from the Deballivere Metrolink stop all the way to the Library and City Hall, instead of walking or waiting for the bus at the Loop or Skinker/Wash. U. train stations.

Because, seriously, Saint Louis and Saint Louis County are so RIDICULOUS when it comes to public transportation.  Thirty years ago it took twenty minutes, sometimes less, to go from Manchester and Big Bend in Maplewood to the University City library by bus.  And that was ONE bus.

Now it takes an hour, at least, and that is IF you make all the connections in a timely fashion and don't mind a hustle.  Or if you don't mind riding the slowest, most circuitious bus ride ever (the number 2), which only runs once an hour. Unless you are willing to walk down to the Maplewood metrolink.* (Lupe feels so sorry for old people and disabled in this city that do not have cars.)

The Trolleys won't be under the governance of the Metrolink and Bi-State.  But even if they were, we have already seen who really runs public transit.   Most especially from the decision to turn the train toward Shrewsbury, to court the "red and blue" riders-- those people that already have cars and only ride the subway to go to Cardinals baseball games (red) or Blues hockey games (blue), instead of turning it the places that need it the most- like the poor, urban South and North sides? Not helpful and kind of racist.**

Trust Lupe, the buses are actually worse now than ever, especially in the counties, now that the Metrolink has been installed. The tracks it runs on were for the most part established in the early 1900's to deliver goods like coal and food to train depots.  The tracks do not reflect current city centers and hubs.

So back to the Trolleys: Saint Louis County has relinquished responsibility for the stretch of Delmar between Limit and Big Bend.  Why? Those Trolley cars don't have engines.  They can only run on 1900's style overhead electric lines.  (Joe Edwards bought the cars with his own money from Italy somewhere.)

The entire street will have to be ripped up and tracks put in, and the overheard line.  And then maintained. How much is that going to cost? Who is going to pay for it? Joe Edwards? Wash U?  Well, one thing is for sure, it won't be Saint Louis County!

And if Joe Edwards and Wash. U. pay for the Trolley, who is going to be allowed to ride it?  There is already an (unsubstantiated) rumor that Wash. U. "Bear" meal cards are being accepted at restaurants in the Loop.  More and more, the Loop is less and less a place for everyone.

"Regular" citizens and businesses that don't fit the University scheme, or the Joe Edwards Blueberry Hill/Moon Hotel/Pageant businesses, are being edged out with all this "development."

When Lupe went to the Wonder Women screening the other night she really saw the trolley parked in front of the Museum for the first time.  (Of course, she walks by the one parked in the Commerce Bank parking lot everyday.)  But for some reason, that night, she really saw it.

It is tiny. Inefficient. And archaic.

Who are these streetcars for?  These two trolley cars might fit 25 people each.  (And these trolley car seats were made for 20th Century Italian butts, not 21st Century butts, if you know what Lupe is saying. )

And if the Trolley operators have to choose non-students or non-beer drinking and cheeseburger eating patrons-- it seems likely that some sort of "selection" process might be installed.  (It seems unlikely that the Trolleys will be open to underage black teenagers. At least after sundown.)

Will one be required to have a student I.D? Or a receipt from Blueberry Hill? And what if one of these archaic cars breaks down? Or there is a power outage? How is this going to affect Loop traffic? How is this going to affect the already tiresomely slow buses in the Loop?

These Trolleys are not about improving public transit in the Loop.

It really bothers Lupe that ALL of the bus benches and covered bus stops have been removed in the Loop.  Metro and Bi-State don't get to decide where the bus stops go. The cities and counties and neighborhoods decide. (It is not about where the bus stop would best serve the people riding it, but about where the bus stop is least troublesome to business owners.)

So when the Loop Special Business District (pretty much owned and run by Joe Edwards) decides that the bus benches allow too many panhandlers to sit down, they must go! To heck with all the bus riders going to and from work and shopping, etc!  The Loop is not about getting public transit IN, it is about keeping panhandlers OUT!

And in the Loop, the Chuck Berry statue got his own crosswalk. A statue. And right between the crosswalks for Leland and Westgate. But down at Limit and Eastgate, where a crosswalk is actually needed for pedestrians, there is not chance.  Only Wash. U. and Joe Edwards have enough pull to get the City of Saint Louis or U. City to give up the parking spaces.

(Wash. U.'s new development might get a crosswalk in there, now. Hopefully with a sign or even a light.  From Westgate to Skinker there is only crosswalk- and it is at the Tivoli. Truly shameful.)

That $25 Million grant from the government for the Loop Trolley seems wrong.  The grant was meant to promote "livability".  It was meant for downtown, urban areas.  (Obama might need to rethink this plan, too.)

The Loop is only becoming more "livable" to Wash. U. students and Blueberry Hill beer drinkers. Wash. U. has been able to subsidize (read: "Buy") several of the Loop area bus lines.  The ridiculous Green Line, for instance.  A line very rarely ridden and helpful to almost no one-even the students it attempts to serve! (Please, audit it yourself and see. It goes nowhere and almost no one rides it after the first time they try it. It is faster to walk the route to wherever you are going.)

The Number 2 bus line was also RIDICULOUSLY re-routed to serve Wash. U. students and make sure they could get from campus to the Clayton Schnucks, Galleria and Brentwood Promenade.  It is the most exhausting bus ride on the Southern Delmar Divide. ***

(After almost 3 years of riding public transportation in Saint Louis city and county, Lupe has really come to the conclusion that not one single person that plans the routes actually ever rides the bus or trains.  She thinks they type in routes on Google maps and make up the timetables and routes from that.  The buses all have the same time between stops whether it is rush hour on Wednesday or Sunday morning.  It is just something they do in an office all day. She wishes the Metro executives were forced to commute on their silly routes and schedules!)

Lupe is sorry, because they are cute trolley's, but really, when one thinks about it, it is ridiculous! All of that construction for two little trolley cars, to be paid for with the extra tax in University City (that is why we pay almost ten cents on the dollar for sales tax here in University City.  We are paying for the Trolley when we shop anywhere in U. City-- the highest rate in Saint Louis city or county! Lupe sure is tired of that!) but it does not seem that everyone is going to benefit equally!

Lupe is against the Trolley Folly! Unless there are some changes to the plan! 

C U in the Loop! Hopefully a "Trolley Free" Loop!

*Truly one of the most badly designed, and least safe train stops in the world.  The Maplewood Metrolink station.  It should get a Worst Design Ever award! 

Go look yourself-- no crosswalk, a blind spot to oncoming traffic, and not convenient or safe! Who on earth designed this thing? Human hating Reagan-era aliens from the movie They Live?  Haha let's kill them while they try to catch their bus! No, really. Not kidding. Go look at it. It was designed by those metal headed aliens. There is no other feasible explanation!

Lupe has a whole other post in her drafts folder about the Folly of the Saint Louis transportation system.  That is, the re-routing of all the buses to take you to the train-- a train that is running on a track system meant for coal and food deliveries and routed before planes and trucks became the transporters of food.  Those tracks go nowhere convenient, as anyone that has had to walk the dark, unpaved back alleys of the Brentwood Promenade stop to Trader Joe's.  Or walked through the deserted, "waiting to rape and mug you" parking lots between the train in Maplewood and Wal-mart, Olive Garden, Lowe's etc. 

**Not too mention the all out fight the white residents of Saint Peters and Saint Charles engaged in to keep the train from coming to their neighborhoods! "Keep them out so they don't ruin it like Hazelwood" one man Lupe used to work for actually said to her.  No, he didn't know who Lupe really was.  Lupe is totally ninja undercover in her Clark Kent. OMG the things she hears when people think they are talking to "average white suburban girl".

*** Remember, Wash. U. has been allowed to buy a lot of real estate in the Loop area, but they don't pay the same as homeowner's and business owners in taxes. They do attempt to supplement this with donations to the U.C. Fire and Police departments, and by having their own Blue Light patrol cars drive around the neighborhoods where they own property.  But it is not the same. They have a lot of power, and perhaps they have made the neighborhood better in some ways-- but neither they nor any Loop businesses or the University City or Saint Louis governments are doing anything to close the disparity between the $32,000 a year income gap between the North side of Delmar and the South side of Delmar. 

Also they have been capricious in the past.  Lupe has a friend that was evicted three times in a one year period where Wash. U. would buy the building he was living in, everyone was evicted and given thirty days to move out.  Three times he went through this until he moved out of the neighborhood.  And only one of those building is still owned by Wash. U.  Really, not fair.

Saturday, March 9, 2013


If the week of Spring wasn't already exciting enough there is a Noir at the Bar on March 23 at Meshuggah!

Clayton Lindemuth, Frank Wheeler Jr., Josh Woods and the Loop's own Jedidiah Ayers reading from his new book Fierce Bitches!

Subby will be on hand, of course, with copies of all the books, and the Noir At The Bar anthologies, one and two.

If you like noir and crime fiction, you will love Noir at the Bar!!!

C U in the Loop! At Noir At The Bar!!!

Search results for all of Lupe's Noir At The Bar posts.

Friday, March 8, 2013


Lupe's favourite band, the English Beat, is returning for their yearly gig at Blueberry Hill!

Dave Wakeling and his band just get better and better! You will be Rankin' Full Stop!

C U in the Loop!  Dancing to the Beat!!!

(If you are a Ska fan, check out KDHX local show Ska's The Limit with J.J. Loy.  It's on Saturday night's but you can catch the last two shows on the archive any day or night!  You will hear The Beat and much much more!)

Thursday, March 7, 2013



Wait, that wasn't enough:


Okay, technically, she has only been there once, tonight, for a quick to-go of three of their tacos, but ALREADY they have completely seduced her.  She is pretty much making a list of peeps to take there for food and drinks and fabulous people watching, plus more live music, hopefully!

GREAT staff! Friendly, nice, and fast!!!  (And diverse!! And plenty of eye candy for all genders and orientations, although Lupe knows she is very naughty to mention it.)

GREAT decor!!! Nice mural in the back room, very warm and "beach" feel! Almost made Lupe forget she wasn't on the West Coast!

GREAT food!!!! Lupe had three tacos: duck, tofu and carne asada!!! Now she just wants to eat every single thing on the menu!

Now, this is not straight up Angeleno Taqueria.  You still gotta head over to Cherokee for that.  But no Mexicano would be unhappy here. 

In fact, no person from anywhere could be unhappy in this place. (Unless they had some sort of unhappy disorder that prevented them from enjoying great food in a great atmosphere.)

The tofu was excellent, with an avocado slice and Lupe added a salsa that was dark and tasted like roasted tomatoes were in it.  NO VEGANS WILL SUFFER AT MISSION TACO.  In fact, the tofu is so good carnivores will be tempted... and sated!!!!

The carne asada was delicious!!  Lupe wishes she had ordered more than one.  There was some sort of cheese and a deep green lettuce.  She will be going back tomorrow to get another one and maybe some crab taquitos.  She tried a hot red salsa with the carne.  It was very good, but Lupe preferred the other one she got.  (She promises to investigate the salsas as thoroughly as a sommelier would a wine list on her next visit.)

The duck was very good, however she felt it would have been better with some frijoles y arroz.  Duck fat likes to soak into starch, in Lupe's opinion.  But Lupe only "likes" duck.  She thinks if you love duck you will love these.  For one thing, who can resist the crunchy, melt in your mouth bits of grilled duck fat?

They have a full bar, and it was PACKED.  Diverse crowd, but mostly 20's-30's and mostly white, and a lot of students.  But it is only their fifth night.  This place is so attractive that Lupe is certain it will soon be a hot spot for everyone in the Loop.  Lupe doesn't think anyone of any culture or age would feel uncomfortable at Mission Taco Joint.

Live music tonight was One Take  (with a rocking hot chica singer and fiddler).

OH- and seriously, they need could charge A LOT more for the tacos! Each taco was about $3.  Wonderful!

And the to-go containers are not just eco-friendly, they are compost-able! 

Lupe's only complaint is that they are only open til 1 AM.  She hopes they will get that later liquore licence soon and be open til 3 AM. Lupe is on a Mission: to eat at this place again as often as possible!

C U in the Loop!!! AT MISSION TACO JOINT!!!!


Mission Taco Joint on Urbanspoon

EDIT: Mission offers a dish called "Street corn".  Kind of funny if you have ever bought "Elotes" (ee-LOW-tahs, from "ears" Lupe thinks) from a street vendor.  It's corn on the cob with butter, mayo, lemon juice, salt and hot sauce.  You can get queso too, usually a ground up kind of Mexican parmesan.  No Mexican restaurant in St Louis run by Mexicans would ever take her suggestion to sell it, since that would be like offering hot dogs at a steak house.

So Lupe is hoping that they will also begin offering her other favourite street food (no, not bacon and jalepeno wrapped hot dogs and sausages) Las Frutas.  Usually a blend of oranges, cucumbers, mango, jicama, cantelope, watermelon, and sometimes pineapple and sometimes coconut, with a squeeze of lemon or lime and salt and chili pepper sprinkled on it.  (Most of the Latino neighbourhoods have this, not just Mexican.)

Again, no restaurants here will sell it because it is just so common.  You can get a 2 lb bag of it on almost every corner in L.A. for about $5 and watch the vendor chop it up to your specifications (Lupe doesn't usually like the coconut, and always needs more chili pepper than they want to give her.)  You can also buy Mangos on a stick with the lemon juice, salt and chili pepper. 

Lupe is still waiting to see if a common herb "espoto" (? not sure about the spelling) shows up in any Mission dishes.  And more cilantro.  But this restaurant continues to be a delight!

(If you are in "Hell A" best Mexican street food is in Boyle Heights-- and best Mexican Taqueria too, Carnitas Michoacan.  Also you can go down Soto and look at some of the famous murals.  Soto and Caeser Chavez is a kind of Chicano/Mexicano Delmar Loop and full of heritage and culture.)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Tonight at the Missouri History Museum there is a FREE screening of WONDER WOMEN! The Untold Story Of American Superheroines.  If you don't see it tonight, you will have to wait until April 15 when it airs on PBS!

This is a great way to celebrate Women's History Month!  And don't forget, University City was founded by a man that believed strongly in Equal Rights and Equal Opportunities for women, Edward G. Lewis.  (His birthday was Monday.)

Lupe's plans for the evening include this screening, a stop by Star Clipper and Subterranean for some feminist titles, and she might try the new taco place in the old Delmar Lounge spot!  This mini-review by the Riverfront Times has Lupe salivating !!!

Viva Las Mujeras!!!!

C U in the Loop!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


The University City Police, as well as Washington University security, are watching you! (Since August of 2012, actually!)

So don't pick your nose or scratch your butt or do anything else that might make the "butt" of Loop laughter!

What with the drones that can shoot you dead, security cameras almost seem archaic, but the police feel that by watching in real time they can respond more quickly to any crimes that may be happening in the Loop.

However, it is a good idea to be aware of this, because there is always the possibility of this kind of surveillance being used for the personal agenda's of people in power.

So keep an eye on the people keeping an eye on "U" and continue to involve yourself in your community-- that is really the most important safety step in any neighbourhood!

C U in the Loop!! And the Loop will be "C-ing U"!!!

Monday, March 4, 2013


Today is Edward Gardner Lewis birthday!  Did you know that University City was founded as a Utopian Community?  That Lewis especially promoted Equal Rights and opportunities for women?  That his interest in the City Beautiful style of planning and architecture greatly influenced the Loop and surrounding neighbourhoods?  And that he believed that University City should offer housing for all economic brackets?  Learn this and more on the video available at the University City Library about the history and origins of University City!

Wikipedia page on E.G. Lewis

 Video from the Historical Society (also available from the University City Library)

Here is a nice article from Channel 11

A video on YouTube

He also founded a second Utopian Community, which became the city of Atascadero, California.

C U in the Loop!

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Did you know that one in three women will experience violent abuse, assault and/or rape?  That is over one billion people in this world (7 billion total population, divided in half, and then 1/3 of 3.5 billion).

Eve Ensler, author of The Vagina Monologues started One Billion Rising last year, and this year was a spectacular victory for women globally.

The St. Louis local RISING was a flash dance mob at the Missouri History Museum, sponsored by the excellent Safe Connections.

It was well-attended and fun!

(Back in Lupe's day making revolution and changing the world was hard work! These young whipper snappers sure don't know how lucky they are, DANCING and HAVING FUN to change the world!  ;o)

Go to the One Billion Rising site to learn the BREAK THE CHAIN dance, choreographed by Debbie Allen.

Lupe's favourite soundtrack for Rising Up and Breaking The Chain is Shelia Chandra's La Sagesse!

See you, Rising Up, in the Loop!

Saturday, February 2, 2013


This a great place, just a few blocks from the Loop, at the corner of Vernon and Kingsland,  in the building that was previously the Weekend Outlet for Good Works.

Lupe loves Good Works furniture, but she loves good food even more!  Vernon's has made a nice dining area, very spacious and spare.  Very kid-friendly and always so nice and clean.  The staff is very efficient and friendly, and always willing to go that extra step to make sure you are totally satisfied.

Lupe has eaten there three times, and has had the smoked tofu each time. It is unbelievably delicious with the peanut sauce. (No bun for Lupe, though. White bread and tofu don't mix, although that has nothing to do with Vernon's :o)

She has also had the Burnt End Beans, the Horseradish potato salad, the corn bread, and the coleslaw. Lupe's companions have had the beef brisket and the ribs.  Everything is delicious and well-made, and the cornbread is dense and sweet, a full meal in and of itself.

Lupe is not a BBQ connoisseur, so she does not know of what style this is.  However, she finds that the base seems to be a sweet/tangy with added spice (as opposed to what Lupe considers the other main kind of BBQ, which is vinegar/spice with added sweet).  Lupe doesn't know if that helps or hurts, but that is her only description other than YUM!!!!

They have five homemade sauces- Lupe has tried all but the very hot one.   She likes the Peach the best for the meat, and the Peanut one ALOT  because it compliments the tofu so well.

The pick two is so generous that two people can share!  Get the pints of the sides though, especially the cole slaw! Otherwise you will eat it all up too fast and be sad there is no more.

So delicious!

Lupe is drooling now, so she has to sign off and make a Vernon's run!

See you in the Loop!

Riverfront Times article on Vernon's BBQ

Vernon's BBQ on Urbanspoon

Thursday, January 31, 2013


Now that Shur Sav is gone, Loopie's and those that live on the Northeast part of University City have all migrated to Schnucks.

The entire Shur Sav building and parking lot were rumoured to have been purchased by Washington University. Lupe has not been able to track down all the details.

It appears that the Wash. U. sponsored or owned grocery that was proposed for the property at Delmar and Eastgate (actually located in Saint Louis city) has been moved over to the old  Shur Sav location.  But that is entirely unsubstantiated (but well-repeated) rumour.  It is further rumoured that it will be mostly high end, boutique and will not sell package liquor.

So far, no facts, however.

(EDIT: 2 Feb 2013:  Washington University's 80 million dollar project to put a grocery store and housing for 600 students at the property at Eastgate and Delmar, has begun.  Lupe will be interested to see who is going to get benefit from this, Saint Louis city or University City, as the development falls right across the city limit boundary.  

(As far as the grocery, Lupe is hoping for a Trader Joe's or Culinaria.  Or perhaps a true neighbourhood co-op. No word yet on if the store will  be allowed to sell liquor, but it seems that the restaurants will fight that, even the ones that are rumored to now accept Wash. U's student meal plan "Bear Cards".  Either way, a new grocery will probably take most of the student business away from Olive Schnucks.  However, as the rest of this review demonstrates, Schnucks has done a great job of meeting the challenge of serving such a diverse clientele.)

Either way, the Schnucks on Olive (often unfairly called ghetto Schnucks by both black and white, because the other two closest Schnucks are cosmopolitan Clayton and snooty Ladue) is stepping up it's game.

First of all, they have stopped playing the steady stream of 1970's AOR radio (Boston, Journey) that still dominates much of St. Louis.  They have started to play more classic R&B, Gap Band, Spinners, and some old Motown and 1960's Soul.

Second, they have a branch of Fifth/Third bank in there now, and that is good.  The big banks, and even local Commerce, really don't seem to want people that can't carry a balance anymore.  If you live paycheck to paycheck, you have to pay the fees.  But banks don't want your tiny monthly fee, they want your big bucks so that they can go out and loan it to big companies and governments.  That is really how banks make their money.

So to have a bank that actively reaches out to the community, especially the lower income community, that is wonderful.  Thank you Schnucks for providing that space.

Third, Schnucks on Olive also now has coffee and hot chocolate at the front.  Lupe did not fully appreciate this until the other day when she walked in there, half frozen.  That is a nice thing to do for the customers!

Okay, there are a whole bunch more things, so Lupe is going to stop numbering them now:

In an attempt to accommodate the fluctuations and vast differences in their three main types of clientele**, they have re-organized the store.

**Three main types in Lupe's opinion: students that come into to buy alcohol and snacks, but often end up shopping there as well; middle class people, black and white from the neighbourhood that use it for convenience and necessity but actually do most of their shopping at one or the other Schnucks, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and international specialty markets, or a mix of those listed.

The final category is the working-class or poor folks, mostly African-American, that were most impacted by the closing of Pete's Shur Sav on Vernon. The service counter is most heavily used by the latter, often for things like Western Union, and the transactions sometimes take longer than you would wait at the Ladue or Clayton stores, so please be patient.  Lupe is always impressed at how well this store handles all the different strata of clientele and different needs.

The loss of Pete's Shur Sav brought more food stamp and WIC customers into Schnucks.  Food stamps come out to about $5 a day per person.  That does not allow a lot of room for high-end organic meats and produce, or even fresh produce at all, sadly! One apple is almost a dollar.  An orange, $1.25.  (Yay for bananas at about thirty cents each!)

Schnucks has big bins of dollar and low cost items all over the store, and more bulk and store and plain label foods in all the departments.  Also, more "about to expire" bargains, something the Riverfront Times noted they have a reputation for among their own chain.  (Although Aldi's actually advertises and capitilizes on this.  Lupe likes Aldi's, too, for different reasons.  More on that in another post.)

However, they have also greatly expanded and re-arranged the produce area to be more like a farmer's market, and have also worked to bring in more local and organic produce.  Lupe likes lots of fresh fruit, and the Loop Farmer's Market is only open three days a week, and not at night.  So Lupe is very glad for this expansion and improvements.

You can find a lot of German/Polish foods (for both Gentile and Jew) and some other international foods and brands, often very selectively, which Lupe believes must come from repeated customer requests.

(There are a great number of  different international grocery stores further west on Olive, as well Aldi's, and another Pete's across from Walgreens at Hanley.  And then Trader Joes' too, a bit further down. So that perhaps plays a part.  There is only so much room on the shelves. But always ask, because Lupe is frequently surprised.)

The deli and fresh sandwiches and also the salad bar have also improved in selection, and the meat and seafood departments have rearranged and also become more accommodating about special and customer requests.

And they have greatly expanded the party platters of fruit, meats, veggies, and also fresh olives, over between the meat and seafood.  They keep a great stock of vegetarian meat options, both in the frozen and fresh (by the juices in produce).  Sometimes certain items do run out though.**

The store is generally well-stocked, however, and always neat and clean.  And the staff is always happy to help you find something, usually walking the customer to the aisle.  Which is very considerate, especially for the mom's that have children in tow, or elderly people.

All of the staff at the service counter and pharmacy and other departments are very nice.  Everything is always nice and clean.

The floral department is limited but well-kept, and fresh flowers come in on Mondays and Thursday.

There is fresh bread at the bakery, including daily deliveries of La Brea baguettes and loaves, and decent selection.  Also the store will slice it for you.

They have a Friday fish fry year round that is very popular, not just for Lent, but if you miss your Parish or don't make it to your local or one of the famous ones (Saint Cecilia's, for instance), Schnucks Olive has got your Lenten Back!

All of the people that work there, including the security guards, are friendly and attentive.  The customers are all nice too!

You will see every strata of University City: college students from all around the world, Loopies, black and white, young and old, of all economic backgrounds.

It's a true neighborhood market place, attempting so serve as many as possible, in a neighborhood diverse in age, economic class, and culture.   A solid reflection of the community it serves.

Address:6920 Olive Blvd
St. Louis MO 63130
Main Phone:314-726-2373

**The only complaint that Lupe has is that certain items don't get stocked properly, which actually isn't entirely a grocery stores' fault.  Lupe does not know exactly how Schnucks operates, but most grocery stores rent the space on their shelves to distributors and the distributor brings in what is needed.

So when a store runs out of, say Morningstar Farms Buffalo Wings, or Dreyers single serving caramel, after the first three days, and then is out for weeks afterward, that is usually the distributor, not the store.  The distributor is not tracking the sales accurately and just re-stocking the same order. And it is better to send the store an email than to mention at the service desk.  Any grocery store. That is Lupe's experience with many other grocery stores.  It is the small boutique items.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


There are TWO books of Les Edgerton's being offered FREE as Kindle editions through Amazon right now:


If you were lucky enough to hear Les Edgerton read at Noir At The Bar back in April then like Lupe you are probably a fan!

If you didn't get to hear him read, and you are a fan of true noir**, you will like Edgerton. 

He is the real deal.  In the Noir world he has the street cred for actually having served 2 years in prison.  And as a writer he is perhaps better known as the author of numerous Writer's Digest guides to writing.

He himself is like a real life book or movie character.  In fact, the man has had such a strange life it could probably be told in a whole series of stories.

He is most compared to Ed Bunker, as a writer.

So check it out if you have a Kindle!

Also, you can find many of the print editions, plus the EXCELLENT Noir At The Bar 2 (which includes an Edgerton short story, at Subby!!!

See you in The Loop!!!

**And Lupe says "true noir" because there is a kind of Tarantino-esque element to Noir these days. She finds it kind of tiresome. Not so much lurid as suburban fantasy.  Meaning to shock and thrill "respectable" society, instead of telling true stories of noir. 

Or the stories revolve around the narrator or protagonist adventure with a "tragic girl" or "dangerous woman" or a transgendered person, or drug addict, or felon.  "Bad" words are used liberally and casually to cover the fact the writer has gotten most of his information from other writers (Thompson, Stark, or perhaps Goines and Iceberg Slim).

Thursday, January 10, 2013


If you need smoking related items and you are in the Delmar Loop, you are well covered. There are four shops:

HSB Tobaccanist

This is an old school tobacco and cigar place, and they sell paraphernalia for other types of smoking minimally, and seemingly reluctantly.  (They are really not "420" friendly, although you can find some things there-- glass cigarettes, some papers, etc.  But if you are looking for a head shop, go to Emporium.)

It has been in business since Lupe was a wee babe, and was founded by the current owner's father. The founder, Bill Bueler, was well loved and somewhat of a Loop icon.  Read about him on the HSB website.

However, if you take a trip in on weekend nights or weekdays, you might find one of the original or other long time (30 plus years) employees, who will be glad to reminisce about Loop days past.

His daughter, Joe Edward's right hand person and Loop Special Business District President, Jessica Bueler, now runs the place and keeps it high profile in the Loop, on-line, and in promoting tobacco culture and smoking in Saint Louis.


This is the best "head" shop in the Loop.  They have an extensive collection of glass, and all the flavours of cigarillos you will need.  They also have all sorts of de-tox and other aids.

Unless you are seeking something extremely special or really high end, you can get what you need from Emporium.

You have to be buzzed in, and parking isn't always available in front.

Sunshine Daydream

A small chain, locally owned, Sunshine Daydream is one of Lupe's favourite places to shop for incense, t-shirts and burner/deadhead apparel, and music nostalgia (posters, pins, etc).  In fact, Lupe would daresay, there is no Bob Marley, Grateful Dead, or Jimi Hendrix item that you could not find at Sunshine Daydream, and a whole lot more!

Nestled right next to Vintage Vinyl, it is definitely lends the "college town" atmosphere and legacy to the Loop.

This isn't really a head shop, although they do have some items near the counter-- mostly glass cigarettes, pipes, papers, and detox.

They do sell American Spirit and clove cigarettes, and herbal cigarettes (you know like lobelia, lol).

They have an extensive selection of incense.  (If you can't find what you need, try Macro Sun, down the street in the only other remaining "college town" enclave of the Loop.)

They are a fun place to spend some time, and the staff is genuinely friendly and awesome.  Some of the best people in the Loop can be found in Sunshine Daydream, working and shopping!

EDIT:  Lupe is sorry she left out 

TNT Designs 

in her original post!  They have the BEST collection of glass and art, plus lots of jewelry and other stuff by local designers, plus hookah supplies.  They are in the East Loop and definitely one of the best local businesses around! 

See you "smokin'" in The Loop!