Talk of the Towns: 8.5.15
Many metro oenophiles—‘phile’ that in your lingo as ‘wine aficionados’—are less interested in restaurant menusthan they are the wine lists. A good meal requires a good wine. In case you haven’t heard, Wine Spectator name-checked four fine area restaurants for their breadth and depth in wine selections—801 Chophouse in Clayton, Truffles in Ladue, and two Chesterfield eateries, Annie Gunn’s and Balaban’s. They were honored with the Best Award. Great Bacchus, the four aforementioned are among 973 establishments worldwide considered ‘second-tier.’ As luck and WS choice would have it, Eleven Eleven Mississippi was among the 11 restaurants here that made it into the third tier for the Award of Excellence. No St. Louis spot made it into the top tier. Those 81 Grand Award recipients include establishments such as ‘21’ in NYC. Corkage? Interestingly, 47 Grand Awardees offer it, 34 do not.
You may have risen to the challenge awhile back from Great Rivers Greenway and taken the guided ride along the Centennial Greenway from Shaw Park in Clayton to Olive Boulevard and back. Or, maybe you haven’t. At any rate, the leisurely, Trailnet-sponsored guided rides are continuing to roll throughout thenetwork, with the next one covering a northern section of the paved trail that incorporates MIT (that’s ‘Missouri In Town’ … UMSL). The ‘Try The Greenways’ ride series will continue weekly through Sept. 28, with the next one happening a day after this issue publishes, Thursday, Aug. 6, along St. Vincent Greenway. The official ride is from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and takes in St. Vincent County Park, but let’s begin at the beginning, shall we? Registration begins at 5:30 p.m., with this northern route traveling 3.6 miles from the entrance of St. Vincent County Park on St. Charles Rock Road (GPS’ers, that’s 7335 for the street address, 63133 for the zip), along the greenway through the park, across the UMSL campus, turning around at the North Hanley MetroLink Station and back for a total ride of 7.2 miles. But don’t get out of the saddle just yet—try the Bike St. Louis ride through the city on Aug. 9. Upcoming excursions on St. Vincent are on Aug 13th, and again on the 27th. Next? Riders, both novice and experienced, can roll into Kirkwood at Holmes and Leffingwell avenues on Sept. 7 to take in the southern section, Gravois Greenway (where you can see Clydesdales up close and personal along what folks call Grant’s Trail). Saddle sore yet? It’s OK. This spokesperson advises driving your automobile to work and most other destinations in between bicycle rides.
One might expect Edward Jones to go big in most everything they do. And big the Fortune 500 company went with corporate and employee donations to the Arts & Education Council’s 2015 campaign. They came in just shy of $1 million … $119,000 shy … at $891,000 and change. But who’s counting? Why, everybody, of course. It was a record-setting effort by company headquarters management and personnel to benefit A&E’s annual campaign, this year themed ‘One Gift. A Million Returns!’ Proceeds are earmarked to benefit nearly 70 arts organizations in the metro and beyond: i.e., 16 counties in the bi-state region. Edward Jones’ campaign, actually, is a two-pronged effort. The first involved general partners, headquarters associates and home-based associates; this fall, a second prong will ask regional financial advisers and branch associates to pony up. Since 1978, company employees have donated $8 million to the Arts & Education Council. (You go, Ed!) Since its founding in 1963, A&E has raised and distributed more than $100 million in private funding to arts and arts education organizations. Each year, A&E grants help provide millions of experiences in music, theater, dance, film, literary arts, visual arts and outreach programs for children and adults living in urban, suburban and rural areas. Many A&E-supported programs operate in underserved communities and serve at-risk youth.
State Rep. Jeanne Kirkton, D-Webster Groves, is to be honored tomorrow (Aug. 6) by Legal Services of Eastern Missouri (LSEM) as one of 17 local leaders who have worked tirelessly to provide equal access to justice for the low-income community and the elderly. She is to receive the Rory Ellinger Legislative Award from LSEM, which strives to provide equal justice for all. For The Common Good is an annual awards reception that honors a cross-section of legal, academic and nonprofit individuals and organizations. First elected in 2008, Kirkton presentlyis serving her fourth term in Jeff City. A glance at her committee responsibilities shows a woman dedicated to social services, mental health, and the prevention of child neglect and abuse.
Music @ The Intersection, the summer series centered on Grand and Washington in Grand Center, is slated to feature soul, R&B and hip-hop for its second installment, beginning at 5 p.m., Friday, Aug. 14, in Strauss Park. The free Friday happy hour of tunes runs until 7 p.m. for some dancing in the street … well, please stick to the sidewalks and grassy areas … after which music will be featured inside six venues around the arts district, well into the night. Performances will be staggered so that wanderers maybe able to catch a little of each. Food and drink will be available from street vendors. Strauss is one of my favorite urban parks, with the bustle of the arts district all around, the Fox and Powell nearby, and a handful of other great music venues here and there, and eateries close at hand. It’s compact, adorned with sculpture, and in the shadow of tall and tall-ish buildings, not unlike Manhattan. Last spring’s $100,000 ‘Heart of the Community’ grant from Southwest Airlines and the Project for Public Spaces will go a long way toward further enhancing the park as more than simply a way to get between points A and B. Plans include outdoor reading rooms, information kiosks, tables and chairs. This should help reinvent it as an even better place to hang, listen to music (whether scheduled or impromptu), have lunch, meet a date or play hacky sack. (Hacky sack? Do hippies do that anymore? Or did they all just kinda forget to?) The final Music @ The Intersection show this summer will be Friday, Sept. 11, when the block will shake, rattle and roll (and probably swing, too) with country, folk and Americana music.