Thursday, December 17, 2015

St. Louis Holidays

In St. Louis there is this introduction question of which high school you may have attended. Between my wife and I, she understands the question, I do not since I attended school on the other side of the river. Another statement made in this region is if you don't like the weather, just wait. It will change. Yet I think that statement could be said about a lot of other communities as well.

 It is December, and last week while shopping, we saw people in convertibles with the tops down, people in shorts, flip flops, even people outside standing at the grill. An unreasonably mid 60s for the month that is supposed to be filled with snowflakes, snowmen, hot chocolate, fireplaces, and flannel pjs. This week, we got a cold snap, but still no snow in the forecast; just mid 50s at the end of the week.

Our street is decked out with giant ornaments hanging off the sign posts, seasonal jazz music fills the weekends; storefronts have Santa hats, frosted windows, cutout snowflakes and more holiday glamour. Our house has an unnatural cut, almost perfect cone of a pine tree, simply decorated with lights and ribbons and a fancy watering pipe so we don't have to crawl under the tree every day. A few of the windows have ornaments, garland or lights of some combo adorning it. Our television takes over as the holiday fireplace (with no heat output). Stockings hanging off a string where a mantel should be, finishes out the living room. Christmas is coming.

Living on Cherokee Street, the weekend is filled with shoppers of all ages, wandering through the antique and unique stores. Every year, for a long while, Cherokee has hosted a Cookie Swap. The street was packed on a cool crispy day. A trolley with live music on it went back and forth on Cherokee. Carolers roamed the street stopping at each store. A band gathered a small crowd in font of another store as the blasted smooth tunes. Kids holding bags full of cookies just a like they would have a month ago at Halloween. Two days this Swap happened. Just another reason my wife and I love living on Cherokee Street.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Our House

We live in a three bedroom apartment above a vintage clothing store. The apartment has an itty-bitty kitchen and an even smaller dinning room. It has a very large living room, some original doors and molding and a front sun room (we call "the craft room" or "the guest room") with a beautiful green marble fireplace. If we open up the windows on a breezy day we can hear the record player from the record shop across the street.

Our building is over 100 years old. Originally, the downstairs used to be a Pharmacy and Clinic. The doctor and the pharmacist lived in the residential parts of the lot. Sometimes I imagine the doctor lived or had his practice in our apartment.

The woman who lives next door to us has lived on this corner her entire life. It has gone through many transitions, but is getting a lot of TLC and is puttering away at re-living it's former glory.

John and I want to share our awkward hearts of hospitality with you. Welcome to our home. Welcome to our neighborhood. Welcome to Cherokee Street. :)

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Beginning.

 Sarah and I met back in 2013, just before a St. Louis summer was to heat up. She was a house mom for teenage girls, I worked at a banquet hall. She enjoyed musicals, the arts, city life and small town living. I grew up watching musicals, came from artsy family, wanted to live in the city but grew up in a small town. We both had experiences the other did not; and we both had similarities that we appreciated about the other. Our first summer was filled with dates to almost every free thing in St. Louis. Not to say I was a cheap date, rather the Lou is filled with many wonderful adventures that don't cost a lot.
 Our first date took place on a Food Truck Friday evening in Tower Grove Park. To me, it looked like the largest neighborhood picnic one may cram into a beautiful park. Food trucks lined the winding street that ran through the park, a band blaring their tunes near the pavilion, lines of people waiting to taste the latest creations of the traveling caravan of trucks, pickup games of football and catch in the open fields behind the crowds of people sitting, laying and enjoying their meals on extra large blankets. I didn't meet her there. It was after she finished her own picnic with friends, that she met me at the corner of Grand and Arsenal.
 I was sitting there waiting for her, doodling lines and curves, mimicking the building across the street. As strangers in person, we felt like we knew each other with all the many hours of emailing, texting and phone calls over the last month. We exchanged introductions briefly, smiled and walked over to get ice cream for dessert. Our first date had begun and it lasted until two in the morning as we walked Tower Grove until dusk, sat outside a closed restaurant on Grand until midnight and then at Uncle Bill's with second dessert until we both agreed it was late and had to go home. Sarah and I talked about anything. Not one 'long pause awkward moment' filled our evening together. It was a very pleasant and almost a natural first date, if there could ever be one in the history of first dates. Just about a year and half later, we were married under the changing leaves of fall, a season we both love.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Welcome to Cherokee Street!

Cherokee Street is an old street. It is an artistic street. It has a mix of stores, vendors, restaurants and residents; walkable, bike-able, fun to visit and even live on. Impromptu bands strike up a chord and march up and down the street just for the enjoyment of the people. Dogs and their walkers roam the neighborhoods around Cherokee Street, barking up a storm trying to make new friends. Cherokee Street is the main street, a parade route, a quiet street, the business district. Cherokee Street is where we live, where we can see us growing a family and being neighbors. This is Life on Cherokee.