Saturday, August 12, 2006

Painting the World

Today was the day that the youth of St Mark's, with lots of help from adults and younger children, painted a map of the world on the playground of Scrugg's School. Scruggs is an elementary school in south Saint Louis, more or less due east of the church. We have at least one parishioner who attended Scruggs (probably 50 years ago) and we have a parishioner who teaches there. Over the years we've tried to support the work of this teacher and she helps us to learn about the lives of the children in the school. A few years ago, our Outreach Committee partnered with Faith Beyond Walls, an agency which tries to encourage people of different races and faith traditions to work together, to paint a map of the US on the otherwise rather bare and barren playground. This year, a new generation of youth group got a small grant from Faith Beyond Walls intended to encourage youth groups to engage in ministries of service in the community. And with the money they bought a stencil of the world and a bunch of bright and new paint. So today St Markans touched up the US and painted the world. Three children from the neighborhood stopped by, as they had a few years ago, to see what we were doing and to help. Kids at Scruggs come from all over the world, including Bosnia, Somalia, and Afghanistan, so a map of the world is probably a good thing to have. Parishioners donated some jump ropes and balls and things to the athletic department for playground use and I think there was enough paint left over to paint squares for hopscotch. Anyway, here are a bunch of pictures of people at work and of their handiwork. Anna recruited four of her friends from Metro, so that St Louis School grads were doing something for a new generation of SLPS kids. Something odd is happening with the photo uploading. Blogger keeps saying I have done it successfully but no photos appear. Be patient I'll add them soon.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Coffee, coffee and paper

A friend brought me to the Saint Louis Coffee Oasis at 8 Euclid Street, which is at Euclid just north of Laclede. With luck you can park on Laclede. It has lovely decor, a wonderful whimsical painted wall with a camel saying "I'd walk miles for coffee from St Louis Coffee Oasis" or something similar. They have traditional espresso drinks and then Arabic coffee in various permutations, including an Arabic Latte which has wonderful spices in it. Today Anna had Arabic Tea which seemed to be infused with sage and other herbs and was served in a lovely gold trimmed tea glass (which is a little hard to hold when hot.) They put the Latte in a big glass but you get a Java jacket. They also have many different kinds of baklava and other Middle Eastern treats and lunches including Spinach Pie and Gyros. They advertize Free High Speed internet but I have not tried this. It looks as if this may be wired not wireless since there are little ethernet sockets along the wall, but I'm not sure. They also have tables outside, as many Central West End restaurants do, but with temperatures again in the high nineties or low hundreds, the attraction of sitting outside was rather limited for me.

On Sara and Laclede, over in that area on the fringes between Saint Louis University and the Central West End, there is a newish (year old?) coffee house called 6 North. It is 6 North Sarah. It is in a big new building of "loft style" apartments. The decor is lovely, they have some fabulous artwork including lovely luminous landscapes and huge watercolors of exotic plants. They have comfy chairs as well as tables. The ladies' room (and I assume, mutatis mutandis, the men's room) is decorative with witty sayings about coffee like "Behind every great woman there is a great cup of coffee." They serve Kaldi's coffee. I almost always prefer my coffee drinks hot but one day last week I succumbed to an icy granita like mocha drink there which was absolutely delicious. I have never actually had anything to eat there, but they have a list of enticing sandwiches and a display of delightful pastries.

Next to 6 North is a wonderful paper store called Sage Papers. They have cards, little notebooks an array of social stationary you can put through your printer (make your own cute baby announcements, for example), some lovely art paper or wrapping paper and much more. They also have elegant French correspondence cards marked GL which I am unable to resist. Lovely powder blue, lovely lined envelopes. They had wonderful paper boxes you can use for distinctive present wrapping or decorating. They also had whacky coasters that looked like flipflops.

And did I mention that all this is across the street from the wonderful restaurant Terrene which I believe I raved about here a few months ago. When Mo and Anna were at Metro, we drove up and down Sarah all th time and all this elegant and interesting stuff has sprung up there now we no longer spend so much time in the neighborhood. Oh well.