While on a short business trip to St. Louis this week I was riding in a taxi to my room at the Westin Hotel (very nice accommodations and staff service, I would rate them with a "4.5") my driver was listening to a black (aka African-American -- February is Black History Month after all) talk radio host's program.
Now this was the day after the Super Bowl so the radio host was focused on how late in the year the Super Bowl is now played (February 5th) versus years ago when it was in mid-January each year. The radio host made the comment that -- "this is Black History Month, which is already the shortest month of the year so we only have 28 days this year to celebrate our heritage but now we have to share a day with the Super Bowl. We already have to give up a day to Valentine's Day every year.............." -- this comment was offered in a very humorous tone which had the taxi driver (ebony guy) and myself (ivory guy) laughing out loud in "perfect harmony" -- apologies to McCartney and Wonder :)
As for St. Louis itself the Westin Hotel is located directly across the street from the new St. Louis Cardinals' baseball stadium which looks like a great project but beyond that let me offer these observations:
- International Bowling Hall of Fame -- while walking around my hotel area I noticed this building but they were closed on Mondays. However a staff member let me enter to grab a brochure and see the lobby, http://www.bowlingmuseum.com
- Kemolis -- this Italian restaurant opened in St. Louis in 1927. I had an excellent meal consisting of various appetizers (go with the fried artichoke hearts!!), a portabello salad, and beef tips over risotto. Now this is a rare rating but I have to award them my top honor of a "5". Visitors to St. Louis should plan to eat here.
- Urban Renewal -- I wish the downtown development entity would hire me to give them some ideas for redeveloping the area but here are some freebies to get them started; 1.) Promote the Bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition. I did not see any evidence the city even knew this historic celebration is happening. 2.) Work with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to develop their "Main Street" program on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis, http://www.mainstreet.org
Overall, a pleasant trip to St. Louis which I have not seen since my early teenage years but they need some gentrification.