Monday, December 15, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Foam promises to resurrect something St. Louis hasn't really had since Gaslight Square: an ultrahip coffeehouse music venue
|Photograph by Rachel Brandt|
Let's get one thing straight about Foam before we begin, shall we? According to owner Mike Glodeck, there are two kinds of coffee joints: coffee shops and coffeehouses, and Foam is definitely the latter.
"There are a lot of coffee shops in St. Louis and very few coffeehouses," says Glodeck. "Everybody wants to be in a place where people come and hang out all day long—to provide an inviting atmosphere. I'm very much a host. When I throw parties, I'm meticulous about the lighting, the music." Indeed, Glodeck has been making mix CDs to play in the coffeehouse for more than a year, and the space isn't even wired for a stereo system yet.
You might ask: How could anyone hang out at a coffeehouse all day long? Here's the thing: The "foam" here refers not only to the poof of dairy atop your latte, but also to the froth that crowns a good pour of beer. The basement of Foam will house a microbrewery run by a mysterious gentleman from O'Fallon, Ill., who has been putting on an Oktoberfest for many years now, featuring all his own concoctions. "We'll be doing a lot of unique and seasonal beers," says Glodeck, "which will be available only on tap at Foam."
And Glodeck intends for Foam to function as a music venue, too. "There are some pretty cool bands in St. Louis right now," he says. "I'd love to foster and see more of that and give them an opportunity. If somebody wants to come in and play on a Tuesday and do a solo deal and come back with a full band on Saturday, I'd let them work out their material." He's quick to dissipate the stereotype of the angsty, guitar-strumming coffeehouse staple (will any of us ever forget the Phoebe Buffay classic "Smelly Cat"?), emphasizing that bands of all stripes will be welcome at Foam. Glodeck is, as it turns out, quite the music fan. A native of the Detroit area (home of Motown Records, the MC5 and the garage rock scene that birthed the White Stripes, among others), Glodeck says it's "painful" for him to read about bands he loves being on tour and watching them completely bypass St. Louis.
Glodeck envisions Foam as a "third place," meaning a place in addition to home and work that people frequent as the center of their social community.
"I don't think anyone in St. Louis is doing what I'm doing with Foam," he continues. "It's going to be unique." No doubt, no matter what your foamy beverage preference is, there will be something worthwhile to bring you down to Foam, whether it's a band, a home-brewed beer or just a cup of joe to drink while you work on that novel. And undoubtedly the soundtrack, over a year in the making, will rock your socks off.
Foam is located at 3359 S. Jefferson, in the Benton Park neighborhood; find it at myspace.com/foamstl.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Here's a super secret shot I snapped at the shoot.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Sunday, September 07, 2008
A couple of things you notice while looking at the pictures. 1) Their perspective is so low. You forget that they see the world from a much lower vantage point than adults. 2) People behave differently to a 3 year old photographer. Many people, myself included, run from a camera. However, when a toddler is snapping shots you feel comfortable acting goofy thereby providing images that wouldn't otherwise be captured. 3) I love digital cameras. They are so convenient, but film is much more magical. The cheap disposables actually leak a lot of light giving you wonderfully unpredictable shots.
I'm not posting any pictures containing faces in order to protect the innocent, but trust me when I say that there are some special shots that really capture some people I love. Here are the best of the rest.
Friday, August 01, 2008
It's going to be a busy September and won't be slowing down much afterwards either.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Given this preference I wasn't all that excited about going door-to-door soliciting signatures for my liquor license petition. Knocking on the doors of strangers isn't my idea of fun. And while it may not have been fun it sure was interesting.
It's possible to hire a company that solicits signatures for you. Primarily through a mailing campaign which seems really impersonal. It was suggested by my alderman that I beat the street for my own signatures. It turned out to be a great experience.
For the most part people were happy to see me and sign my petition. People seemed to fall into 2 categories. Longtime residents who are happy to see new things going in or new residents who moved in because of the potential on Cherokee. There were a handful, and certainly a minority of people and businesses, who refused to sign. Some people said they'd be happy to come to my place but that they were concerned with the gentrification of the area. That one was difficult to fully digest. One business owner admitted a history with alcohol that prevented them from signing. It wasn't clear if it was this particular person or maybe a family member with the history. I can't really disparage them for not signing.
Most people were excited. They'd seen work happening on the building and were anxious to find out what is going in there. I was invited into some houses and introduced around. A couple of people went out of their way to get me in contact with some of the others on my list who didn't happen to be around when I showed up. One property owner in particular who doesn't live in the building they own asked me to leave a petition with a neighbor so she could come down and pick it up. She brought it to her husband who, I later found out, is very ill. She mailed it back to me with the signatures and a little note wishing me good luck on my new adventure.
Some of the doors I knocked on were answered by people who obviously weren't expecting a stranger. Doors were answered by women in tears. One woman was nursing a baby. One man was in a towel. All of these people, while they were being inconvenienced, agreed to sign.
All in all it forced me to meet people I otherwise may not have met and I think it'll make my business and hopefully in turn the neighborhood stronger.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Foam is getting closer and closer to becoming a reality. Things are falling into place the way I hoped it would and as the space is built out I realize there is less I have to explain to people as I take them through the building. I used to say "and imagine a wall here and this will be the bathroom". Now I just say "this is the bathroom".
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
The new Greektown Casino under construction.
Street performers and artists kept the street feeling lively.
The stylish new spaces combined with the historic old places make the area feel really interesting.
Next up a review of my Sunday morning trip to Hamtramck.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
My sister, a new Mom!, bought my son a couple of these mini Automoblox cars. They are cars with wooden parts and windshields and wheels that you can take a part and rearrange and combine with other Automoblox. I'm really glad these didn't exist when I worked in a cubicle. I'd be killing large chunks of time playing with these. Great design. Super stylish. On the "Making of a Parent" scale I give them a thumbs up/A+/5 star rating. I think Nate might like playing with them too.
Monday, March 10, 2008
As soon as the movie ended my wife said "What are they gonna call the sequel? Twice?" She's funny.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Thursday, January 31, 2008
I had a sketch of the finished product and painted the drawers whatever was the lightest dominant color on the drawer.
I taped off the pattern and painted the next darkest color. In some cases it was three coats.
After the painting was finished and tape removed I took a very fine sandpaper and sanded in a single direction on each part to soften the finish coat a little. I then rubbed in a light stain to soften the finish and add a patina.
A couple of coats of lacquer and Viola! Urban chic. I decided to keep the original hardware with its original finish. It added to the aged appearance. You can have old hardware replated in a satin nickel or some such finish to make it appear newer.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
And here is a mock up of the logo as a mural on the building...
Monday, January 28, 2008
Once again I have pulled together a list of some of my favorite tracks of the previous year and put them in a mix to hand out to friends. In some instances I may have picked tracks that weren't my absolute favorite, but the track I selected fit better in the mix and I liked it a lot anyway. While a track like Rehab from Amy Winehouse was one I listened to a lot last year there wasn't any point in putting it on the mix since everyone else heard it as well. Besides, Amy's backing band is on track 4 anyway.
I think the album I listened to most last year was probably Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga by Spoon and the track I listened to most was most likely Unless It's Kicks by Okkervil River. If you want a copy let me know and I'll see if I have any lying around. I'm working on Favorites of 2008 already. We'll see where Cat Power falls next January after it's been out a year.
1. All Smiles - Summer Stay
2. The Avett Brothers - Die Die Die
3. Okkervil River - Unless It's Kicks
4. Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings - 100 Days, 100 Nights
5. Andrew Bird - Imitosis
6. Blonde Redhead - 23
7. Elvis Perkins - While You Were Sleeping
8. Dr. Dog - My Old Ways
9. Spoon - The Underdog
10. Hotpipes - Song for the Late Riser
11. Jose Gonzalez - Killing for Love
12. Iron and Wine - The Devil Never Sleeps
13. Theodore - Down River Blues
14. We All Have Hooks for Hands - The Man Trying to Outfox Us All
15. The National - Apartment Story
16. The Shins - Turn On Me
17. Saturday Looks Good To Me - (even if you die on the) ocean
18. The White Stripes - It's My Fault for Being Famous