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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

You Can Support “SNAP 2 It Double Bucks” Program to Bring Healthy Foods to Families in Need

4 Days Left to Donate to SNAP 2 IT Double Bucks!

While our very own North City Farmers’ Market prides itself on providing healthy produce at affordable prices, many of our patrons on SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or more commonly known as Food Stamps) still find the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables prohibitive. In an effort to address this, we’ve partnered with many other regional farmers’ markets and Saint Louis University’s Department of Nutrition and Dietetics to bring a unique concept called Double Bucks to the North City Farmers’ Market.

Currently, our market has an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) machine so our low-income shoppers can spend their SNAP benefits at our vendors’ booths. A patron comes to the information booth, runs their card through the machine, and is given coins to be spent at the market. The coins can be used at any market day, so if a person does not spend them all in one day, they can come back and spend them the following Saturday.

Here’s how Double Bucks works: A patron using SNAP benefits comes to the North City Farmers’ Market and runs their card through the EBT machine.  Let’s say they run their card for $10. Under Double Bucks, they immediately receive an additional $10, thus doubling their purchasing power at the market!

This is not an experimental concept. Double Bucks programs exist throughout the United States. This program has been in operation for only a few years but has been enormously successful at markets in Kansas City and Detroit, helping low-income shoppers gain access to healthy and affordable fruits and vegetables and helping markets grow and expand. In just a few years the Beans and Greens program in Kansas City grew from 2 markets taking SNAP to over $150,000 in double bucks at 15 markets! By bringing this to the North City Farmers’ Market, our shoppers will be able to purchase more fresh fruits and vegetables and our vendors will see an increase in sales. Everybody wins.

To launch and sustain the Double Bucks program in St. Louis, we’ve created an Indiegogo campaign to help us fund this new endeavor. You can show your support by donating here at Snap 2 It! Help us reach our goal of $3,000 by August 15th!
AND, NOW WE NEED YOUR HELP TO GET TO THE FINISH LINE…
We are 75% of the way there and it’s time for that last push. We need to earn $750 by this Friday August 15th to reach our Indiegogo Campaign Goal. SNAP 2 IT will help North City Farmers’ Market patrons using EBT increase their spending power. This will benefit patrons who’ve found the cost of produce to be inhibiting and it will benefit our vendors who will enjoy more revenue and more visitors to the North City Farmers’ Market.

Your support will help our market grow and it will help many residents of Old North gain improved access to fresh and healthy food at an affordable price.  Click HERE to go to SNAP 2 IT! Double bucks program for food stamps to donate and learn more. And remember, the market has 10 more Saturdays for you to come and get some delicious food, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. right in the heart of Old North, at Crown Square!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

THIS EVENING (Wed., July 16): Opening Reception for Sylvester Jacobs Photography Exhibit at ONSLRG Gallery

Please join us this evening (Wednesday, July 16) for the opening of our latest exhibit at the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group Gallery (adjacent to the ONSLRG office), 2700 N. 14th Street.  The exhibit entitled ”We Are of the Same Essence” features the photography of Sylvester Jacobs.  Sylvester has been capturing images of the people of the community and various neighborhood events that reflect the character and spirit of Old North for many years now.  This new exhibit will include just a sample of Sylvester’s collection.

The opening of the exhibit coincides with the latest installment of the “So Reel” film & discussion series, a collaboration between Old North St. Louis Restoration Group and YWCA of Greater St. Louis.  This month’s topic is “Healing Racism Through the Arts.” That program will start with a brief video at 6 p.m., which will be followed by a discussion.

A reception from 7:30-9 p.m. will follow the program.  The program is free and open to the public. All are welcome, including residents of Old North and friends of the community, and anyone interested in the topic and / or just curious about the exhibit.  Sylvester Jacobs will be present to share his thoughts about the exhibit and looks forward to the chance to engage in conversation about his work and the vibrant and diverse community reflected in his exhibit.

The program is generously supported by Regional Arts CommissionArts & Education Council, and Missouri Humanities Council.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

North City Farmers’ Market Just Days Away

This Saturday, June 7th, is the first market day for North City Farmers’ Market. With almost 20 vendors lined up, face-painting, juggling, live music from Confluence Academy Choir, and hula hoop classes, it’ll practically be a festival!

We have produce from several small local farms and gardens, including GardenVille, Fresh Starts, and Old North’s very own 13th Street Community Garden. But it’s not just fruit and veggies; La Mancha will be selling coffee and pastries, Bridge Bread will have a diverse line-up of breads (think sourdough, whole wheat, brioche), and Confluence Artisan Goods will have lots of fermented goodies (sauerkraut, anyone?). Also, there’ll be plenty of unique arts and crafts from several Old North entrepreneurs.

Bring friends and the whole family. Remember:

Saturdays from June through October

Crown Square

10AM - 1PM

SNAP/EBT accepted!

The weather forecast calls for high 70s with a chance of showers. Perfect temperature for some outdoor shopping. And those showers will wash your veggies for you!

Follow us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/North-City-Farmers-Market/129815293783

Or read our blog at: http://northcityfarmersmarket.blogspot.com/

Contact Claire: 314-241-5031×104 for more info.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

The Arts Are Flourishing - & Growing - in Old North

This weekend will provide another example of the thriving arts scene in Old North when the event space for Firecracker Press (& their nonprofit affiliate, Central Print) plays host to two performances of Gonne/Yeats.  The “literary cabaret” by Dennis M. Corcoran and Jaz Dorsey will take place at 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 24, and again at 5 p.m. on Sunday, May 25.

The hour-long performance tells the story of one of the world’s foremost poets, William Butler Yeats, and Maude Gonne, an Irish rebel who inspired much of his poetry.  Tickets are $5 and available for purchase at the door, 2612 N. 14th Street.

For further details, click here or on the playbill below.

Last weekend’s Old North House & Community Tour included STL Improv Anywhere performers offering tours of an imaginary house on Benton Street…

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And we’re thrilled to report TWO NEW CROWN SQUARE LEASES

  • BUILDING FUTURES AT 2617 N. 14th STREET

Building Futures will soon be offering classes and other programming related to teaching young people the skills of designing and building furniture and other functional works of art at 2617 N. 14th Street (in the space shown in the photo below).

As the flyer above notes, summer programs for middle and high school students will be starting as early as June 9.  For registration information, send an email to info@building-futures.org, call 314-241-7222, or visit www.building-futures.org.

  • URBARTS AT 2600 N. 14th STREET

With a grand opening scheduled for June 21, UrbArts will be offering a variety of spoken word events and other programs at the corner commercial space at 2600 N. 14th Street (as shown in the photo below).

In the announcement about their plans to open in Crown Square, as posted on their website, UrbArts founder and director M. K. Stallings noted that “Beyond producing art that entertains, UrbArts intends to continue producing art that empowers.”  And, in a statement from Aireez DaRychuss, UrbArts Board President, he made it clear that UrbArts will channel that creative energy into support for Old North’s ongoing improvements: “We plan to contribute to the revitalization efforts within the neighborhood through community-building programs based arts and culture.”

For more on UrbArts and to read the full announcement about their plans for their space at Crown Square, click HERE.

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Monday, May 19, 2014

THANK YOU! to All Who Made Our 2014 Old North St. Louis House & Community Tour a Great Success

On Saturday, May 17, we celebrated all that is good about community - and we had a great time sharing the vibrancy of Old North with a few hundred of our closest friends, families, colleagues, and a lot of other visitors we didn’t know before Saturday.

If you couldn’t join us on Saturday, please take a look at some of the images from throughout the day that we’ve posted to our album on the Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group Facebook page.  You can see full size images by clicking HERE or on any of the images below.

To take a look at all of these photos in full-size, click HERE.

Thank you again to all who made Saturday such a great experience!  We especially want to thank all of our staff and board members, including Travis Sheridan as leader of the planning committee, who put in a great deal of time Saturday and long before the big day; all of our volunteers; and all of the people who opened their homes, businesses, or community gardens to our visitors.  Thank you also to PNC Bank, our lead sponsor, as Tour Presenter, and other Tour Sponsors, Commerce Bank, Duffe Nuernberger Realty/ND&S Management, Equifax, Husch Blackwell LLP, Raven Development/American Bank, and U.S.Bank.
Friday, May 16, 2014

Old North House & Community Tour: More Reasons to Attend than a Top 10 List Can Contain

If you haven’t started yet, time is running out to start spreading the news that TOMORROW, Saturday, May 17th, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. is our annual celebration of all that is enriching, inspirational, sustainable and just plain cool about living in walkable, bikeable, transit-friendly, diverse, historic neighborhoods; or, in simpler terms: the Old North House & Community Tour.

For a limited time only - the rest of today, to be precise - you can get your tickets for the advance ticket price of just $10.  Click HERE to get your tickets now.

We’ve posted numerous reasons for attending this tour already, but we now offer the following highlights, in no particular order:

AWARDS, AWARDS, and more AWARDS in this Award-Winning Neighborhood

Come see what all of the buzz is about and why so many unbiased, outside observers have deemed Old North and various components of the community here to be worthy of special recognition and awards.

Old North has more Landmarks Association “Most Enhanced Awards for Excellence in Historic Preservation” per acre, per capita, or per total number of buildings than just about any other neighborhood in St. Louis.  As reported here a couple days ago, the most recent Landmarks award in Old North has yet to be presented but has been announced.  Come on out Saturday to see the incredible work done on the insides of 1303 North Market, one of the projects that will be recognized with a “Most Enhanced” Award by Landmarks on May 22.

Other properties that have won Landmarks awards will also be on this year’s tour, including 1408 Wright Street and spaces at Crown Square, which received a “Most Enhanced” Award in 2010 for the project as a whole.

Crown Square also won a National Trust for Historic Preservation / HUD Secretary’s Award for Overall Excellence in Historic Preservation in 2010, a Missouri Preservation “McReynolds Award” for historic preservation in 2011, and a J. Timothy Anderson Award from the National Housing & Rehabilitation Association.

The biggest award, however, came from U.S. EPA, which presented Old North with their National 2011 Overall Excellence Award for Smart Growth Achievement.  Old North is the only neighborhood to receive this distinction in the entire Midwest. The only only other overall award-winner in the Midwest was the whole greater Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area in 2006.

Other awards for the comprehensive revitalization in progress around here have come from East-West Gateway Council of Governments (just last year for public-nonprofit collaboration), U.S. Green Building Council -Missouri Gateway Chapter (also in 2013), American Society of Landscape Architects, St. Louis Chapter (their Civic Stewardship Award in 2011), and Focus St. Louis (with a What’s Right with the Region Award in 2007).

And, did we mention the FREE ICE CREAM?  All ticket-holding tour-goers will receive a free cup of ice cream, courtesy of Crown Candy Kitchen - but being distributed at the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group Gallery.

And a FREE CUP OF COFFEE for all ticket-holding tour-goers from La Mancha Coffeehouse.

SPOTLIGHT ON CROWN SQUARE BUSINESSES

In addition to an incredible variety of relatively new and historically-rehabbed homes, apartments, and gardens throughout Old North, the tour also will feature businesses in Old North, including Blackmun Footcare and Firecracker Press.

OLD NORTH’S FIRST “LITTLE FREE LIBRARY” in Wingmann Park

As reported here on May 14, this Saturday will mark the official opening of our new Old North Little Free Library in Wingmann Park (along the 1400 block of Wright Street), which also will be one of the stops on the tour.

Environmentally-Friendly SHUTTLES to Transport you between tour stops

This year our shuttle options will include pedi-cabs from St. Louis 3-Wheel Taxi (as shown in our post from Wednesday the 12th) and electric-powered golf carts from St. Louis Golf Cars.

MEET CHARLOTTE

Our post from earlier today introduced Charlotte Harris (click HERE if you missed that).  But, just a reminder now that Saturday will be a great chance to stop by to meet Charlotte and welcome her to ONSLRG.

We’ve got everything set and ready to go - all we need is YOU.  Get your tickets now at the advance-ticket prices by clicking HERE (or on the image below) or by stopping by the ONSLRG office before 5 p.m. today.

And, as noted above, you can always pick up tickets on the day of the tour between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at St. Louis Avenue and North 14th Street.  We look forward to seeing you here!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Don’t Worry & Be Happy: the Weather Will Be Fantastic for Old North House & Community Tour Saturday

We’ve had a lot of rain lately - and some cool temperatures in the past day or so, but Saturday will be a beautiful day for the Old North House & Community Tour.  If you don’t believe us, take a look at the forecast from the iPhone weather app people:

Now that we’ve got the weather all cleared up, there’s no excuse for not showing up to take a pleasant stroll through “one of the country’s best revitalization stories” (as Kaid Benfield of the Natural Resources Defense Council described Old North a few years ago).  So, get your tickets now by clicking HERE or stop by the ONSLRG office at 2700 N. 14th Street, St. Louis, MO 63106.  If you can’t get them today, tickets will still be available on Saturday at St. Louis Avenue & N. 14th Street for the day-of price of $12 each.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Come Out Saturday to Old North House & Community Tour to Meet Charlotte Harris, ONSLRG’s New Receptionist

Thanks to the AARP Senior Community Service Employment Program, Old North resident Charlotte Harris is now working as Old North St. Louis Restoration Group’s receptionist, providing much needed help with a broad range of tasks.  Charlotte, who lives just two blocks away from the ONSLRG office, learned about the program while working at our 13th Street Community Garden.

Please join us in welcoming Charlotte to ONSLRG!  A great opportunity to stop by the office to meet Charlotte will be on Saturday during the Old North House & Community Tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Charlotte will be staffing the front desk throughout the day and will be happy to greet you.

To get your tickets for the tour for the advance ticket price of just $10, stop by the office TODAY or purchase them online by clicking HERE. If you can’t get your tickets today, you still can join us on the day of the tour when tickets will be sold for $12 each at the registration booth at the southwest corner of North 14th Street and St. Louis Avenue.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Landmarks Award Will Celebrate Phenomenal Transformation of 1303 North Market - Yet Another Cool Site to See at Old North House & Community Tour

We are happy to share the great news that Landmarks Association of St. Louis has selected 1303 North Market as a winner of one of their 2014 Most Enhanced Awards for Excellence in Historic Preservation!  Congratulations to the Lane Family for the many years of hard work, creativity, and determination to make that transformation possible.  As Landmarks Association’s Executive Director, Andrew Weil, put it: “It is an awesome project.”

As cool as the garden space along the eastern side of the building is, the interior of the former abandoned warehouse building demonstrates what can happen when creative people have the freedom to take something others considered unusable and re-shape it to suit their style and needs. The before and after shots below are just a sample of what the Lanes have been able to accomplish at 1303 North Market.

The award from Landmarks will be presented to the Lanes on May 22, but YOU can get first-hand views of this home THIS SATURDAY, May 17 when 1303 North Market will be one of the 17 sites on this year’s Old North House & Community Tour.

For tickets to the Landmarks reception and award ceremony at the Sun Theater on Thursday, May 22, click HERE to purchase them online.  The reception includes food and drinks and lasts from 6:00 until 7:00 with the Award ceremony to follow.

On the topic of Landmarks “Most Enhanced Award”-winning properties, another home that received this award a couple years ago will also be open for this year’s tour.  The two-family residential building at 1408 Wright Street has been on the tour before, but this year the home features a completely different style that represents the building’s new occupants who moved into Old North last year.

Across the street from 1408 Wright is another product of Graham Lane’s creative hands that will also be on display at the Old North House & Community Tour this Saturday: the neighborhood’s first Little Free Library, which was installed today in Wingmann Park.  Graham converted an old safe into the box which will hold the books that will be free to take and return on an honor system.  Old North’s resident metal-smith, Janet Sanders, will soon complete fabrication of a new door for the box so that the library can be fully stocked by Old North’s resident librarian, Gina Sheridan, in time for its grand opening on Saturday.

Old North’s Little Free Library is part of an international movement to bring books and other reading materials to communities that don’t have full-fledged libraries.  As described on the LittleFreeLibrary.org website, a little free library is “a ‘take a book, return a book’ gathering place where neighbors share their favorite literature and stories. In its most basic form, a Little Free Library is a box full of books where anyone may stop by and pick up a book (or two) and bring back another book to share.”

But wait, there’s more…

In addition to getting a chance to visit the Little Free Library and all of the award-winning homes, gardens, businesses on the tour, visitors with tickets to the tour will be able to stop by La Mancha Coffeehouse at 2800 N. 14th Street for a free cup of coffee before heading down to the ONSLRG Gallery for a free cup of Crown Candy ice cream.

To take advantage of the advance ticket price of only $10 for a home & community tour unlike any other in St. Louis, get your tickets now by clicking HERE.  Tickets will also be available at the ONSLRG office between now and Saturday.  Tickets can also be purchased on the day of the tour for $12.

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Monday, May 12, 2014

5 Days to Go: Still Time to Buy Tickets & Recruit Others to Join You at Old North House & Community Tour

We’re down to the final 5 days, so time is running out to get your tickets at the advance ticket price of only $10 for the Old North House & Community Tour, scheduled for Saturday, May 17 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.  Click HERE to purchase your tickets online now.

This year’s tour features a chance to get inside views of an eclectic mix of homes, businesses, and gardens, some of which are shown below, as well as in our previous post.

Although each of the 17 stops on the tour would be worth a visit on their own, the Old North House & Community Tour showcases more than distinctive but scattered places.   Our tour allows visitors an opportunity to see how all of these pieces fit together to create a vibrant community in the midst of dynamic, positive transformation.

While you’re in the neighborhood for the Old North House & Community Tour, be sure to visit the two stl250 cakes in Old North, in honor of our city’s 250th birthday.  Above: the stl250 cake in front of Crown Candy Kitchen. By the way, it’s worth noting that, once again, Crown Candy will be donating ice cream to ONSLRG to distribute to ticket-holding attendees of the tour.

The second stl250 cake can be found in front of the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group office.

Speaking of public art, Jamaica Ray’s mannequins will most likely be hanging out somewhere in the vicinity of St. Louis Avenue and N. 14th Street, while Jamaica Ray himself will probably be playing his steel drums somewhere nearby or riding his bike along N. 14th Street (see below).

Among the other sites to admire along the street: the recently completed pocket park / garden at 2709 N. 14th Street (above), made possible with funding support from Equifax Foundation, design work by St. Louis ArtWorks apprentices, volunteer labor from Scottrade and Equifax employees, and oversight by Rebuilding Together St. Louis.

And, as with every visit to Old North, a leisurely stroll along the streets of the neighborhood provides multiple occasions to pause and appreciate the rich architectural character of the building stock that gives Old North an authentic sense of place.

However, if you’d rather catch a ride along the tour route or from one tour stop to the next, we’ll provide a couple of different, environmentally friendly shuttle options: golf cart shuttles and pedicabs from St. Louis 3-Wheel Taxi (see below).

So now it’s just a matter of getting your tickets - and rounding up as many friends as you can to join you in Old North this coming Saturday, May 17.  Click HERE or on the image below to buy your tickets online.

If you’d like to purchase advance tickets in person, stop by the ONSLRG office at 2700 N. 14th Street between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. the rest of this week.  For more information or to volunteer to help with the tour, give us a call at 314-241-5031 or send an email to info@onsl.org.

WHAT'S NEW IN OLD NORTH

Welcome to the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group's blog. What's New in Old North chronicles the dramatic transformation under way in the neighborhood of Old North St. Louis. As a neighborhood just north of Downtown St. Louis, Old North is becoming a dynamic urban village of new and historic homes, a landmark eating establishment, beautiful community gardens, and a diverse, friendly, and engaged community.

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