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Archive for November, 2012

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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Support Small Businesses to Build Strong Neighborhoods

We don’t need a lot of research to convince us that locally-owned, independent businesses are good for building vibrant and healthy neighborhoods — all you have to do is walk in the front door of almost any small business and strike up a conversation with the person behind the counter, who also is likely to be the owner, to appreciate the value of one-of-a-kind businesses and their contributions to the local character.  However, if you need good, solid research to get you to support our great wealth of local businesses we have in St. Louis (and Old North, in particular), then take a look at the study after study after study from places all over the country (such as Salt Lake City; Portland, Maine; New Orleans; Grand Rapids; and San Francisco) that offer evidence that local businesses are beneficial to their communities.  And, according to various studies collected by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, communities that have strong local business sectors are healthier, wealthier, and wiser.  (Click HERE for the Institute for Local Self-Reliance’s report on the topic.)

In recognition of all of the above, this first Saturday of the holiday shopping season is being promoted as “Small Business Saturday.”  And in that spirit, we encourage all residents and friends of Old North to show your support for the entrepreneurs who have established their businesses in Old North.  Please note that 100% of the businesses at Crown Square, in the heart of Old North, are locally owned, small businesses, as is the case throughout the neighborhood, with the exception of a fast-food restaurant and a gas station along the edge of the neighborhood.

To make it easier to find the small business to serve your needs, we have prepared a map and directory of the small businesses and non-profits within the Crown Square area of Old North.   Click HERE to download a copy that you can print and take with you.  If you’re out and around on Small Business Saturday, please stop in at one of the following Crown Square businesses that will be open today:

Closet Repeats, 2603 N. 14th Street

And if you get a chance to see the owners of any of these businesses,such as Yvonne Reed of Closet Repeats, be sure to thank them for being in Old North.

And if you get a chance to see the owners of any of these businesses,such as Yvonne Reed of Closet Repeats, be sure to thank them for being in Old North.

The Racq Salon & Spa, 2605 N. 14th Street

Rambles Gift Gallery & Boutique, 2611 N. 14th Street

Therapy Boutique, 2717 N. 14th Street

Therapy's owner, Ebony Wilson, indicated that she'll offer a 15% discount on select items for Small Business Saturday; if you don't see any signs or tags for this, tell her you were heard about it on the ONSL blog.

Therapy's owner, Ebony Wilson, indicated that she'll offer a 15% discount on select items for Small Business Saturday; if you don't see any signs or tags for this, tell her you heard about it on the ONSL blog.

Crown Candy Kitchen, 1401 St. Louis Avenue

La Mancha Coffeehouse, 2815 N. 14th Street

Old North Grocery Co-op, 2718 N. 13th Street (at St. Louis Avenue)

If you’re in the neighborhood during regular business hours on other days, please stop in at the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group office, 2700 N. 14th Street, to find out about other businesses in the neighborhood or to purchase some Old North merchandise (t-shirts, mugs, stickers, etc.), which also make great holiday gifts (not available in big-box, chain stores).

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Nov. 9 Edition of ONSLRG eNewsletter Is Out

The Nov. 9 edition of the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group e-Newsletter has been sent out to all of our subscribers.  If you didn’t get it in your email, click HERE to view the web-version.

This edition includes brief updates on :

  • the Missouri Immigrant & Refugee Advocates’ 3rd annual art exhibit at the ONSLRG Gallery (showing now through Dec. 2);
  • Great Rivers Greenway’s open house at ONSLRG to show off plans for Branch Street improvements and the Trestle conversion to an elevated hiking and biking trail;
  • information presented at the Oct. 25 Old North Neighborhood Open Meeting, including presentations on a proposed dog park for Old North and a sustainability-focused charter school;
  • ONSLRG’s Winter Craft Market, scheduled for Dec. 1;
  • Halloween in Old North;
  • Plans for a makeover of the Crown Square corner plaza at N. 14th and St. Louis Avenue;
  • the Sustainable Land Lab Competition for creative uses of vacant lots in Old North;
  • Links to the draft of the City’s Sustainability Plan for public comment;
  • Recent volunteer support, including students from the Episcopal Church of the Ascension;
  • and various upcoming events and programs related to neighborhood issues.
Whether you got this e-Newsletter in the mail or via the link right here, please forward to others who care about Old North and/or print out a copy to share with your neighbors who aren’t Internet-connected.
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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Streets, Trails, History, Art and Community in Old North

Over the next couple days, the Old North St. Louis Restoration Group Gallery at 2700 N. 14th Street will be buzzing with activity and conversations about different pieces of the overall community revitalization in progress and planned for Old North.  Although art exhibitions and plans for street improvements may not seem to have a lot of overlap, Old North is the kind of place where residents can be passionate and engaged in discussions about streets and trails on one day and turn out in force the next day to support an arts initiative or an exhibit in a gallery here.  On Thursday and Friday of this week, we’ll get a chance to see all of that in action as Great Rivers Greenway and Missouri Immigrant & Refugee Advocates hold different events in our gallery.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 4 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

The latest plans for improving Branch Street will be on display for review and comment as Great Rivers Greenway brings maps, drawings, and planners out to the community in an open house style of event at the ONSLRG gallery on Thursday from 4-6:30 p.m.  Branch Street is one of the few ways to directly access the Riverfront Trail from a residential neighborhood in the City.  Over the past couple years, ONSLRG has worked closely with GRG, the city, Trailnet, and other partners to develop plans to clean up, beautify and increase safety along that corridor.  The event on Thursday will be a chance for more neighbors - especially those who  haven’t been able to participate in earlier discussions - to get in on this ongoing process.

Information will also be on hand about the current status and future phases of the Trestle project, which will connect the southeastern portion of Old North to the Riverfront Trail via the transformation of the long-abandoned railroad trestle into an elevated hiking and biking trail.

Since both Branch Street plans and the Trestle project represent significant investments in Old North and great recreational amenities for residents of the neighborhood and visitors alike, please spread the word and invite other neighbors to come on out to learn more - and have their voices heard.

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FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

With Old North’s rich history of welcoming immigrants into the community from its earliest days through the present and with the character of the neighborhood constantly evolving as a result of these new residents’ contributions, there should be a lot of local interest in a new exhibition opening in our gallery on Friday evening.  Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates will once again bring an exhibition to our gallery that puts a spotlight on the immigrant experience in St. Louis.  This year’s exhibit will include work by local New American photographers Juan Montana and Amelia Sinangic, along with historical photos from multiple archives, as curated by Danny Gonzales of the Missouri Historical Society.

The opening reception for the exhibit will take place at our gallery on Friday evening from 6 until 9 p.m.  The event is free and open to the public.  Please join us and invite your neighbors to come along with you.

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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