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Archive for December, 2013

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Friday, December 20, 2013

THANK YOU to All Who Made the “Holidays in Old North” Festival & Craft Fair a Great Success

With a bumper crop of vendors, free photos with Santa, refreshments, holiday carolers… and wonderfully wintery weather outside, the 2013 edition of our Holidays in Old North Festival and Craft Market was a great success this past Saturday.

We extend a huge THANK YOU from all of us at Old North St. Louis Restoration Group to the following:

-Burns & McDonnell for their generous financial support;

  • Firecracker Press, 14th St. Artist Community, and Rise for serving as hosts for vendors and activities within their spaces (along with ONSLRG’s gallery) at the heart of Crown Square;

Eric Woods of Firecracker Press (above) was happy to show off their new space in Crown Square.

Eric Woods of Firecracker Press (above) was happy to show off their new space in Crown Square.

Holiday shoppers at Firecracker Press (above).

Holiday shoppers at Firecracker Press (above).

  • All of our volunteers from the neighborhood & beyond, including Thom Fletcher, Linda Quinn, Curtis Berry, Al (Chris Umbertino’s brother), and Eileen Cheong for facepainting;
  • Crown Candy Kitchen for donating candy;
  • 3 A-capella groups from St. Louis University: Astha A Cappella, Bare Naked Statues, and Decadence;
  • Our current interns at ONSLRG, including Eric Bablinskas, Alex Durdello, and Chris Umbertino;

Interns Eric, Alex & Chris join Claire Wolff, ONSLRG's Community Engagement Specialist, and Matt Fernandez, ONSLRG's Community Development Specialist, for a staff photo with Santa.

Interns Alex, Eric, & Chris join Claire Wolff, ONSLRG's Community Engagement Specialist, & Matt Fernandez, ONSLRG's Community Development Specialist, for a staff photo with Santa.

  • BONU (Businesses of Old North United) and Equifax for sponsoring free photos with Santa by Photomaton;
  • Einstein Bagels and MacArthur Bakery donated breakfast for vendors and volunteers;
  • Matt Fernandez of our staff for clearing the sidewalks;
  • Sylvester Jacobs for donating his time to be Santa;
  • and Larry Perlmutter of Rise for providing us with most of the photos above, along with Photomaton and Rene .

And thank you to all who attended!  Happy Holidays to All!

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Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Please Join Us for Upcoming Community-Enriching Events & Celebrate the Holidays in Old North

Old North is a thriving community with active neighborhood residents and a full schedule of events and activities to strengthen relationships among neighbors and help the community become even more vibrant.  Come on out to the following events to see all of this in action:

Wednesday, December 4 at 6 p.m. for the next installment of our So Reel film and discussion series.  The topic for this month’s “interactive and reflective conversation about race” is the school to prison pipeline.  Please note that this event will be a pot-luck - so bring some food to share, but don’t let that keep you from attending if you don’t have time or ability to bring anything.

Thursday, December 12 at 6:30 p.m. for our next Neighborhood Open Meeting. Watch for more details later about the featured guests and topics for discussion.

Saturday, December 14, from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. for our 3rd annual Holidays in Old North Festival and Craft Market.  This year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever, so please come on out to be a part of this great holiday tradition - and spread the word to all of your friends, neighbors, and others.

In addition to the approximately 50 vendors spread throughout 4 buildings at the intersection of N. 14th Street and Montgomery, St. Louis ArtWorks will also be holding their annual holiday art sale at 2707 N. 14th Street.

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And, watch for the premiere issue of our new Old North community newspaper! This paper will be hand-delivered to all households in Old North and available for pick up at ONSLRG’s office and select neighborhood businesses.  We’ll post the content on ONSL.org later.

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Sunday, December 1, 2013

THANK YOU to All Who Are Making the Revitalization of Old North St. Louis Possible

Happy (slightly belated) Thanksgiving to all of the residents and friends of Old North! As we finish the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, we want to express our thanks to all of the people who work with or support Old North St. Louis Restoration Group in the pursuit of our mission to revitalize the physical and social dimensions of Old North in a manner that respects the community’s historic, cultural, and urban character.  We especially thank the following:

Members of ONSLRG’s Board of Directors, who take on responsibilities above and beyond most non-profit boards, including volunteering for numerous neighborhood cleanups, vacant building board-ups, garden work, setting up for and/or staffing a table at the North City Farmers’ Market (not to mention growing some of the food sold there), opening their homes for the annual Old North House & Community Tour, talking to the media, running meetings, lining up bands for fundraising events, designing flyers or preparing for layout program booklets, and inviting neighbors to attend many of ONSLRG’s programs and events.

ONSLRG Staff, who put in long hours and a lot of hard work on a wide variety of tasks that don’t quite fit into anyone’s job description and still manage to deal with whatever comes through the front doors on a daily basis.

Interns and Practicum Students, who make it possible for us to implement so much more than our full-time staff could have time to do, and bring great energy, creativity, and skill to work that sometimes may not be the most glamorous or exciting.

Volunteers - from high school and college students to international service organizations and corporate employees - these groups are too numerous to identify by name, and they come all year long to help with a multitude of work, including neighborhood clean-ups, beautification and tree-planting projects, work at North City Farmers’ Market, other special events, and so much more.  Thank you to all!

Partners and Collaborating Organizations bring additional resources and skills to the table to support ONSLRG’s comprehensive, neighborhood-wide revitalization strategy.  Again, this category includes too many groups to name them all here, but we especially thank our Crown Square development partners, Rise (formerly RHCDA); Equifax, for recruiting help from Rebuilding Together to design and build improvements to the Crown Square corner plaza at St. Louis Avenue & N. 14th Street; the City of St. Louis and Washington University for bringing the Sustainable Land Lab competition to Old North; the Episcopal Service Corps for making it possible for us to bring Eric on board as an intern and to launch a new “street team” community engagement initiative; multiple parties who have been involved with North City Farmers’ Market; St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department for assistance with our launching of the Old North Neighborhood Ownership Model; Community Builders Network for helping us strengthen our relationship with other community development corporations around town; and so many others…

Donors and Investors

Although we get a lot of great work out of volunteers, interns, neighbors and partners, ONSLRG still needs funding to cover other organizational expenses and to have a full-time staff.  Funding comes from a diverse mix of sources, including many individuals, but we owe a special thanks to major donors, Equifax, Bank of America, Rise Collaborative Support Grant, U.S. Bank, Covidien, United Way’s small grant program, Burns & McDonnell, and all of our sponsors and contributors who supported the house tour, trivia night, benefit concert, and holiday market.  [We'll provide a full acknowledgment of all funders as part of our annual report at the end of the year.]

New Programs Still To Come:

We also need to acknowledge new programming still to come.  For instance, VerbQuake, a program initiated by M.K. Stallings, who had been an intern at ONSLRG long ago, received support from Incarnate Word Foundation’s Marketplace of Ideas grant program.  This poetry workshop series will get under way in 2014.

**  And, of course, the Current, Former, & Soon to Come Residents of Old North

None of ONSLRG’s work would be possible without the people who call Old North home.  This group includes many individuals who have been recognized in other categories above, especially our board, volunteers, and contributors, but it also includes many who contribute to the revitalization in a variety of other ways.  Some show up regularly for events, others offer words of encouragement, or shop at the farmers’ market or other neighborhood businesses.  All contribute in one way or another by just being a part of the community, adding life to the streets as they walk their dogs, take their children to the playground, mow their lawn, help a neighbor with home repairs, and watch out for each other.

We even have future residents of the neighborhood willing to speak up on behalf of Old North.  One such individual who is planning to buy a property to rehab and move into the neighborhood recently took the New York Times to task for an article that portrayed the entire north side of the City of St. Louis as if it were just one big neighborhood, rather than a collection of different neighborhoods with unique sets of circumstances in each.

No list of things to be grateful for would be complete without thanking Crown Candy Kitchen for 100 years of tasty treats and service to Old North - and for continuing to bring visitors, customers, and prospective residents and business owners to the community by the busload!

Thank you again to all!

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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