Monday, February 29, 2016

Downtown BBQ Coming Soon!

While out on a stroll downtown we spotted a new Sugarfire Smokehouse under construction! It's a pretty good idea as not only do locals like us want a good bbq place but tourists and people downtown for conferences will surely hit it up too. It's right next to the also under construction National Blues Museum. Downtown life is about to get even better.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Hot Chicken in Nashville

We hadn't been to Nashville to see Lydia's family in a bit so we popped on down to the land of cotton for a good time that shan't soon be forgotten.

Prince's Hot Chicken Shack has been on my "to eat" list for quite some time. We gave it a try.

A few other people had the same idea. This place was so out of the ordinary that it felt like we were in a different country. There were a couple of damn soda machines inside the restaurant five feet away from the order window. Who does that?? There was a lady to the other side of the window who was selling cakes who also seemed to be running her own business. Is this a restaurant or a swap meet?

What place in the US do you see this?

The chicken was quite spicy, even at the low levels of hotness we specified. I've had quite a few spicy chicken parts in my day, but this was unique because it was all dry rubbed.

We hit the downtown Broadway honky tonk strip as we've been known to do.

We came upon an ice cream food truck with some interesting concoctions.

I am a slave to the local thing, be it silk worms or ice cream. We ordered a Float of the South which is Cheerwine soda and vanilla ice cream. 

We walked past the Ryman Auditorium, old school home of the Grand Ole Opry. We went there before, no big deal.

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Zoo in February

We hit the Saint Louis Zoo in the middle of winter. Some of the animals weren't out, true, but there was close to zero people there which was awesome. We got really good views of the animals and the whole place was very serene. It was a nice stroll. Parking was easy too.

It was the day after Valentine's Day and the polar bear's enclosure had hearts drawn all over it.

It had some sort of pink hued ice treat that it was clawing it.

Red pandas are a thing and they look like funky raccoons.

The tiger didn't seem concerned that there was snow everywhere.

When you come to the end of a seemingly successful life you should ask yourself, are there any statues of me hanging out with a monkey for future generations to enjoy?

Case in point. Jeff Koons is master of giant hideous shiny things. We saw another of his works recently in New York.

My utter favorite of the whole day were the sea lions. I imagine that the cold weather means they haven't entertained many visitors as of late and they were so playful. They would follow your hand around, doing underwater somersaults and zig zags, only leaving to go to the surface for air, then coming right back. They were so much fun.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

The Mid-Missouri Wrestling Alliance St. Patrick's Smackdown

I've walked by the South Broadway Athletic Club in Soulard many times and had just assumed it was a gym. After visiting I have a bit better handle on what the place is, but not completely. Boxers and wrestlers train there, they have events, a bar, and there's also some type of membership available? It's definitely a sort of business that I haven't seen before.

MMWA 3/12/16
Well when I heard that the Mid-Missouri Wrestling Alliance was a thing, and that the heavyweight belt was on the line, I really had no choice but to drop whatever I was doing and get over there as fast as possible. We had a pretty good size group of friends get together for the occasion.

Gary Jackson doing some showboating with his heavyweight belt.

Jackson successfully defended his title against Moondog Rover.

I've decided that when I grow up I want to be Moondog Rover.

Good times were had. Apparently St. Louis has had some big professional wrestling names pass through over the years, and World Wrestling Entertainment's Randy Orton got his start here.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Secret Restaurant

Once upon a time there was this garbage football team called the St. Louis Rams and they wanted taxpayers to build them a new football palace despite the fact they have plenty of their own money for such things and we haven't even finished paying the current one off yet. It didn't work out and now they are going to go be terrible at football someplace else. Great. Well there was one little restaurant in danger of being demolished if the plans for a new stadium were carried out. I figured we should give it a peek.

Map: Piecing together stadium land
The two lonely little red squares marked "likely eminent domain" are Al's and Al's parking lot.

Al's is in a very sketchy and strange neighborhood. It's northeast of the Lumiere Casino's parking lot next to some train tracks. I was expecting a pretty low key place considering the locale. Nope.

A man in what I think was a tuxedo took our coats and led us into a very elegant old school dining area.

The most notable aspect of the service was that there were no menus. Our server pushed out a cart with fancy cuts of meats and fish and gave a knowledgeable explanation of each. There was no mention of prices anywhere either, which is never a good thing. Entrees at this next to the train tracks, inexplicably fancy eatery were in the $40-$50 dollar range.

I had the filet mignon. I figured if I'm going to get dinged I might as well get something interesting. I forget what they called it and I want to say it was "Al's style", but it was breaded and stuffed with cheese and covered with sauce. It tasted pretty good but I kind of regretted putting the steak through so much rigmarole. You're beautiful just how you are, steak.

The other room of the building is home to a bar that is awesomely made up to look like a riverboat.

They must be good if they made it into the German edition of Playboy, right?

I think I might come back for a drink someday at the very cool bar but the food is much too pricey for me!

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

A Blues Shootout

Lydia and I went to the second of our free St. Louis Blues games today. The game was quite interesting. Not only was the game close enough that it ended in a shootout, but we happened to be seated in a quite happening spot in the stadium. Several of the little games and promotions that happen during breaks were filmed right next to us. I also caught one of those t-shirts they shoot at the crowd! Not only do I now have a new shirt but now every time I wear it I can remember whooping those that tried to out jump me.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

New York Day 3: A Visit to the Met

Our final big New York sight to see was the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The museum was showing a temporary exhibit on Picasso sculpture, plus they have a crazily excellent permanent selection of famous works to feast one's eyes on.

This is a Jackson Pollock, totally not just a bunch of paint spatters.

There were several of these cool absinthe with spoon and sugar cube sculptures. Picasso must have liked to partake.

Everyone was paying special attention to this crazy deconstructed guitar.

I assume this is called "The Breakdancing Clown."

Bleep bloop to you too.

The girls had some sibling rivalry that they needed to work out. They were doing the bug slug, the cop bop, and other such I-Spy turned violent games. When I declared we were now also playing poncho kancho and spotted the first one everybody gave me some space.

Back at the hotel during checkout I spotted this awesome artsy chair in the lobby which was straight out of Battlestar Galactica. I was preparing my butt for a good sittin' when a hotel employee suggested I sit in this normal looking chair a few steps away. I responded with a polite version of "How bout I sit on your mouth dummy?" When I was done clowning on the quite uncomfortable metal chair I stood up and the man informed me that that robot toilet is a $70K art piece. Whelp, time to find the exit!

Zoe flew back from Newark Airport but split a cab over there like a true New Yorker.