Thursday, July 28, 2016

Asian Kitchen Korean Cuisine

On the recommendation of Ian Froeb's STL 100 I wanted to check out Asian Kitchen Korean Cuisine. Luckily the food was better than the name. I've been jonesing for some authentic Korean and Seago seconded the motion.

The entrees were solid but the real standout performance was the sides. Banchan in Korean, the little dishes covered the whole damn table. I can tell you this is how they roll in Korea because I've eaten a few meals there. Not. a big. deal.

The check came with little yogurt dessert drinks. Now that's legit.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Some Art and a Blimp

A pro-tip for being real cool in St. Louis is that the Saint Louis Art Museum's special exhibits are free on Fridays. So we snagged a few tickets and invited our pals Kevin and Cassie to join in the artsiness.

We began with a nice little dinner at the museum's restaurant, Panorama, which is aptly named because it has some big ol' windows that look out onto Art Hill. The Metlife blimp was out doing circles today. I did a few verses of Ice Cube's It Was a Good Day for Lydia about what the blimp's sign probably said about my occupation.

Today's exhibit was Self-Taught Genius: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum. The gist is that early America idolized self taught skill as a sort of snub to the fancily educated Europe we left behind. I want to say that the pendulum swung back to "let's actually go to school now" after the Civil War.

This freakshow ad was my favorite.

"Untitled (Sideshow Banner), 1930-1940 oil on canvas.

Popular from the 1870s through the 1960s, sideshows used banners to lure carnival-goers into paying extra to see mesmerizing performances or repellent specimens of the exotic or bizarre. With sensational titles- Lion Face Girl, Frog Boy, Lifts Weight with Hair- the signs frequently depicted racial stereotypes, sexist representations, and discriminatory attitudes toward individuals with rare or atypical features.

Sideshow banners are defined by visual clarity, but the act depicted here is unclear. "Radium Girl" is written on the back, though the scene doesn't relate to that classic stage illusion in which a female assistant is bound in a box and pierced from all sides. This banner instead seems to portray a technician illuminating the bones of a bathing beauty."

The baseball guy's sign read:

"This carving may depict Michael J. "King" Kelly, the most popular baseball player of the 1880s. As players became famous, their likenesses began to appear on commercial products. Kelly was one of the first players to negotiate the use of his image into his contract with the Boston Beaneaters.

Samuel Anderson Robb made this figure in his New York City woodcarving shop. Robb is credited with helping create the "New York Style" of show figure. These life-size carvings were used to advertise tobacco and other goods that were often based on well-known figures or caricatures of familiar stereotypes."

The art museum is the best.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

A Night With Coldplay

Lydia and I walked over to Union Station for the hell of it and to get some exercise. The place looks real bad, almost deserted. Luckily I looked into it and they are going to really reinvent the place with a big aquarium and a Ferris wheel. I've heard it will compare to Chicago's Navy Pier. 

Fun fact: the famous "Dewey Defeats Truman" pictures were taken at St. Louis' Union Station when Truman was traveling to his home in Independence, Missouri.

So yeah, Coldplay. We were walking back from Union Station and I saw my buddy Matt driving by. He immediately pulled over and asked us if we wanted to go to today's Coldplay show at the Scottrade Center. They had some friends cancel and their sweet sweet tickets were up for grabs. Yes please! Lydia and I jogged home, took showers, changed clothes, and then jogged back to meet Matt and his wife Allison for dinner. Then we popped over to see the show.

Unfortunate souls at the merch table. Someone's going to be crying into their $30 Coldplay coffee mug tomorrow when the drugs wear off.

Alessia Cara was the opening act. She was fine but man that girl is a talker. She insisted on explaining every song before singing it. Blah.

Then it was time for some cold, cold play.

A very cool part of Coldplay's A Head Full of Dreams Tour was the little bracelets that each of us were handed at the door. They are called Xylobands, and they contain a lot of color-changing lights and some sort of receiver.

The effect was something incredible. The lights would blink and change colors and be generally awesome in sync with each other.

My favorite song of theirs is "Viva la Vida". Lucky for them they played it.

The band seems pretty cool. At one point they walked across to the opposite end of the building and hopped onto a tiny little stage right below us. They sang a few songs for the people who couldn't buy the most expensive seats. I thought that was a nice gesture.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Peach Pickin' at Eckert's

A visit to Eckert's Belleville Country Store & Farms was another one of those pesky activities that we just could never seem to find time for during the school year. Summer is a magical place where chocolate factory tours and peach trees are possible.

It's interesting that the vegetables were sold by volume but the fruits by weight.

When I heard the farm we'd be heading to was in Belleville, Illinois I did a quick flip through my mental contact book to think of anyone we knew in the area who'd like to join... Katie G came to mind and she was game. Hurray! We grabbed our pickin' boxes and headed over to the shuttle waiting area.

I thought the tractor pulling us in a trailer was pretty good country fun.

It was pretty sunny and I hadn't thought to bring a hat.

There were a lot of sweat bees around.

First we started picking some peaches. They were a bit hard so they weren't super exciting. I knew I could pick them now and then let them sit on the kitchen counter but I didn't want to wait that long! I'd say we took home like 10. You might say I'm pretty picky. Do you get it? It's a funny joke because I was there picking fruit but I was also very selective about which fruits I wanted. 

I'd say we ate about as much as we bought. I needed my box as a hat anyway.

Next we hopped on the next tractor that came by and then hit the blackberries. They were ripe so we grabbed more of these than peaches. The thing is, they are small so it took a lot more effort.

I thought it was fun how many different crops they had out there. This was what looked like a Christmas tree section.

Yay fruits and stuff!

Monday, July 11, 2016


Pokemon GO launched recently and has been awesome. I mean, the concept is awesome. So many people are trying to play it that the app itself has been performing pretty poorly under the strain. But the idea of making a game that involves augmented reality and encourages people to exercise is awesome.

The game's effect on parks has been especially amusing. You can totally tell who is playing and who isn't, and I've noticed packs of people playing in multiple parks. The demographics are interesting too. I feel like a lot of people playing it are our age where I might have guessed it would have been a bunch of little kids.

I exchanged numbers with a dude who I keep meeting outside my building who plays the game. I assume a couple of matching "Pokefriends 4 Life" tattoos aren't far off. Most games involve sitting alone indoors so I would say anything that gets people out and about is an improvement.

Saturday, July 09, 2016

The Stratosphere Las Vegas

I don't really recall why but we decided that today we were going to go to the Stratosphere Las Vegas, which is the Space Needle looking thing. It's on a bit of a sketchy part of Las Vegas Boulevard, about halfway between the strip and Fremont.

Justin is mostly a table game sort of guy so I was trying to tug him toward the slots a bit. As much fun as memorizing betting statistics is I'd rather just sit and watch Slimer throw money at the screen.

Once at the top of the Stratosphere we could see Trump International Hotel Las Vegas. Hopefully their business is suffering. 

They have the classic tall pointy building restaurant inside that slowly turns.

We saw a bungee jumper fly by one the windows. That was startling.

I make some of my most important product purchase decisions while washing my hands.

The next day on the flight back home I had the honor of helping an old man get his knee on his side of the airplane seat.