APME/APPM 2009

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All the news from the conference in St. Louis

Cool look at the the Arch

AP’s Tim Donnelly captured this video of the St. Louis arch from the Hyatt Regency, site of this year’s APME/APPM conference.

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Filed under: Fun things to do in St. Louis, Misc., Photojournalism, , , , ,

More advice from a St. Louis Native

By Kyle Spradley

Although statistically St. Louis is not a largely populated city, it is not just about one city.  The thing with St. Louis is we are not just a city but a region.  Very few people live in the Downtown area; they live in the counties surrounding the city.  All of these smaller communities are part of the town but are each distinct and have something different to offer.

Being a native and fan of St. Louis, along with being a bigger fan of food, I have a few suggestions.  If you come to our great city you have to try our claims to fame.  For starters, if you leave St. Louis without knowing or trying a Toasted Ravioli, you missed out.  The tasty fried pasta morsels filled with meat or cheese got their start here in a little neighborhood called The HillCharlie Gitto’s still takes claim to being one of the originators.  The Hill encompasses almost a square mile area south of Forest Park and is made of old brick homes and mom-and-pop Italian restaurants on every other block.  For directions ask someone where the Hill is and they will promptly direct you in the right area and possibly to their favorite place.  Each place has their own specialties but some of the favorites are Cunettos House of Pasta, Zia’s, fishbowl drinks at Rigazzi’s and Mama Campisi’s.

For lunch hit up O’Connells, which is right off of Kingshighway and I-44, just a few blocks from the Missouri Botanical Garden.  At this old-fashioned Irish pub you will step back in time as you dig in to some of the largest and juiciest burgers in town out of simple paper serving boats.

For more of the local deli lunch spot head down Chippewa near Ted Drewes Famous Frozen Custard to Legrand’s Tomboy Market.  Known for using some of the best-cut meats and flavorful sandwich combinations, this stop is a can’t-miss.  Don’t forget to pick up some gooey butter cake on the way out.

If you are in the mood for adult beverages head to Soulard.  The first week in February this neighborhood celebrates with the second largest Mardi Gras in the country, but the rest of the year it is the highlight for nightlife.  With more than 30 bars and restaurants dotted across the small “Frenchtown” it is not hard to find a place to get a good bite to eat along with a nice adult beverage and music.  Places you can’t miss are the patio at McGurk’s, dinner at Sage and music at Hammerstones or 1860’s Hard Shell Café and Bar.

If you are into music there is one entertainer you need to check out.  Thursday night, the 29th, Kim Massie will be playing at Beale on Broadway, just south of Busch Stadium by a few blocks.  She is one of St. Louis’ most popular divas that mixes sounds of R&B, jazz and blues with her voice combination of Etta James and Aretha Franklin.  Make a request and see how she reacts. She is a hoot!

As the long conference days drag on and you feel like a breath of fresh air, head over to the Citygarden.  This newly opened sculpture park has become an instant hit for everyone and features works of art from across the world.  Just head one block south to Market Street, hang a right and travel west for three blocks past the Old Courthouse and fountains at Kiener Plaza.

If you get lost or want any other suggestions of some local hangouts call me, Kyle Spradley at (314)550-6387 and your friendly local tour guide can help you.  Or visit www.metromix.com for some other cool suggestions.

Filed under: Fun things to do in St. Louis, , , , ,

Bringing the family to St. Louis? Here are some entertainment ideas

By Jake Sherlock

This blog is for the spouses, children and other friends and family who are coming to St. Louis with that favorite editor in their lives. Here are a few ideas culled from Facebook and Twitter suggestions to keep yourself entertained.

  • Bud Brewery tours are free and offer free beer, reports Sallie Story of the Belleville News-Democrat. Sounds like heaven to me.
  • If domestic brew isn’t your forte, try the Schafly brewery tour, says Darla Cameron of the St. Petersburg Times. Just don’t drive between the two.
  • St. Louis native and freelance journalist Paul Dzuiba says to check out The Loop for three great restaurants. “Cicero‘s is known for its pizza and large selection of beers, Blueberry Hill is known for pop culture decor and owner (Chuck Berry), and Fitz’s is of course the brewery of Fitz’s root beer,” Paul says.
  • Sarah Palmer, an undergrad at the Missouri School of Journalism, has two favorite upscale restaurants to recommend if you’re feeling spendy: Truffles and Annie Gunn’s. Sarah describes them as “upscale american food. Gourmet meat-and-potatoes stuff, plus a little less traditional fare.”
  • For UWYO Magazine editor Dave Shelles, it’s all about Pi Pizza when he’s passing through the Gateway City. Dave says: “Comparable with Bacino’s in Chicago. Forgive me, for I have blasphemed.”
  • If you like frozen custard, you’ll want to check out local institution Ted Drewes, says Année Tousseau, a MU graduate student.

  • Got some money to burn? Check out the casinos, like Lumiere Place and Casino Queen.
  • Don’t have money  to burn? St. Louis has an incredible zoo, and the price is right — FREE. Some areas, like the children’s museum, will cost a few bucks. But overall, you can see some amazing animals and get a good walking workout without spending a dime.
  • Other good recommendations include the Missouri State Museum, the St. Louis Art Museum, and the City Museum, where “you can act like a kid,” Cameron said.

Filed under: Fun things to do in St. Louis, , , , ,

When you’re not in a session…

By Mary Poletti

As a proud St. Louis native who returns home a little better than once a month to spend time with family in its various forms, I’m always secretly thrilled to share my hometown with the many convention attendees who descend upon it from far-flung and occasionally exotic corners of our great nation and big world. Downtown is an exciting, vibrant place — don’t let anyone tell you differently. It’s also a very tasty place.

If you’re looking for a place to grab a bite to eat during the conference, I can’t speak to any of the several restaurants at the Hyatt, which I haven’t visited since its renovation (and name change from the Adam’s Mark) last year. I can, however, put in a plug for Max and Erma’s, a casual burger place across the Gateway Mall from the Hyatt. The burgers are delicious. And huge. Seriously. Huge. I had to order a smaller version, and I’m ordinarily no shrinking violet when it comes to burgers.

There are many more good restaurants within a short walk of the Hyatt at Laclede’s Landing, a popular nightspot on the riverfront. These include both local places and chains. Of the chains, The Old Spaghetti Factory is a personal favorite and offers a pretty economical dining choice in a gorgeous building. Among the local places, steakhouse Hannegan’s is very popular (although I haven’t been there in so long that I can’t offer much of a review beyond that).

I mention the Landing in this post mostly because it offers a variety of places to grab a drink within an easy walk of the hotel, if you’re in the mood. Morgan Street Brewery is worth a mention here. Most of the bars on the Landing market themselves as rowdy clubs and jockey for the title of St. Louis’ hottest night spot, but for the most part, Morgan Street feels more like a relaxed neighborhood pub, where you can catch a game on TV, play some billiards, and actually hear yourself think. The Levee (formerly known as Skybox) also works to that effect, although it’s a bit swankier; I didn’t see any pool tables on my one trip there, but I did see an NBA player (East St. Louis native Darius Miles of the Memphis Grizzlies, a co-owner with rapper Nelly and Marshall Faulk of the NFL’s St. Louis Rams).

I do recommend the Landing to you with a caveat: I wouldn’t go there to celebrate wrapping up a great conference on Friday evening. The wild nightclub aesthetic reaches a fever pitch on the weekends, as you might expect, and even in my mid-20s, I get tired just thinking about it.

While you’re walking around, by all means check out the grounds of the Gateway Arch and the Historic Old Courthouse, where Dred Scott’s groundbreaking case for his freedom from slavery was heard. Very interesting stuff. Unfortunately, you’ll have to take our word for it, because the courthouse museum closes at 4:30 p.m. year-round and the trams to the top of the Arch and the Museum of Westward Expansion in its belly close shortly after 5 p.m. this time of year. There’s still plenty to admire on the outside.

There’s more to see in St. Louis than your free time during a three-day conference might afford you the opportunity to see, but please enjoy what you can while you’re here. It really is a fantastic city. And, of course, I say that without a trace of personal bias. 🙂

Filed under: Fun things to do in St. Louis, , , , ,

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