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After living in Chicago for a few years, St. Louis natives Anne Pennick and John Smith returned home shortly before the birth of their son, Evan. Missing the urban, walkable lifestyle that Chicago offered, the couple moved to the Central West End in fall 2011. Anne, a faculty manager for Kaplan’s online classes, and husband John, an attorney with Callis, Papa, Hale & Szewczyk, appreciate the closeness of everything the CWE has to offer, as well as the diversity of their neighbors. We asked Anne to share more about the appeal of the Central West End.
In 1990, when JoAnne Levy was ready to buy her first home, she returned to Olivette, where she had lived for the first few years of her life. Levy, VP of ROi, found a home in Chevy Chase and fell back in love with the area. After marrying Jim Thomeczek, an attorney with Thomeczek and Brink, their growing family dictated a move in 2001 to a bigger house just a half-mile away, in order to keep their kids in Old Bonhomme Elementary. Parents to Samantha, 25; Jake, 21; Jerry, 19; Mari, 16; and Josh, 12, the couple loves the diversity of the people, architecture and neighborhoods that Olivette offers. We ask JoAnne and Jim to share more about the community.
At this point in the holiday season, you are either a) giggling like a kid who just found a last-minute way to get off the ‘naughty’ list, or b) ready to rip the nose right off of Rudolph at the next sound of a jingle bell. Hopefully, like me, you’re somewhere in between. Don’t get me wrong, I love everything about Christmas; but c’mon, the decorations going up way before Halloween and Black Friday is now on Thursday? So to get myself properly in tune with all things merry, I made my way to Main Street in St. Charles, where every year, the city turns the old town into a living, Victorian-era Christmas village. It even feels a bit like Charles Dickens’ London town as I walk down the cobblestone street and hear the slow clip-clop of a horse and carriage. I pass the chestnut roasters huddled over on open fire and carolers singing. Jack Frost is here, and of course, nipping at someone’s nose. It’s a perfect scene, but I still can’t find the man I came to see, the one who will help me put things in perspective: Ebenezer Scrooge (aka actor Vince Wieck). I finally spot him; however, I must be brief. Mr. Scrooge is on a tight schedule, but has begrudgingly agreed to an interview with me.
He’s making a list, so make sure your lil’ ones are on it! NEIMAN MARCUS’ annual holiday tradition, Breakfast with Santa, is just around the corner. Dine with Santa and Mrs. Claus and enjoy pictures with Santa, face-painting, a petting zoo and other activities. Breakfast starts at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, and Saturday, Dec. 15, at The Zodiac. Admission for adults is $50; children, $30. Reservations are required, 994-5000.
In this whirlpool of a world we live in, Thanksgiving has a tendency to get lost. We go from Halloween directly to Christmas to the New Year, almost without taking a breath in between.
They’re still swinging at the ST. LOUIS SYMPHONY over a successful Red Velvet Ball Swings! gala that featured WYNTON MARSALIS and the JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER ORCHESTRA.
So, Halloween was this past week. It was fairly standard. Whiny scouted neighborhoods for maximum candy retrieval. Punch received text alerts as to which houses were giving out the best candy—better still, where people simply left the bowl out on the front stoop. I’m not proud. The only change this year was a small thing, a gentle shift in the tectonic plates of the Baldwin family. When I asked Cranky where she was going to trick or treat she replied, Mom, I Murtaugh-ed trick-or-treating last year.
Halloween was just a few days ago, so I’m sure the kids still have bags of candy around the house. With candy comes the threat of cavities (and a perfect segue into childhood dental care).
Goblins and pirates and sharks, oh my! We asked for your favorite Halloween photos; and boy, did you respond! Here, find a photo gallery of creepy—and not so creepy—costumes, sure to make you smile.
Trick or treat…Youngsters at SHRINERS HOSPITALS FOR CHILDREN-ST. LOUIS celebrated Halloween early with a party just for them. Patients selected costumes, played games and worked on Halloween-themed crafts, courtesy of Spirit of Children, an organization that works to make hospital stays less scary for kids and their families. To date, the organization has raised more than $75,000 for Shriners and more than $10 million nationwide since the program’s inception.
There’s a warmhearted comfort that accompanies the autumn season. Beyond the long-awaited chill in the air after the drawn-out summer months, there are caramel apples and cider, vibrant mums, the new television season and football! And all this jollity and contentment returns amid a backdrop of the fall leaves’ warm hues.
Kaden and Addison Wright with Steve Wright
Jackson and Mia Krahl
A charming 1968 tour book I recently was given begins thus: Savannah is a lady. A lady never shouts. Savannah speaks in a soft Southern murmur. Listen closely. She has marvelous memories to share.
Kickin’ it up a notch…The legendary ROCKETTES recently spent time with patients at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, where the performers taught youngsters their famous strut kick and read them stories.
Back-to-school time can quickly become a blur of paperwork piling up in the house and leaves mounting in the yard. These tips can get your home and lawn in top shape for fall.
A year ago, Kahlid Hagens was just making his way back from being in a bad way. Then a sophomore, Hagens was still recovering from complications of appendicitis. His appendix burst near the week before Halloween. The starting quarterback, he had to watch from the sidelines as the Maplewood-Richmond Heights football team managed to reach its first Class 2 state title game where it was defeated by Penney.
Drawn by the beautiful old homes and an opportunity to try something different, Rob and Katie Holton moved to the Central West End four years ago. Katie is a stay-athome mom to the couple’s two children, Robert, 8, and Greta, 5, while Rob works in real estate development private equity fund management with Holton Capital.
Esther and Doug Cohen just celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary, and have spent the last seven years as Olivette residents. As a child, Doug attended Old Bonhomme Elementary, and now some 40 years later, his 8-year-old son, Ethan, and 6-year-old daughter, Noa, attend the same school. Esther is a marketing manager at Love Funding in Clayton and Doug is the owner of Douglas Properties.
Longtime Frontenac residents Drs. Madhavi Kandula and Mitch Platin moved just one block over to Huntleigh almost eight years ago when they fell in love with the neighborhood. Kandula, a well-known dermatologist, and Platin, an anesthesiologist with Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital, have two boys: Max, 17, and Jacob, 13.
Thanks to a failed stunt and two broken arms, Justin Willman discovered a talent he never knew he had. “One day after school, in junior high, I was riding my bike with friends, trying to impress the girls,” he recalls. “I strapped on my rollerblades and tried to ride my bike with them on. I was going down a hill when I caught my brake with my rollerblade and flipped over the handle bars, breaking both arms.” Willman’s arms were placed in casts for the next six months, and his doctor advised him to learn some card tricks as a way of gaining back his dexterity, Willman’s mom drove him to Gibbols, a magic shop on Laclede’s Landing, to learn magic, “There are a lot of magicians in St. Louis oddly enough.” he says. “I became obsessed.”
Dubliner Sharky has hit a rough patch at Christmas. He's lost his job as a chauffeur to a well-to-do couple, plus he's taken in his wastrel brother Richard, who was blinded in an accident on Halloween.
As you are well aware, Halloween was last week. Judging from Punch’s hyperactivity level, this year was a record haul. And while there was still candy and costumes and late nights and scary movies, this year something was a little different: Cranky (13) didn’t trick-or-treat at all—too many carbs—opting instead to go over to a friend’s house and hand out candy to the younger children. Whiny (12) did trick-or-treat, but in a block party setting with a co-ed group of friends. My presence—other than in the capacity of driver—was not requested. As I sat with some friends sipping a drink and asking for jokes from the kids, I thought about how much Halloween changes as the children grow up.
Five children standing on porch, wearing Halloween costumes, portrait
Halloween is Monday, and like most children their age. Cranky (13) and Whiny (12) have no idea what their costume will be. Punch (10) chose the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters months ago. Nevertheless, that leaves two 11th-hour decisions for two children at a very awkward age. So, off I went to the biggest Halloween store in the universe, the Internet, to research what the kids are wearing this year.
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