Castle Hill, located in Ipswich, Mass., and originally situated on 2,000 acres, probably is one of the grandest of the grand homes built during the end of the Gilded Age. It has been beautifully preserved, thanks to The Trustees of Reservations.
There are virtually endless ways for youngsters to have a memorable summer break in St. Louis. Mark your calendar for these family-friendly festivities, and get ready for some fun in the sun!
Welcome to Elegant Living's exclusive preview of the 2014 Central West End Association House & Garden Tour, now celebrating its 44th year. Slated for May 31 and June 1, this year’s event features the mansions of Portland Place, which, along with neighboring Westmoreland Place, is one of the few remaining World’s Fair-era private streets in the city. Portland Place was designed in 1888 by noted St. Louis private place surveyor Julius Pitzman for wealthy St. Louisans who wished to escape the densely populated city core. The wide boulevard, lush green median and stone mansions made Portland Place a popular draw for the titans of St. Louis banking, commerce and industry, whose magnificent homes have hosted local, national and international dignitaries throughout the past century. It is not an overstatement to say that Portland Place boasts a social, cultural and architectural heritage unparalleled in St. Louis and beyond.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945, is one of the titans in American politics. Roosevelt, the blueblood, Democratic governor of New York, defeated Republican incumbent Herbert Hoover in 1932, as the nation struggled to survive in the Great Depression.
The start of the football season is still months away, but Rams head coach Jeff Fisher doesn’t have much time to spare: Right now, it’s free-agency season, followed by college-draft season and then mini-camp, etc. There always is something.
Let me just start off by saying I love Liam Neeson. I think he is an extremely talented and wildly underrated actor. Plus, I always attributed his personal tragedy (wife Natasha Richardson was killed in a skiing accident in 2009) as a contributing factor to his shift in genre preference. The guy went from Kinsey and Schindler’s List to The A-Team and Taken 2 (and 3). Then, I saw an interview with Neeson last week, where he all but told Anderson Cooper that if there were a $10-million paycheck in it, he’d make the movie. His window as an action star was closing and he intended to milk it for every dime. I’m paraphrasing, of course. Well, that certainly explains things. Like a linebacker who has been traded from the Seahawks to the Texans, he’s just playing out his contract until retirement. So, Non-Stop…
Story: World War II is over, and Joe Keller is back at work running his factory. During the war, he and his partner, Steve Deever, had been convicted of selling defective airplane parts to the United States Army. Those defective pieces led to the deaths of 21 Army Air Force pilots who flew faulty planes into combat.
The eleventh month is also the eleventh hour for award consideration. While one would think an Oscar-caliber movie would stay with a viewer, contenders seem to want their film fresh in voters’ minds. So with a few brain breaks for popcorn premieres November should prove to be a heady cinematic month.
So, I was watching a national morning news show last week—you know, the one with the girl with too much makeup, the short guy with thinning hair and three has-been stars from the '90s. Anyway, in between the stories on teen-friendly lunches and senior-friendly dinners—both presumably served at the same time—there was a segment on parenting trends. Well, I set my leftover pizza slice down and took notice. God knows when it comes to parenting, I need to know what I am not doing that would be wrong if I were doing it.
Inspired by tropical resort wear and using 70-year-old bark cloth, the Scarlett Collection is the newest project by a duo of local designers under the guidance of Mary Strauss.
Story: Wotan, ruler of the gods, conceives a plan to restore his power following the loss of the Ring of the Nibelung to the dwarf Alberich. Through his relationship with the goddess Erda he has fathered several warrior daughters known as the Walkures (Valkyries), who collect slain soldiers from battlefields to guard Valhalla, the home of the gods.
Story: A poet enters the theater and ascends to the stage. He walks over and introduces himself to a musician seated off stage left. He returns to center stage, turns around and views a triptych of sorts that has an ancient look to it. There’s also a chalkboard that the poet uses to drive home certain points, a simple table and chair, a briefcase and a trunk that contains the tools of his trade.
So, there’s a movie coming out this week called The Last Exorcism Part II (the sequel to The Last Exorcism). Now, one would think that a movie called The Last Exorcism would not have a sequel—presumably because that exorcism was the last one (still, a movie called The Second-to-Last Exorcism might not have had the same box office draw). In any event, apparently the ability to do a back bend is synonymous with demonic possession and we have another last case. A last, last exorcism, if you will. Of course, if Weekend at Bernie’s II taught us anything, it’s that Hollywood can make a sequel out of anything.
In all fairness, I have to say it is virtually impossible to review this movie accurately without giving away every idiotic unoriginal plot twist in it. I will say this: You have seen this movie before. That being said, the story, albeit familiar, is suspenseful and at times extremely well-acted.
St. Louis commemorated the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic with Centennial Weekend, including a meticulously researched 11-course menu served on stage at the Fox Theatre. Mary Strauss orchestrated the event, with Joan Quicksilver as co-chair.
OSEA founder and ‘chief seaweed officer’ Jenefer Palmer comes from a long line of healers. In fact, her grandmother was one of the first female chiropractors in the world, who always told her granddaughter, Always read the label. She took the advice to heart when working as spa director at Murrieta Hot Springs, which at the time was a premier holistic destination spa. But what she found came as a surprise: Many of the most expensive products used inexpensive and sometimes dangerous synthetic ingredients. Palmer now uses 100 percent natural marine-based organic ingredients in her products, which are carried at luxury spas around the world. We caught up with her on a recent visit to Soft Surroundings, St. Louis’ exclusive provider of OSEA products.
Some places just make you want to smile. Nova Scotia is one of those places. Halifax, the capital of the province, is the perfect anchor city for exploring; and The Prince George Hotel is the perfect place to stay.
Debbie VannMos with Titan, Jenna Van Mos with Trand, Jamie and Courtney Quinn
New on DVD
Local residents don’t have to leave the city to take in top-notch art, music and theatrical entertainment. Find out which of the past year’s productions wowed some of our town’s most prominent names.
Miran Halen, Soprano, St. Louis Symphony: There have been so many wonderful events in St. Louis this past year that it is impossible to choose only one. The St. Louis Symphony Red Velvet Gala featured Itzhak Perlman, the legendary violinist who is inspirational to audiences and fellow musicians. It was an incredible evening, especially when he returned to the stage for his encore, the theme to the film, Schindler�s List. It was an unforgettable performance and an incomparable event. The Titanic Centennial Weekend was truly an event to remember. The attention to detail by Mary Strauss and her team was amazing�from the actors who portrayed actual guests to the wait-staff in costume. A memorable night! Finally, I enjoyed my second rock �n� roll concert, Sting, at the Fox Theatre. He was phenomenal; I found myself rocking to the music!
Hurricane Ophelia and a pervasive northern low decided to join us on an early October drive from Nova Scotia to St. Andrews By- The-Sea in New Brunswick...
Story: Jack Shore makes his living primarily as the “flying carpet guy” in TV commercials. He’s held that gig for 11 years and nervously awaits the go-ahead from his client for another annual extension through his agent, Ted. In the meantime, Jack has traveled from Los Angeles to Chicago at the request of his mother Esther to appear in a benefit tribute to his grandfather, legendary Yiddish Theater star Jacob Shemerinsky.
Titanic Centennial Dinner Fox Performing Arts Foundation By Bryan Schraier On the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, guests gathered at the Fox Theatre to relive the last dinner served on the doomed ship. Guests mingled with actors and actresses in costume in the lobby as if on the dock preparing to board the great ship. At last helped onto the stage, the guests were seated before an ocean of ‘stars,’ enjoyed period music, speeches by personalities such as the captain Edward Smith, and an 11-course dinner, the same as was served on the Titanic a century ago. Proceeds benefit the Fox Performing Arts Foundation. The event was chaired by Mary Strauss, with Joan Quicksilver as co-chair.
Back in 1994, Scott Schoonover launched a daring initiative: His Union Avenue Opera (UAO) was founded to bring affordable, professional, original-language opera to St. Louis. UAO has thrived in the last 18 years, and continues to build its loyal following. This season’s schedule of three works begins with George Frideric Handel’s Acis and Galatea, which will be performed on April 27, 28 and 29 at UAO’s performance space in the sanctuary of Union Avenue Christian Church, 733 N. Union Blvd in the Central West End.