Posts Tagged ‘University City’

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U-City Grill

April 13, 2010

The U-City Grill is exactly what we need more of in St. Louis.  Despite the fact that this place has been around since 1987 (almost as long as I’ve been alive and longer than all but 7 of the 42 restaurants listed on the loop directory),

U. City Grill - Since 1987

I first discovered it less than two years ago while living nearby.  One day, feeling like diner food I decided to check out the “grill” and came across this menu:

Menu @ the U-City Grill

Since it was after 11 am, I had the option of either being brave and trying the Korean food, or going elsewhere.  Luckily I decided to be brave and ordered the first thing on the menu – Bulgoki (no idea how to pronounce this) Beef.  Just a couple of short minutes later I was handed a bland looking two-tone plate.  There was white rice and white bean sprouts covered in beef.

Bulgoki Beef - Delicious

Now usually I like vegetables to be a pretty big part of my meal and my initial thoughts were that I was not going to like what I had in front of me.  Then I tasted it.  Somehow, this simple combination of thinly sliced steak (expertly marinated of course), rice and bean sprouts is perfection.  For about six dollars I was full and happy.  Since then, every time I walk into the U-City Grill I can’t help but notice the smiles on the faces of the other customers.  This place makes people happy!

The U-City Grill

If you have never been here, go.

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Neighborhood Grocery

February 8, 2010

Last year I was living in U-City, close to Vernon and Leland.  Very close by we had a grocery store, Pete’s Shur Sav which was incredibly convenient.  Although the Shur Sav faces Vernon, it is also accessible from Olive and considering the fact that it is part of a strip mall, it is still friendly to pedestrians.

Pete's Shur Sav Warehouse Foods on Vernon

In sharp contrast to this easily accessible layout is the U-City Schnucks.  If I wanted an item that the Shur-Sav didn’t carry or needed groceries after 8 PM (when Pete’s closes), I would continue walking up Vernon to Schnucks.

The Walk to Schnucks down Vernon

Although Schnucks is positioned just as close to Vernon as the Shur-Sav, the only access points are on Pennsylvania on the West Side and Olive on the North.  Anyone walking from the numerous neighborhoods South and East of Schnucks (closer to the Loop) have to make a significant detour.  Luckily, one of the first times I was walking down Vernon towards Schnucks, I spotted a small group of kids taking a shortcut.  The bottom of the fence is bent at the bottom in a strategic location to allow it to be crawled under.

Fence along Vernon behind Schnucks - I crawl under

I immediately began using the shortcut.  Instead of walking around the giant box with 3 blank walls I slid under the fence, sending my groceries through first on the way back home.  I love Schnucks, but they need to do a better job of connecting with the communities that they’re such an important part of.

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River des Peres North of Forest Park

January 26, 2010

Today, to follow up yesterday’s post, I visited a tunnel entrance south-west of the strip mall at the  intersection of Vernon and Kingsland.  This turned out to be closer to the intersection of Harvard and Dartmouth.

Harvard and Dartmouth

Just across the street from this sign is a driveway leading up to a small lot with a footpath pointing towards the aforementioned strip mall, a Vernon backyard, and a gate on the west side in front of some woods.  The driveway was impressive mostly because it appeared to lead nowhere.

Entrance to River des Peres Tunnel Access

Through the gate, a winding, short path leads to the top of the tunnel.  I was sad not to see a date inscribed anywhere, but being left with questions is nothing I want to complain about.  I wonder where the other two tunnels at the Macklind Pump Station begin and even if this is in fact the last place the river sees the light of day before reaching that pump station.

River des Peres Looking West from the Tunnel Entrance

After leaving this tunnel entrance, I decided to visit another spot I had found while living in U-City last year, in order to look at it with a fresh set of eyes.  Accessible from Chamberlain Avenue, this tunnel continues a series of several tunnels covering this particular drainage ditch, sending its contents south under Olive next to B & K Tuckpointing.  This tunnel is a fair amount smaller than the others I’ve been visiting recently, but it has a feeling of history and an urban character that made revisiting it more than worthwhile.

Tunnel Under Olive between Kingsland and 66th

My other photos from today’s exploration can be viewed here.

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Joe Edwards’ Trolley

December 20, 2009

I really love any idea to add any sort of public transportation to St. Louis, but this particular idea just seems silly to me.  Joe Edwards wants to run a Trolley from the Missouri Historical Society in Forest Park, to Kingsland and Delmar at the far western end of the Delmar Loop.  Both of these locations are in close proximity to a Metrolink station.  Consecutive Metrolink stations.  The history museum, according to Google’s Walking Directions Beta (which doesn’t really get the walking route right but does provide a good distance estimate in my opinion), is .2 miles away from the Metrolink.  A 3 minute walk.  If they were really serious about adding something beneficial to the city  and not just attracting attention to the loop, this is not the route they would have chosen.  I think that the choice of the history museum as one end of the “Loop Trolley” is because the planners of this project think of the trolley as an exhibit for the history museum and site for tourists to see in the loop, not as an addition to our city’s useful infrastructure.

Loop Trolley Route Map

On the other hand I really do like the idea of a Loop Trolley.  Not too long ago I lived close to Metcalfe Park, not far from the western end of the Loop.  I enjoy using Metrolink to get around and was pleased to be in an area in which I could walk to a station (3 in less than 15 minutes each), but I still complained about the walk and really wished I could hop on something like a trolley and get to the Metrolink station (or home from it).  I commuted to work Downtown on Metrolink for a while and would often dread the walk down Delmar to the train, but in actually making the walk I would always enjoy myself the whole way and found that the real problem was getting distracted on the walk and being late for the train!  This walk will be more enjoyable when more buildings and businesses are added around the station (which I really believe will happen soon).

It does seem counterproductive to simply complain about the current plan and not propose anything better, but lots of people have proposed plans for extending this trolley and I enjoy complaining.  I must concede that this plan could be a wonderful thing for the stretches of Delmar and DeBaliviere that would be served by the trolley but the scope just seems too small to justify such a large expense.  A project like this failing would really set us back in making real improvements to a system of public transportation which badly needs them, and a need to make visiting opposite ends of the loop easier could be solved by increasing the frequency of MetroBuses.

UPDATE:

Maybe this project could be combined with Paul McKee’s NorthSide Trolley and turned into something more substantial?

Also, WashU Students seem to have voiced opinions similar to mine in comments on this article.

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