When the boys were young, we used a Countdown to Christmas calendar. It had a pocket for each day that held a strip of paper with an activity that would help us get ready for Christmas. Even though I haven't used that calendar for many years, I still like the concept of spreading out the holiday activities, and try to do one or two things every day to make the season less hectic.Today Tony and I headed towards Cherokee Street in South St. Louis for holiday activities both old and new.
Cherokee Street runs from east to west south of downtown. The section east of Jefferson is known as Antique Row, which is six blocks of antique, collectible and specialty shops. For many years they've hosted a Cookie Walk the first weekend in December that became a must-do activity for our family.
When the boys were young they wanted to go in every store to see how many cookies they could accumulate, and while they were adding to their stash I'd shop. Now they don't go with us, so Tony and I pick and choose which stores we want to browse in, and get to stay in each as long as we want. We spent a lot of time today saying, "How can that be an antique? I had one of them when I was a kid."
When we started shopping on Cherokee Street decades ago, there wasn't any place to get a meal. That's changed. We stopped for lunch at The Stable, a brewpub and micro-distillery close to the eastern end of the street. Tony and I both ordered their lunch special, which included soup or salad, pizza, and a non-alcoholic drink. I got a Muffaletta pizza with a house salad, and Tony chose Caesar salada and Carbonara pizza. The pizzas were quite large for one person; each of us ate half, and brought the other portion home for lunch tomorrow.
Our new activity was on the section of the street west of Jefferson, which I'm less familiar with. I know there's a small Hispanic section and a couple of good restaurants there. I didn't know before today that there's also a burgeoning print artist scene. This weekend they joined together for the Cherokee Print League Holiday Sale, which showcased more than 50 artists and businesses at a dozen different locations.
If the weather had been nice we might have walked from venue to venue (from one end to another, a little more than a mile), but the cold, blustery wind kept us from doing that. Instead, we parked the car, shopped, then drove down the street to hit the next cluster of storefronts.
I had a great time talking with the artists, some whose names I'd heard of and some I hadn't. All of them were friendly and ready to tell me about their work. There was a wide variety of printing styles available, but I came away empty-handed today except for a stack of business cards. I couldn't find anything I wanted to buy for a Christmas present, but there were quite a few things I might be buying for myself later...