Day 197

This weekend, I discovered just how tight knight the St. Louis creative community truly is.

It all started Friday night when my hosts (Casey and Sara) and I joined up with a small group at the Schlafly Taproom. As I’ve come to expect from most of the outings we attend, our table was filled with creatives and agency folks from all over—Boxing Clever, Bruton Stroube, Cannonball, Group 360 and Hoffman Lewis to name a few. We sat down to enjoy some delicious beers and spent the next few hours discussing agency life and how St. Louis stacks up to other cities around the nation. I also learned that many of the people I’ve met here all know each other in some capacity. Whether it’s through school, a past agency or just traveling in similar circles, it truly seems as if everyone here is connected in someway.

The following morning, Casey and I ran in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. For those following along, you’ll know this is the second 5K I’ve participated in along my #TGAA route, with the last one taking place in Charlotte. And for those wondering, I finished with a time of 25:07. After the race, we got together with Darrick Hays (a Digital Art Director at Boxing Clever) and his wife to chow down on some BBQ from Bogarts Smokehouse. The meal quickly manifested into a food coma and long story short, there are a few hours of the day I can’t quite place after we got back.

The next thing I remember is heading back to Schlafly, where I met up with some more Boxing Clever folks to catch Bastard & the Crows, a band that features BC Art Director, Joe Stephens. It was a great time filled with drinks, music and a few increasingly familiar faces.

But the fun and introductions don’t end there. Later this afternoon, I have the opportunity to sit down with Wesley Hoffman, a man of many talents. Not only does he run Treehouse Networkshop (which I discussed last Monday), but he’s also a Special Projects Manager at happyMedium and a Brand Ambassador for Strange Donuts. So, needless to say, I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to chat with him this afternoon.

I honestly don’t think I can accurately convey how many great people I’ve met here in the past few weeks. I know it’s only for a short while, but I’m having such an amazing time getting to know everyone here and learning of their various (and often overlapping) endeavors throughout the city. St. Louis is proving to be a great experience indeed—a trend that’s continued since day one.

-Steve-

Day 190

As expected, I had a very eventful weekend here in St. Louis. It all started Friday, when my hosts and I headed to the National Donut Day Celebration, presented by Strange Donuts. The event showcased some of the area’s most delectable bites and brews, such as curried chicken salad from Mai Lee, gelato from Pastaria and craft beers from the likes of 4 Hands and Modern. However, one of the coolest things I came across was the booth for Treehouse Networkshop, a local event series that brings entrepreneurs and young professionals together to swap inspiring stories and motivational content. I don’t think I’ll have time to take part in one while I’m here, but it’s a great idea indeed.

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention that I met a pair of Clevelanders at the event. They gave me a bit of insight into what it’s like living here—from the NE Ohio perspective—and I got a chance to tell them all about #TGAA. It was a great chat and the experience continued my trend of meeting fellow Ohioans at each of my stops.

On Saturday, I decided to wander around the downtown area a bit. Unfortunately, Mother Nature hit me with a rain delay and I didn’t get to see as much as I had hoped. I did get to checkout Ballpark Village though. I’m not a huge sports guy, but even I can see how great this complex is. It offers several bars, restaurants and clubs; and at Fox Sports Midwest Live, you’ll even find a 36-foot TV behind the bar. For those wondering, it’s the largest non-stadium TV in the Midwest.

After finishing my walk through downtown, Casey (one of my hosts) and I decided to take a bike ride to the St. Louis Galleria to pick up our Race for the Cure packets, which we had recently signed up for. Sadly, halfway to our destination the rain returned and we had to abruptly take shelter for a bit. In the end, I think it worked out rather well, because we grabbed a quick lunch next to Post-Dispatch lake at a small restaurant called The Boathouse. Once the rain stopped, we completed our mission and on our way back we stopped by Urban Chestnut to meet up with some Boxing Clever folks for a beer.

In my first weekend here, I’ve come to find that St. Louis is a lot like Charlotte or Memphis, in that it’s neighborhoods are very defined. From The Loop and The Grove to Soulard and the Central West End, each has a distinct personality all it’s own. However, the neighborhoods here seem a tad larger and offer a wider array of shops and eateries. I still have a few more areas to checkout, but thus far, I’m really enjoying what this city has to offer.

-Steve-