Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sidney Street shout-out

Sometimes a mansard gets it right. This house on Sidney gets it so right that it deserves a special, "if you re-do your mansard, do it like this." The mansard was recently redone and it looks wonderful- tile colors, pattern, paint. This house is wedged between my friend Annie K. and Niche Restaurant.

I love Sidney Street, which straddles Soulard and Benton Park. It's a culinary destination- Niche, Sidney Street Cafe and Trueman's. Ok, I've never had the food at Trueman's but it attracts a lot of cops which means it probably has good food. I've been told Niche, SSC and Trueman's are all well-behaved neighbors and they keep the Sidney lively. On the Soulard side, there's Big Daddy's and Cat's Meow, which are slightly more boisterous.

Sidney is also historically relevant as the original corridor of numerous breweries and beer baron houses, many of which include an subterranean root cellar under actual Sidney Street. In case you're wondering about my house and beer/root cellar, I don't live on Sidney but I'm very close.

One of my first city hang-outs, circa 1988, was an apartment on Sidney very close to Sidney Street Cafe (SSC). My high school friend Joe D. lived on his own at age 17. Needless to say, it became a haven for underaged drinking. In retrospect, wow, how lucky were we to have our own boozy flophouse as high school seniors.

The street was very unpolished at the time; SSC was one of the few highlights. The street had a few pioneers working to rehab their places, but it was very early for budding Benton Park. Fast forward 21 years: I push my stroller down Sidney and chuckle at the progress the neighborhood and I have made together as a team. Just like I don't sneak into bars, get drunk and pass out in apartments anymore, Sidney is respectable, mature and a responsible drinker.

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