Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

This is the best I can come up with for a festive Christmas bad mansard. I guess the solid block of green trim makes it Christmas-y. In a Twelve Days of Christmas theme, here are its gifts.

  1. bad Home Depot door
  2. the door seems to be floating, suggesting maybe it was built up to fit the smaller specs of said Home Depot door rather than a larger city-style door
  3. missing window panel on second floor covered by plywood
  4. lacking porch
  5. wrapped in siding
  6. did I mention it was TAN siding
  7. windows not historically appropriate
  8. brackets and cornice painted one uniform shade of green
  9. shutters also not original to a house of this era
  10. looks like basement windows buried under yard
  11. the green shutter on the top is falling off
  12. the mailbox?
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mansard et Music

I'm sure the greater St. Louis area is wondering, "hey, what is the badmansard family listening to this Christmas?"

My favorites:

Fairytale of New York by the Pogues. Is there anything better than this sweet Christmas song sung by a toothless drunk Irish guy who slurs his gal is a "old slut on junk." Kirsty MacColl sings the female part. She was tragically killed in 2000. She was a back up singer on many Smiths and Morrissey songs (Golden Lights, Ask and Interesting Drug).

Merry Chistmas Darling by the Carpenters. Yep. Love the Carpenters

Winter Wonderland by the Cocteau Twins

Good King Wenceslas

Ding Dong Merrily on High

The Holly and the Ivy, especially the Judy Collins version

Wonderful Christmastime by Paul McCartney. I know some hate this song but I have good memories of driving around Queeny Park in the back of our Nova in the snow listening to this song.

I Saw Three Ships, except the Sting version. Sting should only be permitted to sing Police songs.

Merry Christmas Mary by Johnny Cash. While hardly a carol, this is one is the best Christmas homages (and maybe only) to Mary.

Our favorite-- tasteful drum roll please-- Il Est ne le Divin Enfant. Whether by the Chieftains, Annie Lennox or the Vienna Boys Choir, j'adore this French carol. Above is Siouxsie and the Banshees, including the Cure's Robert Smith.

And these songs make me want to put a dirty knife in my eye:
Rocking around the Christmas Tree.
White Christmas
Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Happy Christmas/War is Over (blech!!!)
Mariah Carey songs of all type and variety
I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
any Christmas song performed by Candlematch Nickelbox or its contemporaries

Thursday, December 16, 2010

That joke isn't funny any more

This sad, sad little thang is at Pennsylvania and Chippewa. Despite the freezing temps, I pulled over and took a picture. And this unhappy, depressing Smiths song went through my head.

A song about parking on the side of the road and laughing at people (well, their houses). A bad mansard CLOSE TO HOME (this house is a few miles from my own; I think this was in Marine Villa).

I don't think Morrissey was thinking about bad mansards when he and Johnny Marr wrote That Joke, but I still felt slightly ashamed taking this picture because this little guy is in such bad shape.

park the car at the side of the road
you should know, time's tide will smother you
and I will too
when you laugh about people who feel so very lonely
their only desire is to die
well, I'm afraid it doesn't make me smile
I wish I could laugh

but that joke isn't funny anymore
it's too close to home
and it's too near the bone
it's too close to home
and it's too near the bone

So there you have it. A mansard that tore at my heart and made me feel shameful. A house that is so very Smiths-y. South City St. Louis is quite far away from Morrissey's hometown of Manchester, England, but somehow I can imagine him and this house understanding each other.

an aside: I did see a solo Morrissey perform at the Orpheum in 1998 (guessing on date). He was pissed at the venue and even madder when all people wanted to hear was Smiths songs. He performed for 40 minutes, told the audience St. Louis sucked and stormed off the stage. And folks thought it was still awesome. After we left, my husband got drunk sick in the St. Charles alley at 11st Street. As he puked, he reminisced about how much the Smiths had meant to him as a younger man.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Park Clayton

As best as I can tell, this is neither in Clayton nor adjacent to a park. It is, however, near Clayton and close to a couple of parks. Mansard apartment in Dogtown.

Speaking of dogtown, I think it is important to have friends residing in key locations:

  • A Soulard friend who has a warm house with a clean bathroom for Mardi Gras
  • A Shaw friend on Flora Place for the art fair
  • A friend on the WG 4th of July Parade Route
  • A friend in Lafayette Square for the bike races
  • Someone with a good view of fireworks (Kirkwood, WG, downtown, etc)
  • and, finally, a Dogtown friend for the St. Patrick Parade. Amy Z. is my dogtown friend. Our picture above.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I admit to liking this color combination

Another from our friend Karen Gadbois in New Orleans. I've always kind of liked turquoise blue and red together.

Do you think this was at one time a franchise restaurant , like a Jack in the Box or KFC?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ma maison! Before and after.

Stumbled across an old page on with a bunch of pictures of Soulard's housing stock. Actually, the neighborhood association sent the information.

Most of the pictures were taken in the late 1960's/early 1970's. They are awesome. Let me know if you want the link.

Brief house history: built by a German named John Puff in 1886. He was a commodities guy and brokered the grain and hops supplies to the local breweries. Door on the side was a business entrance. It's a weird house because it's a central hall plan but the house, while it looks enormous, is only 2 rooms deep. Turns out this house was built on the back of the lot on Sidney street, perhaps illegally.

House went to Puff's daughter Christina Fath and her husband Conrad in the late 1890's when John died suddenly in California. They were all German Evangelical Lutherans and went to St. Marcus Church. I think that particular branch was absorbed by the UCC.

House was owned by some German Catholics through the 1930's but then was converted to a boarding house. It remained a boarding house (like when this pic was taken) until 2001 and was a popular place for the just-released-from-prison set.

I'm surprised by:
  • lack of vegetation , street trees, etc.
  • the house looks better than I thought it would have
  • what's with the side entrance portico?
  • thing you cannot see: the gutters were lined with asphalt and I now have major leaky and screwed up gutters.
  • partial white picket fence? My neighbor to the south had some too until last year.
  • Most of the features- chandeliers, mantles, etc.- were left intact and lovingly restored.
The whole set of pictures is fascinating. I'll try to post occasional pictures. I am starting with the best picture first.

And, don't think because I have posted a picture of my house you can come axe murder me. I have dogs, alarms and a 6'5" husband.

Friday, November 26, 2010

What up shortie?

A pair of oddballs on 18th Street in Benton Park. Mini-mansard Permastone craziness to the right, and an infill (?) to the left. I hate that red mulch and the overgrown yew shrubs in front of the mansard. The little place to the left is kinda cute.

Trivia: Name a street found in Benton Park, Soulard and Lafayette Square. Answer: 18th Street.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Philadelphia double-decker mansard

I have to admit: I was close to running out of mansard material. I scrounged through my iphoto library for a mansard I may have forgotten to post. I said a little prayer to the patron saint of bad mansards (just kidding, although I would assume would be the patron saint of architecture, St. Barbara or St. Thomas the Apostle).

A day or two later, reader Paul sent me some flickr photos for some bad mansards. Thanks Paul! This is a view of Philadelphia's historic Broad Street.

A 3 story building, 2 stories of which is all crazy mansard roof. Is it old? New? Infill? A bad facade? I'm going with bad facade over a historic building. The windows level up perfectly with the building to the right. It would appear the shell exterior scales down the original size of the windows. That never looks good. Reminds me of this building in Soulard: click here.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Please don't do this

Marine Villa, I think. I'm running out of mansard pictures and found this in iphoto.

Could have been a peach of a place but it's been ruined by Permastone and bad replacement vinyl windows on top. At least, I think that's Permastone. I'm going to feel really bad if that's not Permastone and instead an 19th century attempt at a Richardsonian 2nd Empire Mansard.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sacred Heart in St. Charles: where an American saint meets a bad mansard

These are photographs of two buildings on the Sacred Heart campus in St. Charles, Missouri. One is the historic mansard on campus, probably built in the 1880's. The other is a bad mansard meant to echo the stylings of the first.

St. Charles is now a ex-burb of St. Louis but 200 years ago it was a town up the Missouri river, the last outpost before Lewis and Clark hit the trail. St. Rose Philippine Duchesne founded this school in 1818 and it would be the first of many Sacred Heart Schools in America. St. Rose is our hometown girl saint; she started off in France but left after the French Revolution to help out our hometown boys, the Jesuits. I cannot do her story justice, so click here to read more about her incredible story.

I am sure a lot of important people have gone to Sacr
ed Heart, but the one who stands out in my mind is Project Runway Season 2 finalist Santino Rice, Sacred Heart alum.

Thanks to a mom of a brownie in our troop for getting the pictures to me. I love our brownie troop for so many reasons- the girls are cute, curious and smart. Their moms are awesome too and send me bad mansards.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oktoberfest mansard. What? October is over?

Here's a nice mansard in Hermann, the Gasthaus. If I hadn't been slowed down by two of my kids' weeklong birthday celebrations**, 4 soccer games per week and an out-of-town husband, I would have posted a picture of an Oktoberfest hotspot in October.

You know what else slowed me down in October: Oktoberfest, Halloween and the beverages that go with them.

Loved Soulard Oktoberfest in Lyon Park. We went on Friday at 6. Perfect timing because we went right in, got beer, sat down, danced, went home by 10. I really like Chikeria (from Munich). They're kind of like a German ska band. And they start every song with, "this song, it is a very special song..."

And Halloween. My husband's employer had a private concert with Tone Loc (Funky Cold Medina) and Digital Underground (Humpty Dance!!!). Excellent times. For a costume, I dressed as Blair from the Facts of Life.

Back to the mansard. Who loves wrought iron cresting? Me.

**does that sound like I spoil my kids with The Week of Gus or the Week of Kay? You know how it goes- family party, party with friends, bring treats to school. Takes up the whole week.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Iconic St. Louis institutions with bad mansards

New category- St. Louis landmarks with bad mansard roofs. Here is Hans Weiman, where men (and women) can get their hairs restored. I think Hans may have moved locations from this location on Brentwood Blvd. But, in my mind this will always be Hans Weiman.

Funny story. Stop reading if you're not into inside jokes that happened 20 years ago in Webster Groves. I used to work at the WG pool. There was an intercom/PA system. The pool staff had a great time making up fake pages for others. For instance, after a lifeguard fell and skinned his knee, "Mr. Garth [pool mgr], Terry Crouppen of the law firm of Brown and Crouppen on the phone for you."

There are two guys. Jeff K. is my husband's boss but my old coworker. Bo K. is also a family friend. Poor Bo K, who was quite handsome, was teased for his hairline. Mind you, he wasn't bald nor did he even really even have thinning hair. But, his hockey nickname was Smoothie for his 'smooth' head of hair. Thus, the page to the hundreds of people at the WG pool by Jeff K to Bo K: "Bo, Hans Weiman on the phone for you. Your hairpiece is ready for pickup."

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Did the early 1990's bar scene nurture my love of the 2nd Empire mansard roof?

It's been a while since I've featured a pretty mansard. This cute house a reminder of what a proper mansard roof should look like. J'adore wrought iron cresting and thus I've always had a crush on this house. I remember it from when me and my party people would come to McGurks during college breaks. We'd look for parking and I'd always say, "I love that house." Of course, now I live a few blocks from this house. Coincidence? Or destiny?

I've added a new tag: pretty 2nd Empire houses near bars where I went 20 or so years ago.

this house---Soulard---McGurks
houses on Park Ave----Lafayette Square---Killabrews
houses on Sidney Street----Benton Park----Cats Meow and Sidney Street

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Another retirement mansard

Another mansard retirement home for you, this time in Evanston, IL. My Evanston man-on-the-street Dan Consiglio sent it. He wonders if it is called Mansard Arms.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Not a mansard, just bad

Here is some signage seen throughout the City of St. Louis parking garage at 7th and Pine. It reads, "We do not except no bill highter than a twenty." [sic] Yes. Someone wrote, printed, copied and and posted this message many times despite multiple errors- "no bill", highter and except.

There are approximately 4 people who work in this garage. The booth attendant read books and talks on the phone. The other three play solitaire in the office on the computers and smoke. They don't watch the garage or monitor the security cameras. How do I know? Because cars in this garage get broken into all the time. I am convinced it's an inside job, or at the very least, someone letting a friend enter the garage and break into cars.

I am usually very proud of the work performed by the various departments in the city. I think forestry, streets, parks and refuse do a great job. I love the Citizen's Service Bureau. I think the courts are well run, as is Gregory FX Daly's Office (Collector of Revenue) and Sharon Quigley Carpenter's Office (Recorder of Deeds). I am madly in love with the nice guy who answer the phone in the water department.

But this garage is a joke and an embarrassment. The staff is lazy, rude and likely criminal. And my tax dollars pay four people to sit around and do close to NOTHING all day, except print signs without using spell check.

I think I am going to report the spelling and grammar errors to Citizen's Service Bureau.

addendum: I am also bothered by the notice that the garage will be "locked down". First, that's a lie. Second, what is this, prison?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Does the mansard even matter?

Here at on Gravois at Ohio is the 1 Night Stand. One stop shopping for:
  • Lottery tickets
  • Awful permastone facade
  • Bud Light
  • Karaoke
  • Packaged liquor
  • "Coldest beer"
  • Latin Rite Mass (St. Francis DeSales is across the street)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Nursing Maison

When we put our loved ones into nursing homes, there are so many important things to think about. What will the residents be doing? What kind of nursing care if offered? Is the food good? Are there independent living options?

And the architecture of the roof? Is that important? I say yes. Here we have a bad mansard nursing home that kind of looks like a storage unit. And I feel really bad saying that because nice old people have to live here. The place looks tidy and clean; I am hopeful the operations of the home are as well maintained.

Thanks to S. from Charleston, SC for this bad mansard located in Cartersville, Georgia.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Combien de maisons?

Driving down Sidney today on the way back from Tower Grove Park. The fire department had Sidney closed off, forcing me to detour and, voila, find this doozie.

Very strange double wide unit, 3 story mansard to the left, sans mansard to the right. Originally, was this one house? Two houses? Where did the other mansard roof go? What's with the portion of the sad building that juts out? Does the decorative detail at the top continue all the way across? John and I debated this.

He says/she says:

John: This was two buildings joined by bricking the gangway that would have existed between the two buildings. It looks like there are side entrances so it's unlikely that center door is the original. Also, the foundations are different and there appears to be brick 'seams' on either side of the center window, suggesting the center section was bricked in later.

Kristan: I think it was a huge house with one mansard roof and for some reason (tornado?) the right side came off. It was rebuilt with just one side. After all, why would you brick in a gangway and add a second floor? WHat do you gain from that, another 20 square feet? And if the early homeowners bricked over a gangway, wouldn't the brick be much, much different? I also think the frieze above the windows continues across the entire building.

At Ohio and Shenandoah. I guess I could look up the city records or look closer at the basement level. What do you think?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Biggest and Baddest Mansard in America

Not only is this the largest home for sale in America, it's the largest bad mansard ever created. 90,000 square feet and unfinished. Asking price, as is, $75 million.

This place looks like a strip mall conference center. I have no idea what kind of building materials are on the outside, but the blue mansard makes the stonework look plastic and fake.

Thanks to Matt for sending me the picture.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Lindell moderne

Modern mansion on Lindell between Union and the Musee de Histoire in Forest park. Look closely at the roof- little baby squishy mansards perched on each level.

Why was I traveling Lindell? I went to Vatican Splendors with Kay's 4th grade class. It was wonderful; would have been better if I could have looked at all of the fabulous material without being interrupted by a bunch of 9 year olds.

Warning- they are HARD CORE at Vatican Splendors about cameras (none), cell phones (totally off), and food/drink. I had to excuse myself when Mimi demanded her raisins. Still, highly recommended.

Friday, August 27, 2010

continuing with our vacances

Corvallis, Oregon. My stereotype of Oregon: cool, lush and lovely.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

When I think summer in Michigan, I think moustique

Mosquitos, that is. Lot of friends enjoy summers in Michigan. I've heard it's lovely and the mosquitos are huge. This bad mansard is a brown, multi-level professional building. Thanks to friend Wayne for sending the picture.

The badmansard vacation continues. Of note, I'm not vacationing but I'm featuring mansards from around the country. I did, however, go on the Meramec River float trip.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

aller au magasin de vins et de spiritueux (going to the liquor store)

We floated the upper Meramec this week with John's family. It was 100 degrees but it really was a nice float. Every good float trip starts with a trip to the liquor store. We like cans of Busch and Budweiser. Here's Meramec Package Liquor in Cuba, Missouri- a bad mansard.

Some audio for you: The Urge's Open All Night, aka Going to the Liquor Store.

Friday, August 6, 2010

C'est les Vacances!

It's the month of Août; time for vacation! Let's head east to Worcester, MA. Here's a bad mansard on Millbrook Street. It's intriguing- look at the curved window brackets, porch mansardette and, omg, please rip out the square of dead, overgrown shrubbery. Thanks reader Sean for the the photo.

We'll also head north to Michigan, west to Oregon and south to Louisiana later this month.

Would love a San Francisco bad mansard. Anyone?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mansard a Manhattan

This sad mansard is in the super cute City of St. Louis border neighborhood of Elldendale. I met my mom and her husband at Piccadilly's for lunch to pick up my older daughters. Piccadilly's is a nice little place, by the way. Service is a little slow, but it's a pleasant wait. Food is good. Beer is cold. Ellendale is the neighborhood east of McLains, the dive bar at Big Bend and Oxford.

I'm a little embarrassed that until today I did not know this little cute neighborhood was in the city. I always assumed it was Maplewood. I grew up in Brentwood and Webster Groves and drove down Big Bend 10,000 times and never, ever knew the city of St. Louis was so close.

That brings up another topic. I was talking to a city friend who explained some people she knew in the county (mostly far west county and St. Charles) refused to come to the city. I've never, ever encountered that with my Webster/Kirkwood/Glendale/Rock Hill/Brentwood/Ladue friends. I think the city and the inner portions of the county share a lot of attributes: big trees, pretty houses, neat neighbords, gridded streets and railroads.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mansard Bleu

It's blue. It's a mansard. 'Nuff said.

Say, that reminds me. I watched Ocean's 13 last night and 'Nuff Said was the game promoted by the Bernie Mac's (RIP) character Frank Catton.

And "say, that reminds me" is straight from Raising Arizona.

So, now you know some favorite movies around our house.

Thanks to Mr. and Mrs. D. Beck for the photograph.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Apartment building in Evanston, IL, courtesy of Dan. Isn't Dan great? Do you need some video of Dan to put a face with a name? Here you go:

Thursday, July 15, 2010


This is a nice corner in Hermann, Missouri. Three story commercial building, mansard roof, iron cresting. Nice window detail. I think it was built in the 1880's.

For those who do not know, Herman is a lovely little German town featuring many picturesque wineries. We went there a lot in college and law school, usually in the back of a big yellow school bus.

Today I went to Hermann for work so I drove myself and didn't drink at all. Whole town looked very different. Hermann, by the way, has some great little antique stores.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Graffiti- I'm cute!

This is a trash container on the Lafayette side of Lafayette Park installed when I still lived on Mississippi, perhaps 8 years ago. Almost as soon as this receptacle went in, someone wrote "your cute" [sic] on it. I so badly want to add an apostrophe so it reads "you're cute." I do appreciate the kind words and I am glad the message is still there. Quite motivating- running Lafayette Park (4 laps = 3.5 miles) and reading that I'm cute.

Monday, July 5, 2010

What is French for "Drunk guy threw my flower pot in the street"?

I must be a magnet for this stuff (or, more likely, my house is on a busy-ish street and also near a bus stop). Police knocked on the door. "Did you call 911?" Nope. Not me.

"Ma'am, please step outside." At this point I assume I'm in trouble for bad parallel parking or, even worse, that there's a warrant out for my arrest due a technical error or something.

Nothing like that. Turns out a drunk guy picked up my freshly potted geranium and threw it at a bus. There was a news crew in the area which captured the episode on film. The crew also called the police.

The police asked if I wanted to press charges. I eventually said yes, not because I felt like a victim or anything, but because my perfectly matched flower pots were unmatched and I now had to go back to the flower store for more geraniums, an unnecessary waste of my very precious time. Stupid drunk.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Une légende

And legendary this mansard is. (sorry if légende is masculine not feminine).

I saw a picture of this mansard years ago on a local St. Louis architecture/preservation page-- BELT? Commenters on that blog labeled this Cousin It. Perhaps the memory of this tres bad mansard stayed in my subconscious and years later motivated me to start badmansard. Am I right that this is a cinder block rectangle with a shingled mansard as tall as the building itself but for 8 inches on the bottom which might house Aquatech trolls?

If I had a crown of bad mansards, there would be four jewels: this one, the Hannibal Mullet mansard, Chicago drive-thru banque (more trolls live in its drive through roof/see window) and one more, a mansard that eludes me, the Belleville, IL mansard-a-mansard apartment building. The Bellevegas mansard is like the grail of mansards- one day I shall make the journey to Belleville to seek it in the name of bad architecture glory.

Speaking of art and architecture, thanks to my friend D. who sent me this picture. D. teaches art/architecture at Webster U. When I drive around town pointing a camera at houses and taking pictures, I worry I may get stopped or questioned. Instead of giving the "I write a blog" speech, I am going to lie and say I am in D's class and writing a paper on the mansard style.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Attention Hoosiers, Hipsters, Cardinals Party People. Kilroys, just south of Busch stadium, is a bad mansard. I don't know who patronizes Kilroys and thus my blanket greeting.

The mansard roof also blends into highway 55 in the background and one cannot even really tell where the parking lot starts and patio seating begins.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Un cadeau pour le jour de Peres- A gift for Father's Day. Livres!

Father Day is coming up. Here are three books you should buy because they were written by friends of badmansard.

The first is the New Dad A=Z by good friend Dan Consiglio with whom John and I go way back - as in skipping Shakespeare at the Rep in Webster to go get drunk at Dan's house on California, circa 1987. click here. New Dad is perfect for, obviously, new dads but also ANY dad- lots of "exactly!" moments. Dan lives in Chicago but loves the Cardinals, which brings us to our next livre.

Second book is by Post Dispatch sports write Derrick Goold. His son is in preschool with my own boy. Lots of talking about Star Wars (between the 4 year olds, not this book). How could a book of 100 Cardinals factoids NOT be perfect for Father's Day? click here

Third book isn't really for dads, but as long as we are talking about books by people I know, we should mention Mei-ling's book. Just came out in paperback. Mei-ling was adopted and tracked down her birth family in Taiwan/China after we left college while she was a reporter with the Post Dispatch. In case you need to know how I know Mei-ling, she was in my sorority and also in the Journalism School at Mizzou with me. click here

So there you go- buy all three books for around $30 and support some good people. Now that I've written of baseball, Webster High School and Dan Consiglio, I'm reminded of Don Mumm, baseball coach and reluctant gym teacher of the laziest group of 11th grade girls at WGHS. He'd get pissed because we wouldn't run, stretch, play or care. Totally awesomest friend in the world Maire Kennedy and I re-worked a Book of Love Song "I touch Roses" intor "I hate gym class." He'd yell "you girls!' but then stick his nose back in his baseball playbook and ignore us. Good times. I've included a picture of the gals from that gym class outside the WGHS Roberts Gym entrance. I'm the bowl cut blond in the middle. Picture from 1987 or 1988.

are you too young to know of Book of Love? here you go - click here

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Encore avec les Italiennes!

Here's another Italian bad mansard on the Hill, un maison d'enterrement !

Hopefully my criticism of the Calcaterra funeral home's roof doesn't get me banned from DiGregorio or get my kid kicked out of the Italian American youth Bocce league. Yep, Bocce. Are you wondering whether my husband or I are Italian and are passing down a family tradition to our daughter? Well, none of that. Audrey plays with a friend and she really likes it. Bocce requires only strategy and the ability to toss a ball with a certain momentum. A group of 7 year old Bocce players can take on kids age 4 or 10 and it can be a pretty well-matched game. And it's a free league.

Friday, May 28, 2010

What is "sud""

I live in Soulard. I always thought I was on the south side. I was all like, "I am south- sy-eed!" and throw a 63104 gang sign. Just kidding. As it would turn out, Soulard is the near south side. These mansards are tres more sud-side than any neighborhood with which I am familiar.

Top mansard is on Bates near Grand. It's part of a charming-but-awkward- mini-mansard-row of houses.

The second mansard is about the 6000+ block of S. Broadway. Someone correct me: is this the Carondelet Patch neighborhood? I saw it on my way to the Skatium for a Girl Scout rollerskating event. What you can barely see is the dudes chilling by the back door. I need to get back to this stretch of Broadway with a real camera to get a picture of the cute mansard and this awesome laundromat with orange machines (j'adore orange!).

Monday, May 17, 2010

My favorite intersection: Douzième et Treizième

I love the intersection of 12th and 13th near the Anheuser Busch brewery visitor's center.

1. Where 12th splits off from 13th is a one-of-a-kind stop sign where drivers are instructed they "need not stop" if turning right. I challenge you: is there another sign like this? My challenge to the Streets department: how about a needn't turn right sign. It's also a 3-way.

2. I also would assert the alley between 12th and
13th may be the shortest in St. Louis

3. And these cool Clydesdales live near the intersection of 12th and 13th.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bad Mansard sur la Currine

This is on Cliff Cave Road in south county. It also has a funky little mansard addition.

How did I trouve la mansard? We went on a melanoma research walk at Cliff Cave Park (Our MOM foundation).

The morning was a triple win: supported a good cause, had a nice walk and found a bad mansard.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What is French for "crazy guy on PCP turned over the dumpster in the alley"?

On Monday night I was shuffling around the 1st floor doing my routine- preparing as much as possible for the next day- backpacks, lunches, snacks, dishwasher, cereal bowls, retainer cleaner, dog food, mail, etc. Really the only thing I don't do to make school mornings easier is to have the kids sleep in their uniforms, although I have done that in the winter with shirts. Anyway...

Around 11 pm I hear the dumpster noises. Noises that would suggest the dumpster is being hoisted up into a of St. Louis Refuse Department trash truck. So I says to myself, "maybe it's part of the new trash department budget cuts- run trash trucks at night to save money..."

But the trash trucks don't say "you're a bitch! you're a bitch! Bitch!" Which makes me think some shirtless hoosier is fighting with his beer bellied, chicken legged, chain smoking girlfriend. Which does happen here in the 63104. So I look out the window and for a split second I see a guy with crazy eyes walking by the house. Seconds later, he starts to argue with a guy walking two small fancy dogs. More "you're a bitch!"

And my cat jumps out of the bushes and gets called a bitch too.

Guy-with-dogs sees me in the curtains and tells me to call the police. So I do. I tell describe dumpster guy as "violent" "erratic" and "behaving strangely" and soon many 3rd District police officers are cruising up and down the street.

All the neighbors came out and a debriefing was held. What we know: the dumpster/bitch caller was alone and turned over a dumpster onto my house. The guy with the dogs told him to stop. Dumpster guy called him a bitch and yanked the cell phone from dog-guy and smashed it.

ALthough I did call the police within seconds, I feel like I should have done more. Get a better description of dumpster guy. Go out on the sidewalk and assess the situation. Yell out the window that the police were being called. But like my description suggested, he was erratic and probably on some kind of violent drug so I didn't.

I'm very used to odd-balls walking around this neighborhood and they don't freak me out. This PCP/angel dust dumpster/bitch guy was different. He turned a dumpster over by himself, then called the dumpster, a dog walker and my cat a bitch.

Now the wait begins: how long will my dumpster remain toppled against my house.

The second photo is my street-lawn looking at its best right now. The roses need a serious pruning, but lovely right now.