Friday, November 23, 2007

Thankfully Downtown

Downtown St. Louis EventsHolidays have lots of traditions. That's especially true for downtown.

Usually, my Thanksgiving traditions were pretty much limited to listening to Alice's Restaurant on KSHE and then heading off to the family feast.

This year was different.

The morning festivities started with the Thanksgiving Day Parade. This is an ongoing event. Not being much of a parade person isn't an excuse when there are little ones involved. The boys went crazy over the parade. We pulled up next door to the Hilton at the Ballpark for my selfish need to be close to Starbucks. What impressed me the most was participants attempt to pretend it wasn't cold outside. Miss Soulard was dressed like it was a warm summer day. Her face told the true story. She looked miserable. We saw Santa then hit the road (he was appropriately dressed).

Our next event was a bit more challenging. Hosting a feast for 23. What made it more complicated was the home it was to be held in is still under construction. Thanks to our friend in the Kingbee building, we were able to use her space to host the family.

Hosting 23 people from around the metro area, most of which have never been in a loft was interesting. Our thought when we announced that we were moving the celebration downtown was that people would be hesitant. "The ONLY reason they're coming (into the city) is to see your new house!" my mother-in-law explained. We were delighted by the actual response though. Everyone was thrilled to be downtown. Being inside a loft excited the whole bunch.

Between dinner and dessert, we piled Downtown St. Louis real estateinto 3 minivans and pressed further into the city to visit the downtown Macy's. A tradition that my elders couldn't stop talking about. "We used to always come to Famous Barr downtown to see the windows", I heard several accounts. My thoughts recalled the articles I've read through the years regarding the decline of downtown. For years and years, our region revolved less and less around the downtown area. An article in the St. Louis Post Dispatch in 1997 (2 years before the first loft condo building was completed) said that if our region was going to compete in the 21st century, that we would need to address the problems with our downtown.

When we got to Macy's, there was a pretty good crowd traversing from window to window around the store. The window displays were well done. The response was good too. Keeping track of the 9 kids in our vans was the priority, by this time they weren't to excited about forming an orderly procession from window to window. Hearing the positive remarks about downtown development was nice, but being able to say that so much more is on the way was even better.

Happy Holidays!

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