Hey, I never said anything about not posting new content here, right? Friday night, Gatermann and I went out to the east side to do some shooting. It was overcast, so we didn’t snap many pictures–I think three between the two of us. We passed some half-demolished buildings with for sale signs in front of them. We passed an apartment complex that advertised cheap rent, and from the looks of the buildings, windows must have cost extra because the buildings sure didn’t have very many. The frightening thing was, there were signs of life in the complex.
We picked up our friend Jeanne (after heading back to south St. Louis–she doesn’t hang out much on the east side, as far as we can tell) and headed north to St. Louis Avenue, home of the Crown Candy Kitchen. Not every St. Louisan knows about the place, which is a shame. Their sandwiches are fabulous, but the real reason people go there is for an excuse to get a milkshake or something else made of ice cream.

Citysearch gave it a one-star review, but they’re smoking crack. The people who’ve actually been there gave it four out of four (and unanimously, I think). Crown was founded by two Greek immigrants in 1913, and they made all the candy and ice cream themselves. The place has stayed in the family ever since, and they continue to make their own candy and ice cream. Those huge multinational conglomerates ain’t got nothing on these guys. Comparing Crown to the ice cream you get in a grocery store or another restaurant is like comparing Schlitz beer to Boulevard.

Crown is across the street from what used to be a bustling commercial district, but there’s not much left in there now besides a hair salon and some social workers’ offices. Two or three of the buildings are condemned. Many of the others obviously were beautiful in their day, and it wouldn’t take much to make them beautiful again. Looking at it made me sad. It hurts to see wasted potential.

If your travels take you through St. Louis, Crown is absolutely worth a stop. It’s just a mile or two west of I-70.

I know the first words my dad will say to me after I die: “David, how come none of your lame St. Louis friends told you about that ice cream joint until eight years after I was gone?”

And he’ll have a point. Living in St. Louis for five years and never hearing about the place is a real shame. It’s 100 times worse than living in St. Louis for five years and never hearing about the Cardinals.