As I mentioned before, I am trying to make a conscious effort to expose St. Louis for all the hipness it holds, so I will do my best to feature weekly places of interest. It is a shockingly urban-country happenin’ place for a mid-sized Midwest city. For some reason, I was a bit nervous to move away from the East Coast, where Andrew and I spent the better part of six years (and for Andrew, eight years). I feared I would miss out on the urban treasures we had become so accustomed to, like walk-ability, a strong sense of community, diversity, and just a lot of fun stuff going on to enrich one’s life. You know, the city appeal. I feared we would be thrust into suburbia, where I would fall into a deep, dark depression from feeling smothered, bored, isolated, and alone. Geez, I know I can be dramatic. But really. I was this tiny bit freaked out by the thought of it.
But instead, we found ourselves in the position of in-between. Which is perfect. I love in-between. In-between suburbia (aka spacious houses on tree-lined streets) and city (plenty of places to eat, hang out, get a cup of coffee, listen to live music, a family-owned pharmacy right down the street… and on, and on). And right smack in-between all of this is Winslow’s Home, a wonderful general store/restaurant about 4 blocks away from our house. Just the walk there is enjoyable, as it takes us down a windy hill on a wide street with no traffic to speak of and towering trees, boulevard rose gardens, and big houses we love to peer at from the sidewalk.
They carry all sorts of odds and ends, from wooden kids’ toys, housewares, and gifts (and there’s a wine room!), to their own farm produce, honey and eggs from the chickens they raise a few miles outside the city… and the farmer is a woman who not only farms but is also a clinical social worker and so very dear to my heart. The eggs she raises, a product of not only free-range, but also well-fed beautiful speckled chickens (they consume almost all of the kitchen scraps) are delicious. All sorts of colors and sizes, and the yolk is orange and rich, not pale and runny and tasteless. Our family now kind of depends on those eggs because they are so tasty. And the rest of the food. Well…
The people who work at Winslow’s are a generous and sweet and like-minded but diverse bunch, some young with tattoos and some older hippies and some more conservative, but all seeming to buy into the green philosophy of keeping things as local and organic and eco-friendly as possible. But more than feeling good about all that, they are just nice people. So nice, in fact, that they make a mini “coffee” for Milo and Oliver to share whenever we come in, which is really just steamed milk with a touch of vanilla.
Good til the last drop.**
*If you were wondering, Milo is dressed as Thor, God of Thunder, a costume he weasles his way into wearing on a daily basis since he made the crucial decision at the Halloween store last week AND which has resulted in splendid displays of bravery, such as jumping off the top of the climber in our back yard and throwing lightening bolts and the like.
**And if you respond to Milo while he is in his Thor gear, be sure to respond “Yes, Thor,” to which he will likely respond, “Thank you, Mama Thor or Papa Thor or Oliver Thor or Mr. Brent Thor.”
***And then he will tell you “I have a mustache. That means I’m growin’ up to be a man. Do you want to see the hair on my legs?” And you will, of course, oblige him and say, “Yes.” I mean, “Yes, Thor.” And then you will get to see the tiny blond fuzz under the polyurethane-blend Thor pants-suit which will prove to you that part about becoming a man. Which has nothing to do with Winslow’s Home, but everything to do with who we are at this moment. As for keeping with the spirit of this post, if you come visit us, we shall take you there for brunch.