Recently in City life Category
(L-R) Me, Amy (another local), Tony, Brandon (show host), Scott (another local).
You may have read; yesterday we wrapped filming at Milo's Bocce Garden. I've never been a big bar person because I am such an embarrassing lightweight - which Chris totally appreciates - but I can see myself visiting Milo's often. That and I am determined, some would say obsessed, with improving my skillz at Bocce ball.
I was really apprehensive when we first started filming because I wasn't quite sure what angle the producers were going for with the show. They made a point not to be touristy and they really worked hard to take their audience off the beaten path and introduce them to not only different areas of the city, but also to the places that make those areas what they are. As a result of doing this show, I feel like I've expanded my knowledge and understanding of my own city. I appreciate it more after looking at it through the eyes of people who've never known it before. I've always said that St. Louis has such a great community spirit but after talking to Joe and witnessing the locals come out in droves for the Bocce tournament at Milo's, I was grateful to see it in action. The people who live here are devoted to cultivating and maintaining family and community ties. We're not a cow town, we're not just a few buildings flung onto the golden plains between the legs of the Arch and by the Mississippi; we're a carefully executed community. We're diverse in every way with a rich culture and history. We bridge the divide between progress and tradition and that's what gives us our spirit. Thanks to the folks at Follow and Fine Living for giving us the chance to show it.
I've hardly had a chance to breathe all weekend. I've taken a slew of photos, some of which I hope to finish uploading by tonight. Saturday we dove into the belly of the Ozarks for my family reunion. Yesterday's shoot took about six hours, four of which were spent at the U City Loop. I met up with the two other locals at Crown Candy Kitchen, Scott Rizzuto who deejays at The Point; and a PR woman - who looks exactly like Kristin Chenoweth - from a children's charity. We crammed into a tiny booth with the show host, Brandon, after he put makeup on Scott to make him man-pretty for the camera, and shot the opening scene for the episode. Scott and the-girl-who-looks-like-Kristin Chenoweth are used to speaking on air; me, not so much. My keyboard is my buffer between me and the world and there's a certain solace in that. I had to hurry up and turn it on to match their enthusiasm.
Later that afternoon we hit the Loop. Brandon and I were filmed traipsing up and down the sidewalks while the swanky adults, collegiate hipsters and stinky hippies stared. THERE WERE PEOPLE EVERYWHERE. At first I felt very self-conscious about the whole thing but followed Brandon's lead and got over it. We filmed at Blueberry Hill, Riddles' wine bar, and the Tivoli. Side shots without us are to include Donnaland and Vintage Vinyl, the Amoeba Records of the Midwest.
The dialogue was quasi-scripted; I was showing Brandon around my
city and the content had to reflect that. Except one of my lines was
"Hi, I'm Dana! And I'm going to show you a little thang called the St.
I SAID THANG.
The producers actually wanted me to say "thang" which wasn't scary, the scary part is that I sometimes do say "thang." They shot Brandon and I walking into Riddles' a frillion times; we had to re-shoot many of the outside scenes because of noises from buses, huge motorcycle gangs, drunks, and outright hoosiers who would do something to disrupt the shots THANK YOU, I WAS IN HEELS.
We visited Riddles' so to give Brandon a taste of local Missouri wine because NO. We are not just beer country here. Missouri wines are traditionally uber sweet, which didn't jive too well with the dry preference of the New York crew. After the bartender poured our glasses the producer whisked them away because they had to get another shot of the wine being presented and poured but all I kept thinking was THEY TOOK THE WINE AWAY.
We filmed inside the Tivoli; the crowning scene was shot back at Blueberry Hill where we met up with Joe Edwards, the man who pretty much rebuilt Delmar. Joe was in the shot and talked a bit about the Loop's revitalization and then HE SERVED US ROOT BEER AND HAMBURGERS. Joe Edwards, the man who knows Chuck Berry, the man who, like, OWNS Delmar, served! Us! Food! Joe is one of the nicest, most unassuming people I've ever met. And looked very fit and tan.
We finish shooting at a different location tonight. It's a half-hour show and because of such there's only so much they can use. The St. Louis episode is nine of 13 total episodes, which begin airing on Fine Living this September.
Also, I have a whole new respect for cameramen and boom operators.
In a couple days a camera crew will arrive to follow me around St. Louis as I show off a few cool places in the city for a new show called "We Live Here" which will air on the Fine Living network. Out of all the reality shows that have contacted me in the past several months, this was one of two not bent on human exploitation. I'm excited about doing it because I get to show off my city - and St. Louis rocks! If you don't think so you obviously live in a city that lacks such awesome sustenance as toasted ravioli, or crab rangoon. Anybody - any Chinese person, for that matter - outside of St. Louis is all "WHAT ON EARTH IS CRAB RANGOON?"
It is heaven, my friend. Total pureed-crab-goodness-in-some-weird-fried-pastry-shell-thing heaven.
Because of our close proximity to the Ozarks, we tend to deep fry everything before putting it into our mouths.
I'm a bit nervous because of the old "the camera adds ten pounds" theory. Um, could like the camera be so kind as to possibly add five of those pounds to my butt and divide the rest between my boobs? THAT WOULD ROCK, THANKS. The Twins shrank a bit after Ewan's birth and things just ain't the same. More on that later.
Dana asks: "Thanksgiving Traditions: Yours or Your Mother's?"