Although I edit an online magazine and am surgically attached to my e-mail, there's plenty of technology I am loath to adopt. For example, I don't have a cell phone because in no time flat, I'd morph into the annoying dolt always calling to tell you that "I'm on the way"...even though I'm already twenty minutes late. And something about the tactile nature of pencil and paper makes me resist any form of electronic organizer system.
Lately, though, my hands have started looking like they did in 8th grade, when important things I wanted to remember got scrawled there in blue ink: an explosion of interesting things in my daily travels (combined with an admittedly poor short-term memory) have meant lots of transcribing when I arrive at home or work or wherever I was headed in the first place.
Sometimes I write down good songs I hear on KDHX, but more and more, it's a new business or a nook of commerce that I've never run across that makes it to my palm. Since my day job entails writing about fun stuff for visitors to do, I'm lucky that I can consider it billable hours when I roam around St. Louis, searching for the undiscovered. So it was that I zipped by Junk Junkie, on Hampton, one afternoon. Reached for the pen and managed to get down enough legible information that I could find my back one afternoon and browse the retro furniture, delightful toys of an 80s childhood and cool artwork by local scenster Mesmer.
There's so much out there, from the brand-new to the not-on-your-daily-circuit, that makes aimless wandering rewarding. Forest Park Southeast is home to a sleek day spa, The Fifth Element, the latest entry in an up-and-coming business district. Both Dogtown and the Tower Grove neighborhoods have new coffee shops for local caffeine addicts, and a nicely renovated corner of Wyoming is slated for a dog grooming business in the near future. Maplewood, the little inner-ring 'burb that could, is white-hot for fun development of late, with Arthur Clay's restaurant, Femme and Bottleworks relatively new, and Atomic Cowboy, Penzeys Spices, Elizabeth House, Pom Pom, Maya Café and Monarch continuing to draw rave reviews.
Keep your eyes open and your writing implement ready on your next jaunt...and if you want to make the streets of St. Louis a little safer, somebody please buy me one of those voice-recording pens.