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This design is a triumph. The highfalutin' brought down to earth, and the stately reduced to hooliganism. A great shirt to wear in another city, when expatriate pride really tends to swell.
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Yes. Get excited about a fake, kitschy windmill that predates us all. Get very, very excited.
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The chorus to Paul Revere and the Raiders' 1971 hit, "Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)" included the phrase "Cherokee People." This T-shirt is a celebration of the tribes that congregate in the Cherokee neighborhood.
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It was somehow unthinkable before STL Style that an individual city neighborhood could earn shout-outs on a T-shirt. Dogtown is joined by Carondelet, the CWE, Benton Park West, Gaslight Square, Holly Hills, Soulard, and many other 'hoods.
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There are two ways you can go with this one. If you're from ESTL, maybe you can work up a sardonic chuckle at the nudie bars, crime, and corruption. If you're not, you can still work up a chuckle, but don't wander into schadenfreude—that's not cool.
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A fine local pun.
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Pure brilliance. There couldn't be a more perfect celebration and simultaneous indictment of our provincialism.
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"We know there is a big market out there for shirts about the suburbs," Randy Vines says of their one county-centric design, "but we face a moral dilemma there. We are more than just a T-shirt shop; we are advocates for the City of St. Louis."
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The something happening in this unlikeliest of neighborhoods is a wave of rehabbing, retail, and community spirit. The reference to the Buffalo Springfield song about hippie revolution is a nice touch.
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Get too close to our beloved aqueduct, and you might begin to mutate.
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Check out the architectural stars (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Soulard_St_Louis_Anchor_Star.jpeg). Again, great graphic design at work.
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These lyrics are from the original "St. Louis Blues," a lover's lament from the female perspective. Check out the stirring Bessie Smith version, in an amazing “music video” from 1929: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Who6fTHJ34
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What happens, thanks to this shirt, when you're away from the Lou, and you connect with someone else originally from here, too. Ted Drewes, the Landing, running into Ozzie Smith at Schnucks—you both get it.
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A T-Rav, still dripping with marinara, high-fives one of those Hill fire hydrants painted in the Italian colors. Goofy love.
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A onesie for the discerning STL baby.
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It doesn't get any more real than the slow-moving, smog-belching Grand Bus, filled with a random parade of humanity that you're forced to commute on if you're carless. The frequent charmlessness of a public bus is part of the gag here.
It may feel like a revolution, but really it’s just “the youth” remaking the world, like they do every few years. In St. Louis the youth revolution is found in our burgeoning community of graphic and web designers, in homebuyers who put down roots in Old North St. Louis, in bars and cafes like Melt, Sump, and the Silver Ballroom. The new and progressive pave over the old, trends coalesce, and something begins to smell like a zeitgeist.
The new spirit can be spotted easily on Cherokee Street, where a wave of new businesses – a record shop specializing in the outré, a hand-cranked printing press, an ice cream shop run by a tattooist who specializes in “zombie cakes” – blossomed amongst the Mexican restaurants and antique shops, and continues to flourish and expand.
Also on Cherokee Street, STL Style (http://stl-style.com/) is a T-shirt shop that has taken the hackneyed trope of the tourist T-shirt (“The Grand Canyon: I’ve Been There”) and turned it into an arch (pun intended), knowing riff on how we feel about our shopworn, small-market, ever-groping-for-cool Midwestern city.
"There are enough t-shirts out there that cater to tourists," quoting from the business' web site. "STL-Style is all about striking a chord with the natives."
Co-owners and brothers Jeff and Randy Vines, along with senior designer Kadie Foppiano, are responsible for dozens of shirts with slogans and references that can and do make hometowners grin, grimace, and blush, often at the same time.
Here's a look at some our favorites, available for holiday gifting from STL-Style's storefront, web site, and other businesses that carry their wares, should you so choose.
Jeff Vines gave us a preview of his next idear, too: "City of St. Louis hats, in the spirit of our very popular public works line, the same color and style as the city utility trucks."
Images courtesy of Jeff and Randy Vines/STL-Style