Enjoy the ultimate evening out. Then stay the night.
ULTIMATE NYE ROOM PACKAGE STARTING AT
Overnight stay and 2 party tickets. Book at stlouisarch.regency.hyatt.com.
PARTY TICKETS ONLY
On sale at eventbrite.com.
Ring in the new year at Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch with the Ultimate New Year’s Eve Party, featuring Dr. Zhivegas and Groovethang. The celebration starts at 8:00 PM on December 31, 2016, and runs until 1:00 AM. Enjoy a full dinner buffet, open bar, Champagne toast, party favors and confetti drop at midnight. To book or for more information, visit stlouisarch.regency.hyatt.com or call 800 233 1234.
HYATT REGENCY ST. LOUIS AT THE ARCH 315 Chestnut Street St. Louis, Missouri, USA, 63102
Ultimate New Year’s Eve package available at Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch only. Room package must be prepaid at time of booking and deposit is non-refundable after 12/14/2016. Party only tickets non-refundable. Must be at least 21 years of age or older to purchase tickets and attend the Ultimate New Year’s Eve Party. Guests must provide valid photo identification at check-in. Wristbands are required for admission to party and all guests must be present to receive wristbands at check-in. The trademarks HYATT®, Hyatt Regency® and related marks are trademarks of Hyatt Corporation. ©2016 Hyatt Corporation. All rights reserved.
13720 Manchester Rd. Manchester, MO 63011 314.822.2872 stlouisacura.com
WELL CONNECTED, JUST LIKE YOU
The new 2017 Acura ILX lets you take control over your apps on the go, giving you access to Pandora, Aha Radio, email, text, tweets and more.
Acura makes the car. Mungenast makes the difference. thevitalVOICE.com
HOLIGAY issue IMPRESSUM 6
PLAYDATES ST. LOUIS
NEW YEARS EVE GUIDE
PLAYDATES ST. LOUIS
BISTRO #BOSS DERRICK BACHMAN
DESIGNING THE DIFFERENCE STEVENS - THE INSTITUTE
MARRIED AT MARRIOTT
KYLE RICHARDS THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF BEVERLY HILLS STAR TALKS CURRENT EVENTS AND PAST TRADITIONS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.
LIFE GUIDE 32
‘TIS THE SEASON TO BE FIT SANTE FITNESS
ANGELA ROI HANDBAGS
PENELOPE’S HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
KANSAS CITY SCENE
DISH & DRINK 48
RIVER CITY CASINO CIBARE & ASIA NOODLES
CEO & PARTNER • DARIN SLYMAN DSLY@THEVITALVOICE.COM PUBLISHER & PARTNER • JIMMY LESCH JIMMY@THEVITALVOICE.COM MANAGING EDITOR • KEVIN SCHMIDT KEVIN@THEVITALVOICE.COM GRAPHIC DESIGNER • AUDREY SCHERER AUDSCHERER@GMAIL.COM CONTRIBUTOR • KARLA TEMPLLETON KARLATEMPLETON1213@GMAIL.COM CONTRIBUTOR • KALEIGH JURGENSMEYER KMJURGENSMEYER@GMAIL.COM CONTRIBUTOR • TYLER BIERMAN TB6809@GMAIL.COM CONTRIBUTOR • JILL FIRNS JILLIANFIRNS31@GMAIL.COM CONTRIBUTORS ART: DARIN SLYMAN, MARK MOORE AUDREY SCHERER, AJ BROWN, STEPH JAMES COURTESY OF MARRIOTT ST. LOUIS GRAND PINNACLE ENTERTAINMENT TEXT: JIMMY NO SHOW, KEVIN SCHMIDT, KARLA TEMPLETON, KALEIGH JURGENSMEYER BRANDON SHELDRAKE DESIGN: AUDREY SCHERER ONLINE THEVITALVOICE.COM FACEBOOK.COM/VITALVOICE TWITTER.COM/VITALVOICE INSTAGRAM.COM/VITALVOICE CONTACT VITAL VOICE MAGAZINE 4579 LACLEDE AVE #268, ST. LOUIS, MO 63108 VV@THEVITALVOICE.COM 314.256.1196
25K ISSUES PRINTED MONTHLY 400+ POINTS OF DISTRIBUTION THROUGHOUT THE ST. LOUIS AND KANSAS CITY AREA
WELCOME ‘Tis the season to deck the halls and pour yourself a Pearl Vodka martini. I’m sure we all could use some positivity after last month’s election outcome. Let’s take a moment to reflect on the good things that have happen throughout 2016. In The Community: We started our year with our first ever Transgender Issue. All year long, Vital VOICE has been proud to support Metro Trans Umbrella Group (MTUG) through partnering on all our events. We have been able to raise thousands of dollars to help establish MTUG into a more sustainable support organization. On Stage: Vital VOICE and That Uppity Theatre Company celebrated our 5th year of Briefs: A Festival of Short LGBTQ Plays. We were extremely humbled by all the support and sold out shows, and have already begun planning next year’s festival. With Pride: Both the St. Louis and Kansas City Pride festivals grew to record attendance numbers and even more public awareness. These festivals publically show how important our community is to the betterment of society. Coming Together: This year saw the closure of a few LGBT hot spots. We can all be proud of Just John and Rehab in St. Louis for remaining a gathering place for our LGBT community to come together for fun or fundraising. They invest in the community by bringing fun entertainment like Wendy Ho and Ivy Winters to their fine establishments. Dining Out: St. Louis Effort For AIDS and Kansas City’s Good Samaritan Project produced their most successful Dining Out For Life event this year. This just goes to show that supporting one another is stronger than ever. Even though HIV has become a manageable disease, the mission to eradicate it is still on the horizon.
Star Power: This year, St. Louis was host to Jane Lynch and her cabaret show at the Sheldon Concert Hall. The Fabulous Fox Theatre showcased AC2, featuring STL’s own Andy Cohen and his pal Anderson Cooper. Both played to sold out houses and were a delight for all those who attended. Beyond The Community: This month, Vital VOICE is excited to host our third annual Toys for Tots drive in Kansas City. Over the last few years, we have garnered so many toys for kids that the TFT organization now considers us one of their premier events in the market. What does that mean? More handsome service boys to delight and engage those who come. Please join us on Dec 8th from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the Bistro 303. Through Unity: As we face a new year and a new nation, let us not forget that we are always stronger together than divided. We are sure that many are anxious of the future yet to come. We encourage you to be steadfast and patient with what is to come. Also remember to be vigilant in your support for one another. As our cover profile says in her interview, “We haven’t come this far to go backwards.” It is with pride and collective support that we wish you a happy holiday season and a strong new year.
Darin Slyman CEO/Partner
Jimmy Lesch Publisher/Partner
One, two, three: laugh, sip and be seen. Make this holiday an Instant Holiday with Pearl Vodka. This easy-to-make cocktail uses Pearl’s Vanilla Bean flavor, a delicately sweet vanilla flavor with hints of rich butterscotch and decadent chocolate. Combined with honey syrup and cranberry juice, the cocktail is just the right balance of sweet and tart, perfect to use as a holiday party crowd-pleaser or to simply unwind on your own after an adventurous day of shopping or visiting with family.
MAKE IT Glass: Double rocks
Tools: stirrer, hot water Ingredients: 1 ½ oz. Pearl® Vanilla Bean Vodka ½ oz. honey syrup 2 ½ oz. cranberry juice Garnish: Cinnamon stick Recipe: Build in double rocks glass. Garnish with cinnamon stick. *Honey syrup: Combine equal parts honey and hot water. Stir until mixed. Chill and serve. Recipe courtesy of Gamlin Restaurant Group text KEVIN SCHMIDT art COURTESY OF LUXCO
Oh! the Places
$1,000 BALLOON BALLOON DROP DROP @ @ 12AM 12AM $1,000 CHAMPAGNE FOUNTAIN FOUNTAIN CHAMPAGNE Appetizers @ @ 8PM 8PM Appetizers
4054 Chouteau Ave., St. Louis, MO 63116 |. Rehabstl.com |. 314.652.3700 . | Facebook.com/Rehabstl
UGLY SWEATER FESTIVAL
Delmar Loop - visittheloop.com
Breakout your ugly holiday sweaters and join the fun in celebration of National Ugly Holiday Sweater Day in the Delmar Loop. The merriment kicks off with an Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl and Sweater Contest at The Eclipse Bar at the Moonrise Hotel starting at 8 p.m. and continues along The Loop. Participants are free to wander to the participating bars at their leisure, with signature cocktails and special drink pricing for those in Ugly Sweaters. Ruddy the Reindeer will be popping up throughout the evening for photo opportunities. The Grand Prize is a one night’s stay at the Moonrise Hotel, which will be awarded at Blueberry Hill at the end of the evening. Participating bars will have limited supplies of ugly sweater swag to pass out along with small prizes for their favorite ugly sweaters. Participating bars include Eclipse Lounge, Pin-Up Bowl, Pi Pizza, Mission Taco, Peacock Diner, Three Kings, Fitz’s, Salt & Smoke, Melting Pot, Cicero’s, and Blueberry Hill.
9th - 10th
Missouri History Museum - mohistory.org The annual World AIDS Day event features free and confidential HIV testing, marketplace enrollment, a film screening of “Deepsouth” and variety of health resources.
GATEWAY MEN’S CHORUS: GLOW
Union Ave. Christian Church - gmcstl.org GMC unwraps their 30th Anniversary Season with a night of beautiful music, campy carols, and holiday favorites with a full brass and percussion ensemble.
16th MELISSA ETHERIDGE HOLIDAY TRIO
THE NUTCRACKER AT THE BALLET
THE HIP HIP NUTCRACKER
POKEY LAFARGE IN THE LOOP
19th - 20th
WORLD AIDS DAY AT THE MUSEUM
Edison Theatre - missouriballettheatre.com Based on the 19th-century novel, The Nutcracker weaves a magical tale of holiday adventure around one of the most recognizable scores in the ballet repertoire.
Fabulous Fox - fabulousfox.com Produced by the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the full-length production is performed by a supercharged cast of a dozen all-star dancers, a DJ and a violinist.
River City Casino - rivercity.com For her special holiday show at River City this year, Grammy and Oscar winner Melissa Etheridge will be performing songs from her 2008 holiday album,
Delmar Hall - delmarhall.com The St. Louis-based singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist draws from a deep well of American musical traditions to create distinctively personal music.
Get your butt here.
DECK THE HALLS with
CAFE TRIO’S GIFT CARDS!
4558 Main St. KCMO•816.756.3227•
THIRD ANNUAL TOYS FOR TOTS DRIVE
Bistro 303 - bistro303.com
On Thursday, December 8, Pearl Vodka & Vital VOICE invite you to celebrate the holiday season with a Toys for Tots drive at Bistro 303. The annual event and fundraiser collects your new, unopened toys and donations in efforts to establish a better holiday for unfortunate children in the Greater Kansas City area. This year, the party is hosted by Genewa Stanwyck, AKA the “Whore of ‘84,” with karaoke by DJ Chad Slater, named Kansas City’s Best DJ in this year’s VOICE Your Choice Awards. The concept is simple: bring a toy or make a cash donation and receive a complimentary Pearl Vodka cocktail. The theme is straightforward: beautiful people doing beautiful things. And as it is the season of gathering with friends and sharing a little love, a combination of a party, charity and a man or woman in uniform is always a good mix.
1st - 24th
Missie B’s - latenighttheatre.com Yabba-Dabba-Doooo: Don’t miss this modern Stone Age Christmas musical. It’s all your favorites parodied with the Late Night Theatre flavor, running through Christmas Eve.
Folly Theatre - hmckc.org With a blend of familiar carols and choral classics, the Heartland Men’s Chorus’ holiday concert features something for everyone and is sure to leave you in the holiday spirit.
Sprint Center - sprintcenter.com Maxwell and Mary J. Blige will tour together for the first time ever on the co-headlining “The King and Queen of Hearts World Tour,” featuring Maxwell’s recently released album.
A VERY BEDROCK CHRISTMAS
SCREENLAND AT THE SYMPHONY
Kauffman Center - kauffmancenter.org A true holiday favorite, this adored comedy classic features renowned composer John Will in a charming and delightful score performed live by your Kansas City Symphony.
21st - 22nd
KANSAS CITY CHRISTMAS
MAXWELL & MARY J. BLIGE
THE NUTCRACKER AT THE BALLET
3rd - 24th
7th - 26th
Kauffman Center - kcballet.org The classic, Victorian-era story is completely re-imagined again this year by The Kansas City Ballet with exquisite costumes, grand sets and captivating choreography.
Unicorn Theatre - unicorntheatre.org Can Christine keep her cool? One actress plays over forty wild characters in this side-splitting tour de force, debuting at the Unicorn Theatre this holiday season.
s t l e b t a e s r u T o H y G n I e N Fast MPY
U a B e b o t g n i o g s ’ It
From people watching and dancing to whatever the Eve brings, you’ll find the hottest, thumpin’ clubs in The Grove, CWE and Soulard. Join the party and see why The Advocate called St. Louis “…one of the gayest cities in America.” See you soon. Check out our impressive packages at explorestlouis.com/LGBT
NEW years eve guide Three, two, one and almost done! Ready to plan how you are going to spend New Years Eve this year? Neither are we! If you can’t to decide how to spend your final moments of 2016, we’ve put together a list of some of the best destinations to ring in 2017 in both St. Louis and Kansas City. Cheers to the end of one hell of a year! V Café Trio 4558 Main St. Kansas City, MO 64111 (816) 756-3227 cafetriokc.com
Moonrise Hotel 6177 Delmar Blvd. St. Louis, MO 63112 (314) 721-1111 moonrisehotel.com
The Kansas City place-to-be on The Plaza features a supperclub style evening that includes a special menu, live music and all sorts of party favors. The bar is, of course, open all night if folks wish to just stop in for a cocktail and skip the dinner, which includes three different dining packages for anyone’s taste.
It’s a classic New Year’s Eve affair at the Moonrise Hotel this year, with DJs and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. It’s always a fantastic time, but they have always felt less is more. The space is great, the location in prime, and the views are stunning. The party sells itself, and you’re invited to be a part of it.
Bistro 303 303 Westport Rd. Kansas City, MO 64111 (816) 753-2303 bistro303.com
Rehab Bar & Grill 4054 Choteau Ave. St. Louis, MO 63110 (314) 652-3700 rehabstl.com
Celebrate 2017 at Bistro 303 with a New Year’s Eve Dinner from 5-10 p.m. The three-course pre-fixe menu is $45 per person and features a complimentary champagne toast at midnight. Come back for more for with Bistro’s REHAB Brunch on Monday, January 2. (New Years Day observed)
This New Year’s Eve, don’t miss the biggest party in The Grove at Rehab, featuring a $1000 cash balloon drop and more than over $3,000 in giveaways. Never a cover, the party starts at 8 p.m. with free appetizers, DJ Double D spinning all night, and a complimentary champagne toast at midnight.
Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch 315 Chestnut Street St. Louis, MO 63102 (314) 342-4668 stlouisarch.hyatt.com
Lumiere Place Casino & Hotel 999 N 2nd St. St. Louis, MO 63102 (314) 881-7777 lumiereplace.com
Ring in the New Year at Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch with the Ultimate New Year’s Eve Party, featuring Dr. Zhivegas and Groovethang. Enjoy a full dinner buffet, open bar, Champagne toast, party favors and confetti drop at midnight. Overnight stay and two party tickets start at $349, and party-only tickets are $109 each plus taxes and fees. Tickets on sale at Eventbrite.com.
Hit Lumiere Casino On New Year’s Eve for fabulous food and drink specials at The Kitchen Buffet, Ozzie’s Sports Bar & Grill and The Wok. Listen to live tunes by Aqua from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. and join in the Casino Gaming Promotion before the live drawing on NYE of a 2017 BMW X3 at the HQ Center Bar.
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HAPPY HOLIDAYS from the GSP family to yours! With your support, GSP helps thousands of people each year through client services and free testing.
To learn more about GSP or to make a year-end gift, please visit us at www.gsp-kc.org/givingback 20
Third Street Social McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood & Steaks
Rudy’s Tenampa Taqueria
JANUARY 13-22 Gather your group and indulge with multi-course menus at more than 150 area restaurants. Flavors range from innovative, chef-driven cuisine and farm-to-table fare to classics like burnt ends and KC strips. Plus, when you’re benefiting local charities, dining out with great friends and great food is time well spent. Learn more at KCRestaurantWeek.com.
INK Magazine & Kansas City Star
BISTRO #BOSS Derrick bachman takes bistro 303 from westport to the world text KEVIN SCHMIDT art AJ BROWN
Bistro 303 is undoubtedly a staple in the Kansas City LGBT community. In a city with a flourishing scene in spite of no official “gayborhood,” the Bistro—for short, naturally— has maintained its “come one, come all” mentality since it opened in 2003. It’s where formal and informal meet, right in the heart of the Westport entertainment district. The dining room showcases an eclectic collection of original art pieces by local artists that spans 50 years. In the kitchen, Chef Paul Mullins has been creating French culinary masterpieces in the building for 20 years, long before the Bistro even came to be. Most importantly, Bistro 303 was the first gay bar in Kansas City to have windows looking out to the street, a conscious decision by its owners to not to black out or paint over the windows. They wanted to be a part of the neighborhood, and for the rest of the world to see. It’s a sense of community for everyone in the community, gay or 22
straight. And these days, operating partner Derrick Bachman works in the heart of it all. Three years ago, Jean and Jeffery—the majority owners at Bistro 303—opened Oscar’s in Palm Springs. Instead of having two businesses, they had Derrick, along with Bryan Adams, come on as partners to help operate the Kansas City location. The vision they had for the place was to continue the things Jean and Jeffery had been doing. “I learned so much from them, and this place,” Derrick explains. “They have done so much for the community. Obviously, the goal is to keep business increasing, but to also continue our role in the community by reaching out and giving back.” Derrick does this by keeping the Bistro involved with as many art and theater programs as possible. “Late Night The-
KC profiles atre is one of main projects we support, as well as the men’s and women’s LGBT choruses,” he says. “Then, of course, there is the AIDS Walk. It raises money for AIDS Service Foundation, which is an umbrella for four different organizations: The Kansas City Care Clinic, Good Samaritan Project, SAVE Inc., and Hope Care Center.”
an event, I’m there,” he says. “I just work behind the scenes, helping out where I can; if you see an ice bucket, there’s a good chance that I filled it. There are events where the Bistro provides all the alcohol and bartending services at venues like the Folly Theatre that I work sometimes, and I do some of the other ‘outside 303’ events.”
Bachman works on the board of directors at the Hope Care Center, a skilled nurse facility that originally focused on hospice care for patients living with complications due to HIV and AIDS. “It used to be a place where people ended their journey,” Bachman explains, “but now the goal is actually getting people rehabilitated and back in their homes, or into a more private facility or setting. I’ve seen how it has evolved, and how it continues to grow with the changes they make.”
Derrick and Shaun have been together for almost five years now, and can usually be spotted around town at other local restaurants or, most likely, a Chiefs game. This holiday season is no different. “Shaun’s birthday is the week of Christmas, and there’s always a Chief ’s game around that week,” Derrick says. “We usually get a big group of friends together and tailgate the game. Once there, we do a gift exchange and celebrate Shaun’s birthday. That’s a Christmas tradition that we always look forward to.”
Being a Bistro #Boss, Bachman wouldn’t quite be himself without his squad. For him, it’s all about the Bistro Brigade, and they’ve taken philanthropy in Kansas City to a whole new level. “The Bistro Brigade is our AIDS Walk team,” he explains. “We have over a dozen members that helped raise funds. We have a large following of friends and allies that attend our events, and we probably organize—collectively—more events than the other teams do. As far as leading up to AIDS Walk, we did the kickball tournament, a blackjack tournament, we even partnered with Up-Down arcade. For the entire night, they donated all the tokens won back to us, and handed out little bags which contained condoms and HIV and testing information.” Both Derrick and his partner, Shaun Bryant, served as chairs of AIDS Walk this past year, and they plan on doing it again in 2017. “Derrick does so much for the community,” Shaun says. “Every event he does, he runs it so professionally. I just don’t know how he knows to do everything he needs to do, but he does. He always gets everything done—and with little delegation. After about a year of being together and with some of our friends being co-chairs, I could see it in him that he wanted to be a co-chair himself. When we were invited to do it last year, we were so surprised and excited, and I was so honored that they let me do it with him. And I’d say we had a great team with the Bistro Brigade. People were always willing to help out, and we didn’t have a lot of ‘no’s.’ If you can dream it, then you could do it.” Shaun works as a middle school teacher at Brookside Charter School, an inner city school that he says has its fair share of great kids. It keeps him busy, but he still manages to find time to help at the Bistro where and when he can. “If there is
And when it comes to Christmas, one of Bachman’s favorite events is the annual Toys for Tots Drive, hosted by Pearl Vodka and Vital VOICE. “I love seeing the huge bag of toys collected,” Bachman says. “I love giving toys to children; I’m so happy to have nieces and nephews who get excited about donating toys. And it’s great to see people who are doing things they usually do—coming out to the bar—and just taking that little extra step to make the night more special. It just really excites me.” Catch Derrick, Shaun and the rest of the Bistro crew this holiday season at the Toys For Tots Drive at Bistro 303 on December 8. To learn more about Bistro 303 and other upcoming events, visit bistro303.com. V
Derrick’s Holiday Yays or Nays Ugly Christmas sweaters?
Kissing under the mistletoe?
NAY. “It’s overdone.”
YAY. “Shaun loves it.”
YAY. “That’s fine by me.”
Crushing the Santa myth?
NAY. “You’re making me sound like the Grinch.”
NAY. “If they are old enough to ask, they need to be told.”
Stevens – The Institute of Business and Arts, or Siba as it has come to be known, is raising the bar once again. Located on Washington Avenue right next to the City Museum, this innovative higher education institution is expanding its program offerings in a big way.
clients may throw their way. Siba also offers a 30-day trial period for all prospective students. You have a month to decide if Siba’s style of education works for you or not, without any financial repercussions.
Founded in 1947 as Patricia Stevens College, Siba has provided a quality (and affordable) education in the fields of fashion, interior design, business and paralegal studies to the St. Louis Metropolitan area for almost 70 years. Their exciting new degree programs in Graphic Design, lead by Department Head Edward Engel, look to be a great addition to the curriculum. Engel, who has renowned companies like Disney and Mattel Toys on his resume, designed the program with expertise to get his students well prepared to roll right into the job market when they graduate–or even before.
“Our program was specifically designed to mirror what is becoming prevalent in the industry,” Engel explains. “We offer a solid foundation that includes an emphasis on the ability to draw, build and conceptualize students’ ideas, evolving into the software essential to the digital world. We combine conceptual strength with visualizing ideas that equal or exceed the standards found throughout the graphic design, advertising, experiential and promotion industries. In addition, the students have the opportunity to have an emphasis in illustration if they choose. I am not aware of any other program in our area that offers such an option.”
“My background in education began here in St. Louis at STLCC-Meramec, then transferred to OTIS Art Institute (combined with Parsons School of Design) where I received a BFA in Communication Design & Illustration with some amazing professors who are famous in the world of visual creation; Mick Haggarty, Georganne Deen, David Willardson and Jim Heiman to name a few,” Engel says. “I graduated and was hired by Walt Disney Imagineering on my first interview. After Disney, I later went to work for Mattel Toys. I returned back to St. Louis in 1991 and began working in the world of advertising, eventually starting my own company. I then began teaching in the early 2000s and love it.” Siba offers prospective students very appealing and promising avenues for earning their college degree without breaking the bank and within a flexible schedule that meets all needs in today’s society. They offer accelerated programs that make Siba a top pick for those who wish to get their bachelor degree in less than four years. The school offers rolling admission, so prospective students can enroll quarterly. The advantages of a Siba education don’t end there. With brand new Mac computers, 3D printers, tablets for illustration, and the most recent software, students have the tools they will need to be well prepared for anything future 24
Engel also plans to utilize his professional network in Los Angeles to arrange coveted connections with high-profile studios that employ major hitters in the industry. “The graphic design seniors will be able to take a class where they will actually travel with me to Los Angeles for a week, working and presenting a packaging and promotional project to Mattel Toys, Inc. In addition, they will tour Rhythm & Hues Studio, a leader in the movie industry,” Engel continues. “Specifically, they will meet Michael Meaker, one of the creative directors responsible for visualizing amazing creatures such as the dragon in the feature film, Reign of Fire. They will also have the chance to meet with John Rice, whom I worked with at Walt Disney Imagineering. John worked originally as an animator for The Simpsons, and later evolved into a director of many episodes. Recently, he was involved with The Angry Birds movie.” The supportive, friendly vibe at Siba seems to sell itself to prospective students. Ellyn Cox, a current student at Siba, explains, “After touring Siba I was pleasantly surprised by how comfortable I felt. The staff seemed more interested in finding out what I was looking for than just adding another student to the list. They are very invested in us as individuals and helping us accomplish what we want to accomplish.”
Another student, Levander Ridgel, has been in the graphic design industry since 1992 and has worked with some of the top companies in the world including Ford, Toyota, AB InBev, Monsanto, the NFL, MLB and the NBA. He found a creative learning environment in Siba while looking to expand his portfolio and degree path. “I was originally enrolled at another college in the area where I had Mr. Engel as an instructor,” Ridgel says. “When I heard that Ed was going to lead the graphic design department at Siba, I decided to check it out. Once I visited the campus I was very impressed. They really care about the student after graduation and not just tuition to fill a seat. The environment makes it very easy to be creative; there is so much creative atmosphere in the area.” Ellyn plans on finding a position with a local design firm upon graduation. She is drawn to companies that are innovative and respect the creative individualities of their employees. and she dreams of one day being able to work freelance as a designer or illustrator. “To anyone considering a degree in graphic design, I recommend scheduling a tour at Siba,” Cox says. “I am positive you will be impressed with the classes and the school. Since the classes are kept small, it isn’t a competition and you aren’t a number. You are an individual and the teachers really invest in you and help you to achieve your goals. The students encourage each other and offer any help we can to one another. We are like family; if you show up for class and do the work, you will not be disappointed.” “Graphic design is evolving into a multi-tasking position that not only requires the necessary software for creating 2D & 3D visuals,” Engel says in closing, “but the ability to illustrate ideas when necessary and above all, conceptualize and create the big idea.” The world of Graphic Design is not a singular field anymore. With the advancement of social media platforms and technology as a whole, those who embark in this field have a promising future in whatever realm they decide. For those who attend SIBA-Graphic Design, the sky’s the limit for where we will see them shine. V
text KARLA TEMPLETON art DARIN SLYMAN
Visit Stevens – The Institute of Business & Arts @ 1521 Washington Ave or go to www.siba.edu. thevitalVOICE.com
Married Marriott AT
Taking your first steps down the aisle in style Marriage is an adventure, so start your journey in a place that embraces the past and celebrates the future in grand style. Simply put, host your wedding reception and ceremony at the newly-reimagined Marriott St. Louis Grand. Their talented event planners and exceptional catering team are standing by to take care of you before you say, “I do.” It’s not only about getting married; it’s about celebrating this momentous day, brilliantly. Their wedding venues bridge the gap between historic architecture and modern American styling. Discover Marriott Grand’s beautiful spaces to celebrate that are directly adjacent to upscale Washington Avenue.
HAWTHORNE, LUCAS & FLORA ROOMS
Let Marriott satisfy your curiosity for what’s new and delicious and provide plenty of food for thought. They pride themselves on exceptional St. Louis catering and cuisine, designed to your individual taste. Experiment and craft a menu for your wedding that is creative, collaborative and unbelievably amazing.
The 4,658 square foot reception venue accommodates up to 300 seated guests. The ballroom features a breathtaking two-story roof garden/ballroom, spanning the entire building. Floor-to-ceiling windows, 22-feet high by 9-feet wide, feature incredible views of the city and Mississippi River. STATLER BALLROOM
All three of these wedding venues are on the 21st floor and range in size and capacity, accommodating anywhere from 25 to 70 seated guests or 15 to 50 for reception style. With floor-to-ceiling windows and a nighttime view of the westward skyline, these rooms are perfect for more intimate receptions. CATERING SERVICES
At 4,100 square feet, the Statler Ballroom accommodates up to 300 guests for a reception and 200 for a seated banquet. The two-story ballroom features barrelvaulted ceilings, 12 marble pillars and silver gray Tennessee marble floors. The Statler Ballroom is a historic St. Louis event space, secluded from hotel guests and lit by romantic candlelight with turn-of-the-century details from the original hotel lobby.
Marriott certified wedding planners translate your concepts and ideas into reality. They’ve been down the aisle many times before, so they can make the planning of your dream wedding smooth and enjoyable. They understand that style and taste are very personal, and they take the time to understand yours and then work with you to arrange every facet of your event. They’ll even make recommendations for the finest purveyors in St. Louis for florists, special linens, decorations, entertainment and more. V
The Washington Ballroom is a smaller 2,450 squarefoot venue, which accommodates up to 200 seated guests. A trendy, loft-like room, it’s perfect for modernstyle St. Louis weddings with gorgeous, full-street views of historic Washington Avenue.
Marriott St. Louis Grand 800 Washington Avenue St. Louis, MO 63101 (314) 418-5820 marriottstlouisweddings.com
KYLE text JIMMY NO SHOW art MICHAEL LARSEN/BRAVO
yle Richards was born into an acting family in Hollywood, California. She landed her first role at age four in Disney’s Escape to Witch Mountain, where she played the younger version of her sister, Kim Richards. Her other sister is Kathy Hilton– yes, Hilton Hotel’s Hilton–and mother to Paris Hilton. To call the family Hollywood royalty would be an understatement. In 2010, Kyle, alongside her sister Kim, returned to the screen as an original cast members on Bravo’s Beverly Hills inception of their hit reality franchise, Real Housewives. The Bravolebrity—a coin termed by the network for their talent—is now approaching her eighth season on the show, proving that if anyone can weather the rough waters of being a child star and come back for more, it’s her. When we caught up with Richards, she more than lives up to her levelheaded portrayal on television. She’s just picked up her kids from school, who are shouting over her. No Hollywood diva temperament here. She just asks them to quiet down while we chat, and they do. “I got married very young; I was 18, and had my first baby at 19,” Richards begins. “I never got to do things like a girl’s trip.” “When I first signed on to do the show, I thought: I’m afraid to fly. I don’t know if I can leave my kids. What am I going to do?” she reflects. Remember, Richards signed on to the show before the Real Housewives franchise had become the cultural phenomenon it is today. “I had no idea of what we were getting into. I was the first one to sign on,” she recalls. “As an actress who grew up on television I thought ‘okay,’ then ‘no,’ and then I thought, ‘I’ll give it a shot.’” Richards already had a friend in Bethenny Frankel of Skinny Girl fame, who appears on Real Housewives of New York. “Bethenny was a hostess at my family’s favorite restaurant in Beverly Hills,” she shares of how the two met. “I went in one day and she slid into the booth next to me and said, ‘I’m dating your ex-boyfriend. I have a question to ask you: I was looking in his medicine cabinet and saw Lancôme eye cream and make-up remover. Is that yours? I said yes, and then she asked me: ‘Who spends twenty-dollars on eye cream remover?’” She says they both shared a laugh, and became fast friends. In 2008, Bethenny debuted on Real Housewives of New
York, and served as a sounding board for Richard’s decision to join the Beverly Hills cast. Now Richards finds herself in Bethenny’s shoes, guiding new Housewives. “I had one of the girls from Dallas over, and she asked me for some advice,” she shares. I remarked that it must be flattering. You can’t imagine they go soliciting advice from Housewives who come off poorly on screen. “I never thought about it like that. I should take it as a compliment. Thanks,” she says with a laugh. “It’s hard because some of the cast members seem like they’ll do anything. It feels like they have nothing to lose. They will stoop so low. I’m not going to name names, but we’ve had cast members on our show like that. For me, I have a lot to lose. I’m a mother to four kids. I need to be able to go through the carpool and not be humiliated.”. Point made, given she’s literally just picked up her kids. “How do these women behave like this?” Richards continues. “Even though there are moments, we try to keep the behavior at a level that’s appropriate.” One of the show’s most famously toxic moments involved a dinner with Allison DuBois, a famous psychic and medium on whom the TV show Medium was based. “Oh my God. That woman,” she pauses. “The funny thing is, I actually felt bad for her. She was so awful. Supposedly, she had a show she was going to do, and then the producers decided not to do it because she was so disliked.” After that moment, Richards wanted to continue the show in a good light. “After seven years, we just try to lives our lives as real and honest as we can,” she explains. “We’re not pulling each other’s hair; we’re not having these horrible fights. You’re seeing a small part of our lives and, while it can be dramatic and entertaining, we also want to have a positive message.” Having a positive message certainly doesn’t mean they’re showing viewers their lives through rose-colored lenses. Richards has stood along side her sister Kim, whose own struggles with addiction and depression have played out on screen. “So many people have approached me and said, ‘I appreciate you sharing your struggles with your sister, you have no idea how much better it makes us feel to know we’re not the only one,’” she shares. thevitalVOICE.com
Statistically, the LGBT community is more susceptible to addiction and depression. It’s given the sisters a strong gay and lesbian fan base who identify with Richards’ sister’s struggle, as well as how the two manage their relationship while battling these demons. “People struggling with addiction issues go up to my sister, are happy she shared her story, and are cheering her on,” Richards explains. “People say, ‘I was going through a hard time with an ailment, depression or addiction, and I look forward to watching your show every week.’ So hopefully it brings some happiness with its ability to relate.” Richards isn’t afraid to use her platform of visibility to stand with her LGBT fan base. She’s appeared—clad in purple—for Bravo’s Spirit Day promotions, as well as been shot for the NoH8 Campaign. “I have a lot of very close friends who are LGBT,” she says. “I look at what they’ve gone through to get what they have. Honestly, they are some of the most beautiful families. I want my children to be raised with the idea that there is no difference between someone who has two dads or two moms, or one dad and one mom.” It’s a message she’s passing to her children. She brought her daughter Portia to be a part of the NoH8 photo shoot. “I actually ended up getting heat for it. People are just so closedminded,” she defends. “I have gay, lesbian and transgender friends, and my kids do not think any differently of them. That’s how I’m raising them.” When asked if she has a message, Richards hits the nail on the head. “We’ve come so far. Years ago people didn’t understand what it meant to transgender,” she explains. “Now we not only understand it, but we understand that we have to be more inclusive. It really is the older generation that holds onto their closed-mindedness.” Following this year’s election cycle, it’s a much-needed message. “I’m hoping that a lot of what Trump said was just hype,” she says in closing. “I’m hoping and praying that he won’t go through with his threats. I do not think he’s as conservative as he claims to be. We’ve come so far. We cannot go backwards.” And when it comes to her message for the LGBT community, her message is simple and straightforward. “I love you. Be you. Be proud. Continue to live your best life.” V 30
Holidays in the Hills YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE HOLIDAYS? I didn’t have a typical childhood, so I make the house look like a Christmas store. My whole family teases me because I always want to put my tree up so early and they tell me I have to wait. SO, HOW EARLY IS TOO EARLY TO DECORATE? Never. I like to put up a tree before Thanksgiving, with no decorations. Then after Thanksgiving I make it more “Christmas-y.” GOOD TIP FOR THE HARD-TO-BUY-FOR PERSON? I always buy something beautiful that could go in anybody’s home; something classic, but neutral. ARE YOU A BIG BAKER AROUND THE HOLIDAYS? Yes, I love baking and cooking with family. Growing up, it was all of us in the kitchen helping. WHAT’S YOUR SIGNATURE DISH? My sister and I are definitely competitive when it comes to cooking turkey. We have a little cook-off every year. FAVORITE GIFT FROM YOUR HUSBAND? Last year he heard—because I told him, through the grapevine, through me—that I wanted these earrings from Martin Katz. Last year I got him a Hermes Apple Watch and he doesn’t wear it. I’m just like, “Oh I’ll just wear this.” YOU HAVE THE MOST FABULOUS HAIR OF ALL THE REAL HOUSEWIVES CASTMEMBERS. WHEN CAN WE GET A HAIR CARE LINE FOR CHRISTMAS? One day, when I have the time I’ll probably do a step-by-step thing. I take care of my hair like a lot of women do their skin or body. I baby it. I’m very neurotic: If someone brushes it, snags it, or I hear ripping I go a little crazy. ANY TIPS FOR GREAT HOLIDAY HAIR? I tell my kids to start from the bottom and work your way up. You can’t go from the top; that’s how you rip your hair. I don’t use a blow dryer or curling iron, unless I have to. I also use a mask on my hair. I’m just really cautious. I don’t abuse it. DO YOU HAVE ANY PLANS FOR NEW-YEAR’S EVE? I hate New Year’s Eve. And I do not like the word hate, but I do. My ideal New Year’s Eve is to be in the mountains, in a cabin, with snow, cooking and playing games, and being with people I love. thevitalVOICE.com
‘Tis The Season To Be Fit
OR AT LEAST NOT FAT text KALEIGH JURGENSMEYER art DARIN SLYMAN
With cookies and cocktails and comfy clothes to look forward to, it’s easy to let diet and exercise slide to the backburner during the winter months. So instead of trying to lose 10 pounds after the New Year, focus on maintaining your weight now. We went to the experts at Santé Fitness for advice and came up with 10 tips to help you have a healthier holiday season. Eat your veggies first High-fiber foods fill you up and take longer to digest, helping you to feel satisfied on fewer calories. “If you feel fuller, you’re less likely to eat as much of the unhealthier stuff. I always try to eat vegetables first and then move on to the rest of my plate,” Nathan Steinmetz, Fitness Director at Santé Fitness, says. “Portion control is also super important. It’s okay to try some of everything, but stick to one serving.” Use household items for workouts Save those milk jugs and get your squat on. Seriously! One gallon of water is about 8.5 pounds and can be added weight for a variety of activities. You can also use canned goods for bicep curls, luggage for body presses, and even chairs for step-ups and arm dips. Towels or sheets are great tools to create more challenging home workouts, too. Use them (on tile or hardwood) to do sliding side lunges, mountain climbers or modified crunches. Drink more water Many people mistake dehydration for hunger. Water helps burn fat more efficiently and will curb your cravings. Healthcare professionals can’t come to agreement on this one, but it’s generally recommended to drink eight, eight-ounce glasses per day. Want some flavor? Try adding lemons, cucumbers or berries to a pitcher of water and refrigerate it. If you infuse water for four or more hours, remove the fruits and added ingredients to prevent them from decomposing – yuck!
Watch the booze Moderation is key. A 5-ounce glass of red wine has about 100 calories per glass; a shot of vodka has about 125; the average 12-ounce beer has 150. By all means have your drinks, but if possible, try to stay away from the sugary mixes. Maximize your time with interval training Holidays are always busier, so if you’re looking for timesaving workouts, interval training is the way to go. “Alternating 30-second to one-minute bursts of running and walking is just one way,” Hallie Sootin, Santé Fitness General Manager, says. “You can also alternate doing burpees, jumps, jump lunges and other high-intensity activities if you’re working in a smaller space like a hotel room.” Brush your teeth after meals We’re not just trying to save you from cavities. Brushing your teeth, flossing and using mouthwash will actually make eating less appealing. When your mouth is minty fresh, having a late night snack or glass of wine will not taste so great. Hold yourself accountable “Find someone who is trying to do the same thing as you are and team up,” Steinmetz says. “Text them when you’ve done a workout or get together and do something active. It’s a lot easier to stay on track if there’s some kind of accountability.” There are tons of apps that make working out more of social commitment, too. Map My Run is a great app for tracking workouts (there’s over 600 sports and activities to choose from – not just running) and allows you to instantly share your activity on Facebook and Twitter. You can also compete in challenges with other users to stay even more motivated. Santé also offers tons of classes if you’re into group exercises. “We have boot camps, run groups, and even power-break classes during the lunch hour,” Sootin says. “Friendly competition is always a great way to have fun working out.”
LIFE GUIDE Get outside Being outside when it’s cold helps you burn more calories as your body works to stay warm. If cold-weather running isn’t your cup of tea, try these other fun (and sneaky) ways to get your heart rate up.
· Ice skating can burn up about 260 calories in 30
minutes (for a 155 pound person), according to an exercise chart by Harvard Medical School. Make it a date and head to Steinberg for a classic outdoor rink. If you want to stay indoors, check out Ice Zone where the St. Louis Blues practice. Sledding inevitably requires you to march up a hill and can help you burn another 260 calories. Plus you’ll be wearing layers of clothing that add extra pounds, and your booty will definitely feel it. Make sure to go to Art Hill – it is the place to be on a snow day. Shoveling snow might not be as “fun,” but it does work pretty much every muscle in your body. You can burn around 220 calories with this activity, and even more if it’s heavy snow, you have a long driveway, and/or help the old lady next door. Just remember to lift with your legs, not your back.
Substitute when you can Don’t tell grandma to change her recipe, but if you’re looking for an easy way to reduce some of the fat content in baked goods, try using applesauce in place of oil using the ratio of ¾ cup to 1 cup, respectively. Make sure it’s the unsweetened kind; the sweetened versions not only add more sugar, but also can mess up the texture and flavor. Plan ahead “Failing to plan is planning to fail,” Sootin says. “Parties and outings and trips get us off our routine. Plan in advance by looking at menus ahead of time, check out your hotel to make sure it has a gym, and even bring your own appetizer if you’re worried about not having any healthy options at an event. Having a strategy in place will make you a lot more successful in reaching your goal.” V
Angela Roi: The Perfect Guiltless Gift text BRANDON SHELDRAKE art DARIN SLYMAN
Founded in 2013 by Angela and Roi Lee, Angela Roi is a high-end designer brand that dedicates itself to providing ethically sourced, vegan-leather handbags that are not only better for the environment, but are also charitable in their nature. Having taken on a variety of causes—kidney disease, childhood cancer, melanoma—Angela Roi has most recently begun donating a portion of its proceeds to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®). In accordance with their core values—kindness and love—Angela Roi, along with the ASPCA®, believes that “animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans.” It is for this very reason Vital VOICE fully supports the brand and believes that it would make a perfect holiday gift for that special someone. The Sunday Tote II, available in a variety of colors such as black, wine, dark green, navy and light grey, exemplifies some of the highest standards in craftsmanship. From its meticulous stitching to its beautiful gold accents, this bag features Angela Roi’s signature vegan leather, luxurious high quality zipper closures, and magnetic snap-button closures to ensure the safety of its contents. Moreover, the brand’s commitment to the ASPCA® creates a sense of community as we all band together to stop animal cruelty. Buyers can rest assured that with each purchase of an Angela Roi handbag, a step toward an animalcruelty free world is being taken on their behalf. Angela Roi currently features a variety of styles such as totes, clutches, handbags, cross-body purses, and even cosmetic case sets—all of which are available for purchase at their online shop: So this holiday season, when you’re searching for that perfect accessory, consider giving-back by purchasing an Angela Roi handbag. V
VISIT ANGELAROI.COM TO VIEW THE WHOLE COLLECTION
Handsome for the Holidays: Timeless Fashion for the Moment
‘Tis the season for spending time with family and friends. We know how every holiday season can go suddenly awry when Aunt so-and-so starts rambling on about politics. Just because the conversation isn’t pretty doesn’t mean you have to be in the same boat. This might even be the year you are introduced to your boo’s parents, right? Avoid risky choices, and stick with classic, clean, and simple. Someone might question your party affiliations, but they won’t be able to throw shade on your style.
COMFY FOR CHRISTMAS A classic plaid with fun colors helps keep you from looking drab or expected. A slim bootcut jean cuffed at the ankle helps show off some of the sleekest boots found in town. Layer up for the colder months with a jacket, but try out a longer style to keep it modern. Plaid & Boots: 10Denza Jacket: Sole + Blues Jeans: East + West
DECORATING IN DENIM You absolutely can’t go wrong with a denim shirt, but be sure to play with one of the season’s biggest colors: burgundy. A lightweight scarf is perfect for layering, because you never know what Mother Nature has up her sleeve in good old STL. Button-Up: 10Denza V-Neck & Jeans: Sole + Blues Watch: Urban Matter Scarf: Enchanting Embellishments 38
FAMILY PHOTOS If you’re feeling inclined to take it up a notch, a blazer or jacket is the right step. This piece from East + West has fabulous fiber speckling throughout, so you won’t feel archaic and stuffy. Don’t forget a classic red and black plaid for the holidays: Handmade in STL, Lonesome Traveler’s ties are eye-catching and oh-so-cool. Button-Up, Jeans & Jacket: East + West Tie: Urban Matter
HOLIDAY HAPPY HOUR If a blazer is just too much, fall back on denim. This incredible jean jacket from Sole + Blues has pleating on the front that really caught our eyes. A cross-body is perfect for sneaking in your favorite nephew’s extra gift as well. Button-Up & Jeans: East+ West Denim Jacket: Sole + Blues
text & styling JILL FIRNS art MARK MOORE place ENCHANTING EMBELLISHMENTS model KEITH VAN GELS thevitalVOICE.com
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THINGS A Holiday Gift Guide text PENELOPE WIGSTOCK art AUDREY SCHERER
In this divisive and toxic post-election period, we need a measured voice of reason to calm the American people. I am not that voice. I am, however, your go-to gal for all things holiday gift-giving. Following my simple advice ensures that all of the treasured people on this year’s gift list will receive something they’ll never forget.
That hard-to-please tech guru is always a challenge to buy for, but not this year. Buy them the gift of peace of mind and safety. A Samsung Galaxy Note 7 will “spark up” their holidays like no other. Include and additional charger to show that you really care. We all have that annoying foodie friend who brags about their intimate knowledge of the best restaurants in town; they make us feel like shit due to our unsophisticated palate. On your next neighborhood stroll, scoop up a few doggie dumps. When you get home, dump them on the counter, roll them in high-quality cocoa powder, place them on wax paper, and refrigerate. The next day, remove and garnish with some shaved peppermint, place them in a fancy gift box from a high-end store and present them as a hostess gift to the foodie snob. Insist that (s)he try one in front of you and then bask in the glow of the moment when (s)he realizes she’s eating dog turd “chocolates.” Buy your best “frenemy” a Nickelback CD and gift it to them anonymously
Want to piss off that right-winged relative at Christmas? Set their DVR to The Rachel Maddow Show for an entire week, make several donations in their name to the Sierra Club, and slap a rainbow flag bumper sticker on their car. This hat trick of liberal tomfoolery may push them into cardiac arrest, but they’ve been asking for it for decades. Any haters in your life have serious skin conditions or allergies? Buy a large tube of organic body oil and empty into another container for your own use. Then fill up the empty container with Jean Nate bath splash or pretty much anything from Avon. The next time you see them, act really surprised at the horrible rash covering their body and lead them to conclude that perhaps the water supply in their home has come from a contaminated source. Mention a few nutball conspiracy theories involving the EPA and the local water company. It will play out on its own. Send Caitlyn Jenner a “Make America Great Again” t-shirt, ensure that it’s a man’s size and accompany it with a handwritten note saying, “Thanks for fucking over your own community, bitch.” V
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Say “I do” in a venue that is historic, elegant, and breathtakingly beautiful at the all new Marriott St. Louis Grand. Discover historical elegance brought to the height of modern sophistication with your choice of five breathtaking ballrooms, all featuring endless possibilities for you and your guests. Your guests will enjoy brand new guest rooms and suites, Zenia Bar & Grille and the superior service you can expect with a Marriott hotel.
B E YO U R S E LV E S , TOGETH ER . MARRIOTT ST. LOUIS GRAND HOTEL 800 WASHINGTON AVENUE | ST. LOUIS, MO 63101 314.418.5820 | MARRIOTTSTLOUISGRAND.COM
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VOICE Your Choice Awards Party Art MARK MOORE Place REHAB BAR & GRILL
The VOICE Your Choice polls were bigger than ever this year, with 16 different categories in both Kansas City in St. Louis. This year, Vital VOICE celebrated the winners at the 2016 Best Gay Bar (St. Louis), Rehab Bar & Grill. With entertainment from other VOICE Your Choice Winners, RuPaul’s Drag Race star, Ivy Winters, the Divas Of The Grove, and St. Louis’ Best Drag Queen, MaKena Knight, the event broke records of epic proportions.
Saintlouisfashion incubator groundbreaking Art KEVIN SCHMIDT Place SAINT LOUIS FASHION INCUBATOR
Hosted by Saint Louis Fashion Fund Chair Susan Sherman, the groundbreaking ceremony featured speeches from Mayor Francis Slay and Saint Louis Fashion Fund Executive Director, Eric Johnson. It also featured special appearances from students at Lift For Life Academyâ€” a St. Louis charter school with an up-and-coming fashion program, and former workers of the original St. Louis Garment District, including designer Mort Moreland.
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Escape to downtown during these winter months and snuggle into one of our newly renovated guest rooms at the Hilton St. Louis Downtown at the Arch. The hotel oﬀers all the amenities to enjoy your winter holiday. Come and dine with us at 400 Olive Restaurant and experience our new winter menu. Our 400 Olive Bar oﬀers signature winter cocktails to warm you up such as a Spiced Pear Daiquiri or a Cinnamon Apple Sangria. Plan your winter holiday with us and make memories to last a lifetime.
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HRCElection NightWatch party
Art STEPH JAMES Place JUST JOHN
Election Night 2016 in St. Louis had its fair share of watch parties, but a significant number of ‘Love Trumps Hate’ believers gathered at Just John, hosted by the Human Rights Campaign and Vital VOICE. Kicking off just after the polls closed, the evening eventually ended not in the favor of those attending. However, the voices of those in favor of equality, fairness and love were heard–and will still be heard– as love will continue to trump hate.
Bistro 303 ElectionNight WatchParty
Art AJ BROWN Place BISTRO 303
Bistro 303 in Westport is always a safe place for pro-love supporters, and it became a gathering place as the events of Election night unfolded. Hosted by the Human Rights Campaign, Equality Kansas of Metro KC, and Victory Fund, lovers of love gathered in anticipation to potentially see the first woman become President of the United States. While that did not become reality, Bistro 303 will continue to be a beacon of love, fairness and equality in Westport and the Greater Kansas City area.
dish & drink
ASIA + ITALY COLLIDE
Cibare Italian Kitchen & Asia Noodles at River City Casino
Art BRANDON SHELDRAKE Place COURTESY OF PINNACLE ENTERTAINMENT
There is something to be said about the way food is crafted; the way a chef articulates a meal by selecting the finest ingredients, ensuring that every step of construction is just as beautiful a process as the finished product. At River City Casino, guests have two opportunities to experience this—once at Asia Noodles and once at Cibare Italian Kitchen—but knowing how incredible each of these restaurants are, visitors will most certainly go back for seconds, even thirds. Vital VOICE was lucky enough to taste both menus—and all we can say is, “more, please.” From the moment you are seated at Cibare to the moment your meal arrives, you are surrounded by Italian innovation. The intricate firewood stove oven, the on display pasta machine—tirelessly working to create the best and freshest homemade pasta—the inviting gelato station, everything is carefully chosen to exemplify the best of Italy and give guests an authentic experience. The extensive menu boasts a variety of dishes, each of which brings its own signature taste which will leave visitors happily confused as they try to pick a favorite meal. Simply put, everything crafted by the dedicated chefs at Cibare is beyond comparison. The Strozzapreti ($10 half / $17 full) features braised beef, pancetta, caramelized onions, roasted tomatoes, and olives over freshly made pasta in a savory reduction sauce that is undercut by the inclusion of gremolata, which provides a lemony zest to balance out the richness of the sauce. It is perhaps one of the most intricate pasta dishes on the menu, as it features an assortment of flavors. Nonetheless though, the Strozzapreti is a masterfully
dish & drink
assembled dish that lets its distinct flavors blend as one excitedly welcome forkful after forkful.
at least once, maybe twice, once you find your select favorites.
But if pasta is not your thing—for whatever reason—do not fret. Cibare’s menu has something for everyone. We suggest that you try the Beef Alla Vaccinara ($24). As our waiter put it, “this meal is so delicious, that I’ve served it to seemingly grumpy customers, and by the end it’s like their entire day has changed. It’s impossible to be mad and eat this meal.” With its decedent whipped mascarpone polenta and its tender braised beef, the Beef Alla Vaccinara is a crowd favorite, and we couldn’t agree more. This meal is impossible to eat and be anything other than satisfied.
The Pad Thai was the perfect blend of savory and spice with just the right amount of crunch, courtesy of the delectable bean sprouts and crushed peanuts. Each bite provided a wonderful blend of spice and sauce, showcasing the chef ’s incredible skill set to mix flavors. As a fan of Pad Thai, I found myself pleasantly surprised—even excited—as I realized I had definitely found my new favorite place to get the delicate meal.
Another personal favorite of ours is the Prosciutto E Arugula Neapolitan style pizza ($15). The simplistic nature of this pizza should not be overlooked, as it takes more than fourteen hours for the flour to fly from Naples, Italy to St. Louis. According to Executive Chef Joshua Schlink, in order for the pizza to be truly Neapolitan, it must be made with flour from Naples. This presented an interesting challenge for the staff, but as they were unwilling to compromise on the finer details, the staff sourced some of their ingredients from Naples, bringing a little piece of Italy with them. On the opposite spectrum of dining, River City Casino ventures Far East to give St. Louis a fresh take on Vietnamese and Pan-Asian cuisine. The plethora of exotic meals available at Asia Noodles brings about new and adventurous spices that will thrill any dinnergoer who is willingly to try the flavorful differences this restaurant exudes.
Besides the appetizing food, Asian Noodles features a Baccarat room for visitors to dine-in and be entertained with the tricky but worthwhile and rewarding card game. Ultimately, Asia Noodles combines quick and tasty food with prolonged entertainment that will leave visitors full and laughing as they win back the cash they spent on their food. It’s a game of chances, and all you have to lose is a few dollars on great food, and great enjoyment. Overall, River City Casino is merging superb dining experiences with their entertaining variety of games. It is proving itself to the perfect destination for date night, family get-togethers, and just because. With all of this fun, with all of this mouthwatering food, with everything that River City Casino has to offer, do you really need a reason to go? V
Featuring a variety of fan favorites, such as Pad Thai ($13), General Tso’s Chicken ($11), and Sweet and Sour ($11), Asia Noodles combines Americanized Asian cuisine with more venturesome choices in order to present a variety of options for guests to enjoy. The savory noodles feature a variety of meats, vegetables, spices and broths that distinguish each dish from the next. Sure with such new flavors, attendees may be hesitant to try some of the more exotic flavors, but be assured that each and every dish is worth ordering thevitalVOICE.com
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1-877-450-7711 | LUMIEREPLACE.COM 999 NORTH SECOND STREET, ST. LOUIS, MO 63102
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