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Cherokee Street

Dear Cherokee Street,

We confess it: From low-lying Gravois Avenue up to the towering, red-brick Lemp Brewery, you've been born anew, and dammit, we are wild-eyed hot for you again. Do you remember how it all began, at the turn of the century, with your trolley running between the dry-goods stores and small shops? And how sexy you got after World War II, with your department stores and chic boutiques? Sure, you hit a rough patch when folks emptied out of the city in the '60s. And by the '90s you just seemed broken and seedy and sad. But now look at you. Hispanic immigrants have breathed life into the street with eateries and groceries. Bands pulse and tear at 2720, Pig Slop and El Leñador. Young people are revamping your townhouses, sipping coffee at Mud House and Foam, and getting drunk at the Stable and O'Malley's. Your storefronts, colonized by artists and printmakers, are now galleries and studios. You're not like the other streets. You're not built from the top down (like Paul McKee's WingHaven) or dominated by one visionary (as the Loop is by Joe Edwards). You're a patch of wildflowers — raw and scrappy and bright. And we lurve you.

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