A Minute in the City 1/1/2020 – Soulard Market

It’s fresh start time, everybody! Time to set out to be your best self, to shed that extra weight, to drop a bad habit or two.

But wait. What if this year, instead of losing, you set out to gain something of value? To build on your life-already-in-progress, to add enrichment and adventure to your day-to-day? A YEAR IN THE CITY has done that for me since I started it in 2017. Right from the start, I took the winding road to places unknown, and soon they became a part of me.

I realize that there aren’t too many people who have the luxury of taking impromptu field trips as a part of their job. And, to tell you the truth, neither do I. My days consist of creating calendar art (a year ahead of printing), posting to social media, packaging, binding, meeting with printers and retailers, and going to shows and signings. But I always need new material, and so I venture out.

I’m very lucky that excursions are a built-in part of my to-do list. Connecting with the place in which I live gives me a deep sense of contentment and belonging. I remember a time before A YEAR IN THE CITY when I couldn’t find time to look up from my computer. It was during this period that a writer friend of mine shared a piece he’d written on winter hiking. He talked about frost flowers – a phenomenon I had never seen. His writing was so vivid, I felt guilty that this wonder had passed me by.

It is that same reaction that I often get when people see my calendar at shows espanolcial.com. “I haven’t been there forever!” they’ll say, looking at Eckerts or Steinberg Rink or Soulard Market. “Is it still the same?” “Do they keep it up?” “I really should go back.”

Yes, actually. You should. There are precious benefits to scheduling a few local day trips around St. Louis each year.

First, the benefit of personal enrichment. Yours. You owe it to yourself to relish in this beautiful, historic, inventive place. But you also owe it to your family and friends to share the adventure with them. When you do this, new stories are sure to be born.

But the ripples go out further, and the meaning grows deeper. When we introduce ourselves to new places in the community, we begin to shape that community for others. When we change the way we see our home, we change the way that others see it, too.

And so, on this first day of a brand new year, I’d like to challenge you to take a day trip in St. Louis. Then share your findings – and your photos – on facebook.com/ayearinthecity. Together, let’s resolve to make a fresh start for our city and ourselves!


Established in 1779, Soulard Market is the oldest operating public market west of the Mississippi. It is open four days a week, year-round. Soulard was featured on the March page of my first A YEAR IN THE CITY calendar. For more information or to buy a current calendar, please visit ayearinthecity.com.

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