Who's at Eat-Rite In the Middle of the Night?

Photo by Nicholas Phillips
An overnight shift at the Eat-Rite Diner downtown can be, let's say, anthropologically rich, an idea we explored in this week's feature about the three nights at the St. Louis mainstay.

Not surprisingly, after pulling three all-nighters, we had more material than we could possibly use. Here are some sentence fragments we jotted down, and some mugshots we managed to snap.

(Note: The people in these photos do not necessarily have any connection to the quotations we've included here. Although some of them do ....)

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PHOTOS: St. Louis Firefighters Battle a Blaze at Woodworking Studio

Photos by Danny Wicentowski
Firefighters such as Aaron Buchanan, in the white shirt, are never really off duty.
Gray smoke filled the sky above a St. Louis woodworking shop yesterday as flames spread through a lacquering shed holding antique furniture, church furnishings and commissioned pieces awaiting a craftsman's finishing touch.

The blaze started around 11:45 a.m. Thursday when workers preparing to pave the store's parking lot noticed flames and smoke billowing from front of the structure. Daily RFT happened to be at the scene before the firefighters arrived and captured this photo diary of the department at work -- including the removal of many beautiful, but ruined, pieces of antique furniture from the building.

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The Best Dressed Revelers of St. Louis Mardi Gras [PHOTOS]

Categories: Photos

Theo Welling
This guy knows what it takes to get beads.
The real Mardi Gras may still be a day away, but that didn't stop St. Louis from embracing its French heritage and throwing an epic Mardi Gras party last weekend.

Things got a little too crazy for some folks, including the 55 minors arrested by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Saturday for suspected alcohol possession. Police also arrested six motorists on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and arrested two suspects on third-degree assault charges.

But for drinking-age adults who can keep their shit together, Mardi Gras was once again a boob-bearing, bead-wearing, heavy-drinking twerk-tacular.

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Ten Terrifying Klingons from Archon 38 That Could Kick Your Ass

Categories: Nerdgasm, Photos

Jon Gitchoff
Klingons haul away a Stormtrooper. Does this mean that Star Trek is better than Star Wars after all? See more Archon 38 photos here.

Captain Kirk and the rest of the Enterprise crew may "boldly go where no man has gone before," but honestly, the Klingons were probably there first.

The Star Trek antagonists certainly conquered Archon last weekend. The 38th installment of the annual sci-fi and fantasy convention once again featured inspired, nuanced cosplay of every type -- elves, superheroes, zombies and more. But it was the Klingons that took center stage, with the Klingon Assault Group celebrating its 25th anniversary via makeup tutorials, language seminars and even a wedding.

See also:
- Slideshow: The Best Sci-Fi Cosplay from Archon 2014
- Star Trek Fans, Rejoice! Illinois Government Website Translates to Klingon Language

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PHOTOS: The Best Undressed People of St. Louis World Naked Bike Ride 2014 (NSFW)

Categories: Bikes, Photos

Jon Gitchoff
"Oh, it's the World Naked Bike Ride? How handy, I seem to have misplaced my clothes..."
This weekend St. Louisans discarded society's rules (and their clothes) and hit the streets two wheels at a time, riding in the seventh annual World Naked Bike Ride.

The ride's compound mission, which advocates simultaneously for cyclist safety, positive body image and sustainable travel options, brings all sorts of interesting St. Louis characters out from the fringes: the eco-warriors, the sex-positive feminists, the experimenting college students, the die-hard cyclists, the creepers and so many more.

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Photos: Can Melvin White Save Dr. Martin Luther King Drive?

Categories: Photos

Photo by Theo Welling
This week's Riverfront Times feature story focuses on efforts to revive Dr. Martin Luther King Drive in north city St. Louis. The street is a bleak seven mile stretch of shuttered businesses, trash-strewn vacant lots and rampant poverty, but one man -- a maverick postal worker named Melvin White -- thinks he can reverse the decades of decline.

The headquarters of White's organization, Beloved Streets of America, sits on one of the roughest corners on the whole street, Hamilton Avenue and MLK Drive. RFT sent photographer Theo Welling there to visually document White's struggle, as well the businesses and residents who still call this street home.

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Mom-To-Be Bares Her Belly, Poses with Cop Cars in Delmar Loop Photo Shoot [PHOTOS]

Categories: Photos

Photos by Stephanie Cotta Photography
Lindsay Itzkowitz takes maternity photo shoots out of the studio and into the streets.
You never know what you'll see in the Delmar Loop.

Among the buskers, gutter punks, student groups and activists with petitions populating one of the "Ten Great Streets America", there's a new character on the scene: the bare-bellied mom-to-be.

Just four days before giving birth, Lindsay Itzkowitz strutted her stuff down the Delmar Loop for an urban maternity photo shoot shot by her sister, Stephanie Cotta. The pair drew confused looks and cat-calls -- especially since Itzkowitz' gossamer gown played up her baby bump.

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Cotton Belt Freight Depot: Local Artists Dream Of Adding Giant Mural To Iconic Ruin (Photos)

Danny Wicentowski
Local artists want to turn the Cotton Belt Freight Depot into a 750-foot-long canvas.
Shuttered since 1959, the once bustling Cotton Belt Freight Depot is a 750-foot-long concrete ruin of graffiti, rot and trash. The structure is virtually invisible to city dwellers, hidden as it is behind a row of factories on the north riverfront.

But with the opening of the nearby Stan Musial Veterans Bridge in February, the pocked face of the Cotton Belt now greets motorists crossing the bridge from Illinois. Tom Nagel, an artist and preservation activist, wants to give those drivers a real St. Louis welcome: A 750-foot-long mural across the east facade.

"You drive across that bridge, but there's nothing there but this huge abandoned building," says Nagel. "Let's put something amazing there."

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Demolition Makes Forest Park Hospital Look Even Creepier [Photos]

Categories: Photos

Allison Babka
Demolition begins on Forest Park Hospital.

When we last checked in with Forest Park Hospital, it looked abandoned, evacuated, even post-apocalyptic. The building perched above Highway 40/64 across from Forest Park had sat vacant for more than a year.

"It's a little creepy because there are still things on. Things are buzzing, things are beeping," Nick Zulauf told Daily RFT after getting into the hospital through a storm grate in 2012. "The water still runs."

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The Weekend in Photos: Zombie Bar Crawl, Cave Rave, Tower Grove Pillow Fight

Categories: Photos

Jon Gitchoff
Thousands of people dance to dubstep, EDM and more at the cave rave.
St. Louis stayed busy this weekend, taking advantage of spring's slow warming to party outdoors and underground.

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