Go Best Express Shuttle for St. Louis IBM/SAM

Flying around the world for the perfect magic convention? Save some dough and share your room.
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Dustin Stinett
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Go Best Express Shuttle for St. Louis IBM/SAM

Postby Dustin Stinett » June 17th, 2014, 5:58 pm

I don't need a roomie, but I figured this was as good a place as any to post this bit of info:

I was working on my travel arrangements from the airport to the hotel (and back again) for the IBM/SAM and, as recommended by the hotel, Go Best Express is the deal; just $35 round trip! (Not including gratuity—but you can add it to your credit card when you reserve.) Plus their telephone menu recording is a hoot: 877-785-4682. But make your reservations online to save 10% at
http://www.gobestexpress.com/

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erdnasephile
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Re: Go Best Express Shuttle for St. Louis IBM/SAM

Postby erdnasephile » June 17th, 2014, 6:40 pm

Dustin:

Thanks for the post.

Do you know if the metro runs to a station close to the hotel as well? I thought it did. (I rode it to Wash U once from the airport--it was cheap ($1.00) and safe at the time.)

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Go Best Express Shuttle for St. Louis IBM/SAM

Postby Dustin Stinett » June 17th, 2014, 6:49 pm

The closest station is across the street at the convention center (a close walk--if you like humping luggage). I think the hotel site said it's $3.50 (I'll let you confirm): http://www.marriott.com/hotels/maps/tra ... and-hotel/

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erdnasephile
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Re: Go Best Express Shuttle for St. Louis IBM/SAM

Postby erdnasephile » June 17th, 2014, 7:53 pm

Thanks, Dustin. Here's what the Lambert to Convention Center Metrolink schedule looks like (assuming an afternoon flight--rush hour may be more expensive):

Trip Summary

Date: 06-17-2014 Time: 2:45p
Transfers: 0 Travel Time: 35 min
Walking Distance: 0.04 miles Trip Cost: $2.25

From: LAMBERT AIRPORT TERMINAL 1 METROLINK STATION, METROLINK, ST LOUIS COUNTY, 63145
To: CONVENTION CENTER METROLINK STATION, N 6TH ST, ST LOUIS, 63101

Trip Details

From: LAMBERT AIRPORT TERMINAL 1 METROLINK STATION, METROLINK, ST LOUIS COUNTY, 63145

Walk to Step LAMBERT MAIN TRML METROLINK STATION

Depart and head Southeast on LAMBERT-MAIN WALKWAY WALK ( 0.030 miles ), Arrive Total distance ( 0.030 miles ).

Board train MetroLink [TO SHILOH SCOTT] at StepLAMBERT MAIN TRML METROLINK STATION
Scheduled Departure Time: 2:49p

Exit at Step CONVENTION CENTER METROLINK STATION

Scheduled Arrival Time: 3:24p
----------------------------------------------------------------

The website to plan a trip using the Metrolink is: http://tripplanner.metrostlouis.org/

TCG
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Re: Go Best Express Shuttle for St. Louis IBM/SAM

Postby TCG » June 19th, 2014, 2:59 am

Thanks for this info, Dustin!

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Re: Go Best Express Shuttle for St. Louis IBM/SAM

Postby SteveP » June 19th, 2014, 7:41 am

MetroLink is a convenient way to get from Lambert to your hotel. The Convention Center MetroLink stop is two blocks from your hotel. It will let you out on 6th & Washington. Your hotel is two blocks west on 8th & Washington. Two city blocks in St. Louis is a very short walk.

The MetroLink fare is going up a quarter on July 1st, so it will be $2.50 for the ride.

MetroLink is worth exploring because you may want to check out other parts of downtown. While downtown St. Louis is very walkable, if it's a typical St. Louis summer, it will probably be hot and very humid. There is a lot of construction going on near the Arch, a two year project to connect the Arch grounds to downtown and it's confusing to get to if you walk. If you take MetroLink east from The Convention Center station, it's the next stop at Laclede's Landing.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Go Best Express Shuttle for St. Louis IBM/SAM

Postby erdnasephile » June 19th, 2014, 8:03 am

Thanks, Steve!

(I just wanna know--what's the best way to get to Ted Drewe's! :D )

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Re: Go Best Express Shuttle for St. Louis IBM/SAM

Postby erdnasephile » June 19th, 2014, 8:06 am

Steve (or any other St. Louisians):

Non-magic question:

Is the area around the hotel safe during early morning hours? I was looking to find a place to run really early morning at dawn, but don't know the area.

Also, where would you recommend eating within walking distance of the restaurant or would you just metro or cab it to places around town?

Many thanks!

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Re: Go Best Express Shuttle for St. Louis IBM/SAM

Postby SteveP » June 19th, 2014, 8:25 am

Regarding Ted Drewes, there is one closer than you think. Next to the new Busch Stadium is the new Ballpark Village, which has a lot of restaurants, including Ted Drewes.

In the past decade downtown St. Louis has become more residential, so early mornings you will find joggers and dog walkers. You're going to see some homeless people, but they stay to themselves. The Arch is a popular place to run, but really anywhere in the general area is fine. I'm downtown in the early morning all the time, typically with a lot of expensive camera gear and I've never had an issue.

There are a lot of places to eat downtown, from chain restaurants - Hooters, TGIFridays, Hardees to local places. Near the Convention Center MetroLink station there are several restaurants and a movie theater. If you go up Washington in the other direction, again there are more restaurants. So whatever your dining budget is, you will find somewhere to eat very close. There is also a Starbucks in the hotel.

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Go Best Express Shuttle for St. Louis IBM/SAM

Postby Dustin Stinett » June 19th, 2014, 11:31 am

We have included a full page of nearby eateries in the convention program along with a map that shows their location.

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Re: Go Best Express Shuttle for St. Louis IBM/SAM

Postby SteveP » June 19th, 2014, 11:40 am

There's also a grocery store about 2 blocks away - Culinaria at 9th & Olive.

By the way, next to the hotel on 9th street is an Orpheum Theater where Houdini performed. Occasionally I'll see a program from his appearance there come up for auction.

If you take a trek over to Union Station, that's where 3 Stooges history meets magic history. When Joe Besser was 13 years old, he snuck onto one of Thurston's train cars because he wanted to be part of the show.

And if you're a fan of the movie Escape From New York, most of it was filmed in downtown St. Louis, including Union Station.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Go Best Express Shuttle for St. Louis IBM/SAM

Postby erdnasephile » June 19th, 2014, 1:54 pm

This is great info, guys--especially about Ted Drewes! (and the grocery store--I'm weird--I actually prefer to buy food in grocery stores when I'm on vacation. Get tired of eating out). Thanks!

SteveP
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Re: Go Best Express Shuttle for St. Louis IBM/SAM

Postby SteveP » June 19th, 2014, 3:21 pm

Here's a link to the grocery store:

http://www.culinariaschnucks.com/

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Re: Go Best Express Shuttle for St. Louis IBM/SAM

Postby John Signa » June 19th, 2014, 6:16 pm

Dustin Stinett wrote:We have included a full page of nearby eateries in the convention program along with a map that shows their location.

The digital convention guide also has listing of eateries, including ones mentioned here.

However, bit tricky to find. For those that have downloaded the guide: Tap Where, then tap A-Z for the listings, and then tap the Dining category.

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Dustin Stinett
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Re: Go Best Express Shuttle for St. Louis IBM/SAM

Postby Dustin Stinett » June 19th, 2014, 6:36 pm

Thanks to Steve P for the local insights, but we need to get down to the REALLY important stuff: Who has the best pizza that will deliver to the hotel?

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Re: Go Best Express Shuttle for St. Louis IBM/SAM

Postby SteveP » June 19th, 2014, 9:26 pm

Dustin,

Not to offend any St. Louisan's who happen to read this, but take my advice - stay away from any St. Louis-style pizza. There is a local chain and they have a couple of them downtown, called Imo's Pizza. St. Louis pizza is very thin, almost crunchy crust made with a local hybrid cheese called provel (not to be confused with provolone).

I'm not from St. Louis. I've only lived here for 19 years. The first time I had a St. Louis pizza I thought something was wrong with it and the people I was with told me that's a St. Louis pizza. I was born in New York, so I grew up on real pizza. I even like Chicago-style pizza. But St. Louis pizza is to be avoided.

I'm sure this is on the list they've supplied you, but a couple of blocks from the hotel is Pi Pizza and they use mozzarella:

http://www.restaurantpi.com/downtown-menu/

If you're craving real New York pizza, there's Racanellis. They deliver, but I'm not sure if they will deliver downtown from their nearest location in the Central West End:

http://www.racanellis.com/

However if you're up for a quick MetroLink ride, it's only about 15 minutes away westbound.

Just my 2 cents. (Which is what a St. Louis pizza is worth)

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Re: Go Best Express Shuttle for St. Louis IBM/SAM

Postby brianarudolph » June 19th, 2014, 10:45 pm

I can't agree more with SteveP's assessment of Imo's so-called "pizza" (even with the quotes I feel it necessary to offer my profuse apologies to real pizza.)

How to make Provel cheese:

1. Extract the absolute best tasting parts of cheddar, Swiss and provolone cheese
2. Throw those parts away
3. Combine what's left and melt it together
4. Pour that mixture into boots fresh off the feet of St. Louis construction workers after they've worked an eight-hour day in 100+ degree heat on a cloud-free summer day
5. Take filled boots to a damp cellar with no windows
6. Cover boots with unwashed underwear from the construction workers (important point: be sure that the boots and the underwear are not from the same construction worker lest you ruin the taste)
7. Forget about it for roughly a year
8. Once the mixture has aged, don your protective gear, scoop out the … uh … "cheese" (being careful not to let any get on your bare skin)
9. Crumble and store in air-tight containers until ready to use (trust me on the "air-tight" part)
10. Be sure that anything covered with Provel is heated to at least 400 degrees for 10 minutes before serving.

Don't believe me? OK, try these quotes from Provel's Wikipedia page:

"According to St. Louis Post-Dispatch food critic Joe Bonwich, Provel was invented specifically for St. Louis-style pizza more than a half-century ago by the downtown firm Costa Grocery (now Roma Grocery on the Hill, a primarily Italian St. Louis neighborhood), in collaboration with the Hoffman Dairy Company of Wisconsin (now part of Kraft Foods). Bonwich states that Provel was developed to meet perceived demand for a pizza cheese with a "clean bite": one that melts well but breaks off nicely when the diner bites down. Neither of Bonwich's sources at Kraft and Roma had a definitive answer for the origin of the name, although one popular theory is that it is a portmanteau of the words provolone and mozzarella, two of the cheeses for which it is substituted."

But my favorite quote:

"Although popular in the St. Louis area, Provel is rarely used elsewhere."

A stellar endorsement indeed.

Still don't believe how bad this stuff is? OK. Fine. Then get 7 friends to chip in together during the convention and order from Imo's. Go with basic toppings like pepperoni, sausage and such … keep the anchovies, shrimp and anything that could potentially taint the taste of a pizza out of play. Then hold up your end of the bargain and be sure to eat 1/8 of the thing that arrives in the box.

I triple dog dare you.

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erdnasephile
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Re: Go Best Express Shuttle for St. Louis IBM/SAM

Postby erdnasephile » June 19th, 2014, 11:51 pm

Agreed--IMHO, St. Louis pizza is horrible, but my friends from St. Louis seem to love the stuff.

OTOH, Ted Drewe's Frozen Custard is the best I've had.

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Re: Go Best Express Shuttle for St. Louis IBM/SAM

Postby TAR » June 20th, 2014, 8:55 pm

If you want to take a break from all the magic and you are a motorcycle enthusiast, I would recommend the "Moto Museum" on Olive street at Lindell. http://www.themotomuseum.com/ I believe it is still free and open to the public. While you are there go across the street to Pappy's Smoke House for some great tasting BBQ http://www.pappyssmokehouse.com/ I agree with everyone else, Imo's "St. Louis" style pizza is not my favorite.


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