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Uniquely Columbia: The Broadway Diner

May 18, 2013

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It’s late at night…you’ve just spent a fun time on the town with your friends in Columbia…and you’re hungry.

What. Do. You. Do.

You head to the Broadway Diner, of course!

Shown during the daytime. Hopping during the nighttime.

Shown during the daytime. Hopping during the nighttime.

This Columbia institution is located just across the street from Flat Branch Park in downtown. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the Diner has late night hours (opening at 11:00 p.m. and serving it up until 2:00 p.m. the next day).

There are no tv’s, the menus aren’t fancy and the place is tiny, but nowhere comes to mind as quickly after a night out as The Diner. The biscuits and gravy are perfect for breakfast, lunch or late night snack and if you’re really feeling hungry, order The Stretch. It’s a multi-layered platter of hashbrowns topped with scrambled eggs, chili, cheese, peppers and onions. Definitely the perfect cure to a night out on the town.

During your next night on the town in Columbia, head to the Diner to meet some characters and have some great food.

What’s your favorite dish on the menu?

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Uniquely Columbia: The Bur Oak

May 1, 2013

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Down a quiet road just a few miles south of Columbia is a local treasure. At over 350 years old, the largest bur oak tree in Missouri is a beautiful spot that you shouldn’t miss on your next visit.

The tree stands 90 feet tall and has a stately spot in the middle of a field between the tiny spots of McBaine and Huntsdale. One of the most popular places for photos in the area, ‘The Big Tree’ even has its own Facebook page. Beautiful in the spring and sometimes haunting in the winter, the tree is a majestic sight.

To reach the tree, head south on Providence Road and just keep driving. And driving. As the houses become farther and farther apart, you’ll know you’ve almost reached your destination. You can also reach the tree easily from the Katy Trail trailhead at McBaine, where Columbia’s MKT Trail joins with the Katy. Rain or shine, the tree is a uniquely Columbia gem.

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Uniquely Columbia: Stephens College Costume Museum and Research Library

March 12, 2013

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Some people just get up and get dressed, but then there are those who live fashion.

Since 1958, Stephens College in Columbia has been collecting stunning pieces of clothing and accessories. Donations from alumnae, friends and designers have resulted in the collection growing to over 13,000 pieces. The pieces within the collection date back to the 1730s and  range from everyday wear from many decades, representations of ethnic wear and priceless pieces from designers. These archival pieces allow students to study textiles, construction and design dating back to the very beginnings of America and from around the world.

While most of the collection is housed in Stephens’ archival space, rotating exhibits allow visitors to enjoy thoughtfully curated experiences based on a designer, a time period or an emotion.

The current collection, titled Emergence, will let visitors experience the emergence of spring through one imaginary socialite’s closet as it evolved from 1947 to 1990. At the beginning of the exhibit, the collection will consist of winter wear: White, silver, taupe suits and heavy garments. Like any woman of the time, our muse will swap out her winter pieces to make room for a spring wardrobe, consisting of lighter fabrics in pinks, greens and yellows. The second phase of the exhibit will emerge over spring break during the last week of March.

To visit this beautiful exhibit, head to the Historic Costume Gallery in Lela Raney Wood Hall on the Stephens College campus. The exhibit is open Thursdays from 5:30-8:30 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday from 12:00-3:00 p.m. Take a step back in time to see where the fashion we wear today originated and perhaps get a sneak peek into what’s next.

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Uniquely Columbia – The State Historical Society of Missouri

February 22, 2013

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Fans of history have no trouble finding great spots to explore here in Columbia. One place to absolutely not miss is a hidden gem on the University of Missouri campus, the State Historical Society (SHS) of Missouri. Nestled into Ellis Library, the SHS is the premier center for research and study when it comes to the history of our state.

The SHS is home to beautiful displays of Missouri art, including one of the largest George Caleb Bingham collections and Thomas Hart Benton works. Many other Missouri artists, both past and present, also are well represented.

Also ready to be explored are a variety of collections.

The Manuscript Collection
-Began acquiring through members of the Missouri Press Association in 1898.

-One of the earliest and most significant acquisitions is the Thomas Adams Smith (1781-1844), Papers.

-In 1943 the Western Historical Manuscript Collection (WHMC) was created at the University of Missouri with the aid of a Rockefeller Foundation Grant.

-In 1963 with SHSMO and WHMC manuscript holdings were combined creating a joint collection.

The Newspaper Collection 

-Beginning with the July 26, 1808 issue of the St. Louis Missouri Gazette, the Society’s newspaper collection offers a wealth of information about the day-today lives of Missourians and the political, cultural, economic and religious events that have influenced them.

-Available in 1,270 bound volumes and on over forty-one million pages of microfilm

-Some 300 current newspapers, from every Missouri county are added to the collection each week.

Oral History Program 

-Since 1993, the SHSMO has had a full-time oral historian recording and transcribinghundreds of oral history interviews that preserve Missouri’s history, culture and heritage.

-The first project of the oral history program focused on artists from Missouri’s Bootheel region. Researchers collected oral history interviews and other recordings, which resulted in Art and Heritage of the Missouri Bootheel: A Resource
Guide.

-With over 4,000 interviews, the oral history program continues to actively produce and collect oral history interviews that represent Missouri’s culture and history. However, researchers will find our oral history collection reaches well beyond the Show-Me State’s borders.

Reference Collection 

-Houses resources ranging from family histories and printed minutes kept by local literary societies to Missouri official publications and scholarly monographs on the history of the state and the lives of its citizens.

-County and town histories, city directories, compiled cemetery records, and indexes to local records.

-Primary and secondary sources on many aspects of the state’s and the nation’s history and culture.

Take some time during your next visit to Columbia to dive into the exciting history of our state. It’s a great place to get lost in the past.

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True/False: How to Festival

February 20, 2013

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We’re only days away from one of the most special weekends of the year in Columbia. The True/False Film Festival brings together Columbia residents and visitors from around the world to immerse themselves in a weekend of films that will make you think, laugh, cry and wonder.

This collection of people and events is what makes True/False so incredible. Here’s a list straight from the organizers with some logistical information on ‘How to True/False’ and we have a few more tips to make your weekend the best of your year.

-Take some time Friday afternoon to catch the March March. This ragtag parade is an event anyone can join! Participants young and old embrace the distinct atmosphere of True/False and wear costumes, spin fire, play music and enjoy general revelry to kick off the festival.

-Speak up at a screening. One of the hallmarks of the festival is that each film is accompanied by someone who was involved in its creation. Have a question? Want clarification? Want to know what happened next? Raise your hand and ask the director who was involved in the film from start to screen.

-Don’t be afraid to change it up. If you hear amazing buzz about a certain film you don’t have a ticket for, hit up the Q line! Venue kings and queens start handing out Q numbers an hour before each screening and then start letting in Q-liners about 10 minutes before the show. Jesse Hall and Missouri Theater are the best places to Q because they’re the largest venues.

-Take your time. True/False sometimes seems to fly by in a blur. Take a bit during your weekend to sit in a coffee shop or a restaurant and just soak up the experience. Write about the films you’ve seen already, sip on a glass of wine, chat up a filmmaker you see, compare notes with your fellow festival goers. The festival experience is over all too fast, and these little moments make great memories.

Now that you’ve heard our little tips, what do you recommend for enjoying the festival weekend to its fullest?

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True/False Films are here!

February 13, 2013

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The time has finally come! The time to get out your calendar, your highlighters and your computer to plan your True/False adventure! Each person plans their True/False weekend in their own way, but here are some links that can help you out…

The entire list of True/False films for 2013

-The schedule of events for the weekend. Films, music showcases, parties, the March March and more!

-A fantastic compilation of trailers for films and musical previews.

Also important is the reservation timetable:
Super Circle Pass – February 10 starting at 6 pm (Get those reservations done!)
Silver Circle Pass- February 12 starting at 6 pm
Lux Pass – February 14 starting at 6 pm
Simple Pass – February 16 starting at 6 pm

-Feel like a jaunt around town Saturday morning of the festival? Register for the True Life Run!

Now you’re ready to sit down and plan for your True/False 2013. Don’t forget to take some time to stroll through the festival footprint to people watch, have a snack at a local restaurant and meet up with friends for a drink and to discuss your last film. One of the best parts of True/False is truly immersing yourself in the experience…we’ll see you there!

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Why True/False is Different

February 7, 2013

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Before we get into the main part of today’s post…the True/False film list is here! The programming team at the festival has assembled an amazing list of films and the full schedule will come out tomorrow evening. Start planning now before ticket reservations start next week! And now back to your regularly scheduled blog post.

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When you attend True/False, it would be easy to only attend films. Film after glorious film for days. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But, what’s so fantastic about the festival is that you can enjoy a multitude of other activities before, during and after there are films showing! Don’t miss out on enjoying the full spectrum of the festival.

Gimme Truth!

On Saturday night of the festival, see America’s favorite documentary game show, as you decide whether films are true or false. Irreverent host Johnny St. John keeps judges and competitors in line.

The True Life Run

A bright-and-early tradition at T/F, the True Life Run invites all runners and walkers to start Saturday, March 2 with a mad dash through the streets of downtown Columbia. The 5k run/walk will start at 9:00 am (new, later time!) in Flat Branch Park and take in the landmarks of our fair city, offering a handful of eclectic adventures along the way. In addition to some interesting prizes from local businesses, we’ll also be offering one Lux pass to next year’s True/False (2014) to the male and female winners. Our game masters are still ironing out the details, but winners will be determined by a combination of course time, craziness and successful participation in hair-brained challenges along the way.

The March March

Shouldn’t every festival be kicked off with a parade where anyone can join and be as crazy and colorful as they like? We think so…

Plan to join the March March now. Or just hop on in as it passes you by.

Music

True/False calls their buskers ‘the festival’s secret weapon.’ Dozens of musical acts grace the stages and streets of Columbia each year during the festival. They play on corners, before every film showing and in special showcases in intimate venues to showcase the greatness of these artists. From Columbia to Paris (yes the one in France), musical artists at True/False are an international affair.

We could go on and on about what makes True/False stand out, but the festival is really what you make it. So get out there, explore the festival and enjoy yourself!

What’s your favorite non-film T/F event?

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True/False is Coming

January 3, 2013

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True/False is coming…

I am in awe of what you have built in Columbia. I have been to many festivals around the world, but I have never witnessed the unique combination of community spirit, excited audiences, daring programming and all-around fantastic atmosphere that you have fostered around T/F.

Simon Kilmurry, executive director, American Documentary/POV

The festival will celebrate its 10th year in 2013…

We figured out that you are secretly brainwashing us, in preparation for your tenth anniversary whereupon you will send out the balloon signal and wherever your past attendees are, the chip will kick in and we will do whatever you have programmed us to.

Natalie Difford, Chicken & Egg

Are you ready?

How often does anything truly live up to expectations? How common is it for our false hopes to be dashed by too much hype? What a wonder to experience a weekend that went so far beyond our imaginings. We were beyond dazzled by the expert organization, warm reception and friendly audiences. True/False reminded me what our film community actually feels like and why I love it so much.

Heidi Ewing, director, Detropia

Mark your calendars for Feb. 28-March 3rd…

For any documentarian, True/False is nirvana. You walk down the street of Columbia Missouri — and you are stopped by students and secretaries, college professors and construction workers, and they all want to talk to you about your film, the intricacies of its subject and the aesthetic choices made! This is the way it’s supposed to be and never is: the town lives and breathes docs. When I went to True/False, I remembered what I sometimes forget: the unalloyed joy of making and watching docs.

Alex Gibney, director, Taxi to the Dark Side

And buy your passes today.

I could not have asked for a more intimate, smart, meaningful experience.

Nadav Kurtz, director, Paradiso

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Uniquely Columbia – Visit the Magic Tree!

December 4, 2012

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Photo from the Columbia Daily Tribune

Photo from the Columbia Daily Tribune

One of Columbia’s most popular holiday traditions in recent years has been bundling up, piling the family in the car, and heading out to visit the Magic Tree. This gorgeous display has been delighting residents and visitors since 1995 and has become a part of Columbia’s holiday experience.

Will Treelighter works on the Magic Tree

Will Treelighter works on the Magic Tree

Each year, Will Treelighter (as he’s known) spends over 40 hours wrapping tens of thousands of lights around every branch of the Magic Tree. While the original Magic Tree was located in Will’s front yard, the amount of traffic to the tree necessitated a move to the Village of Cherry Hill in 2010. That first year at Cherry Hill, the Magic Tree was lit up with approximately 37,500 lights!

The Magic Tree’s location change also has allowed for increased interaction with the tree. Visitors can now get out and explore the tree from every angle, take photos, and enjoy special events around the tree, including choral performances. The Village of Cherry Hill is a wonderful setting to take in the tree, sip some hot chocolate in the gazebo and watch children of all ages be mesmerized by the Magic Tree.

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A Columbia Tradition: The Living Windows Festival

December 3, 2012

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While the weather in Columbia isn’t nearly as cold as usual this time of year, it will still be time to celebrate the season this Friday at the annual Living Windows Festival.

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From 6:00-8:00 p.m. this Friday, Columbia’s downtown area, The District, is turned into a winter wonderland. Participating businesses will be staging live performances of popular holiday scenes in their windows. This annual festival is a celebration of the holiday season and marks the beginning of extended holiday hours for many businesses in The District.

Live window displays are the main feature of the evening´s festivities, but festival goers are invited to enjoy many other activities throughout the evening, including:

· Open houses
· Holiday treats and refreshments
· Carolers and other holiday music
· Free carriage rides through downtown
· Live nativity scene
· A visit from Santa Claus (Stop by the Landmark Bank to see our visitor from the North Pole-and don´t forget to bring your camera!)

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Here’s a preview of what some of the shops in The District have planned for Friday:

Artlandish Gallery 
A Merry Jolly Artful Holiday Open House

Bluestem Missouri Crafts
Living Christmas Trees

Calhoun’s
Gigi and Her Girl

Candy Factory
Live Saxaphone player & refreshments

Glik’s
North Pole Sewing Lab

Makes Scents
A Very Brady Christmas

Maude Vintage 
Holiday After Hours

Poppy
Hipster Holiday

PS: Gallery
Polar Express

Slackers CDs & Games
Nightmare Before Christmas

Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream 
Holiday Night Fever

Rally House 
Celebrate the Holiday’s with the Tigers

Tallulah’s
Winter Wonderland

You should also be sure to stop by our new Visitor Center in City Hall (corner of 8th and Broadway) to check out our new space and join in some holiday cheer. Bundle up (maybe) and head down to The District and take in the sights at Living Windows!

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