Another Friendly City
By Sharon DeWitt
(as printed in the Gazette)
Well, well, LA is not the only city to have fun in. We have a city right here in the Midwest that is very TG friendly. I’m talking about none other that our own St. Louis. Don’t just take my word for it, ask Linda Ann. I may not have had as much time out and about here as in LA, but we had a day out that was nonstop. Just think, right in our back yard --a whole new adventure of crossdressing. One day was barely enough to test the waters. My day trip with Linda was the first of three en fem outings this summer around St Louis, and I have a fourth in the works hopefully for next weekend.
Linda and I started the day by meeting at the Options Salon. The salon is located in Brentwood and is owned and operated by Richard Tracy. I know of no other salon in St. Louis that does makeovers for TG’s, so if anyone has heard of others please let me know. Richard, Linda and I spent an hour or so together talking as he advised Linda on makeup. Richard is very personable and loves to experiment with colors. His salon is centrally located in a nice area and is very comfortable inside. I was impressed, and this is a place I am definitely going to try. I already have an appointment set up for later this month.
My stomach was starting to growl by 11:00, and I was starting to think about lunch by the time we left. I seem to have a limited amount of excess energy stored in my system and need to refuel often. I could almost feel my clothing starting to hang on me. Oh, the problems with being thin.
We decided to try out the loop in the U City area. That area is a little offbeat, and I was hoping crossdressers would be accepted. Oops, sorry Linda-- did I neglect to tell you I hadn’t been there before? Well, we couldn’t have asked for a better reception. We arrived from the east and drove down Delmar looking for a parking space. There were a lot of people milling about and not a parking spot in sight. As we approached the end of the shops, I pulled in to a parking lot and there was a spot just waiting for us.
The lot belonged to Brant’s Café, so we decided to do lunch there. There were tables on the walk outside, but the temp was approaching 90, so thought it best to go in. I knew the lunch was going to be enjoyable when the waitress came over and said, “What can I get you ladies to drink?” When we ordered our food, feeling brave, I went with her recommendation: a grilled pear and Brie sandwich. Which, by the way, was very good. Having finished our lunch and feeling relaxed, we decided to do a bit of shopping in the stores.
There were several interesting clothing stores. One was a second hand shop with some very nice dresses. We didn’t buy anything but enjoyed looking and trying on a few outfits. Everyone was very tg-friendly; we even had some girls on the street offer to take our picture. I was a bit relieved when the one young lady handed my camera back. The thought of chasing someone down the street to get my camera back didn’t appeal to me.
Time was flying by, and we wanted to make a few more stops before dinner, so we headed off to Forest Park to view the sights and take some photos. We were able to stop at two of the landmarks, the art museum and the Muny. While at the Museum, the trolley pulled up to let off some visitors, and we hurried across the street to get a photo by the trolley. The driver was very accommodating and waited patiently while we took our photos. He even asked if it was OK to move on and we thanked him and he was on his way. I don't think he had a clue that we were crossdressers.
We made one final stop before dinner, Hair International. Mary, the owner, was very attentive, and I just couldn’t leave without getting a wig. When it comes to wigs, I’m just a girl that can’t say no.
Central West End seemed like a perfect place for dinner, so we prearranged to meet Mr. Val and Sharon. at Balaban’s, not an inexpensive place, but wonderful food and service. We had changed while at the hair salon and were ready for the evening. We arrived early and went into the bar area and had a drink. One waitress complemented my choice of clothing, which was that dress in California that had begged me to take it home, and I knew then that I had made a good decision. Mr. Val and Sharon arrived, and the four of us had a very nice dinner and were treated very well.
After dinner we all decided to do a little shopping, so we went to Fairview Heights to Stepping Out. There was a lot of kinky clothing and some adult toys. I don’t recall anyone buying anything, but it was fun to shop. If one is looking for platform shoes, this place has quit a selection. The store reminded me of the For Lovers Only stores here in St. Louis.
Our final stop for the evening was Alibi’s. Thursday night was amateur night and the show started at 11. We stayed long enough for a drink and then called it an evening. Well actually, I did head out on my own to the Complex for an hour or so of dancing; I didn’t want too get home to early.
The outing with Linda was so enjoyable that I started looking for another opportunity to get out. Lo and behold, just a week and a half later along came a new member to the club from Kansas City that wanted to experience getting out. We got a late start Friday evening, but did make dinner at C. Whittaker’s.
We braved it and dined on the outside patio, which is right on the street corner. It is great for people watching and to be watched. They were still quite busy at 10:30, which surprised me, as I usually eat fairly early in the evening. The waiter was very accepting, addressing us as ladies, which I always love. We had a couple of brief conversations with individuals at two of the tables nearest us. I wasn’t surprised that we had a few looks because we were dressed quit nice and most female patrons had on slacks or sporty summer wear.
The following day we went shopping, but Terry decided she wasn’t ready to go out during the day en fem. I didn’t mind because I think it is easier to go out in public with a male escort. We tried on shoes at a Shoe Stop in Brentwood and each bought a pair. Then I decided to really push it and we went to the Galleria. It was great; we ended up spending a lot of time in Victoria’s Secret and Express. I tried on several outfits and settled on a black and silver sequined dress that hangs off one shoulder. The sales girls were just wonderful. While I was in the dressing room trying the dress on, the salesgirl asked if I needed anything, so I asked her to find Terry to get a second opinion on the dress. Off she trotted; I never expected such help and acceptance. Everyone in the stores was very friendly, including some of the other customers that we conversed with. We ended the day at Houllihan’s for dinner.
My latest outing was last Thursday. I wanted to do a little shopping and check out several of the wig shops around town. Big mistake. Remember the girl that can’t say no. My first stop was Sun’s Wig Shop in Overland Plaza. They have a good selection of higher priced wigs and do styling for a very reasonable price of $10. Next stop, Queens Wig Palace on Jennings Station Rd., which is a great place for TG’s. They are reasonably priced and were very helpful with styling tips and care information. Next door was Fashion City with some very mod clothing, although some of the dresses marked large fit me, go figure. I also stopped at Grand Wig and Kings Beauty Supply. My final stop was Grand Fashion on Grand Blvd. They also had a selection of wigs and clothing. I managed to stop at 5 wig stores and only picked up three wigs. My willpower must be improving.
For anyone just starting to venture out, I think the wig shops are best as a first step. The salespeople/owners want your business and have seen us before. Also, there are usually not too many customers in the shops. For more interaction with people on the street, the Loop and Central West End offer some excitement. Give people half a chance and they will surprise you with their good nature. If you look friendly, most don’t care what you are wearing.
Or maybe I can’t hear well and am out of tune with my surroundings. Nah.
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