Archetypes: Jarek Steele

 In Feature, Photos, Style

An interview with Jarek Steele, co-owner of St. Louis cultural icon, Left Bank Books


What is your current mood or state of mind?
Anxious and hopeful.
What makes you happy?
Bad ’80s music, my dogs, my kid and my bookstore.
What is your idea of misery?
Large crowds where I have to make small talk.
What did you eat for breakfast today?
A biscuit and coffee.
What’s one word that describes you?
What trait do you value most in others?
What’s your favorite occupation?
Who would you most like to be?
My cat, Spike.
What’s your favorite color?
Today, it’s blue.
What’s your favorite food?
Smoked oysters.
What food do you like the least?
Fruit medleys from elementary school.
If you could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive) who would it be?
Gertrude Stein.
What vice do you most tolerate in others?
Being self-centered.
What talent do you wish you had?
I wish I could sing.
Who is your favorite author?
Kurt Vonnegut.
What excites you?
Original ideas.
What do you consider a turnoff?
The inability to entertain yourself.
What do you love?
Hidden vulnerability.
What do you hate?
Nothing; I don’t have time to hate.
What are you most looking forward to?
Watching my son grow up.
What is one thing you wish would happen?
Borders customers come to Left Bank Books.
What’s something interesting that you just

The salary of a neurosurgeon.
What’s something you want to learn?
How to play the banjo.
In another life, you’d be:
Che Guevara.
What is your current obsession?
Netflix and “Ready Player One.”
What is your favorite word?
Plethora comes to mind.
What is your least favorite word?
What’s on your “bucket list”?
To travel outside the country, build a grandfather clock, write a book and get my birth certificate changed.
Your hidden talent:
I can wiggle my ears; I’m also a good plumber, and I can sew.
Personal hero:
My dad, Gloria Steinem, Martin Luther King and my son.
If you could have a conversation with your younger self, what would you say?
Dude, everyone knows you’re really a guy. Even your mother. Ditch the female body and spare yourself 20 years of heartache.
What is your personal motto?
“The true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love.” (Che Guevara)



Jarek Steele

Jarek Steele


Photo credit: Photograph by Wesley Law

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