From The Editor: Inside The December Issue

 In Culture

NeilCoverMediumWith the influx of local, independent retailers, handmade artisans and the popularity of initiatives like Small Business Saturday, there’s never been a better time to shop local in St. Louis. As the holidays quickly approach (and my gift list grows by the day), I take solace in the fact that I have more than my fair share of go-to shopping destinations with unique finds for everyone on my list.

I’ll admit, working to uncover the top local holiday gifts of the season for our annual Wish List gift guide gives me a bit of an unfair advantage compared to most shoppers. But I can assure you that a little quality time with this year’s list will have even the bah-humbug shoppers ready to seize the season. From the Central West End to Kirkwood and everywhere in between, our team of shoppers hit the streets to find the best holiday gifts in St. Louis— and the 120-plus items you’ll find in our pages is only the beginning. Head to our Style Notes blog for 31 straight days of holiday shopping tips, inspirations and more. And don’t forget to use #ShopLocalSTL whenever you snag a holiday find of your own: The hashtag could land you a gift card to use at our Holiday Hop & Shop on Dec. 6, featuring handmade, locally sourced and ethically imported goods from 25 independent vendors.

There’s no question that we have a lot to be proud of when it comes to supporting local. Our very own Jazz St. Louis just completed a major expansion that places the center among the most advanced in the country. We snagged an insider tour of the new space with President and CEO Gene Dobbs Bradford, who explains the ins and outs of the renovation, from the world-class acoustics of the Ferring Jazz Bistro (executed by the same firm that did SFJAZZ in San Francisco and Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City) to the 4,000-squarefoot Centene Jazz Education Center, complete with rehearsal rooms and a recording studio.

Speaking of insider info, we uncovered plenty of it while interviewing select members of the Missouri cast and crew of the hit thriller “Gone Girl,” starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike and our cover man Neil Patrick Harris. Acclaimed director David Fincher and his team spent six weeks filming Missourian Gillian Flynn’s riveting screenplay (adapted from her bestselling novel) in Cape Girardeau, where the river-town setting and collective community support (including 116 Missourians and 1,400 regional extras) put Missouri on the map in Hollywood. From the 30-plus local filming spots to stories of interactions with Ben, Rosamund and others, we have the complete behind-the scenes story of when Missouri met Hollywood. And don’t forget to catch the accompanying Q&A with the one and only NPH, who—contrary to his creepy character in “Gone Girl”—is just as quirky, quick-witted and “legend…wait for it…ary” as ever.

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