Maybe you’ve seen Phil’s mural work while stumbling around South City’s moonlit streets or bar hopping to Peppers. Perhaps you’ve seen the martini glass mural on Manchester in the Grove or visited Park West Grill where it isn’t just the bartender who’s extremely attractive, but the logo painted outside. An exterior master could shadow no less talent on his own living quarters. Nestled on Arsenal behind the Kutis Funeral Home, this building sticks out like a sore thumb. It was built in 1930 for Kruse Florist. Kruse built a large 14’x14’ arched window and poured beautiful Italian Terrazzo flooring. The basement was poured concrete lined with 8” of natural cork to insulate the refrigerated flowers. The building was converted into three apartments in the ’70’s, then into a photography studio in the ’90’s. “Sometime before our purchase, the basement was converted into what looked like a marijuana growing hot house,” Phil says. Needless to say, this space was a complete maker-over. Phil’sfavorite feature is “the open feel of my studio’s 16’ ceiling.” Anne Childers, owner of Indigo Massage & Wellness Therapy, lives with Phil. Her favorite feature is the “whirlpool bath for two and my yoga room with a couch of my design built on theold compressor platform.”You may also notice the extraordinary number of unicycles. I couldn’t resist challenging Phil. “Can you ride the cycle?” “Sure, I get around.” Maybe he says something like that as he accepts the challenge, grabs the uni-corn-er-i-mean-cycle and proceeds to successfully unicycle for upwards of 3 seconds. He makes several more attempts with varying levels of success. “I can’t watch this!” I scream inside my head. And sure enough, there he goes: crash, swish, plump. I barely avoid stepping on his glasses and decide it’s time to change camera angles.
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