Sunday, April 19, 2009

Celebrating St Louis

Several years ago when I lived in St Louis, my roommate and I took the same week off work and spent 5 days being tourists in our own town. I think often when you live in a place, it's easy to forget all that city has to offer. It's also easy to, once in suburbia, get so comfortable that crossing the river to head to "the city" doesn't seem worth it. Oh, but it is. And it's in the hopes of continuing my city loving lifestyle that I ventured over the river and into the 314 to find a little fun.


I started off (as promised in my last blog) at the Jewel Box in Forest Park. Where the tulips are in bloom.

There were tulips of every color. Daffodils too. And even tho this tree has not leafed up yet, and the sky looks ominous, I love this picture. (Perhaps those - and it's seemingly natural, yet arranged, symmetry - are the reasons I love it tho.)

From the Jewel Box (the interior of which was more green than flowery), we headed over to the Saint Louis Art Museum. I should mention here that the fantabulous thing about Forest Park is that most everything you do there is free. We paid $1 to get into the Jewel Box, but the art museum is free, as is the zoo (if you park on the street). I can't remember if the history museum is or not. The weather was iffy is the only reason I chose the art museum over the zoo. I LOVE the Saint Louis Zoo. It's much better than the San Diego Zoo that gets so much credit. For me, it doesn't live up to the hype. Except for the pandas of course. I love me some San Diego pandas.

Ok so anyway, the art museum. They're apparently planning this big renovation that according to the models looks like a horrible idea. If you clicked on the link you can see how beautiful and artistic the building is. Well now they're going to add on this super modern part. I'm not a fan of the plan. I was a fan of the photography on display. And an angry sculpture involving a whole bunch of broken glass. They also had a Camille Pisarro painting. I fell in love with his impressionism work when I lived in Paris. It's hanging in the same room as one of Monet's waterlilies, so that room really took me back.

After art, it was time to eat. Our tour of St Louis was going to continue at favorite Crown Candy. Unfortunately the line was out the door, and the place is super small with only like 5 tables so we had to skip it because of time constraints. We instead headed to McMurphy's Grill.

Remember how I used Delancey Street movers in LA because I believe in the rehab cause? Well what that org does for former prisoners, McMurphy's (and the St Patrick Center) does for former homeless men. Such a great cause. I believe it's so important to give people tools that better lend them to success in the outside world.

Next stop: Washington Ave and Levine Hat Co. So fun to just peruse the racks and racks of hats. It's in a super old building and I loved climbing the narrow stairs to the second floor past the antique elevator. I also super loved the Angelina cloche.

Time was almost up but there was one more stop on the spontaneous and unplanned itinerary. The George Fox Steedman Architecural Library. It's located in the Fine Arts dept of the Central Public Library downtown. (which, ironically, was designed by the same person who designed the art museum and the World's Fair Pavilion in Forest Park). So anyway, this article says this particular room is only open to architects and students, but we asked the fine arts librarian, and he unlocked the door and let us into a whole new old world. I'm a big fan of 1920s era architecture and this room with all of its built-in bookcases and huge fireplace did not disappoint.

I felt like it was a special treat that he let us into see it so I didn't dare whip out my camera. But I'm definitely willing to take anyone who wants to go back.

Friday Night

Ellen and Hannah, two former Reelz coworkers, were passing through the StL on their way across the country. I picked them up at their hotel downtown and showed them that St Louis rocks in the way of treats.

After Ted Drewes, I took them on a glitzy drive and showed them things like Shrewsbury. Then I figured out the right way to go on Chippewa and we headed to the Central West End. I used to LOVE going out in the Central West End. In addition, the weather Friday night was perfection. LA kinda weather. So we walked around for a bit and stopped at one of my old fave spots - Llywelyn's. Since the weather was so nice, we ventured out back to the beer garden and enjoyed some cider.

Not sure yet what this week holds in store...
I'm looking forward to eventually making it to a Cards game...and I know my gma wants to venture into the new Super Wal-Mart by her house, so I will definitely have to temper that with something a little more high brow.

Then next weekend, I'm planning on taking advantage of the nice weather by heading to the lake with my dad and at least one bro. Fishing is the main goal, but don't you know I'll be reading and sunning too...

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