Had a bit of internet problems this week. While West Walnut Manor is not located in the immediate area where this week’s protests and rioting have been occurring, my internet provider’s substation is located across the street from all the action. And it was hacked by that group called Anonymous. As a result, the signal from all six local TV stations were reduced to silent static. Also the internet connection was reduced to donkey cart speed. While it took them two days to get the local stations back, it took a little longer to get the speed back. So I just took a couple of days off for an internet vacation.
For better or worse, I’m back again. And today was the monthly get-together with the Castaways’ Lunch Bunch … a group of former co-workers who get together on a somewhat irregular basis to dine and gab. Today we went to THE HILL for a bit of Italian soul food.
Hey, the lunch and chit-chat was good, too. I had my usual Italian restaurant order … cod-fish with fries with slaw on the side.
And O’CONNELL’S PUB in one of Saint Louis’ classic red brick buildings that dates back to 1905. And yes, it was a tavern back then, too.
Or to put it simply, it’s a tropical jungle under glass. And on my recent visit to the garden, I went through it to see a special exhibit featuring some very unusual pieces of sculpture.
A MAJESTIC BALD EAGLE
A MENACING GIANT PRAYING MANTIS
A GIANT MONARCH BUTTERFLY ATOP A HYDRANGIA BLOSSOM
A SOMEWHAT UPSIDE DOWN LOOKING FLOWER
A SQUIRREL AND A BLUEBIRD EYEING THE BIRD FEEDER
A BLOOMING CACTUS?
A VERY UGLY BUG THAT WAS REAL!!!
AND WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS IS?
AND A REAL SPATHIPHYLLUM TO CLOSE!
Drop by and see the show yourself.
ONE OF THE MANY GREAT SIGHTS OF SAINT LOUIS!
The day started off by first being cool … having great Saint Louis blue skies with floating puffy white clouds. And I decided to get out and seize the great day while I was able. I decided to start with a walk in the park which I captured with my pocket camera.
The main entrance to Forest Park is the JEFFERSON MEMORIAL dedicated to our third president who had the foresight to buy the Louisiana Territory from France. The memorial is also the home of the Missouri History Museum. Notice that the Museum is also celebrating the 250th anniversary of the founding of the city of Saint Louis. They have a great exhibit celebrating the anniversary running through next February, but I didn’t want to waste the day inside a museum. So I went around the museum and into the park.
No, this is not the trolly that Judy Garland rode on in Meet Me In Saint Louis. This is the trolly you will be able to ride on later next year, when it travels from the Museum to the entertainment center of the historic DELMAR LOOP in University City.
Bikers and runners …
And duck families!
The Boathouse is located on Post Dispatch Lake in the heart of the park. If you’re athletically inclined you can rent a paddle boat and wear yourself out exploring the waterways in the park. The Boathouse is also a damn fine restaurant and that was why I was there. I was meeting a half dozen people I used to work with for an ungodly amount of years for one of our regular lunch get-togethers.
Naturally, we opted to dine outside to enjoy the view and the fantastic day. The conversation was great! Ditto the food! And it was a totally enjoyable day!
My Pretty In Pink Butterfly
It also inspired me to get out of the house and enjoy the day which I will tell you about in my next post.
But in order to take the picture, I had to go across the Mississippi River into Illinois and walk along the railroad track to get in position to shoot. And drat, look at all the power lines that got in the way. So I’m adding a couple of bonus pictures. I’ve been photographing the Arch for years, and this is the first photo I shot…
THE MONUMENT UNDER CONSTRUCTION
This was taken in 1965. It’s also a black and white photo, since this was before digital photography. And how many young men could afford Kodachrome film. I also took a photo from the top floor of the office building where I worked the day the center section was lowered into position to join the two legs. (Unfortunately, it’s stored on a slide in one of the many boxes holding years of slide trays that are stored in the back of the closets.)
And in case you’ve never been to Saint Louis to visit the arch in person and you’re wondering how people get up to the top of the 630-foot-high monument to look out of the little windows there … well, there are steps, but not many people would want to climb up them. Instead, there is a little train with little people pods that will carry you up and down.
The People Pod
And trust me, it is a real trip up to the top! By the way, the Arch’s real name is The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and it is part of a National Park that runs along the Mississippi River at the exact location where French fur traders landed 250 years ago to found the city dedicated to Louis IX, saint and king of France. So we’re having a big birthday party around here this year. Come visit and help us celebrate.
Euclid and McPherson is the heart of Saint Louis’ Central West End. Tom Williams lived here when he was a student at Washington University and before he changed his name to Tennessee. It’s has been a cultural center of the city for every movement for over a century from jazz to hip to gay. It’s a street that can’t be captured in a single photograph.
Tributes to Saint Louis’ Creative Greats
Plenty of spots to sit and rest and watch the world pass by.