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WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: ADVENTURE

This week, share a photo that says “adventure.” It could be an image of someone setting off on an epic journey, a photo you took on an adventure of your own, or something more metaphoric that represents a personal or psychological adventure. For more information go here.

Several times each week, I go past this bronze interpretation of ADVENTURE. It is the statue of King Louis IX of France  leading the Seventh Crusade in the 13th Century. Louis was a wise and just monarch, but a terrible Crusader. He was defeated in both of his Crusade attempts … but his statue really does say ADVENTURE.Louis IX

 

 

I have taken multiple photos of this statue over the years. And my attempt this week was the first time I was able to capture all of the details of the statue. The skies were extremely overcast and there was no direct sunlight.

MY THURSDAY ADVENTURES ON THE HILL!

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.

The HILL is a great place for doing a bit of Tourist Trekking. It has a lot of homes dating back to the Italian immigration to the city over a century ago.DSC00380

And a lot of statues in the yards.  A few silver painted goddesses …DSC00381

 

And a lot of saints!DSC00382

And occasionally, you might find a business  with some classic Act Deco ornamentation.DSC00379

Today, our eatery was a classic Italian restaurant known for it giant fishbowls of beer.DSC00383

That’s a fishbowl over the entrance. You’ll  also notice one of the SAINT LOUIS 250 BIRTHDAY CAKES  on the sidewalk, too. This one was designed by one of the ladies in our lunch-group.DSC00386

Here’s the backside …DSC00387

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.

On my way home, I discovered two more architectural highlights in the neighborhood.DSC00388

A soda company of yesteryear.DSC00390

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.

WHAT THE HECK IS A CLIMATRON?

Well, the CLIMATRON is a multi-level greenhouse enclosed in a geodesic dome that is a featured attraction at the Missouri Botanical Garden.Climatron

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.

They were all constructed out of LEGO BLOCKS!DSC00256

A MAJESTIC BALD EAGLE

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A MENACING GIANT PRAYING MANTIS

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A GIANT MONARCH BUTTERFLY ATOP A HYDRANGIA BLOSSOM


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A SOMEWHAT UPSIDE DOWN LOOKING FLOWER

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A SQUIRREL AND A BLUEBIRD EYEING THE BIRD FEEDER

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A BLOOMING CACTUS?

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A VERY UGLY BUG THAT WAS REAL!!!

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AND WHAT DO YOU THINK THIS IS?

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AND A REAL SPATHIPHYLLUM TO CLOSE!

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Drop by and see the show yourself.

ONE OF THE MANY GREAT SIGHTS OF SAINT LOUIS!

But to be really honest …

This is the photo I really wanted to post for SUMMER LOVIN’ …DSC00252

But I figured too many people would find it obscene.  I don’t know why, it has been sitting in a sunny spot on the lawn of the Missouri Botanical Garden for as long as I can remember.

HOW TO GET OUT AND ENJOY A GREAT DAY IN JULY

DSC00190  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.DSC00166

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.

But first I had to walk around the TROLLY.DSC00168

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.DSC00167

Once inside the park, I discovered another SAINT LOUIS 250 Birthday Cake.DSC00169

There’s 249 more of them scattered around the metropolitan area. But I wasn’t looking for cakes, so I continued my journey into the park along the Grand Esplanade.DSC00171

You know, the park has something to interest almost everyone …DSC00172

Bikers and runners …

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Lovers of forests …DSC00175And waterways …

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Wild flowers …DSC00177

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And cultivated gardens …DSC00179

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And even potted plants!DSC00180

And ducks …DSC00182

And duck families!

And that brings us to the second reason for my walk in the Park.Boathouse

THE BOATHOUSE

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.DSC00184

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!

30 DOC – Origami Butterflies … Day 18

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Friday was a cool blue sky day filled with puffy clouds. Notice that the emphasis was on COOL. That is a very rare happening in Saint Louis, and it inspired me to create today’s origami butterfly.DSC00200

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.

WORDLESS WEDNESDAYS – FANTASY REFLECTIONS

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WORDLESS WEDNESDAY – LOST

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LOST

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: MONUMENTS

The theme for this weeks Photo Challenge is MONUMENTS. Living in Saint Louis I had to go with the obvious …OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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…

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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.people pod

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.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Street Life

 

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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.

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Alfresco dining

Historic designs

Classic designs from yesteryear

 

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 Our largest independent book store

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Tributes to Saint Louis’ Creative Greats

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Plenty of spots to sit and rest and watch the world pass by.

Tree shaded sidwalks

And tree-shaded sidewalks to stroll along!

 

 

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