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Bonus Feature

Sully in St Louis City Garden

The St Louis Arch

DaVinci Exhibition on Market Street

Tailgating with the St. Louis Rams Fans










Google Places and Platypie

A Great City to Walk in -

The Spirit of St. Louis, it’s more than an airplane, beer, and an arch.

July 9. 2013

Deep in the heart of flyover country lies the once great metropolis of St. Louis, Missouri, and in our hearts one of the most interesting cities in the United States. Come. Stop. Walk.

Originally we had planned to stay just to tailgate with the Rams Fans. We found a campground less than a mile from the stadium, which was close to the heart of old downtown and not too far from the Arch... and before we knew it we had spent a little over a month there.

So join us for a walkabout, and pretend that Bernie and I could do all this in one day. Everything was within 2 miles, except the Basilica, which was about 2.5 miles, from the St. Louis RV Park. The park itself was of exceptional interest to me because it is located just a few blocks from the scrub woods that once held the infamous Pruit-Igoe housing complex.

County Boyz of BarbecueThe night before the big walk we fortified ourselves with a nice greasy carry-out dinner from the County Boyz of Barbecue: Rib tips and ends - with plenty of bone and gristle, potato salad , hunks of white bread, coleslaw and a couple of Bud Lites.

The next morning we started out...

Walking towards downtown, our first attraction was The St. Louis Gateway Walk of Fame (not to be confused with the St. Louis Walk of Fame). In an area of crumbling buildings and weed-filled lots, there is one clean block where African-Americans, from St. Louis, who have made significant contributions both locally and nationally are honored.

Dick Gregory, Jackie-Joyner Kersee, Chuck Berry, NAACP leader Roy Wilkins and Dred Scott  are among the people remembered along the walk. There is just a single plaque honoring the 48 Tuskegee Airmen from St. Louis.

Heading for a coffee shop on renovated Washington Avenue we walked through an old manufacturing area where the factories and schoolhouses had been repurposed as condos, “trendy” street level shops and bars. They mixed quite beautifully with the old pre-war hat and shoe factories.

Clutching our sleeved coffee cups, we headed over to check out the old, Romanesque Union Station. The station is now the site of a hotel and a very barren, empty and ugly shopping/food mall. The light  coming through the glass ceiling was harsh and unfiltered, and the two people I spoke with while ordering a second cup of coffee were totally unaware that the building was once the world’s largest and busiest train station. I guess I told them. I shan’t bore you with everything my grandparents told me about railroads.

Walking east on Market Street towards the ARCH:

At 800 Market Street, on the first floor of an older office building, a former bank lobby has been repurposed as a small art museum. Da Vinci Machines, sixty wood and metal hand-crafted machines, built from his drawings, were interactively displayed in this mini-museum the day we visited. Lot’s of people were seated about drawing, while others were experimenting and testing the machines. I would come and draw every day at lunch if I worked there.

Slightly farther down Market Street is the St. Louis City Garden, an urban oasis of trees, walkways, water features, flowers, shrubs and ground cover. But all this beauty is just a backdrop for a remarkable collection of contemporary sculptures (Gallery of artworks and artists) that delighted our eyes everywhere we looked. Art connoisseur that he is, Sully enjoyed fully immersing himself in the art.

Across from the garden and on a large lawn is the subtle Richard Serra installation, Twain. It is a series of flat steel walls with gaps for walking in and out. In our case, a place for Sully to master his directional skills.

Leaving the garden and walking East for a few more blocks we come to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, better known as The Arch. Much has been written and said about this glorious structure’s long complicated and convoluted history. This monument by Eero Saarinen is glorious and inspiring to behold, but is also a brutal example of failed urban planning.

We have walked around it in many kinds of weather and are always seeing it in new ways. We also like seeing other visitors try to experience the structure in as many ways as possible.

Enough of all this art and culture...we are starving. Just north of the Gateway Park is the historic tourist area, LaClede’s Landing. Once the shipping center of St. Louis, the area is now a tourist mecca of restaurants and bars, with a few shops thrown in for good measure. After perusing the martini menu at Hannegan’s we decided to drink some of our lunch... after all, we could walk it off. Yummy and strong creations, although I will probably forgo the whip cream in the future.

To soak all the vodka up, we decided on the St. Louis specialty, fried ravioli with marinara sauce dip and a caramelized onion pizza. Both were delicious... and in our next installment we will share where we walked this delicious lunch off. Had to make room for dinner.

What I remember from St. Louis were the stone hewed mansions of the rich of the 19th and early 20th century. I think it was all about railroads and transporting the riches of the west and Midwest back east.

Thanks for the memories!


I love St. Louis. It’s where I lived as a child, where my brother Jackson was born, and where Dad went to grad school. Wish I could visit it more often. Love and miss you,

Dee Dee

Nice post, liked reading it. Been to St.L twice and never get to see enough of it!


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