The glories of St. Louis

St. Louis is kind of the Pomona of the Midwest: once great, now living in reduced circumstances, but still pretty cool. (They both have Fox theaters, although St. Louis’ Fox is three times larger.) I was visiting my parents near there last week. A few highlights:

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The Laumeier Sculpture Park features 105 acres of parkland with nature trails and sculptures. Admission and parking: free. This, um, eyecatching piece was a favorite. “Do Not Touch Sculpture”? Well, you’re not supposed to touch your eyes anyway.

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This picturesque used bookstore, the Book House, is in an 1865 house. Ted Drewes’ frozen custard is a local tradition and a must-stop on Route 66.

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The St. Louis Art Museum, in sprawling, 1,300-acre Forest Park, is just one of the cultural attractions in the city that’s absolutely free; it’s in this grand 1904 World’s Fair building. (The crane in the background hints at the major expansion under way.)

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And the city’s new Busch Stadium downtown, opened in 2006, has a nice open feeling. That’s the Gateway Arch in the background, obviously. The Cards beat the Brewers 8-0 that night, followed by a free fireworks show. No, the game itself wasn’t free. There’s a limit to even St. Louis’ generosity.

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  • Doug Evans

    Hey, where’s this month’s reading log? Just because you go on vacation doesn’t mean you get to… er… take a vacation!

    More seriously: Welcome back! Although with all the regular blog and column updates you probably could have passed it off like you were never gone.

    Also: I’ve never been a sports fan, but that picture of Busch Stadium makes it seem like a fun place to hang out. I could see spending an afternoon/evening there with family and friends. Especially if the home team routed the visitors 8-0.

    [May’s reading log ought to appear tomorrow. — DA]

  • Don J

    The Ted Drewes photo is wrong, you should’ve held the cup upside down (& imagine what it’s doing to your arteries)

    You went to Busch Stadium for Milwaukee vs St Louis? I envisioned a Miller & Bud Blind Taste Test.

    You needed to walk across the Chain Of Rocks Bridge (during daylight hours) while pretending you were Snake Plissken.

    [For you neophytes, a Drewes employee briefly turns the cup of frozen custard upside down before handing it to you to show how firm it is. A minute later, when I took the photo, the custard was already softening. I considered turning the cup upside down, but was afraid it would fall with a *splorp* onto the pavement. — DA]

  • Bob House

    I still remember the one and only Ted Drewes Frozen Custard I had almost 40 years ago. It’s ice cream at a whole new level. Did you have time for toasted raviolis?

    [Not this time, but you’re right, they’re another St. Louis food staple. — DA]

  • Bob House

    Just saw your column mention of Forrest Park. The St. Louis Zoo there is one of my favorites — the architecture is as interesting as the animals — old (1910s) stone buildings with beautiful carvings and decoration.

    [I revisited the zoo in 2008 and you’re right, the buildings are lovely. (The animals are no slouch either.) There’s also a charming miniature railroad to take you around the grounds. The men who operate it wear blue caps, bandannas and overalls, like oldtime railroad men. — DA]