Welcome to the Gateway of the West…St. Louis!
I must say when I found out we were going to be going into St. Louis I was very excited! Another large city I have never explored.
When work stopped for the night I looked to see how far away from the St. Louis Gateway Arch was from where I was it hurt my soul a little to see I was 9.6 miles away. Not the furthest I have walked but we are talking outskirts of the city going into downtown St. Louis and starting my trudge at 9pm I knew that it was going to be a ways. Thankfully though with a full battery on my iPod, a backup quick charger, a wall plug in, $20 bucks in my pocket and wearing my boots that were made for walking, I set off!
I have to say that the whole experience of walking around a city is always a fascinating one, because you can see almost like lines drawn in the sand the common wealth of the residents. Walking on the sidewalk I saw houses that should have been condemned yet there was still signs of people living in the homes, then the next block up I saw half a million dollar homes. I suppose in a big city there isn’t room to have distance between common wealth and the wealthy.
I finally made it into the city. I was forewarned that the grounds to the Arch were closed for construction, thinking in my mind that the layout was going to be like the Washington Memorial in D.C. that I would still be able to get close enough to get the angle I had in my head I wanted to capture photos, when I actually made it there I was slightly heart broken because it wasn’t just a small portion of the grounds closed off…it was like three miles all along the river front! I couldn’t get anywhere near the arch!
But I am not one to get THAT close to a photo I want and not find a way to capture it. So I looked for alternative angles it took some figuring out but I finally found a bridge that the subway runs underneath across the Mississippi River to Illinois. So I started walking again…I got about halfway across the bridge when I found the angle I was looking for I had to find humor that the angle I wanted ended up putting me in the middle of the Mississippi river. But I will do just about anything for a good picture. I continued on my adventure…I was surprised on how empty the streets were. Sure it was a Wednesday night but still I was anticipating a place where the bar’s last call is at 3am there would be more people out. The streets were nearly vacant, I only found major foot traffic gathered around a few select areas during my entire time walking around and exploring St. Louis.
Once I made it back from my excursion on the bridge I began to really wonder the city seeing what else I could find before I couldn’t push my feet another step. I found myself in prime baseball country! Personally, I did not grow up watching, playing or being interested in baseball but since I met Peter I found a new fascination in the sport because the sport itself is so immersed into my husband and his family I thought it only to be right that I also take an interest in the great America past time. Busch Stadium is one heck of a sight to see and I do not know much about the fans anywhere else in the country but the baseball fans in St. Louis are very dedicated to their Cardinals.
As the night drew on I noticed that more and more businesses were closing their doors for the night. Of course this is about the time I figure out that I should probably eat something or else I will get all the way back late at night with an empty stomach…which my friends is no way to try and sleep. When you have your stomach gnawing at your insides you tend to not sleep well. This also put me in a prediction because now without a vehicle I don’t have nearly as many options for late night snacks as I used to since people tend to frown at you when you walk through a drive-thru.
Before I left on this journey a local told me about a place downtown on the water that is a well known watering hole, Broadway Oyster Bar. One of the more renowned areas in the city for live music on the water and host of the National Graffiti competition that is also hosted right off of Broadway street against the water. Once again my timing was just a little off and the kitchen had just closed! Since I figured I couldn’t go into a bar without purchasing some kind of drink I settled down with my good friend “Jack” and listened to the band play as I sat in the far corner of the restaurant and enjoyed just watching the night crowd herd themselves in and out of the front door. As the night continued to wane on I decided that it was about time to finally find somewhere to eat and start to figure out what I am going to do to get back to the bus.
I finally broke down and purchased an Uber car service. I am still very weary of this car service just because I find it to be a great concept though slightly shady at times. But at this point though it was now far past midnight and I didn’t want to have to walk the 9.6 miles back to the bus. So I rode with a very educated man, who was the uber driver, he actually is a school teacher who have military related children.
I finally made it back to the bus at a responsible time and I couldn’t believe how hard I crashed out but as you can see why…these boots were made for walking.
Traveling Photographer Out!