Monday, September 27, 2010

Meet Me In St. Louis

Just want to welcome you to my little corner of the web.

I haven't lived in the St. Louis area long - going on five years, to be exact.
I really don't even consider this city to be "home."
(Chicago is's where the heart -and the pizza- is.)
But this is the place we've found ourselves for the time being and while St. Louis isn't my favorite place in the U.S. it does have a lot of wonderful qualities.

I just want to highlight a few of my favorite place in St. Louis and the surrounding areas.

The Fox Theatre

A gorgeous old theatre that hosts all of the Broadway shows and fabulous concerts.

I've had the privilege of visiting the Fabulous Fox (that's what they call it here) a few favorite was for the John Legend concert.
Oh dream of dreams...

The Missouri Botanical Gardens

One of my favorite day trips is a visit to the MoBot Gardens.
I think it's prettiest in the Spring when all of the tulips are in full, glorious bloom.

With authentic Chinese, Japanese, Middle Eastern, English, Woodland and the Children's Gardens (and more!) it's a breathtaking experience.

The St. Louis Zoo
credit: Jamie

We like zoos. We've been to quite a few and the St. Louis Zoo is probably our favorite yet.
Not only is it a great zoo, but it's free. 
Free free free.
We love free - especially when there are children involved - you never know how long they'll last. The worst is to pay for a day out and realize that the kids just aren't having it.
Last time we were there we got to watch a mama elephant and her baby take a bath (think Dumbo) standing only 5 feet away. 
And their penguin exhibit is the best I've seen.

Forest Park

Forest Park is nestled in the bustle of the city - it's sort of an oasis. Walking/running/biking trails, a golf course, The Muny (an outdoor theatre), the zoo, The Art Museum (pictured below), restaurants and more are all home here.

Not to mention - the grounds are just a really good picnicking site.

The World's Fair of 1904 was held here.

One of my very favorite events ever is the Forest Park Balloon Glow.
It is held in September (I'll be posting about the 2010 edition soon).
Dozens of hot air balloons are inflated and, at dusk, on the honk of an air horn, they all are lit simultaneously to produce this fantastical glow.
It's really pretty amazing.

Soulard Farmer's Market

The Soulard Market - a bustle of activity.
Fish mongers, butchers, a spice shop, bakeries, trinket shops, a pet shop, flower sellers and produce stands.
This is the oldest Farmer's Market West of the Mississippi.

The City Museum

The City Museum is the most unique place I've ever been to. I'm not sure I can even describe it. It's like your favorite play ground with those plastic tube-tunnel thingies meets Alice in Wonderland meets skate park meets   
that eerie dream you had last night meets the coolest art class ever meets Six Flags. 
Yeah, it's cool. You have to see it to believe it.

And, lest you thought the city was all about citification and man-made wonders, if you travel 30 miles from the city you can find total, unobstructed nature.
Completely peaceful.

Other StL delights you can't miss:
Delmar - a street full of funky shops, ethnic restaurants, concert venues, tattoo parlors and the historic Blueberry Hill (restaurant and venue)
The Hill - where all the Italians hang out and establish luscious, authentic Italian restaurants.
A Cardinals Game - I don't love baseball, but Cards fans are pretty darn legendary, so you've gotta check them out.
The Magic House - St. Louis' version of a children's museum. My kids' Happy Place.

What you can do without:
St. Louis style pizza. The stuff is ridiculous. Crackers, sweet catsup and some provel cheese. Gag me.

So, there it is - some of my favorite things about the city I live in. Not a comprehensive list of my favorites but pretty close. 

And, in case you were wondering...No. I've never been up in the arch. I've been under the arch. I've been around the arch. I've even been above the arch. But in? Inside that thing? 

I just heard that a group of tourists got stuck in one of the little compartments up there and had to use someones iPhone to listen to music so they wouldn't all go completely nutty while they waited for help.

No arch/iPhone dance parties for me, ThankYouVeryMuch.


Saundra said...

Went up in the arch last week for the first time with my nephew. It was nice, and I am pretty afraid of heights. Oh, an how about St. Charles them. And something I also like about this area is it is very crafter oriented. Many places aren't and I love that there are all these craft fairs and organizations here pushing art and crafts! Check out the craft mafia.

sheila said...

Over from Blogtrotting, hello! LOVE this post! I've only driven through St. Louis, but my niece went to school (college) there. Looks like an all around beautiful city! LOVE your pics. So much I can't pin down a favorite. Love the little girl and the statue and the kids and the peacock. Great shots! Cool old theatre!

Being afraid of heights, there's no way on earth I'd go inside that arch, lol

mub said...

What a neat place to live! I WISH the zoo here was free!

I look forward to seeing more about the balloon festival. It looks amazing =)

Alicia Marie said...

Great great makes Missouri not look so bad! :) ( I can say this... I lived in Springfield for 4 yrs)

Sarah@afterhood said...

I wanna go to The City Museum! And I love the girl to statue face-off. Did she try out toga-style? Visiting from BlogTrotting...Thanks for the tour.

Diana said...

My oldest son and I went to the top (yes, in) of the Arch many years ago (we had to come to St. L when he was eight yrs old to go to the Shriner's Childrens Hospital). I could feel the Arch sway. And I'm freaky afraid of heights. LOL!

Visiting from Blogtrotting. Thanks for sharing so many neat things about your city! ♥

CaraBee said...

I honestly knew very little about St. Louis, and you have made it look so appealing! What a fantastic sight that balloon lighting must be. I love the picture of your daughter staring up at the statue at the art museum. That's a keeper, for sure.

Great post!! Beautiful pictures! Thanks for being a part of BlogTrotting!

Kayla said...

I LOVED the City of my favorite places to visit when I come to Sunny St. Louis!! Okay...I really came here to share a link to another blog entry I just read. I am not sure how many you follow and if you read this or not, but wanted to share it as an FYI.

Anonymous said...

I visited a friend in St Louis years ago. We toured the Anheuser Busch brewery and visited several wineries. I also got a pic by the Arch!

Great tour!