Hello, Blog Trotters!
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 home...it'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 times...my 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
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 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.
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.