Alphabet Challenge – E & F

One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about the Alphabet Challenge is the opportunity to show W – and to explore for myself – some of the many cool places here in the ‘Lou. Oddly enough, though he has lived here longer than I have, he has been unaware of many of the wonderful places that I’ve known about for years. (True story: when we were arranging our first date, I was trying to give him directions to a restaurant fairly well-known to locals. Granted, my ex was a chef, so maybe being aware of restaurants came easier to me, but still, W seemed so lost when I was giving him directions, that I thought he must be new to St. Louis. “How long have you been in St. Louis?” I asked him as a conversation starter.  “Oh, about twenty years,” he replied. I still get a chuckle over that.) Anyway, the Alphabet Challenge has also given me the chance to revisit some favorite spots, such as Laumeier Park (a place I also revisited with Ad for one of my Scavenger Hunts), and I have found some new places myself, as well as learned interesting tidbits about the history of St. Louis.

One of our city’s treasures is Forest Park. With its wide expanse of lawns, ponds, canals, fountains, museums, the Muny, the Zoo (all free), wooded areas and miles of walking paths, as well as its rich history as the location of the 1904 World’s Fair, it is truly the heart of St. Louis; but it wasn’t always so. When I first moved to St. Louis, 20+ years ago, the park was in such disrepair and had such a disreputable reputation that my stepfather warned me that it was one of the places “not to go” in St. Louis for fear of being accosted.

Of course he told me that about going anywhere in “the city” – we lived in the county, and too many denizens of the suburbs feel that way about St. Louis proper. Now that the folks are out in St. Charles County, anywhere “over the river” is too far and/or deemed “dangerous.”  ~shrug~ I love my city. :-D

In recent years, however, the Park has had a revitalization, and it is a place I visit often. I was surprised that W had never been walking in Forest Park, and that he was ignorant of the fountains in the Grand Basin, when I mentioned them to him as we were trying to come up with our “F”. Even I was surprised at how beautiful the setting was, when we made a reconnoiter visit with K before we did the actual shoot. It proved to be a perfect “F” spot.

But first, E is for Eyeball – another fun outdoor sculpture from our day at Laumeier Park.

Pretending I have something in my “eye” at Laumeier.

And now, F is for the Fountains of Forest Park.

Looking over the Grand Basin up Art Hill to the Art Museum.
The fountains in the basin.
One of the many bridges that go over the canals winding through the park. You can paddleboat or kayak all through them.

One thing that I loved about this particular day was how peaceful it felt.  This was right after our recent emotional upheaval, and actually the first time that W and I had a chance to just talk, without all the heightened emotions from before. We took a quiet, reflective walk, took a few pics (in between bikers, joggers and other park-goers) with rope on, and took some time to just realign ourselves with each other. It was the perfect place to do it.

7 Comments

  1. Sadey Quinn says:

    Forest park sounds amazing!

    And the eyeball? awesome.

  2. Malflic says:

    I’ve lived in St. Louis for 10 years now, bought the house over the river out in the burbs and hated every minute of it. There were places like Forest Park and the other obvious places but one thing the region is terrible at is marketing some of the cool city neighborhoods I’ve only found in the last 6 months.

    1. piecesofjade says:

      I completely agree. I had lived “over the river” as well for nearly my entire 15 year marriage, but when I got divorced, the first thing I did was move into a rehabbed Victorian in the city near Tower Grove. I have never looked back or regretted that move, for me OR my kids (people were aghast that I “took my kids there”) and they (my kids) say the same thing. Now that we are in South County (moved here to help care for Ad’s father when he was undergoing cancer treatment) I miss our house in the city something awful, but am so happy that W lives in South City so I can get my “city fix” when I stay there.

  3. W says:

    I completely agree as well. I sometimes feel like volunteering for the chamber of commerce as I’m always stumbling across some great piece of history or a fascinating neighborhood or public space.

    1. piecesofjade says:

      Haha…I can just see you doing tours: “And that tree over there has JUST the right view of City Hall to set as a background for the girl you’ll be tying up…”

  4. W says:

    ….. and did you know that the hoists used by one of the most famous bondage producers of modern times were made in St. Louis…..

    1. piecesofjade says:

      LMAO…I did not. But leave it to you TO know!

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