Missouri - St Louis

by Kimp 3. June 2013 04:41

Photo Blog

My son Sam said that he really liked the feel of St. Louis, Missouri. When a 13 year old makes a comment like that, it means it feels safe, comfortable, and inviting. Before he even said that, I was thinking the exact same thing. Its a special kind of feeling that doesn't come around very often.
East St. Louis is across the Mississippi river, in Illinois and I've heard that it has a completely different feel to it. But, we didn't venture over onto that side to find out.
When I was young I really liked the St. Louis Cardinal's baseball team. They were a powerhouse back in the late 1960's. They are usually thought of as the best franchise throughout all of National League history and also the second best franchise throughout all of baseball history (behind the New York Yankees). The card's have been a powerhouse for the last few years and were in 1st place in the National league this year when we saw them play the Arizona Diamondbacks, who at that time, were in 2nd place in the National League for the year. Love the new retro Busch stadium. A great feel to it as well. Card's fans are like a big family.
I have a great friend named Aaron who hung out with us while we were there. I hadn't seen Aaron in a few years, but Aaron and I have been through a lot of very similar and difficult, life experiences.  I can relate with Aaron more then anyone else that I know. In my opinion, his situation is a lot more difficult then mine and I think he has handled his a lot better than I have, so I have a lot of admiration for him as well. Aaron is one of the few people I know, who, like myself, doesn't mind solo travel,  he has been a lot of places that I haven't. Neither he, nor I have hesitated to rent an apartment in a Getto and sleep comfortably on the floor when money was tight.  When I go to a 3rd world country, it's usually with Aaron. Two guys who really like to solo travel can cover a lot of very interesting ground in a very short time. We've been a few places, not to many white faces have been. We both don't have much fear and just kind of feed off of each other.
I don't know if Aaron knew it, but he was there for me in one of my darkest years, and helped me deal with a lot of the things that I was going through. He's a big guy, with a big heart, a very good father, very kind to kids, and a great person to hang out with. He's like a giant sacrificial anode. If he had a heart of gold, he'd give it all away. Aaron has another thing that I don't. He has a way with the ladies as well...
St Louis was already a good sized city before President Jefferson acquired it from the French, but now it has a huge and very close knit Italian sector that is so big, it's just called the hill. It's an awesome place to visit.
The blues made their way up the Mississippi from New Orleans into St. Louis. When they got there, they found a much more upbeat and cheerful sound. It's a blues twist to ragtime and usually has a really nice dance beat to it. Very popular in the 1930's with musicians such as Louis Armstrong and Glenn Miller. You can still hear it all over the city.
Forest Park in St. Louis is the nicest city park I've ever seen. The Museums and Zoo are free, the park is huge, it has a golf course, zillions of bikes, miles of bike path's and boat's for rent. Great place. Take a look at the pictures.
Since I had Sam with me, I didn't go seeking my thrill on Blueberry Hill, but I'm sure that there are still lots of thrills up there. However, there was a nice looking woman flirting with me at the City Museum in St. Louis. The city museum is an old 10 story warehouse that's been turned into a giant playground. Kid's and adults by day and after 9 p.m., adults only. Sam and I were really enjoying ourselves when I noticed three women, obviously life long friends, who were trying to take a picture of themselves. I offered to take their picture for them, but when they handed me their IPhone, the camera was still turned towards the photo taker. So, as I am about to take the picture, I see my ugly mug in the display. I handed it back to the owner and asked her to switch the camera, because I was sure they didn't want my picture. That's when the cute one the right says, "Oh! , I want your picture!", in a very excited tone. I just smiled, commenced to taking their picture, then handed the owner the phone, and left. As we were walking away, Sam wanted to know why I didn't go for it... 
Cause there's a lot more to St. Louis then great baseball, fun playgrounds, upbeat emotional music and cute women.  They also have authentic St Louis style Pizza. My favorite pizza. That's the round, very thin and crispy unleavened crust pizza, that is cut in small squares. Sam and I devoured a whole large one with extra provel cheese (a mixture of provolone, swiss and white cheedar) and pepperoni, in no time at all. It just completely disappeared right before our eyes. 



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