Friday, August 14, 2015

The Water Tower

The Water Tower on Grand Avenue is so well know, businesses are named after it, directions are given using the Water Tower as a reference, it is on the National Historic Registry and, even though it sits in a neighborhood called “College Hill,”  most people refer to it as “The Water Tower District.”


 My initial visits to the Water Tower District was to meet and help a remarkable gentleman, Otis Woodard.  He served the community, the poorest of the poor, the people who had been cast out, thrown away by society.  Otis had a cupboard open to anyone, on the side of his home and he had a sound system set up so he could hear anyone outside crying.  If he heard someone in need, or distress, day or night, he would go outside to help and comfort them.  He provided transportation for those with jobs, so they could get safely to work and home again and he found ways to help new, or expecting mothers, even offering lessons on cooking, raising and nurturing a family.

 You can understand that Water Tower means way more than meets the eye.  It was the easy way to find Otis.   To me, that Water Tower speaks of Hope and a Future.

 Otis has since left us, but he leaves behind a legacy, showed us a way, provided us with “Peace Park.”  at anytime we can choose to follow his example.  (Here is a little more of Otis, just because.)

 If you choose to listen to Otis, you might hear a little about how this area holds infinite treasures of the heart (did you notice the water tower in the background?).  I’ll continue to share a little about the Water Tower ItSelf.  I read some stories about how water pressure was a life changer in the 1800’s.  It’s something I did not consider, things like being able to get water to fight a fire, or be amazed when you could soak your entire body in a bathtub.

George Barnett, once considered the “Dean of St. Louis Architecture,” built the Water Tower in 1871.  It served to regulate water pressure until 1912.  For a while a light was placed on top of the tower to direct air craft.  Eventually the community decided it was important to restore the tower, it was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.

Somehow this tower means more, in the hearts of humans, than first glance would tell us.

 Were you going to ask?  It is 154 feet tall.  It is pretty, but maybe the beauty comes from . . . well, you can tell me.  Okay?

 Water Tower, intersection of Grand Avenue and 20th Street, College Hill neighborhood, 
St. Louis, Missouri

Friday, August 7, 2015

Subterranean Books

Subterranean Books, an independent, woman owned book store 
AND 
 my Tuesday Morning Hang Out.
we don’t mind the temporary mess in the street – we are all excited about the New Trolley – 
 It is in the Delmar Loop area, 
one of the best walking-around-and-be-delighted neighborhoods you’ll find.
walking on Delmar, this is “The Place” to visit, Subterranean Books.
Absolute rockin’ best children’s section
 
In the corner, by the stairs, you’ll find the absolute BEST books for children . . 
look to the left, Middle Readers and Young Adult books are waiting to be discovered . .
 this place ROCKS!

 We “test drive” Picture Books on Tuesday Mornings at 10:30 AM.  We have Story Time for tiny people and their guardians.

You Always want to venture upstairs – art on the walls, special sections of books to discover, events to attend, including story time 
 We read three books from the shelves, sing songs, laugh, snort and enjoy silly fun together.
Here’s our “story corner” – a quilt on the floor, happy people gather for a half hour of fun.
If you arrive early, you can look through the windows and dream about your next reading adventure.

 They host countless events, you might make new friends, learn stuff, have fun, AND, if you want, you can purchase a nifty t-shirt to wear, with graphics reminding you of a favorite read.

 It’s the people that truly make it special.  I’m a little prejudiced, i suppose, BUT, “Book People” seem to have a lot to offer.  They tend to be open minded, well read, can “conversate” with ease on most subjects.

You MIGHT want to take time to learn about the people who work here – they are genuine, interesting and a JOY to be around.

I have been told people prefer Reviews from outside sources, so I’m going to include a few quotes for you here:

“Every time i come to this wonderful place I never fail to leave satisfied. They have a great selection of books, of every genre. The workers are so helpful and nice as well and always have great recommendations. Their prices are like every other book store, not lower or higher. Great location too!”  (7/28/2015 – a reader from St. Peters, MO)

Great book store on the Delmar loop!  
This is the type of book store I love, a nice eclectic selection, not huge, and a very nice staff member who would order anything you need that you could not find in the store!  Super clean, and very in order!
They even sell RAYGUN t-shirts as a Des Moines boy I dug that!  (from Des Moines, IA)

 My husband and I wandered into this shop while we were in town for a wedding and I fell completely in love.  Very cute and very well curated. There were tons of books that I wanted to buy right then and there.  It was hard for both of us to leave.  Hope to get back someday. (from Silver Lake, CA)

 Some may not realize, supporting independent stores, especially book stores, is one way to keep our culture vibrant.  Here is a story that makes me happy.

 Did you know James Patterson also writes for kids?  Just sayin’.


Subterranean Books, 6275 Delmar, University City, St. Louis, MO 63130  

 You’re Invited

 

 

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Missouri History Museum

Missouri History Museum provided me with a lot of memorable afternoons when I first arrived in Saint Louis.  They offered learning luncheons that helped me understand why this place was so different from the Western part of our nation, and also introduced me to a lot of really nice people.  I remember one event all about picnics.  You might not think that picnics could be so important, but here in Saint Louis, picnics were major events.  There was even a display of the special clothing designed for ladies to protect their modesty while enjoying the great outdoor celebrations.  These are things I never considered until moving here.


The History Museum has two “front entrances.”  One side is the original entrance to the 1904 World’s Fair and later became the original “Jefferson Memorial.”  There are beautiful columns, and lights inside, along with a statue of our third president.  On one side of the ornate entry is a permanent exhibit about the 1904 World’s Fair.  The exhibition hall on the opposite side offers different stories.  The day I took these photos there was a “clubhouse” exhibit that looked like a lot of fun.

Construction of the Jefferson Memorial, celebrating the Louisiana Purchase, was officially opened to the public in an unveiling party, April 1913.

 
The second “front” of the building came from the addition of the “Emerson Center.”


   The Museum now has a shop, auditorium, classrooms, a hallway with a mosaic river, meeting places a restaurant, and lots more exhibit spaces.  I visited “A Walk in 1875 St. Louis.”  It was fun, interesting and gave a bit of hope because things certainly have improved between then and now. 
 


 It was the 1980’s, when I first attended lunch and learn events that delighted my need to constantly learn.  Now, there are plays, movies, discussion groups, genealogy clubs, children classes, adult opportunities, travel groups, concerts, in fact, it seems the opportunities to engage, learn and meet people are limitless at the Missouri History Museum.

Some things are free, Some things have ticket prices, Most people will find plenty to enjoy.

 Missouri History Museum, 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, MO, 63112