Legen-wait for it-dary: the Gateway Arch and the Mississippi River.
That arch is taller and more massive than you could ever imagine from a distance. It doesn’t even sway in the wind, which was very windy but yet almost balmy today. For a while Avdi and I just leaned up against it in the sun and soaked up the vibes.
Next, we walked down the cobblestones to the very edge of the river, and sat there on logs gazing across. I can now say I actually stuck my hand in the Mississippi River. (Cold, but not too smelly.) It’s kind of anticlimactic there, not very “mighty”. Not like Huck Finn and paddlewheel steamboats, except for the touristy one closed for the winter. There’s no scenic view across it either, just boring Illinois, a casino, and some industrial stuff on the other side. The bridges are impressive, though. Now I feel like I’m official.
Then we found a local craft brewpub, Urban Chestnut, and tried a couple of beers and ate. This was located in an unassuming arts district of town. We got good coffee at a literary café where students filled tables and sofas studying on laptops, surrounded by books and a small art gallery. The St. Louis Symphony Hall, other performing arts and art museums, the famous Fox Theater, and other cultural venues are nearby. Yet the area is unpretentious and unimposing, with hardly any traffic (in winter at least). The architecture in this historic city is diverse and stunning. It’s a real mix of very old and very new.
I guess you could call me a St. Louisan now. I’ve literally touched the Arch and the River, and passed the Cards stadium. I’ve sampled local craft beers in this famous beer town. I got my STL fix until next time.
Plus I got a lot of bonus exercise points, climbing up and down those Gateway Arch park stairs, and walking around town. And some more writing and socializing. Leaning against the legendary, iconic Arch, and sitting on the bank of that ancient, vital river, connecting physically to so much history, was a meditation of sorts.