I’ve been here officially one year, and it continues to be eventful and educational. I even got to have an actual Labor Day “weekend”. It would be so easy to just slip into “no you just go on without me” mode, but I’m finding it’s much more fun to risk trying new things, which it’s easy to do in St. Louis.
Saturday, we all went to a BBQ at Goblin’s in the city. It was an interesting cross-section of diversity, for lack of a better word. His friends represented an inclusive spectrum, or varied spectrums would be more accurate. I dove right into socializing with grownups! The food was amazing. The only downside was, there were no other kids for Avdi’s to meet, so they weren’t as comfortable. For me, it was kind of revelatory, that in the heart of a very repressive state like MO, St. Louis is full of oases and neighborhoods of black and queer and divergent people living safely and normally together.
Then yesterday, some of us went to Paint Louis, a huge graffiti festival downtown near the Arch, while E spent the day with friends at MOBOT’s annual Japanese Festival. We parked under elevated railroad bridges where both Amtrak and freight trains were reversing onto different tracks overhead. Graffiti artists and young aspiring painters of all ages and colors were turning every surface into creative, complex works of art. Y and S (and even I) got to try it out for the first time! There was music, hiphop competitions, food and vendors. I love that instead of discouraging and destroying graffiti, the city encourages turning a dusty, decaying part of town into a proud, free community art project. For some it might be very low-brow and dirty, but I was glad I got to witness and even take part in it.
Later we met and picked up E near MOBOT. They had a long but successful day mostly on their own, which is a big accomplishment for them. Then we all went to Global Foods, where the kids had a blast shopping. Even not buying stuff myself, I always enjoy exploring all the international aisles and shoppers representing a large cross-section of the world in STL. It really is a major crossroads city.
Today I’m just at home resting my old leg injury (and the rest of me) from all the walking. Even the guilty pleasure of sleeping in makes it seem like a long weekend.