Thursday, 25 April 2013

Postcard from St. Louis 2.

The Basilica of St. Louis (the 'old' cathedral) and the Gateway Arch

The Basilica survived the demolition of many blocks of waterfront buildings to make way for the construction of the arch and its park.  It looks a little bit like a toy church when you see the two together from this vantage point (the deck of our apartment block) and really brings home how big the arch is (630 feet or 192 metres tall ... and wide).

I decided to be brave and venture up inside the arch on Monday when it was quiet and there were no queues.  More importantly it meant that the teeny, tiny, little pods that you travel up and down in weren't packed full!!

Looking due west

You can see the Old Courthouse in the centre with City Garden stretching out behind it (where many of the sculptures are).  On the left you can just see the ball park.

South west looking through a very dirty window ... made me think about who gets the job of cleaning windows way up there or do they not bother and just hope the rain does a good job?!

The most notable landmark here is Busch Stadium, home of the Cardinals baseball team.  Our apartment block and Andy's office block are also in the picture ... but neither are very pretty or noteworthy!  Andy probably has his shortest commute to work ever - it's less than a ten-minute walk!  Most of the high-rises in the picture are hotels. 

North west

More hotels and the conference centre (in front of and attached to the Edward Jones dome - the flat white building) which is home to the Rams, St. Louis' NFL (American football) team.  We're not short of sporting venues - or hotels - round here!

Looking East

I haven't ventured over to the other side of the Mississippi yet - that's Illinois over there!  Frankly it's not a great view - there's a casino (the red building to the left) and some industrial buildings.  These photos were taken on Monday and the river is a lot higher now - we're five feet over flood stage and it's still rising.  I know it always looks sunny in my photos (I'll admit to being a fair weather photographer!), but we've had a lot of rain in the last week both here and further upstream.... that combined with melting snow from further north means there's a more water coming our way.

Inside the top of the arch!

There isn't a lot of space at the top ... I'm so glad that I had already been up and come down before our building manager told me about her brother being stuck up there for 2 hours with a party of school kids the other week when a fuse blew and the trams stopped working!!  

More photos soon - I'm not tired of playing tourist yet!!

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Postcard from St. Louis

Old Courthouse with Gateway Arch behind. The water in the fountain has a pink tinge - remnants of the red dye they put in last weekend for the start of the baseball season (red is the local team's colour!)

Greetings from sunny St. Louis!!  We've been here a full week now and we're still exploring.  St. Louis isn't a big city - I'm told it has roughly the same population as Frankfurt but spread over a much larger area.  

Would you like to see some of the sights?

Gateway Arch

The arch was completed in 1965 and is made from stainless steel which glints beautifully in the sun.  There are two trams that go up inside the legs of the arch and there is a viewing platform at the top.  The arch is the focal point of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial ... underneath the arch is a museum which celebrates the pioneers who left from St. Louis to explore westwards to the Pacific ocean.  

We haven't yet been up to the top of the arch, but it's definitely on our list!

Busch Stadium

Baseball seems almost to be a religion round here.  The local team is the Cardinals and they seem to be very successful.  We live right across from the ball park, so we're going to learn a lot about baseball in the next few months!!  

City Garden

There is an unbelievable number of sculptures in this city!

BB's Jazz Blues & Soups

St. Louis has a lot of jazz and blues clubs.  Last weekend we went to BB's with friends for some great music and fantastic ribs!  We'll definitely be going back there and we'll also be trying to get some tickets for Chuck Berry's gigs - he plays once a month at another local club and tickets sell out very quickly!

And I really can't post from St. Louis without a photo of the Mississippi:

The river really isn't all that picturesque (am I allowed to say that?!) and the opposite bank is quite industrial.  The river won't look this calm soon as we're expecting flooding.  We had a lot of rain during Thursday's storms, but upstream they had even more and all that water is now heading downstream to us.

There you have it.  I'll take some more photos soon!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Just Quickly...

... there is some packing to do as our air freight leaves tomorrow and we should be on a flight on Friday, so there really isn't time to unpack my camera and take photos!  But still!!

This is a wee zip pouch that I made for the neighbour who will be keeping an eye on my mail box over the next few months.  I've arranged a redirect but there'll still be all those annoying free papers and advertisements that get left despite my polite notice asking them not to.  Love the Klimt-style design of the fabric!

And I obviously needed a new iPad sleeve for the trip, didn't I?  I made this a little larger than the last one, so that I can keep a few more bits in there.  Made in a practical cotton canvas that has been in my stash for yonks using the laptop sleeve instructions in You Sew Girl's laptop bag pattern.  The binding is better than the last one I made ... not sure if that's down to practice or the new machine.

Sadly the new machine has been packed away and some yarn projects have been selected to go in the air freight.  In just a few days time I'll be getting over jet lag in St Louis and pondering what to do next ... I reckon I'll be playing tourist for a while, so watch this space for some photo posts!

Auf Wiedersehen!