Fall in Tower Grove Park

We’re blessed to have many beautiful parks in the St. Louis area. I’ve talked a lot about the largest of them, Forest Park, many times, but the second largest, Tower Grove Park, is also gorgeous. It has many beautiful and unique pavilions, statues, a greenhouse, and a private residence (which at least at one time was the home of the park Superintendent), on the property.

This was the first time that I’ve walked around Tower Grove Park in the fall, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. From the beautiful colors on the trees to the carpets of leaves on the ground, it was an autumnal paradise!

Fall at the Gateway Arch

I spent some time walking around the Gateway Arch grounds yesterday, just to see the fall color.

It’s funny…there are places in the park where you would never guess you’re downtown in a big city. It seems a lot like any other big park in the area, with nice paths, people walking, and plenty of foliage. And, you know, a giant monument looming over it all. OK, I guess it is a little different from any other park in the area.

Yet another thing to love about St. Louis!

Forgotten Buildings–Old Walgreens

I don’t really know much about this old building in East St. Louis, other than it appears that it used to be home to Walgreens. You can still the beauty of the store and all its details. It’s another one of those buildings that, even though it’s falling into disrepair, allows you to peek into the past, and picture what downtown East St. Louis must have looked like at one time.

What Can You Say About a 22 Year-Old Boy Who Died?

Cardinal Nation is reeling today, after having some time to process yesterday’s tragic news about the death of outfielder Oscar Taveras.

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Taveras was so young…only 22 years old. People his age aren’t supposed to die, not for any reason. But I’m not sure that his age is the only thing that makes this so upsetting. Of course it’s horrible when someone in the prime of a very promising life is lost too early, but I think there’s something else here that makes it even harder to take.

Professional athletes are our heroes. They’re almost super-human. Their strength and speed, coordination and mental toughness, make them achieve more on their worst day than we could ever hope for on our best. We revel in their accomplishments like they are our own, cheer them on, and talk about them incessantly, as you do when you’re discussing a hero.

Super heroes aren’t supposed to die. They’re so powerful on the field, that we assume that extends to their private lives as well. Even those of us in St. Louis who have seen this happen too often in recent years want to believe that this kind of tragedy just can’t happen again. We assumed that our rookie had a long, promising career in front of him, hoped he would be a Cardinal for life.

Well, he was. It was far too short of a life, and we never got to see his potential fulfilled. But his career, as brief as it was, was spent here. And “Minor League Guy” left Cardinal Nation with great memories of his first game at Busch (where he hit a home run that literally seemed to tear open the sky and bring the rain), and his last (another home run, in the playoffs, no less), and all those games in between, where we saw and will always remember his infectious smile and joy in playing the game.

Rest in peace, Oscar. You will be missed.

Old Washington Theatre

The Lincoln Theatre in Downtown Belleville is a familiar sight and popular gathering place. But did you know that Belleville used to have another theatre on Main, as well, just about as far from the town square to the west as the Lincoln is the east?

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The Washington Theatre opened in 1913, and patrons could see both Vaudeville acts and movies there. It changed names at one point, and operated as the Illinois Theatre until it closed in 1955. The exterior of the building has been restored in recent years, and even though it’s no longer used as a theatre, the front facade looks much as it did in decades past.

One Cake, Three Locations

Now I’m going to take a look at a cake that has traveled not across town, but within its own neighborhood. We first saw the Dogtown cake right on Clayton Ave., more or less. It was a great location, but not really safe for us photographers, I suppose. It was then moved to the sidewalk outside Chuy Arzola’s of Blessed Memory (OK, now Latitude 26…whatever), but it wasn’t the best location as far as good photos go. It’s now across the street from St. James the Greater on Tamm, and while I wish it was actually in front of the church, I really feel that this has been the best location so far. The church is the center of Dogtown life, and it’s the perfect place for the cake. I just hope they don’t move it again!