Tuesday, June 7, 2011

"I'm from the Loop and I'm Proud"

"I'm from the Loop and I'm Proud"

After hitting the Route 66 Museum, we headed back east to explore the middle of the city. 
I guess the whole time I was expecting a "big city" to appear...like...Atlanta big...or Houston big...
No dice.
From what I understand, St. Louis used to be happenin', but is not so happenin' anymore.
Traffic was about 60 times better than in Baton Rouge.
(Baton Rouge has terrible infrastructure).

Our first stop in the city was the local Goodwill.

It was in a cool old red brick building.
St. Louis has tons of red brick buildings, which we don't see very much of in Louisiana.
I was hoping to find some amazing piece of vintage goodness,  that I could say, "Oh, this old thing?  I got this when I was in St. Louis!"
but unfortunatly,that piece of vintage goodness was not to be found. 
My mom probably wasn't surprised.
I'm not sure she was as excited about going to a thrift store in a new city as I was anyways, but she humored me.
Thanks, Mom!

After a less than fruitful thrifting adventure, we drove by the Budweiser Brewery.

My mom had an appointment at noon, and it was about 10:45 by now, so we didn't have time for the tour.
I love a good brewery tour.
We have a small brewery in Abita Springs, LA that I have toured and they have unlimited free beer after the free tour.
Not too shabby if you happen to be in Abita Springs, LA.
My favorite of their brews is either Abita Golden or Abita Jockimo IPA, but their most popular is Abita Amber.
If you have a chance to try them, you should.
Anywho, this is what I was basing my definition of "brewery" on, so I was expecting a  much smaller operation.

The Budweiser Brewery is HUGE! After seeing this little piece of brewing history, we had to find our way to the Loop.
It takes up a few city blocks, and is also housed in typical
St. Louis type pretty brick buildings.
On a side street, we saw the now-closed Hi-Way Bar.
Apparently it was a dive bar with a shuffleboard before it closed a few years ago.
Cool little building.

To quote Nelly, "I'm from the Loop & I'm proud", or did he say, "I'm from the Lou & I'm proud"?  Either way, it works.
But before we could get to this cute area of town, we had to pass by the entrance to the St. Louis Zoo about six times in a funny roundabout kind of road thing.

I was not expecting to see rusty metal animals at any point during this trip.
I hear the zoo is free.
And good.
Good to know!

We were right on time for my Mom's appointment, so we parked the car, she went about her interview and I went to explore that six block stretch known as the Loop (which you can learn more about here).

Apparently, the streetcar would "loop" around this part of town before returning downtown, and thus the area got its name. 

I saw the Tivoli Movie Theater, where one can catch a contemporary flick.

There were many cute stores and resturaunts and even one hotel.

I ate at Blueberry Hill.
It was described to me as a local hard rock cafe with music memorobelia all over.

I had an overpriced hamburger with grilled onions and french fries. 
These were the only french fries I had on the whole trip!
It was an okay meal.

I'm no all that interested in music memorobelia, so the  decor reminded me of Applebees when Applebees had all that stuff on the wall.  Does Applebees still do that?
I was across the way from the Nelly poster, so it wasn't all bad!

Can you tell that Nelly is the only thing I knew about St. Louis before I went?

Delmar Street, the main street of the Loop also has a walk of fame with stars on the ground.  I saw, Tennessee Williams, Ulyssess S. Grant, Yogi Berra, and, Cornell Haynes Jr.

I spent about three hours in the Loop...and that was plenty, in my opinion.  Apparently, this was named  “One of the 10 Great Streets in America" by the American Planning Association and although I wouldn't necessarily say that, I do agree that it shows a great revitilization effort, promotes tourism to the area, feels safe, and is a good place to people watch on a pretty day like we had. 

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