The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington Univeristy is an excellent college collection that benefits both the campus and the community. It provides students at Wash U with the opportunity of learning about museum work from the inside, while it also gives the St. Louis area another venue for the small and distinctive travelling or temporary exhibitions. The University has a large and interesting collection of art in its permanent holdings, and the Museum also displays the work of some of the outstanding students in the Fine Arts Program here.
The Museum is housed in a new building (2006) which was designed by prominent Japanese architect Fumihiko Maki - the recipient of the prestigous Pritzker Prize in 1993. Maki is now based in Japan, but spent the early years of his career teaching architecture at Wash U, where he also responsible for Steinberg Hall (1963), his first American building.
The central lobby of the M.L. Kemper Museum is dominated by an installation by Olafur Elliasson, "Your Imploded View." I was especially impressed with the sculpture garden, whose highlights include an interesting Alexander Calder, "Five Rudders" (1964) and a striking Maillol, "Homage to Debussy" (1930).
The Museum is open daily EXCEPT FOR TUESDAYS. (don't ask me)
Sometimes I see people with their fishng poles in Forest Park. You can buy a one-day, or longer, license at the Visitor's Center in the park.
This woman let me take her photo this Spring. she drives, with her friend, from the other side of the Mississippi. So the fishing must be good!
Built as a silent movie theatre in 1929, the Fox was reportedly the second-largest theater in the United States. It was one of St. Louis's leading movie theaters through the 1960s, and today is a performing arts venue.
According to my "Rent" playbill, the theatre is decorated in an eclectic blend of Asian decorative motifs referred to as "Siamese Byzantine". Reporters in 1929 described the Fox Theatre as "awe-inspiringly fashioned after Hindoo (sic) Mosques of Old India, bewildering in their richness and dazzling in their appointments … striking a note that reverberates around the architectural and theatrical worlds."
It is overwhelmingly beautiful, gilded and opulent - you don't know where to look first. The elephant-motif carpet, the lush velvet curtains, the gilded, half-naked statues... It is a feast for the senses. Unfortunately, my camera remained sheathed for fear of being booted from the venue - the announcement was loud and clear that no photos were to be taken during the performance. Check out the Fox's website to get a taste of the old-timey glamour.
The terra-cotta decorations were designed by Louis Sullivanand are complex and unique -- each floor is slightly different!
The State of Missouri saved the building from demolition -- now it contains state offices.
They city has a lot of old structures that are elegant and made of facing huge limestone blocks. Most are on Grand and Market Sts. near the Courthouse. Most were built during the 1930-40's and this style was popular.
D'Vine Wine of Kirkwood is a small winery in the heart of historic Kirkwood (a couple townships/suburbs west of the city of St. Louis). The winemaker is a woman, and she turned her love for winemaking into a business. She uses grapes from all over the world, and sell her wine at the winery on Kirkwood Rd (aka Lindbergh Blvd).
You can taste 3 wines for $5 and most of the bottles are less than $20. The tasting room is warmly decorated to resemble a cellar or an old building somewhere in Tuscany (even though I have never been to Tuscany, this is what I think it would look like :))
The hours posted on the web site are guidelines. If she is busy she will stay open later. If she is not, she may be closed. Weekend days are typically busier - and you will have a good chance the winery will be open.
The International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame is in St Louis. Fun place to go. They have videos of old pros, trick bowlers, etc.. They have a bowling alley, 2 lanes, that you can even bowl a game at. Fun place to see.
Closed sun & mon.....admission adults $7.50
The MUNY Outdoor Ampitheater in Forest Park is a WONDERFUL way to spend a St. Louis evening/night. Each year the Muny performs a complete season during the summer of popular musicals. The first show I saw there was "Oliver" with Davey (of the band, The Monkeys) playing the character of Fannigan. My friends and I enjoy going early, around 5:30pm, to the top of the theater and waiting at the entrance of the free seats. We bring our own dinner in bags and eat while we wait for the ushers to allow us in, at which time we rush to our preferred seats and wait for the show to begin. Dress comfortably because the St. Louis summers can be a bit hot and humid.
While the city holds a HUGE parade downtown the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day, the Dogtown Neighborhood, which was originally settled by the Irish, hosts the Ancient Order of Hibernians St. Pat's pararade ON St. Patrick's day. This parade is much more "Irish" and much less commercial than the downtown parade. And you get the bonus of
neighborhood reisdents that decorate their lawns and throw parties, and of course everyone drinks : )
St. Louis has one of the largest St. Pat's parades in the country.
There are actually 2 parades - one in the downtown area on the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day. and another in Dogtown, the once Irish neighborhood in St. Louis.
Estimates are that 1 million people attend the downtown parade most years. Open container laws are ignored during the parade, and coolers are allowed most places. As you can imagine the whole downtown is full of happy partiers and long bathroom lines. Drinking outside with your friends in the afternoon is one of the best activities in live, though, isn't it?
I went to this parade for probably 15 years in a row. I even lost a job over it (indirectly) once, so I guess you can say I'm a big fan.
Parking can be a nightmare, and, hey, who wants to have to drive after a day of hard drinking. I recommend taking Metrolink downtown (if you're not staying downtown) and taking a cab home.
Hotels book up pretty far in advance. I like staying at the Hyatt Union station for its proximity to Maggie's, but also have spent many nights at Embassy Suites on Laclede's Landing, as there is lots of post-parade drinking to be done on The Landing. The Hampton Inn is a lower cost alternative, too.
Kansas City, with some 445,000 people, is the largest city in Missouri. Kansas City is headquarters to four Fortune 500 companies: Sprint Nextel Corporation, H&R Block, Embarq Corporation, and YRC Worldwide Inc. Kansas is perhaps best well known for its distinctive Kansas City-style barbecue, a sweeter sauce probably best known in the national KC Masterpiece brand bbq sauce.
One of my favorite landmarks in Kansas City is its Vietnam Veterans Memorial. It was dedicated in 1986 and contains the names of all 336 Kansas City area soldiers who lost their lives in this war. This beautiful park full of stone and fountains is located at 4298 Baltimore Avenue, at the intersection with Vietnam Veterans Memorial Drive.
The Fox Theater - catch a show there if you can, the decor of this historic movie theater from the 20s is breathtaking, with great acoustics. There are lots of plays and concerts there. If not, at least take a tour.
Cahokia Mounds in Illinois is just a short trip. These giant mounds were built by Native Americans, and you can walk up and around them and tour the museum. It's really well-preserved and definitely worth a visit for part of a day.
This is a very nice, well-kept, prestigious university near Clayton. It has a very unique looking entrance with its stairs leading up to a large courtyard. Walk around a little and see the ivy-covered buildings and little courtyards here and there.
Some of the things I missed, and would have loved to do.
Visit St.Charles, the Hill region, the Zoo/Wildlife park, the Museums, A Mississippi Boat Tour, and some nightlife activities, bars/live music etc..
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