We walked up to the World Fair Pavilion, held here in 1904. They were setting up for a wedding. Not the most interesting spot. On the interesting World Fair side, Devil in the White City, is a fabulous non fiction book. Trust me, it is full of surprises, not the book you’ll expect.
Very slow out of the starting gate today. Priority is to get some decent food quickly, but atleast the deviled eggs didn’t kill me in my sleep.
Wifey has been working crazy hours, as usual , while I’ve been gallivanting. Thus a big sleep in. Someone needs to pay for my books and Bluerays.
Went to Scape, a few hundred feet from the hotel, one of the higher rated brunch spots. Benedict or Biscuits and gravy?
Felt a bit ripped off by the Valet Parking last night on recall. When getting the Escalade to go get wifey at the airport I gave the Valet the ticket and $5. He said it’s just right there, and pointed in front of the building .
“Can you pull it out yourself?” – Valet.
“Sure” – me and I did.
$5 for a pointing.
Our Hotel overlooks Forest Park, the biggest city park in the Country, I was told by Nick our waiter. I challenged this claim, with Central Park, without any proof, but got beat down. Neither of us was close – 88th & 134th , Forest is 450 acres larger than Central Park. New York has tougher squirrels, rats and homeless. Today’s geography lesson.
We observed a pregnant bride smoking outside the hotel as we waited to get coats from our car. Best of luck with the wedding and baby.
It’s chilly in St. Louis. Stacey just racked up my hotel bill with a fashionable wooly hat and scarf purchase.
We cut through Forest Park for a bit, big not busy. We walked along Liddell, which is lined with Mansion homes, on our way to the Missouri History Museum .
The Museum has The Spirit of St. Louis hanging from the ceiling as you enter the atrium. That’s the first solo plane to cross the Atlantic. Charles Linberg piloted it and landed near Paris in 1927.
The Gallery of Panamoric views is pretty unique , Full with photographic images encompassing the history of the state and city. It also covers the history of panoramic photography .
Not the luckiest of cities I’d say, between fires and tornados. The museum covers the history of the native Americans in the region, slavery, suffragettes, baseball, cholera , industrial development, Jazz (home of Miles Davis), Buffalo hunting, Rock & Roll (home of Chuck Berry), McDonnell Aircraft, Unions,Civil Rights & desegregation, brewing and most importantly Tooles of St. Louis .
You got it Missouri.
There was a large section on MUNY, the 100 year old municipal theatre group. I couldn’t move past that fast enough.
Lime scooter rentals, I was seeing them everywhere in Oklahoma City and now Missouri. Simply download the app, pay , pick up a scooter where ever you see one, drop it off where ever you want. Anywhere. Quite the system.
Though unlucky with the overcast day, we counted six seperate wedding parties having their photo shoots at various scenic points in the park. We saw the pregnant bride again, swigging on a whiskey bottle, with a cigar in one corner of her mouth, by the World Fair Fountain (not).
We wandered the park a bit more then landed on the strangest destination of my trip, mass at The St. Louis Cathedral.
For my sins , we arrived in half way through the service, just as the collection basket came around. As was my way, back in my day as good Christian, I snuck out when they started serving holy communion. I got scorned for taking a photo of the Church by another good Catholic. Shalom.
St. Louis Cathedral is the most magnificent I’ve seen, it doubles St. Patrick’s in size. The green dome reminded me a lot of the Cathedral in Galway, minutes walk from our Canal Road home.
Two churches. One week. Zero lightening.
Right behind the hotel we found a multi block, cosmopolitan section teeming with bars, international restaurants, boutiques and coffee shops. We split an excellent Red Velvet Muffin and had a coffee in the The Cup.
Going high end to dinner tonight at Tony’s , top rated dining in St. Louis. First time I’m wearing a jacket in 7 weeks.
I look great.
Tony’s started out as Tony’s Spaghetti House in 1946. Tony passed away in 1950 and Vincent , just out of high school, took over the business from Dad.
Vincent , our dapper, charming host and owner, has run and claims to have improved, year to year, his restaurant for each of the past 68. They are in the current location 25 years. I watched as he visited every table and chatted to every single customer in his top rated, filled to capacity, restaurant tonight.
As Vincent said, you always can get great stuff if you’re willing to spend money on it. He’s right. It was one of my best dining experiences ever. Fresh made Pate; Veal Marsala and Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake – all outstanding.
Tony’s staff were all old school professionals , everyone moving in perfect sync. George, our head waiter, looked like Donald Sutherland’s shorter less attractive brother, but man did he know his job and the menu. His recommendations were on the nose.
They have quite the celebrity visitor wall of previous diners by the bathrooms, with everyone having eaten there from Frank Sinatra to Henry Fonda.
Tony was still going table to table , greeting and storytelling with the guests, as we left two and a half hours later.
Some other celebrities that stayed here in the Chase Crown Plaza ,for dear old Mom; Elvis; Nat King Cole; Lena Horne; Billy Holliday ; Gregory Peck . The list goes on. The hotel closed in the 90s for a $100m face lift.
I had the Eggs Benedict for brunch, in case you were still wondering. They had run out of biscuits and gravy.
This sharing selfie space is tough stuff.
And my blog “facts” will get scrutinized.
Fantastic Halloween setup in the street here. I hope they don’t have kids.