Happy Birthday, Hometown!

Today is St. Louis’ 250th birthday–or tomorrow or next month, depending upon who you ask. At 250, it really doesn’t look a day over 225. Except maybe in the northern part. That’s looking kinda bad, from what I see just about every day on the local news. See, I grew up in south St. Louis and Jefferson County. My parents taught me that one does not go north of Forest Park if one wishes to continue living. Since I’m rather fond of living, I have stayed south of the park, except to go to the airport.

At any rate, St. Louis is having a big birthday party. Huge. Don’t believe me? Check out the party website! St. Louis has had it all in the past couple of centuries: fur traders, cholera, the Civil War, the Lewis and Clark expedition (oh, wait a minute–that actually started in St. Charles, even though we claim it).  We are the Gateway to the West–and to prove it, I give you Exhibit A–the Gateway Arch. If you’ve never been up in the Arch’s observation deck, do put it on your Bucket List. And try to do it during a storm or an earthquake. The Arch can deal with both. It sways a bit when the earth trembles, but lightning is no big deal. There are several lightning rods at the top.

St. Louis was home to the 1904 World’s Fair. There was even a movie made about it, remember? Meet Me in St. Louis. Judy Garland was in it….

Several movies have been made here. In Escape From New York, St. Louis stood in for New York City as it would look as a futuristic prison. I’m not quite sure how to feel about that….

It was the locale for White Palace, a movie based on a novel by a St. Louis author, and starred Susan Sarandon and a young James Spader….

And it was the setting for the Syfy Channel’s less-than-brilliant film, Black Hole. St. Louis was being sucked up by a man-made black hole, and we had to depend on Judd Nelson and Kristy Swanson to save us…HELP!!!!!!

I think it just sucked up Busch Stadium. Oh, wait a minute. That was the old Busch Stadium. No biggie.

St. Louis is also home to the Missouri Botanical Garden, aka Shaw’s Garden. The Climatron is our own personal rain forest…. 

And the Art Museum, located in Forest Park….

If my dad were still here, he’d tell you about the Tornado of 1927.In fact, I think he told everyone about the Tornado of 1927 before he passed away. We moved into a house in the Lindenwood Park area of southwest St. Louis the year before he died. As it happened, the only house to survive that tornado was on that same street. 79 people were killed and 550 injured in southwestern St. Louis and Webster Groves when that tornado hit on September 29, 1927. It was the second costliest tornado in US history.

Did I mention that we’re sort of in Tornado Alley…sort of?

If I haven’t completely scared you off my hometown and you’d like to see more of modern St. Louis, check out Bob Crowe’s photoblog. He’s shot our fair city from every angle imaginable!

11 responses

  1. @ Shelly: Thanks!

    @ Lulu: You should see photos of the Lewis and Clark statue on the riverfront when the floods come. All you can see of it is one arm extended above the water, holding his hat! It looks like he's waving for help!

    Personally, I think the statue should have been put directly under the Arch.

    @William: Only the Syfy Channel would cast Judd Nelson as a scientist!

    Yep, we're screwed. Big time.

  2. St. Louis was and is so much a part of American history. It is where the Germans landed and started their Lutheran Church. Trinity Lutheran still has a viable congregation. I've mentioned St. Louis in the first two of my series as it is so much a part of what happened in America. Thanks for the tour.

  3. @ Cheryl: my fellow blogger Bob Crowe does a regular Thursday feature on photoblog featuring his photos of the Arch. They're really great!

    @ Mari: I'm aware of the Lutheran Church's presence here. A good friend of mine (and the aforementioned Mr. Crowe's wife, Carolyn, is very active in the Lutheran School of Theology.

  4. What ? how did I miss that fantastic SyFy movie… Black Hole ! Oh woe is me as thehamish would say.
    What a lovely tour. I hope the city has some fun thing planed.

    cheers, parsnip

  5. Happy birthday St Louis!! The minute I read your first sentence, I started to sing “Meet me in St Louis” – one of my fave films (well I love ALL of Ms Garland's films and music!).

    What a town and history! Enjoy your celebrations! Take care

  6. @ Gayle: You missed Black Hole? It's the cheesiest of the cheesy!

    @ Old Kitty: Thanks! We do have quite a history–I didn't even scratch the surface!

    @ Grace: Bob never runs out of new ways to photograph our resident monument. Maybe one day he'll publish a book of those photos!

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