Monday, July 2, 2007

Life On the Mississippi: the Floodwall

Life On the Mississippi is a book published in 1883 by Mark Twain, a memoir of of his of his youth as an apprentice river pilot and a voyage as an adult from St. Louis to New Orleans, observing life on and around this great waterway. It is a good theme for the occasional posts I begin today about St. Louis' main artery.

Like all great rivers, the Mississippi is prone to disastrous floods. Click here for a facsinating photo essay about why we need floodwalls and levees and what happens when they fail. The downtown business district sits up on a bluff but much of the city slides gently down to the water's edge. These areas are protected by a huge concrete floodwall with sections that slide open and closed on rails. The section of floodwall just south of the Arch is reserved for graffiti artists, where the most people can see it.. These are just a couple of sections - there's lots more great stuff. The background of the bottom to these pictures makes me think of a Hans Hoffman abstract expressionist painting I saw in a museum somewhere.

I wonder if you need a city permit for a time and place to paint.

Gee-whiz bonus factoid - they say that Life On the Mississippi was the first book composed on a typewriter.

TOMORROW: America's Fourth of July festivities begin


7 comments:

Olivier said...

avec une preference pour le deuxieme graffiti


with a preference for the second graffiti

Anonymous said...

Actually this artwork or graffiti is remarkably good considering the speed in which it was probably created.

Abraham Lincoln
American Gold Finch—

U "R" Us said...

I like that the "O" in the top one is an omega character. Used to be that there was an official repainting of the wall every Labor Day weekend. Not sure if that's still the case.

Bergson said...

like olivier the second tell us something

ps said...

that is amazingly detailed--the graffiti I mean, but the info on Mark Twain and his book is a nice and interesting bonus--thanks.

(I love the idea of you doing a take off series on my restroom post--it would be great to see all the restrooms of the world linked up! thanks for your encouraging and very thoughtful comments!)

soosha_q said...

Thank you for your warm welcome, Bob! I hadn't even noticed your DP when I started mine. Luckily you seem to be mostly, if not all, downtown/actual city. That leaves plenty of room for me to get county areas, since that's where I mainly am. Perhaps we'll cross paths one of these day and get one of those dorky photographer-taking-a-photo-of-another-photographer-taking-a-photo-of-him/her deals. :)

iBlowfish said...

I have seen graffiti in many towns, what I thinks about them are, they almost look the same to me. I meant in colors and paterns.