Inside the Climatron. The interior landscaping and airflow somehow divide it into four wet - dry - cool - warm zones, each with its own characteristic plants. I have no idea what the red flowers are. They were some distance away and it was hard to focus just on them and not the surrounding leaves. (I should have put the focus on single point but I didn't think of it.) The flowers look to me like they are rising in jubilation.
Friday, September 25, 2020
Thursday, September 24, 2020
Still wandering around the botanical garden. I saw a small number of these little dangerous-looking things but not a placard to identify them. They look a bit like those illustrations you see of Covid-19 particles. The spiky balls resemble thistles but not in the traditional Scottish sense. Can anyone identify them?
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
One of the most famous buildings in St. Louis, at least to locals, the Climatron in the Missouri Botanical Garden. It is a geodesic dome greenhouse, built on the concepts of the architect and engineer R. Buckminster Fuller, and turns 50 years old next week. In 1976 it was named one of the 100 most significant architectural achievements in United States history. You can see more details about the structure at https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/gardens-gardening/our-garden/gardens-conservatories/conservatories/climatron.aspx .
The long pool in front of it is full of lily pads, some floating Chihuly glass ornaments and a bit of sculpture. It looks especially good at night when it is lit by changing color lights.
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Since as usual there is nothing going on around here, I went to our gorgeous botanical garden on Sunday to get some exercise and images. They have a bunch of Chihuly glass around the place, this one on a side of the rose garden. (I was standing underneath its twin on the opposite side.) It looks like it needs a haircut worse than I do in these no-close-contact times. These could be solar rays or a punk rocker's yellow died hair.
I didn't know it before but the garden takes these glass tubes out for the winter. Freezing temps could damage them.
Monday, September 21, 2020
Sunday, September 20, 2020
Saturday, September 19, 2020
It's a good idea to wear a mask even if you are just walking down the street with no one nearby. You don't know when others will come down the sidewalk to meet you. It applies even if you are 10 feet / 3 m tall.
Donald Baechler's Walking Figure has marched down Olive Street for years. S/he (it's ambiguous) has a vigorous stride but never gets anywhere. Is there a metaphor in this?
Friday, September 18, 2020
About a week ago some group went around putting masks on downtown statues. The reason is obvious. As I drove to my office last Saturday morning I made a survey of where they were located. However, by the time I went out to photograph them that afternoon many of the masks were gone. Some could have been stolen but at least one was inaccessible without a ladder or bucket truck. Like the masks on the statues of players outside the baseball stadium, they were all St. Louis city flags, tied on as well as possible. A couple had fallen down around the statues' necks. My best guess is that they blew off.
So here we have one of Tom Classen's Two Rabbits. (The other is back in the shadows.) I think they look ghostly. You can't tell from the outside but they are cast bronze coated with I-don't-know-what.
Thursday, September 17, 2020
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
We have been looking at Laclede's Landing for the last few days. Its southern border is Eads Bridge, the old stone structure on the left. The view here is in the new northern extension of the Arch grounds that replaced a garage. It wasn't pretty but it also wasn't very noticeable. It was the closest, cheapest parking to the monument and the clubs and restaurants in the Landing. What's there now is, well, odd. It feels like it has paths to nowhere and a you-can't-get-there-from-here feel. There is a lack of seating. The landforming and landscaping is not particularly attractive, IMHO. There are some nice views of the Mississippi, though.
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Same sign as yesterday but in a more pleasant setting. There must some significant business activity in Laclede's Landing to have someone caring for the flowers.
I keep thinking about where this church the sign mentions might be, even looking on Google maps. There is nothing at all in the immediate area. However, if you walked 10 or 15 minutes south across the Arch grounds you would come to what we call the Old Cathedral, the oldest church in town. That has to be it.
Monday, September 14, 2020
An affectation. It's true that we were founded by the French trader-explorers, Pierre Laclede and August Chouteau. (No one here except a real Francophone can come close to pronouncing the names correctly. https://news.stlpublicradio.org/arts/2014-02-27/pard-my-french-st-louis-peculiar-way-of-saying-local-street-names ) They both have streets named after them but Chouteau, the second banana, got the more important thoroughfare.
Anyway, the city mothers and fathers decided to give second names in French to several streets around the Arch, Old Courthouse and Laclede's Landing. They still have common American names, Broadway, Chestnut Street and so on. This placard is on the 19th Century stone foundations of Eads' Bridge. There is no church anywhere close, although there might have been one ages ago. Alors ça va.
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Friday, September 11, 2020
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Monday, September 7, 2020
One corner of our baseball stadium has a group of statues of the most famous Cardinals in history. (One of the foremost, Lou Brock, died yesterday at 81.) They wore the flag of the City of St. Louis as a mask, sort of like a bandito face covering. Stan Musial, The Greatest Cardinal Of Them All by universal acclimation, followed all the safety standards.
So if Stan the Man can do his part to protect the rest of us, you can, too. None of this my right to be free and kill your grandparents. I'm a grandparent.
Sunday, September 6, 2020
Saturday, September 5, 2020
Friday, September 4, 2020
Thursday, September 3, 2020
When Americans visit London and take their first Underground ride, they are surprised and a bit confused by the ubiquitous recorded announcement to "mind the gap." It refers to the space between the edge of the door and the edge of the platform. If I recall correctly, some of the station platforms are curved, meaning there really may be a gap.
This isn't public transit. It is the side of another Mexican restaurant on Cherokee Street. Of course, it refers to social distancing but if you have never been to London the meaning would be lost.
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
We will ask our resident expert, V de Q, for help on this.
This figure has stood on a pedestal at Cherokee and Jefferson for many years. I always thought it marked the beginning of the Cherokee Street shopping district. It may also have been a reference to the Anglo-American tradition of a cigar store Indian, signifying that the business behind it was a tobacconist. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cigar_store_Indian
Yet it has survived decades of social change. I never looked at it very closely until I took this picture. I am not knowledgeable in these matters, but the tablet the figure holds looks like an example of the Cherokee language, part of a very sophisticated culture. Perhaps someone knows more about it.