Meet Me In St Louis, Louis

Read about our music travels to Chuck Berry’s St Louis Missouri

A full day in St Louis.

Not much on offer for breakfast nearby, so we stopped by the nearby Lumiere Casino for a hearty breakfast, followed by a wander around the underwhelming and small river district precinct.

The three of us decided to make for The Delmar Loop which was recommended to us, where there was shopping and Blueberry Hill (Chuck Berry).  Our directions were off the mark as we passed and we passed blocks and blocks of stately, strong but deserted building and car parks.  Now I must say here and now, that I have never seen so many car parks before – they come in all shapes and sizes but the common theme is that they take an inordinate amount of the city’s space and there are actually very little used this Tuesday morning.  It was not uncommon to see three or four car parks at most street corners.  The grandeur and the vibrancy of downtown St Louis has been over for a while by the look – add to that not many retail outlets and a distinct lack of people.

Anyway, work-shopping our directions to The Loop received yesterday, we agreed to find Union Station and catch the train.  Eventually we did just that or, more specifically, the Union Station Hotel and as we stepped up to the Grand Lobby, we were taken aback by the beauty, grandeur and artistry of this massive space and by the stark contrast to our surroundings for past hour.

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A coffee and some time in this impressive place was a must.  Subsequently we found the train station, worked out the ticketing system (a daily pass for $7.50) and hopped on the next Metro train (more light rail probably given its scale and passenger load) to the The Delmar Loop.

Finally, we found some signs of vibrance, people and colour in this city.  The Loop includes the St Louis Walk of Fame, honoring famous St. Louisians such as Tennessee Williams, Chuck Berry, Tina Turner, Charles Lindberg, T.S. Eliot, Betty Grable and Miles Davis.  There’s the Chuck Berry statue, the Pageant Theatre (Limp Bizkit is playing there this very night).

DSC01739A walk along the streets was interesting, a light lunch at Blueberry Hill where Chuck Berry continues to play the third Wednesday of each month.  The record store Vintage Vinyl was a delight, with its large area of vinyl, CDs, DVDs and other music trinkets.  Today was the release day of Lucinda Williams new, double album Down Where The Spirit Meets The Bone and all three of us had plans on getting it on day one but, alas, the store had sold out already.

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Back on the train and stopped again at The Union Station Hotel, this time for a cocktail – in my case a Rio Grande – “cosmopolitan, Tito’s handmade vodka, cointreau, white cranberry and fresh lime) and the daily (5pm) light show.

Back on the train and we decided to cross the river into Illinois for a joy ride and back.

Back at the Lumiere Casino (if you are staying in St Louis, don’t stay downtown unless you just want to do The Gateway Arch and go to a sports event) for dinner – an ordinary pizza.

Time to retire, pack and get up early, heading for Raleigh North Carolina tomorrow – the biggest bluegrass event on the planet.

 

Read about our music travels to Chuck Berry’s St Louis Missouri

Read about our music travels to Chuck Berry’s St Louis Missouri

Read about our music travels to Chuck Berry’s St Louis Missouri

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Author: Rob Dickens

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