I recently moved to St. Louis, and each week I’ve discovered something else amazing about this place. There is the obvious: the food, the Gateway Arch, Forest Park, the Delmar Loop, the old neighborhoods. Then there are the things you only find out about after you’ve been here for a time, like the fact that Chuck Berry performs at Blueberry Hill on a regular basis, or Crown Candy Kitchen, one of the oldest soda fountains in the country. Every week it seems that I discover something more amazing than everything previous, but this week I think I’ve reached the pinnacle, unless they’re holding a parade in my honor next week.
The City Museum looks as if an insane artist’s head exploded, and all the random creative ideas she ever had splattered against the walls and stuck. I can’t begin to do the place justice, but here are some highlights:
They have an aquarium where you can wriggle through an acrylic tube through one of the exhibits:
Looking out the tube I saw sharks and turtles, by the way:
You can also see two-headed snakes and turtles:
Not to mention getting a manicure from skin-eating fish:
But the aquarium is just one part of the City Museum. There is a model train set:
A skate park:
A baby grand piano:
A pipe organ:
And even a circus school:
There’s much more, but even that doesn’t do justice to the place. It is filled with amazing architecture:
A fish sculpture next to a fish pond with fountains.
A pillar coated with seashells.
A hall of mirrors.
A hall with insect displays.
A half-exposed elephant.
A tiled floor with fish.
The ceiling, covered with shreds of parachute (we think).
A wall of soda bottles.
A four-foot cube of rock, hanging from the ceiling for no reason.
But even that doesn’t convey the full sense of wonder this place creates. There are endless interactive aspects, from caves to slides to swinging ropes. I climbed up this tube of rebar:
It took about ten minutes and I was sweating by the end. The slides are amazing. One of them is a spiral slide that was used in the shoe-factory days to deliver shoes from upper floors to lower floors. It’s seven stories tall and takes about twenty (somewhat painful) seconds to go down. Here’s a picture from inside one of the many tunnels:
And we didn’t even get to go outside, where there is a Ferris Wheel and more. This is just an amazing place. By the way, this was at my company’s holiday party — Answers.com rocks.