destination #3: st. louis, missouri
nicknames: gateway to the west
fun fact: missouri has been affectionately known as "the dickhead state."
well known gateway-ian: william s. burroughs
upon his first visit to st. louis in 1851, mark twain memorably quipped, "i'm not going to say anything cute or funny about st. louis. this is a shithole and if i had to live here i'd hang myself off a barn rafter."
i couldn't agree with mr. twain more, he hit the nail on the head with this comment. being a detroit native, i have to say i was appalled and under impressed with the "gateway to the west". if st. louis is a small sample of what is to come in the west, then i strongly advise staying on the east side of the mississippi.
but i digress. st. louis was destination number three on my quest of travel. i was intrigued by the cities money maker, the st. louis arch. also i wanted to see the mississippi river, because i was told it has four eyes and can't see, and i was a bit skeptical about that.
after a surprisingly short drive from the nashville area, i found myself face to face with that infamous arch that sits on that infamous river. and i was ready to be...well creeped out.
at first i was excited about the arch, it was huge! even if you were an adult you would agree, it was huge! and then i found out you could go in it all the way to the top!! i nearly ruined my new diaper. sadly, i didn't take the time to think about how one gets to the top, as i am sure happens to many visitors of the arch. well, let me share that with you friends in hopes you don't make the same mistake i made.
first you are led into an underground museum where you are distracted with air conditioning, narrated videos and items under finger smudged plexiglass. you buy a ticket, you get excited. you stand in line, excitement growing - WE'RE GOING UP A FUCKING ARCH, I CAN'T WAIT!!!
then you notice them. doors. these little teeny tiny doors, not bigger than 4 foot tall and 3 feet wide. a puppet show perhaps?! dancing midgets dressed as little arches?!
no. nothing fun like that today folks. those doors lead you to the pod that takes you to the top of the arch...i mean look at this shit...
i don't even know these people but i feel for them. look at blue shirt's face, she's got the fear, and glasses over there, she doesn't know if she has just wandered into some spaceship or a garbage can - SHE CAN'T EVEN SIT!
anyway, i am an adventurer, i am brave, i am baby. i went in the pod. i rode it. i wasn't happy, but i did it. and are the windows REALLY necessary, it was just a reminder that you were in the bowls of the arch.
after traveling at the speed of slow as fuck, we reached the top. now, this is what an insane person sees when entering the st. louis arch observation deck:
now, this is what i saw:
and this is what really happened:
all i am saying is when you escape the pod, you are forced into this "observation deck" with shards of glass for windows and the whole thing sways and it was just - not a good day.
we later went to the st. louis science center where i got the opportunity to build an arch of all things.
F plus st. louis, F plus.