The Downtown and Near North section of St. Louis includes downtown St. Louis, Hyde Park, Old North St. Louis, and designated historic district of St. Louis Place. When I go to this part of town, it’s usually to watch Cards baseball, Rams football or Blues hockey. I have come to appreciate that there is more to the Downtown & Near North area.
Favorite places for food and/or drink already experienced include Broadway Oyster Bar, Lucas Park Grille, Mosaic, Dubliner Pub, Lola, and Sidebar. I have always wanted to eat lunch at Crown Candy Kitchen, a St. Louis tradition since 1913 and what better time than the present? Since I love bacon, I decided to order the Heart Stopping BLT, an unbelievable bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich on white toast with Miracle Whip (yes, a complete anti Whole30 food item). As I starting biting into this piece of perfection, I happen to notice the back of the waitresses t-shirt which proclaimed the following: “This ain’t no health food store…“. Made me laugh. By the way, I ate the entire damn sandwich including the pickle (minus the chips). Afterward, I had to check out the candy offerings and I could have easily bought a little bit of everything. Instead, I bought a dark chocolate peanut butter cup for later although the one scoop of chocolate-chocolate-chip ice cream on a sugar cone was consumed immediately. I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of this rare indulgence with absolutely zero regrets.
For recreation, I typically gravitate to this part of town for a sporting event, usually a Cardinals baseball game. Recently, I had the opportunity to go to an international soccer match at Busch Stadium between Manchester City and Chelsea. It was an unbelievable experience from several perspectives. First, going to Busch Stadium to watch a sporting event other than a baseball game was pretty cool. Second, the place was just as packed for this soccer game as it was when I watch the Cardinals win Game 5 and thereby clinch the World Series in 2006. Third, seeing Busch Stadium in a sea of blue versus the typical red was quite the site to see. The atmosphere was electric, the game was amazing, and the evening made me feel very proud of this sport city.
SInce I mentioned there is more to do than sports in this part of town, I wanted to experience a “non-sport related” recreational activity and off to Citygarden I went. Citygarden is a park located in downtown, between 8th street to the east, 10th street to the west, Chestnut Street to the north, and Market Street to the south. What a cool place to explore art, landscaping, and design. There are nearly 30 different sculptures to check out, including Wurm’s Big Suit, Mitoraj’s Eros Bendato, Leger’s Femmes au Perroquet, and Yasuda’s Door of Return. There is a free Citygarden iPhone App available that can be used with the GPS feature of your iPhone to enhance your experience exploring Citygarden. The App includes an Art Index that provides an audio description of each sculpture on display with a short bio of the artist.
Shopportunities are abundant in this part of town, particularly with the various boutiques and shops along Washington Ave and beyond. I ended up paying a visit to Left Bank Books on North 10th. For whatever reason, I love bookstores and spent quite some time exploring. Perhaps a little lame, maybe a bit boring, or just play uneventful in your minds but remember, I am A.U. and this is my adventure! Until next time, get out there and do something new and different!