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The Top 100 Reasons to Come to DRSWCVI!

REASON 19 - PLACES TO RUN / BEE TREE PARK
Suggested by Kevin Keply, The Mathineer  ♦  Each of the StillDeads has a favorite place to run. And St. Louis is lucky to have parks scattered around the metro area that are nearby and big enough to run in. Bee Tree park in South County is my favorite. Besides being a nice running venue, people fish the lake, sled down the hills in the winter snow or sit out on the grass and listen to some concerts during the year. Enter the park and run past the Riverboat museum... that has giant propeller blades sticking out of the ground like some permanent flowers in full bloom. Go past a fountain, a popular wedding and/or wedding picture place. Take a left, down the hill and get on the trail. Not real long, about a half mile downhill, but trees block out the sunlight in the summer and one can sometimes see deer and, on one occasion, skunks :-). At the end of this trail, you can see the lake. Run along the grassy bank for about a 1/4 mile and then get back on another trail. This part is a bit different, more bushes than trees, and is less traveled. As such, you usually have to brush the bush branches out of the way (hoping it isn't poison ivy) and sweep the cobwebs from your face. At the end of this part of the trail you are on the other side of the lake. A huge field in front of you that is sometimes tricky to negotiate because the thick, high grass hides holes and rocks. Once the lake is circled, you head up another path (Crow's Roost). This one has been cleared by a road grader and has a mulch surface. Up, up the hill, a testy little feature. Hit the top and a clearing, go another quarter mile and get on the Mississippi River Trail, so named as you are now on the top of the cliff side hundreds of feet above the Mississippi River. Extremely hazardous running (just ask Jimp) with rock outcroppings and very narrow ledges. Finish up behind the museum and sit on a bench and look east, over the river into the flat farmland in Illinois... miles and miles to the horizon... that was completely under water in the great flood of 1993.

REASON 18 - DIECKMEYER'S, WORLD FAMOUS BRAIN SANDWICHES
Suggested by MarkO  ♦  Well today I finally had some extra time during lunch to go check out this fine establishment. It's not exactly on my beaten path. Why I ended up with this one I'm not really sure - I mean even if I weren't a vegetarian and even if my religious dietary laws didn't restrict it, I don't think I would want to be chewing on sumthin' that someone had been thinking with. But anyway... I'm here at Dieckmeyer's. I walk in and am surprised to find that it's a white table cloth establishment. I sidle up to the bar and decided to chat up the bar maid so that I have something to write about in this post. So what did I find out? Well, Dieckmeyer's is the oldest family-owned restaurant in the city of St. Louis (been there since 1942), and the BBC, USA Today, and St. Louis Post Dispatch all agree that they have the finest brain sandwiches to be had. They've also been interviewed on NPR's "What do you know?", and it's believed that many years ago they were on That's Incredible or Real People or Those Amazing Animals or something of the sort from the 70's. The food ranges from steaks, to seafood, to standard grille sandwiches and of course the brain sandwich (which is a cow brain, if you were wondering) which is supposedly good and chewy. If you want beer, you better like Anheuser-Busch products. Most south St. Louis establishments are loyal to Anheuser-Busch by not serving real beer. But anyway... That's reason #18 to come here... so if you you're going to be in St. Louis, and you've always wanted to try a brain sandwich, you might as well have the best...

REASON 17 - TROMPE L'OEIL
Suggested by Joan Cook  ♦  The French term trompe l'oeil is generally translated "fool the eye." As an English term it's pronounced "tromp loy" and refers to exceptionally realistic painting that's supposed to, well, fool your eye. The original example was by Zeuxis, a Greek painter who lived in the 4th and 5th centuries BCE, who is supposed to have painted a plate of fruit so lifelike that birds tried to eat from it. You can see examples of trompe l'oeil everywhere in St. Louis. I've never seen so much anywhere else. In Midtown on Olive Boulevard, the ground floor of a building near St. Louis University is painted to look like it has French doors. One wall of the Brod Dugan paint store in St. Louis County (the city of St. Louis is not part of a county) has a painting of painters painting the wall. My two personal favorites are the old Lennox Hotel downtown and the old Edison Brothers Warehouse across the street from the Kiel Center. Both buildings have been abandoned for some years and were threatened with demolition, but both are now scheduled for renovation. In the case of the Edison Brothers Warehouse, I know people wanted to save the building specifically because they couldn't bear to lose the art. The old Lennox Hotel stands on the northeast corner of Washington Avenue and 9th Street. The ground level is faced in block, and the floors above are faced in tan brick. It was built next to another tall building, so the east face is just plain white. But when the building next door (along with some others) was torn down to make way for the Convention Center, that plain east face was mostly visible and, well, plain. So it was painted to resemble the rest of the building - white block on the ground level, tan bricks above. At the ground level there are "doors" whose "glass" carries "reflections." In between are murals in "bas relief" that depict, as far as I can tell, scenes of American pioneers. On the floors above, windows are painted in just as they appear on the north and west faces, complete with ornaments around them. The architectural decorations on the east face are like the ones on the other faces, but some quite luxurious ones have been added. Near the top of the building is a large portico in front of a series of French doors. Some of the windows have arches over them and little balconies around them. If you come downtown to check out the Arch and the Louisiana Purchase exhibit, you might want to walk over here (it'll take about 10-15 minutes) and check this out. The old Edison Brothers Warehouse is on 14th Street just north of Highway Farty-Forty. This is just a big red-brick building with windows. In 1984, dozens of artists decorated the building in the Beaux Arts style. All around the windows they painted stone ornaments, and they added "arched windows" above the upper windows. At each end of each wall is an obelisk-style column with a pharaoh's head "carved" near the top. On the west side, under an arch, sits Peace, with doves perched on her outstretched hands. Resting atop a column behind her is the world. Her pedestal is supported on the shoulders of two men in loincloths, one of whom has a little pot belly. :-) On the south side (which faces the highway) is a "statue" of King Louis IX (a.k.a. St. Louis). If you're driving into St. Louis from the east, keep your eyes peeled for this work of art; it'll be to your right just after the exits for Busch Stadium.

REASON 16 - HISTORIC ST. CHARLES, MISSOURI
Suggested by Diane Nanney  ♦  St. Charles, Missouri, is located ten minutes west of Lambert Field via Highway 70. When you visit this historic river town which was established around 1769, you will find the Main National Historic District that offers 125 charming shops and 21 restaurants. You will also notice the French Colonial architecture in the Frenchtown Historic District. Other historical attractions include the Missouri First State Capital and the Lewis and Clark Museum. This town boasts various celebrations throughout the year including the Lewis and Clark Rendezvous, Oktoberfest, and the Festival of the Little Hills. Historic sites are not the only things that make St. Charles a fun stop while in the St. Louis area. Frontier Park is the location for many free concerts during the warm weather. The park has a large gazebo, picnic tables, and old rail cars decorating the river side park. There are also numerous small eating and drinking establishments that offer a scenic view of the old buildings or outdoor view of St. Charles, one of them being Trailhead (mentioned in a previous Reason). The Katie Trail also runs along the Missouri river at the south end of historic St. Charles. On the Missouri river you can enjoy an off-Broadway show and dinner on the Goldenrod Showboat, the last of its kind in the nation. If action is what you seek, an evening on Casino St. Charles may yield some extra cash in your pockets (or not ;-). St. Charles also has something for the young and the young-at-heart. Blanchette Park is located in the northwestern part of "old St. Charles." This park has baseball diamonds, picnic tables, BBQ pits, a pool, and a water park. Always a big hit for a day of fun in the sun. Arriving early at the waterpark is important if a seat in the shade is desired. The park includes a kiddie area separate from the bigger, deeper area for waterslides and diving boards. An entire separate pool is also included for swimming or other water activities. While in St. Charles accommodations can be found in a bed & breakfast or a hotel. St. Charles seems to blend history, recreation, and relaxation quite successfully!

REASON 15 - DAY BY DAY THRU HISTORY
Suggested by Dave Braun  ♦  May 22, 1864 - St. Louisans contributed their support to the Union cause by attending the Mississippi Valley Sanitary Fair. The fair offered art works, handmade items, autographs and other items, raising $550,000, the largest amount ever raised by a commission in the U.S. After the war, the remaining money was used to establish homes for orphans of Union men and set up scholarships at Washington University for Union descendants. May 23, 1929 - Dwight Davis, who donated the cup just won by the U.S. tennis team, and for whom the tennis court is named in Forest Park, left St. Louis for Washington DC to confer with President Herbert Hoover about his new position as Governor General in the Phillipines. As St. Louis Park Commissioner, he abolished "keep off the grass" signs as parks should be for recreation, not looking at, that led to tennis courts and golf courses being constructed. May 24, 1836 - The cornerstone was laid for the first real theater in the city. Designed by Meriwether Lewis Clark, son of the explorer, the theater was the first in the country to use individual seats instead of benches. May 25, 1941 - Annie Malone, millionaire business woman, lit the torch that was used to burn the mortgage on the orphanage that bears her name. Years before she had donated money to have the building started. / Will you be a part of history when the book is rewritten?

REASON 14 - THE EUGENE HOUSE & TOY MUSEUM
Suggested by Dave Braun  ♦  The Eugene Field House, located at 634 S. Broadway, is the only remaining building from a row of 12 houses built in 1845 by Edward Walsh. This particular unit was occupied by Roswell Field in 1850. Field was the attorney in the Dred Scott Decision, a famous case heard in the Old Courthouse (that is framed by the Arch when looking east) involving the constitutionality of the "Missouri Compromise". I'll leave it to the individuals to brush up on that part of history as this house was spared not because of Roswell Field, but because of the enduring popularity of his son, Eugene. You may recognize some of his work: "Little Boy Blue" and "Wynken, Blynken, and Nod", which should not be confused with "Puckett, Biondo, and Uras" - the three tenors, I mean three baldings. The current three story structure retains the decor and furnishings that reflect the 1850 period and houses a toy collection spanning centuries that is on permanent display. A special exhibit of cast iron toys (not those cheap-ass plastic things of today), some of which are 300 years old, will be around thru the Conference time period.

Reason 13 is missing... ;-)

REASON 12 - ANGELS OF THE VATICAN
Suggested by Pam Thurston  ♦  This summer the Art Museum will bring to St. Louis a truly extraordinary exhibition, "The Invisible Made Visible: Angels from the Vatican", which brings together artists' concepts of angels and angelic beings from ancient times through the modern period. You will see important winged images from the Vatican's immense Etruscan, Greek, and Roman collections as well as from its dazzling holding of Renaissance and Baroque paintings. This will be the first time that anyone has been able to see many of these rare objects outside the walls of Vatican City. The collection includes paintings, sculptures, liturgical vessels, and vestments dating from 9th century B.C. to present from many of history's most revered artists. St. Louis will be one of only five fortunate cities hosting its 14 month U.S. tour... making it a true once-in-a-lifetime event. The exhibition runs May 9h through August 2nd. The museum is open Tuesday though Sunday from 9 am to 5pm with evening hours on Tuesday to 8pm. The museum is free yet the special events are charged... I'm not sure of the price because members are free. I think it will be a great exhibit and yet another good "reason" to come to St. Louis!

Reason 11 and reason 10 are missing... ;-)


Reasons 100-90 | 89-80 | 79-70 | 69-60 | 59-50 | 49-40 | 39-30 | 29-20 | 19-10 | 9-1