SAA, Part 2

Except for the Arch and the free museum in its basement, I’ve never been to downtown St. Louis in the nearly ten years I’ve been in Missouri. The week of the SAA meeting, I made up for lost time by spending most of my days there.

Getting downtown from my hotel in Clayton was confusing the first evening. My GPS had an old map of the area, so “on right” meant “on left.” I got the hang of that exit by the third (!) day though. As I approached downtown from I-64, it turns out the exit I needed was closed for construction. I passed it, and the highway took me into Illinois. I exited and took the opposite way back. My detour was rewarded as I saw a wonder view of downtown with a great sunset behind it. From there the GPS led me straight to the America’s Center. That night, leaving downtown was its own ordeal. Apparently the local sports team was playing mere blocks away and I drove right into everyone leaving the event. Some manic pushing of the Detour button on my GPS and some creative driving through a church’s parking lot finally got me back on the highway.

Towards the weekend I had a handle on being a commuter in St. Louis. I realized that the exits before the one my GPS suggested all eventually led me to Market Street, which then led to 6th, where the America’s Center was. The view down Market was pretty cool:

Market Street, St. Louis

{Click for Flickr goodness}

Orpheum Theater
Strolling around downtown between sessions was strangely rewarding. I couldn’t help but take some photos of the different buildings that towered over me. Downtown BuildingsI heard from various sources that downtown St. Louis wasn’t always so pretty and safe. It’s good to see that things are looking up. Now if only East St. Louis was cleaned up, so visiting Cahokia wasn’t accompanied by a slight feeling of unease. Come on, Illinois, shape up!

Stay tuned for next time, which will most surely be about the delicious food I ate!

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