Day 30: All-dayer in St. Louis

Wow, what a whirlwind tour of St. Louis it was today!  I’m beat.  I took a million great photos (thanks Mr. Sun) and have a whole bunch to post here tonight.  There were some ornery clouds now (blocking the sun).  But I’ve learned to be patient a few minutes at times.   I don’t know when I’ll be back in Missouri next — and you never know if the photo you take today might be the very last one taken.  When we least expect it, here comes a natural disaster (tornado, etc.) or human aesthetic error (remodeling / plastic box sign replacement).

Sparkle and the dogs — all A-OK.  Three big grassy romps for them today and then back into the AC which is running flawlessly.  We all miss the lakes and rivers though.  We should be out of the urban jungle tomorrow at some point.  On the agenda:  wrapping up St. Louis downtown stuff, then a big chunk of Illinois just across the river (forgot about that decent-sized chunk), and then hopefully starting another decent stack of stuff for SE corner of Missouri.  I think this could easily be two days now that I think about it. 

Let’s get to it.  Early in the day, I came across this delightful guy.  I’m not sure how his motorized contraption works but it made no noise at all!  Maybe he’s a St. Louis icon for all I know — if not, he should be.  Speeding along near Forest Park:

Lots of old Anheuser-Busch / Budweiser signs in St. Louis.  Including the gigantic one on the interstate which even I am to scared to pull over and shoot.  It looked fantastic as I was driving by at dusk tonight.  Flapping wings and all.  I wonder how many accidents it has caused?  Well, these lesser Bud signs are still damned nice.  Many of them are triangulated two-siders.

Time for a snack!  One of my purchases at a Schnuck’s Super Center last night was this little item.  The lime green color got my attention in the deli case and I was perusing for my usual cheese or meat (dogs) snacks.  It’s called Watergate Salad — and I guess everyone’s heard of it but me.  Watergate?  Like Nixon’s Watergate?  It’s main ingredient is pineapple and then a long list of chemicals.  Reluctant but curious.  I did my on-line research later and it’s supposedly pistachio that gives it that color.  Yeah, right.  The pineapple chunks are dark green like cucumber skin.  It basically tastes like pineapple and whipped cream.  So yeah, sweet, very sweet, and creamy!  Three dogs loved it — Grippie wouldn’t touch it.  The only other thing she won’t eat is citrus.

Your opinion matters.  When shooting signs, I often wonder, particularly with these skeletal types, whether to shoot with clouds — or without.  Sometimes just standing a foot or two away in a different spot produces such different results.  So, would you prefer this guy with a pure blue sky — or the way he is?  Oh, and by the way, this neon martini is at Danno’s Pub:

Simple and serious, neglected but beautiful:

This pile-up of a sign probably started with just the neon, don’t you think?  Nice colorful fins.  But the clock has ancient deco-y fins also — so maybe not — maybe one big silly unit?  Trees.  You love them, you hate them.  They can be real troublemakers.  And I have no plans to do a Midwest trip in the winter just to get bare branches in the way instead.

In the window of Hobby Station in Kirkwood.  I assume this is an oldie:

More fun Bud stuff.  I assume these were mass-produced but I’ve never seen one like it before:

Lest we forget where we are.  I’m surprised there are not more arch-y sign references in town.  Maybe at one time.

A neon & bulb extravaganza.  Something nasty ripped that upper left hand corner of the red sign.  How could that be?  Not the usual truck suspect here:

An example of the triangulated method (although this one is almost flat).  Visible from any direction.  I can’t think of any city that has so many.

More colorful, deco-y frills:

A sort of bizarre mix of shapes.  This just can’t be original trio, right?  To me, it looks like these pieces were moved from another/other sign(s) into this frame.

A shocking reminder to us all to be careful out there.  I hope this impact was a tree not a motorcycle.

Let’s just call this the downward spiral of civilization:

and the architectural atrocity of the day award goes to:

How ’bout that!  A few surviving neon Red Goose Shoe signs out there — but I’ve never seen a plastic one (in life or on-line).  The store is now some artsy thing so I don’t know if this will be sticking around much into the future:

Merb’s.  Just love the name.  Please don’t ruin my fantasy and tell me that it’s a last name.  I want to believe that 80-year old Merb is up on that ladder every month replacing those bulbs when they go out.  A pinky glow tells me the neon works perfectly.  Oh, sure enough — thanks Lynne:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/25726169@N03/4555915827/

And I’ll leave you with this one that perplexed the heck out of me.  Strange lights and loudspeaker — but for what?  And this is no artsy-fartsy neighborhood where this could be dismissed as sculpture.

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7 Responses to “Day 30: All-dayer in St. Louis”

  1. DJ,
    RE: Clouds or no clouds. I’ve told you my love for clouds, but this to me is a scene specific issue. So, if you have a shot of the Danno’s Pub sign without clouds, I would have to see both to make a choice of which one I like. Ultimately it’s up to you, sweetie. I have no negatives to say about any of your compositional choices, so shoot away. If it looks good to you, it probably will to others.

    Nuff said. Carry on.

    • OK – thanks for the vote of confidence. Sometimes I think nature’s glory gets in the way of manmade glory (clouds, trees, etc.). Too often, it’s manmade crap interfering (wires, poles, big trucks, etc.). It’s a battle out there!

  2. I prefer my martini glass half full, so one vote for clouds…

  3. Uhm, Merb called. She’s only 73, “thank you very much,” and she pays someone to change the light bulbs.

  4. I’m guessing that thing is some kind of burgular or fire alarm? Very strange. I’d really like to know for sure. What kind of building was it?

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