Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I Was Hoping For A Better Story

A window of time opened up for me to ride on Monday morning. It seems difficult for many to believe that most of my riding happens during the week or when it is raining. When the weekend comes or the weather is fine my first priority is Heather time. As it turned out she had some errands to run. This gave me some time to wander around the City a bit.

First on the agenda was to get a few pictures of the rehab project I've been following.

There has been a lot of progress since I last posted.
(  http://crcleblue.blogspot.com/2011/04/one-still-falling-down-and-another.html )

Now work has begun on the other building in earnest.

When last I posted about these building one comment reminded me that not only do buildings have a front, but they also have a back. So, I pulled around in the alley and sure enough . . .

Brand new garages and lots of interesting stuff.

This is the back of the first building. It does look like it is going to take a lot of work.

Next Billie and I just wandered around a few alleys and a couple of streets

We ended up next to this old beauty that is getting a new life.
Over the front doors is the word "Loretto". I suspect this property has been in the Dominican family for some time. I'm delighted to see it is going to be put to use.

Next door to the future Priory is a house that my daughter has always admired. So, even though it is still on tough times I had to get a picture of it.

It would be nice if the development next door led to the reclaiming of this grand old home. It seems to be having an effect on the building on the other side of the Dominican Priory development.

I mounted back up and almost immediately found myself on a part of the Saint Louis University campus I have never been on before. I parked up on the sidewalk to take a couple of pictures. As I dismounted I looked up to see a Police car coming down the street. I was sure I was going to get a "talking to", but instead we just waved to each other as he drove by.

On my way back toward Manchester Ave., which is one of the routes that Route 66 took through St. Louis, we came across an urban farm.

I've been wanting some photos of the murals that are showing up in The Grove. The Grove is a neighborhood seeking to reinvent itself. I'm told that in the 1850's this area was one of St. Louis' first subdivisions. As Manchester is a street that I often take when I'm riding Billie, I have found myself keeping an eye on the progress.

Billie and I found a Dragon. We also found Bob . . .

Of course, at the time I didn't know we'd found Bob. I was aiming my camera at another mural when I notice this guy striking a pose. So, I took his picture and walked over to show it to him. When he saw himself in the viewer he laughed. He thought he looked pretty damn good. He said his name was Bob Dixon and told me to not forget his name. It's not likely I will.

Yep, I'm in The Grove.

It was time to make my way home. I've been keeping another eye on a particular house with a rather large gargoyle in front. It certainly looked like it had a story. I've been hoping to catch someone out working in the yard so I could ask about it. As luck would have it, as I passed by the house on this day a couple were just pulling up to the house on their bicycles. It turned out they were the proud owners of the house and of the giant gargoyle.

The story? It seems the couple likes to ride their bicycles around the Holly Hills area. One time when riding through that neighborhood the guy saw a house with a gargoyle in front of it. He thought it was so cool and from that time on he wanted one. "Where did you find one?" I asked, "Tell me you didn't find it online."

"Actually, I did," he replied.

I will admit I was hoping for a better story, but I figured the story was good enough to post the photo.


  1. Love the murals Keith! The dragon one is my fave of this bunch.

  2. I got my architectural fix for the day :)
    All those great old buildings and some nice murals too, very colorful. And Bob seems like a colorful character as well. LoL funny pose!

    Most of our riding ends up being commuting (and raining) during the week as well. We both ride, but weekends tend to get filled with activities other than riding. I think there's only been one day this month that we both rode together.

  3. Great pictures. I always love pictures of any kind of architecture, not sure why but it speaks to me. Thanks for sharing these.

    One of these days I'll have to wander around Oregon State University here in town and share some of their lovely historic buildings.

    Happy riding.

  4. You found Bob. See I didn't even know you had lost Bob. Seems he is doing well.

    Great pictures. They make me wanna take a day off work and ramble.


  5. Those murals are beautiful. I am glad that some of the old building are getting restored.

  6. THanks for sharing, I enjoy seeing your travels and the bulidings that are always changing.

  7. Chris,
    I liked the the Dragon best, too.

  8. Orin,
    Not yet. Billie is too small for two, and she isn't a rider . . . yet.

    Thanks for stopping by,

  9. Bluekat,
    The problem with being very active is there just isn't enough time on the weekends to do all the wonderful stuff there is to do. Oh well, I ain't complaining.

  10. Trobairitz,
    I've been surprised at how much I enjoy puttering around and looking at buildings and neighborhoods. I never expected buildings to be a part of my blog, but they seem to have become a very significant part.

    And, happy riding to you as well.

  11. Allen,
    :-) Yep, I didn't know he was lost, until I found him. It was a rather funny interaction. I doubt I will ever see him again, but I'm glad he wandered into my life.

    Rambling is a good thing.

  12. Sonja,
    I think you commented in a blog post about Memphis that Memphis had lots of neat buildings but could use more businesses to fill them. Well, that's true here in St. Louis as well. The City is half the size in once was. I suppose this is why it is precious to me whenever I see some of these treasures being renovated. Now, the trick is to get them back in use.

  13. Roger,
    Thanks for your comment. I've been running behind on commenting on blogs, but have been keeping up on your travels as well. Thanks for finding the time to comment . . .

    And, happy wintertide.

  14. Keith ~ I loved old architecture too. We have a lot of old stately homes and buildings here. You have inspired me to go for a scoot and snap pics. Love the murals.

  15. Dar,
    You did a post with pictures from where you live. It had a picture of the Provincial Legislature and one of the Empress Hotel. I liked it, but I think I failed to comment on it. Oh well.

    Your scoot is ideal for investigating neighborhoods. I look forward to seeing what you find.

    The murals are cool. There is a small town outside of the Metro area that bills itself as the "Mural City". That would be quite an adventure on Billie, but perhaps we'll give it a go later in the summer.

    Thanks for the comment.

  16. Sometimes that's it, there just isn't a story. Oh well, I guess you could order one of your own this way.

    Behind Bars - Motorcycles and Life

  17. Dear Keith:

    I was under the impression that I had posted on this blog episode in the reccent past, and was dismayed to find I had not. I want to say the title, "I Had Hoped For A Better Story" is misleading. There can be no better story for any community than to see it's old buildings given new life and new purpose. Plus, It's nice to see you ioncorporatimg some of the local people in the story line.

    Fondest regards,
    Twisted Roads

  18. Brady,
    I really wanted there to be a better story about the gargoyle. I'm clueless as to what I was hoping for, so, I can't very well make one up. Oh well.

    Thanks for making a comment,

  19. Jack,
    I couldn't agree with you more about it being a great story about these older buildings getting a new life. And, Bob was a delightful serendipity. My only disappointment was the gargoyle. As I mentioned to Brady, I'd really hoped for a better story than they ordered it online. Oh well, since the critter isn't a spout for water to run off a roof, I guess it is technically a grotesque anyway. Perhaps it is just as well that I didn't end up with a grotesque story to tell.

    Again Jack, thanks for your support. I do appreciate it very much,

  20. Don't have anything meaningful to add but I do want to say I quite enjoyed this post.

    Why is it that Other Places always seem more interesting than Here? Of course, I sitting Here watching it drizzle outside.

  21. What about Bob?? hehe to rehash a movie title. But I would have been slightly intimidated turning around to a smoking hulk holding an empty beer bottle.

    I agree with your daughter, love the one building. I'm a sucker for the rounded rooms on those Victorian houses.

    I like gargoyles, but hadn't considered one as lawn art. Hmm...I have the perfect rock strewn area at the front of my house... :)


  22. Irondad,
    Thanks for stopping by. I'm very glad you enjoyed this post. And, I don't know why it is that other places always seem so interesting, but I suspect it is one of the reasons I enjoy reading blogs from other parts of the country and the world.

  23. Lori,
    It seemed safest to play along LOL. It turned out to be great fun.

    I can't wait to see your gargoyle. I hear you can buy them online :)

    Thanks for stopping by.